A real life ‘Samantha’ from Sex and the City, Melanie Blake’s own incredible life story reads like the plot of an outrageous novel itself. From a working-class background, Blake pulled herself out of a life of poverty and homelessness as a teen by working as an extra on various film and TV sets. After declaring bankruptcy in her 20s, now 44, Blake has re-invented herself to become one of the UK’s most successful businesswomen. She is a self-made multimillionaire, property entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She went from being a TV extra to becoming one of the most powerful celebrity agents in the UK and an award-winning businesswoman. Alongside Jaqueline Gold CBE, the CEO of Ann Summers, Melanie Blake is also one of the UK’s most vocal champions of women in business. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Melanie Blake about her life as a media entrepreneur, the challenges faced by women in the media & entertainment industry and why she’s chronicled her experiences in her bestselling novel, Ruthless Women.

Thought Economics

Seth Godin is the author of 20 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He’s also the founder of the altMBA and The Akimbo Workshops, online seminars that have transformed the work of thousands of people. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip and Purple Cow. His book, This Is Marketing, was an instant bestseller around the world. His latest book, The Practice, is already a bestseller. In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth has founded several companies, including Yoyodyne and Squidoo. His blog (which you can find by typing “seth” into Google) is one of the most popular in the world. His podcast is in the top 1% of all podcasts worldwide. In 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame. More than 20,000 people have taken the powerful Akimbo workshops he founded, including thealtMBA and The Marketing Seminar. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Seth Godin about what it means to be creative, and how we can use the skills of creativity.

Thought Economics

Jacqueline Gold CBE is Chief Executive of Ann Summers and Knickerbox and is renowned for managing a business run by women, for women. Jacqueline is an activist for women in business, championing female entrepreneurs and, through sharing her own experiences, aims to better the working environment for women. Her attitude towards female empowerment and gender equality inspires countless generations of women to pursue their dreams and celebrate their successes, not least her 11-year-old daughter Scarlett. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Jacqueline Gold CBE about her incredible entrepreneurship journey with Ann Summers and her work empowering women in the workplace.

Thought Economics

Jade Jagger is a visionary artist, creative director and jeweller. Her childhood coincided with the halcyon days of the New York pop art scene and Andy Warhol once famously said, “I love Mick and Bianca, but Jade’s more my speed. I taught her how to colour and she showed me how to play Monopoly. She was four and I was forty-four.” In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Jade Jagger about her passion for jewellery, her creative process and what it takes to create some of the world’s finest jewels.

Thought Economics

Over 3,500 businesses around the world, including household names such as Danone, Innocent and Patagonia, have taken the journey to become Certified B Corporations- committing to the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. Andrew Kassoy is the cofounder and CEO of B Lab Global, the not-for-profit behind the B Corp movement. In this exclusive I spoke to Andrew about the role of business in society, the story of the B Corp movement and how businesses can balance profit with purpose.

Thought Economics

In 2009, Kickstarter was born from a singular mission to help bring creative projects to life.  Since then, 18.4 million people have collectively pledged over $5.23 billion into more than 186,000 projects. The Kickstarter mission extends to the very fabric of how the business is structured. In 2015, they became a Public Benefit Corporation (a for-profit company that prioritizes positive outcomes for society as much as their shareholders). Perry Chen is the creator and principal founder of Kickstarter. In this exclusive interview, we talk about the connection between arts & entrepreneurship, and the story of Kickstarter.

Thought Economics

Professor Gary Hamel is one of the world’s most influential and iconoclastic business thinkers. He has been on the faculty of the London Business School for more than 30 years and is the director of the Management Lab. Hamel has written 17 articles for the Harvard Business Review and is the most reprinted author in the Review’s history. His landmark books have been translated into more than 25 languages. Fortune magazine describes Hamel as “the world’s leading expert on business strategy,” and the Financial Times calls him a “management innovator without peer.” Hamel has been ranked by The Wall Street Journal as the world’s most influential business thinker and is a fellow of the Strategic Management Society and of the World Economic Forum. For over a decade, Gary has been researching how bureaucracy can be replaced by something better. In his forthcoming book Humanocracy, he lays out a detailed blueprint for creating organizations that are as inspired and ingenious as the human beings within them… organizations that are anchored around motivation, models, mindsets, mobilization and migration. In this exclusive interview, I speak to Gary Hamel about how we can dismantle the bureaucracy of the industrial age and replace it humanocracy – a management system fit for the future and fit for human beings.

Thought Economics

Sophia Amoruso is the Founder of Girlboss, a professional network for ambitious women. Her 2014 New York Times Bestseller #GIRLBOSS, which chronicled her early life as well as her experience as the founder of fashion empire Nasty Gal, was adapted into a scripted TV series that premiered on Netflix in 2017. Sophia is also the author of Nasty Galaxy and the Girlboss Workbook. She has been featured on the Fortune 40 under 40, Forbes 30 under 30, Inc. 30 under 30, Fast Company Most Creative People in Business lists, and named one of Forbes’ Richest Self-Made Women, covering its June 2016 issue. In this exclusive interview I speak to Sophia about her journey in scale-up entrepreneurship, building resilience, and redefining success.

Thought Economics

Carlo Ancelotti has coached some of the most successful football teams of all times including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, PSG, Chelsea, Milan, Everton and Juventus. Widely regarded as one of the greatest football managers of all time, with five Champions League titles to his name, he is currently the manager of Premier League club Everton. Carlo’s unique approach could not be further from the aggressive theatricals favoured by many of his rivals. His understated style has earned him the fierce loyalty of players like David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo. In seminal book Quiet Leadership, Ancelotti revealed the full, riveting story of his managerial career—his methods, mentors, mistakes, and triumphs—and he took us inside the dressing room to trace the characters, challenges, and decisions that have shaped him. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Carlo about what we can all learn from Quiet Leadership. 

Thought Economics

Chris Voss is the CEO & Founder of the Black Swan Group and Author of Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It. Prior to 2008, Chris was the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the FBI’s hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council’s Hostage Working Group. During his government career, he also represented the U.S. Government at two international conferences sponsored by the G-8 as an expert in kidnapping. In this exclusive interview, I talk to Chris Voss about the secrets of negotiation, and how we can negotiate to win.

Thought Economics

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