Jaron Lanier is a renaissance man, and one of the most profoundly important thinkers of our age on the relationship of technology to humanity. He is a computer scientist, composer, artist, and author who writes on numerous topics, including high-technology business, the social impact of technology, the philosophy of consciousness and information, Internet politics, and the future of humanism. He has been on the cusp of technological innovation from its infancy to the present. A pioneer in virtual reality (a term he coined), Lanier founded VPL Research, the first company to sell VR products, and led teams originating VR applications for medicine, design, and numerous other fields. Officially, Jaron is Microsoft’s “Octopus”, which stands for Office of the Chief Technology Officer Prime Unifying Scientist.. He was a founder or principal of startups that were acquired by Google, Adobe, Oracle, and Pfizer. In this exclusive interview, I spoke to Jaron Lanier about the very essence of the relationship between technology and humanity, and why we need to evaluate the ethics of our platforms and our relationship to social media.

Thought Economics

Steven Pinker (Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard) is a remarkable thinker. He is an experimental psychologist who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations. He has won numerous prizes for his research, his teaching, and his nine books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and The Sense of Style. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Humanist of the Year, a recipient of nine honorary doctorates, and one of Foreign Policy’s “World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals” and Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.” In this exclusive interview, I speak to Steven Pinker about the ideas contained within his most recent book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress – which has been described by Bill Gates as ‘my new favourite book of all time…’

Thought Economics

To understand more about the exponential changes affecting our culture, economy and society; I spoke to entrepreneur, author and thought leader, Peter H. Diamandis – Founder & Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, Executive Founder of Singularity University  and Co-Founder of BOLD Capital Partners.  Peter was recently named by Fortune as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders,” and is one of the world’s foremost experts on technology and change – a topic he covers in his recent book, The Future is Faster Than You Think.

Thought Economics

To learn about the role of food in our lives, I spoke to six of the world’s most successful Chefs and culinary minds; Vikas Khanna, Alain Ducasse, Heston Blumenthal, Dominique Crenn, Michel Roux Jr. and Ruth Reichl. We discuss everything from the social and cultural nature of food, the role of the chef, the science of gastronomy and the culinary arts.

Thought Economics

How Climate Change and Environmental Damage Threaten Humanity, and What We Can Do to Protect Our Future.  In this exclusive interview series, we speak to H.E. Mohamed Nasheed (Former President of the Maldives), H.E. Anote Tong (Former President of Kiribati),  Achim Steiner (Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme UNEP), Professor Brian Schmidt (Nobel Prize Winning Physicist), Professor John Knox (United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment), Professor Robert Bullard (Dean of the Barbara Jordan – Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University), Professor Sir Martin Rees (Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge – Astronomer Royal to the UK), Yann Arthus-Bertrand (photographer, reporter, journalist and environmentalist), Laurie David (Author, Producer & Environmental Advocate) and Zac Goldsmith (Politician, Journalist & Environmental Campaigner).  We discuss the fundamental workings of our climate and environment, the potential impact of climate change and environmental pollution, and how we can change outcomes for the future.

Thought Economics

In these exclusive interviews, we speak with Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE (Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace), Prof. Yuval Noah Harari (Author of the international bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind) and Dr. Carl Safina (Prize-winning author, ecologist and MacArthur Fellow).  We look at the fundamental nature of humanity, how our species has grown to become dominant, and what the future holds for mankind.

Thought Economics

In this exclusive interview series, we talk to Jaan Tallinn (Co-Founder of Skype and Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk), Professor Sir John Beddington (Senior Advisor, Oxford Martin School & the UK Government’s former Chief Scientific Adviser) and Sir Crispin Tickell (former diplomat and advisor to successive UK Prime Ministers, who is regarded as the world’s foremost authority on climate change and environmental issues).  We tackle the question of how vulnerable our species really is and explore threats ranging from climate change and natural disasters to food, energy and water security, technology, artificial intelligence, near earth objects and the biggest threat to humanity… humans themselves.

Thought Economics

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