Human rights activist and recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, Nadia Murad is a leading advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence. Her New York Times bestselling memoir, The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State, is a harrowing account of the genocide against the Yazidi ethno-religious minority in Iraq and Nadia’s imprisonment by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). Nadia’s peaceful life was brutally disrupted in 2014 when ISIS attacked her homeland in Sinjar with the goal of ethnically cleansing all Yazidis from Iraq. Like many minority groups, the Yazidis have carried the weight of historical persecution. Women, in particular, have suffered greatly as victims of sexual violence. After escaping captivity, Nadia began speaking out on behalf of her community and survivors of sexual violence worldwide. In 2016, Nadia became the first United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. That year, she was also awarded the Council of Europe Václav Havel Award for Human Rights and Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. In 2018, she won the Nobel Peace Prize with Dr. Denis Mukwege. Together, they founded the Global Survivors Fund. In 2019, Nadia was appointed as a UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocate. In this interview, I speak to human rights activist and recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, Nadia Murad, about how communities are destroyed in conflict, how sexual violence becomes a weapon of war, and importantly – how we can build peace, rebuild communities, and give hope for a better future.

Thought Economics

Frédéric Gassita is a Gabonese pianist, composer, and record producer best known for his musical work combining jazz, classical music, and African music. He was the third African student admitted to Berklee College of Music and the first Gabonese. Gassita is a founding member and president of the African Music Institute in Libreville. Gassita has recorded six orchestral music albums. The double album “Frédéric Gassita With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” includes pieces from his opuses released between 2004 and 2008, which were rearranged for the new release. “Symphonic Visions From Gabon”, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, also a double album, incorporates African music influences. In this interview, I speak to Frédéric Gassita about the deep connection we have with music, the power of African rhythms, the beauty of connecting genres, and what music does for us.

Thought Economics

Ousman Umar is a shaman’s son, born in a small village in Ghana, and his mother died giving birth to him. The traditions of the Wala tribe dictate that this means the baby is cursed and must be abandoned and left to die. Fortunately, Ousman’s father was able to use his position as a shaman to save his son’s life. Ousman grew up working the fields, setting traps in the jungle, and living off the land. But he dreamed of a different life. So, when he was only twelve years old, he left his village and began what would become a five-year journey to Europe. On a path rife with violence, exploitation, and racism, Ousman also encountered friendship, generosity, and hope. In his memoir, North to Paradise, Ousman tells his visceral true story about the stark realities of life along the most dangerous route traversed across Africa; it is also a portrait of extraordinary resilience in the face of unimaginable challenges, the beauty of kindness in strangers, and the power of giving back. In this interview, I speak to Ousman Umar about this treacherous boyhood journey from a rural village in Ghana, to the streets of Barcelona, and the path that led him home. We discuss why he, and so many, decide to migrate. We talk about the perils and realities of migration, and how we, as a society can deliver better aid, and stop the needless deaths caused by migration.

Thought Economics

Bethenny Frankel is a self-made businesswoman, TV producer, podcaster, multiple New York Times bestselling author, and mother. She is the Founder & CEO of Skinnygirl, a global lifestyle empire, featuring products for women that offer practical and stylish solutions to everyday problems.  Bethenny was an instant fan favourite as a guest shark on ABC’s critically acclaimed series Shark Tank, showcasing her entrepreneurial prowess and gut instincts alongside the panel of investors. In this interview, I speak to Bethenny Frankel about her book, Business is Personal. I ask Bethenny about the most important tips and tricks she used to build a business, become a media personality, and maintain balance as a mogul, and a mother. We talk about success, failure, entrepreneurship culture, when to quit, and what legacy really means.

Thought Economics

Have you ever dreamt you could fly? Or imagined what it would be like to glide and swoop through the sky like a bird? Do you let your mind soar to unknown, magical spaces? Richard Dawkins is one of the world’s most eminent writers and thinkers. He has made a major contribution to public understanding of the science of evolution. He is the award-winning author of the Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, The God Delusion and a string of other bestselling science books, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Literature. In his latest book Flights of Fancy, Richard Dawkins explains how nature and humans have learned to overcome the pull of gravity and take to the skies. From the mythical Icarus, to the sadly extinct but spectacular bird Argentavis magnificens, from the Wright flyer and the 747, to the Tinkerbella fairyfly and the Peregrine falcon. But it is also about flights of the mind, about escaping the everyday – through science, ideas, and imagination. In this interview, I speak to Richard Dawkins about beauty, mythology, science, and culture of flight. We discuss the fundamentals of how nature took to the skies, and the extraordinary abilities (and mysteries) of flying species who navigate the world. We talk about human fascination with flight, and why the understanding of flight can help us open our own imaginations.

Thought Economics

Renzo Rosso founded the Diesel brand in 1978 and made it an alternative lifestyle icon all over the world. Today he is the president of OTB, the group controlling brands Diesel, Maison Margiela, Marni, Jil Sander, Viktor & Rolf, Amiri and companies Staff International and Brave Kid, with over 6,000 employees worldwide and a 2019 turnover of over 1.5 billion euro. Through his personal company, Red Circle, he invests in companies and sectors that share a strong drive for innovation (Depop, ICONIQ Capital, Cortilia, Masi Agricola, Planet Farms, med-tech companies and more). Red Circle also owns the Pelican Hotel in Miami, the Chiltern Firehouse Hotel in London, and the Hotel Ancora in Cortina D’Ampezzo. Through the OTB Foundation, which he founded in 2008, he has invested in over 250 social projects around the world, from the restoration of the Rialto Bridge in Venice, to the support of communities affected by natural disasters, to programs helping women, young people, and integration. In the Covid emergency, OTB Foundation was among the most concretely active realities in Italy. In this interview, I speak to Renzo Rosso, President of OTB Group, about his life in entrepreneurship, creative vision, what it takes to build iconic, global fashion brands and why philanthropy & sustainability matter.

Thought Economics

Ryan Holiday is one of the world’s bestselling living philosophers. His books & courses like The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic, and the #1 New York Times bestseller Stillness Is the Key appear in more than 40 languages and have sold more than 4 million copies. In his latest book, Courage Is Calling, Ryan breaks down the elements of fear, an expression of cowardice, the elements of courage, an expression of bravery, and lastly, the elements of heroism, an expression of valour. In a world in which fear runs rampant—when people would rather stand on the sidelines than speak out against injustice, go along with convention than bet on themselves, and turn a blind eye to the ugly realities of modern life—we need courage more than ever. We need the courage of whistle-blowers and risk takers. We need the courage of activists and adventurers. We need the courage of writers who speak the truth—and the courage of leaders to listen. In this interview, I speak to Ryan Holiday on how to conquer fear, resolve moral dilemmas, and practice courage in our daily lives.

Thought Economics

Abigail E. Disney advocates for real changes to the way capitalism operates in today’s world. She has worked for thirty years with programs for low-income families, women’s rights, and global poverty. She is an Emmy- Winning Documentary Filmmaker and co-founder of Fork Films, a nonfiction media production company, which produces the weekly podcast “All Ears,” where host Abigail Disney interviews bold, solutions-oriented thinkers from the front lines of America’s urgent inequality and race crises. She is also the Chair and Co-Founder of Level Forward, a new breed storytelling company focused on systemic change through creative excellence, balancing financial and social returns. She also created the non-profit Peace is Loud, which uses storytelling to advance social movements and the Daphne Foundation, which supports organizations working for a more equitable, fair and peaceful New York City. I this exclusive interview I speak to Abigail E. Disney on her incredible career in the arts alongside her relationship with wealth, philanthropy, legacy, and success.

Thought Economics

It is in Bertrand Piccard’s DNA to go beyond the obvious and achieve the impossible. From a legendary lineage of explorers who conquered the stratosphere and the abysses, he made history by accomplishing two aeronautical firsts, around the world non-stop in a balloon, and more recently in a solar plane without fuel. Pioneer in his way to consider ecology through the lens of profitability, he began working in the early 2000s to promote renewable energies and clean technologies. Solar Impulse was born to carry this message around the world. His dual identity as a psychiatrist and explorer makes him an influential voice heard by the largest institutions which today consider him as a forward-thinking leader on the themes of innovation and sustainability. Founder and Chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation, he has succeeded with his team to identify 1000 efficient solutions to protect the environment in a profitable way. In a third round-the-world tour, he will bring them to decision-makers in order to help them meet their environmental targets while ensuring clean economic growth. In this exclusive interview I spoke to Bertrand Piccard about his journey as an explorer, and how he’s bringing together the worlds of ecology, technology and the economy to solve the most pressing challenge of our time – climate change – and to ensure the quality of life on Earth.

Thought Economics

Colonel Terry Virts (ret) served in the United States Air Force as a fighter pilot, test pilot, and NASA astronaut. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Harvard Business School. On Feb. 8, 2010, he made his first spaceflight as the pilot of the Space Shuttle Endeavor during mission STS-130. His next launch was onboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-15M on Nov. 23, 2014, from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. In March of the following year, Terry assumed command of the International Space Station (ISS) as Commander of Expedition 43. Virts has spent more than seven months in space. In this exclusive interview, I speak to Colonel Terry Virts about what it’s really like to be an astronaut, his experience of spaceflight, faith, aliens, and whether we will ever become a multiplanetary species.

Thought Economics

Stay up to date. Signup to my newsletter.

We use cookies on our website to give you the best possible experience. By continuing to use our site, we assume you are OK with that.
Accept Privacy Policy