A Conversation with Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman & CEO of The Blackstone Group

My interview with Stephen A. Schwarzman – He’s the man who took $400,000 and co-founded Blackstone, the investment firm that manages over $545 billion. He’s the CEO whose views are sought by heads of state. He’s the billionaire philanthropist who founded Schwarzman Scholars, this century’s version of the Rhodes Scholarship, in China. But behind these achievements is a man who has spent his life learning and reflecting on what it takes to achieve excellence, make an impact, and live a life of consequence.

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What My Life In Sports Has Taught Me

What My Life In Sports Has Taught Me: An exclusive guest-post for Thought Economics by: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – The NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer, 3x Award Winning Columnist of the Year, NY Times Best-Selling Author & Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.

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How to Change the World

In these exclusive interviews, I speak to the leaders of five of the world’s most influential civil sector organisations. Brian Gallagher (CEO of United Way Worldwide, the world’s largest privately-funded non-profit), William “Bill” Drayton (Founder & CEO, ASHOKA), Gilles Carbonnier (Vice President of the ICRC, International Committee of the Red Cross), Linda Fuller (Co-Founder of Habitat for Humanity & the Fuller Center for Housing) and Nancy Lublin (Founder & CEO, Crisis Text Line). We discuss how the charities, social enterprises, foundations, organisations and individuals in the civil sector are changing our world.

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A Conversation with Hussain Sajwani, Founder of DAMAC

Hussain Sajwani has an extraordinary story.  From modest beginnings, he has become a self-made billionaire, recognised as one of the most powerful Arabs in the world.  Sajwani is Founder & Chairman of the DAMAC Properties, a global business with revenues of over $1.6bn and 2000+ employees which has delivered over 25,000 homes and has a development portfolio of over 40,000 units.DAMAC is now one of the largest businesses in the United Arab Emirates, a region which has taken its wealth of oil & gas reserves, to create a dynamic, diverse and fast-growing economy. I had the pleasure of catching-up with Hussain Sajwani to learn more about the DAMAC story, and his views on entrepreneurship and investment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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A Conversation with Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

By deploying capital and talent, guided by the vision that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has achieved some incredible successes.  Over 500 million children have been vaccinated, with over 7 million lives saved… 3 million households have received access to drought-tolerant crops…. 99% fewer Polio cases are now reported worldwide… 8 million people have received access to anti-retroviral drugs, guinea worm disease is close to being eradicated, and almost 500 million mosquito nets have been distributed.   Melinda French Gates is a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls. As the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda sets the direction and priorities of the world’s largest philanthropy. She is also the founder of Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company working to drive social progress for women and families in the United States. I had the pleasure of catching-up with Melinda Gates to speak to her about her learnings in philanthropy, and creating lasting global change.

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A Conversation with Richard Curtis Writer, Director and Co-Founder of Comic Relief.

My interview with Richard Curtis Writer, Director and Co-Founder of Comic Relief – an organisation which brought together “a bunch of comedians with the goal of raising a couple of million for charity” and which – in 30 years – has raised well-over £1 billion, directly helped to change the lives of over 50 million people in the UK and overseas and has spearheaded global initiatives including Make Poverty History, impacting billions of people across our globe.

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A Conversation with Scott Farquhar, Co-Founder of Atlassian

Scott Farquhar is the archetypal entrepreneur.  He and his Co-Founder Mike Cannon-Brookes started Atlassian in 2002 (after meeting whilst studying at the University of South Wales, Sydney).  Deciding neither of them wanted a corporate job, they took out $10,000 on on credit cards and bootstrapped Atlassian; a company which has now grown to over $13 billion in market capitalisation, with 2,500 staff in 6 countries (2 planets) and over 100,000 customers.  Scott and his Co-Founder are now both billionaires in their own right, and two of the world’s most progressive philanthropists. I caught up with Scott to learn more about purposeful entrepreneurship.

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My Conversation with Frederik Paulsen, Jr. – Billionaire, Entrepreneur, Explorer and Philanthropist

“Can you hear me OK? It’s not a great line…” those were some of my first words to Frederik Paulsen, Jr. – the Chairman of Ferring Pharmaceuticals; a company he inherited as a small family concern (with revenues of around U$15 million), and which he turned into a global biopharmaceuticals company employing 6,000 people in over 60 countries (amassing himself a fortune estimated at U$7 billion).

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Water

The Story of Humanity’s Relationship With its Most Precious Resource.  In this interview series we speak to Guy Ryder (Chair, UN-Water & Director General of the International Labour Organisation, ILO), Professor Steven Chu (Nobel Prize Winning Scientist & 12th U.S. Secretary of Energy), Dr Peter Gleick (President Emeritus & Chief Scientist, Pacific Institute), Christoph Gorder (President & Chief Water Officer, Charity Water), Professor Mark Zeitoun (Professor of Water Security and Policy, University of East Anglia), Barbara Frost (CEO, WaterAid), Professor Benedito Braga (President of the World Water Council) and Gary White (Co-Founder & CEO, Water.Org).  We discuss how water has shaped our species, the scale of the global water crisis, how it’s impacting our species and environment, and how we can achieve a future where we have enough water for all of us, and all our needs.

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