Thought Economics by Vikas Shah
Since 2007, entrepreneur and philanthropist Vikas Shah has been on a mission to interview the people shaping our century. Including conversations with Nobel prizewinners, business leaders, politicians, artists and Olympians, he has been in the privileged position of questioning the minds that matter on the big issues that concern us all. We often talk of war and conflict, the economy, culture, technology and revolutions as if they are something other than us. But all these things are a product of us – of our ideas, our dreams and our fears. We live in fast-moving and extraordinary times, and the changes we’re experiencing now, in these first decades of the twenty-first century, feel particularly poignant as decisions are made that will inform our existence for years to come. What started out as a personal interest in the mechanisms that inform our views of the world, and a passion for understanding, has grown into a phenomenal compilation of once-in-a-lifetime conversations. In this incredible collection, Shah shares some of his most emotive and insightful interviews to date.
Vikas Shah MBE is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan (The Lisbon MBA), Honorary Professor of Business at The Alliance Business School, University of Manchester and an Honorary Industry Fellow at the University of Salford Business School. Vikas started his first technology business aged just fourteen, and is currently CEO of Swiscot Group (a diversified international trading business). He is a venture investor in fast-growing technology businesses internationally and is a non-executive director and advisor to numerous organizations. Vikas was awarded an MBE for Services to Business and the Economy in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours List.
Thought Economics was founded by Vikas Shah MBE in 2007, and has been recognized globally for the quality of its editorial content, having been named as an official honoree at the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Webby Awards (run by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences) for Best Writing (Editorial) alongside The New York Times, the BBC, the Paris Review, Vanity Fair, the Financial Times and National Geographic.
The Thought Economics website includes interviews on a diverse range of topics including: business and economics, culture, society and the arts, politics and policy, science and technology.
Chapter 3 discusses: Leadership: Bringing Humanity Together. The ” tools of leadership we see are command, control and divide rather than collaborate, connect and unite”, says Jacqueline Novogratz. We should be rethinking the definition of leadership. Leaders should be filled with compassion and make decisions based on moral and ethical commitments to society. Stephen Schwarzman, of Blackstone, believes that all employees need to feel like equals. They bring them together to discuss issues and problems and everyone is free to offer their opinions. Having a team behind you is necessary, because the leader isn’t infallible. Having a personal relationship with the members of the team is also important. It’s important to connect with people and where everyone feels at home, Carlo Ancelotti believes in having mutual respect, but must be the collective voice. General Richard Meyers believes that the ego must be put aside in order to build relationships and trust.
In Chapter 7, there are discussions on democracy by many distinguished world leaders. Democracy works if the voters are well-informed and are willing to look out for others and not just themselves. Bassem Youssef talks about democracy only working if the minorities are equally protected, and not just the wealthy and powerful. Various men in this chapter discuss their reasoning about why democracy is or isn’t working in America. Leaders from other countries discuss how various types of extremism are causing problems within democratic states.
I have found these chapters to be very thought-provoking and filled with wise men who have written their sincere beliefs about many topics that touch us all in the world today.
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