Vikas Shah MBE Interviews the world's leading thinkers, and the people shaping the century.

A Conversation TED Curator and Owner, Chris Anderson

From humble beginnings in 1984, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) has grown to become the centre of gravity for the intellectual curious of our digital era. Their flagship TED conference, and global network of TEDx events have created hundreds of thousands of unique pieces of video content, watched billions of times, covering topics as diverse as humanity itself. This remarkable organisation is bound together with the single mission, that being to promote ideas worth spreading. TED has showcased many of the world’s greatest speakers and storytellers, and I caught up with the organisation’s owner & curator, Chris Anderson to learn more about storytelling and what makes a great talk.

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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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Understanding Democracy

In these exclusive interviews we speak to Jüri Ratas (Prime Minister of Estonia), Guy Verhofstadt (Former Prime Minister, Belgium & EU Chief Brexit Negotiator), Vicente Fox Quesada (Former President of Mexico), Noam Chomsky (Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who – with over 150 books published – is regarded as ‘one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today’), Alastair Campbell (Communicator, Writer and Strategist), Glenn Greenwald (Multi Award Winning Journalist, Constitutional Lawyer and Author), Lawrence “Larry” Lessig (Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School), Professor Yanis Varoufakis (Economist and Former Minister of Finance of Greece), Professor A. C. Grayling (philosopher, thinker, author and educator; Master of the New College of the Humanities, Matthew d’Ancona (Journalist & Broadcaster), Dr. Brian Klaas (Author & Expert on Democracy, Authoritarianism and Foreign Policy), Congressman Ted Lieu (Representing California’s 33rd District), Robert Peston (Journalist, Broadcaster & Author) and General Michael Hayden (Former Director of the CIA & NSA).  We discuss the state and future of democracy around the world, together with the role that government, corporations and the media play in shaping our lives.  We also look at the global war on terror, globalisation, populism, and the forces changing our world.

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A Conversation with AJ Mendez

AJ Mendez, the youngest of three children, grew-up in a family fighting poverty, mental illness and addiction, an environment without stability which would cause many to write her off.  In the ultimate act of rebellion against expectation, AJ went on to build a career as one of the world’s best professional wrestlers (under the ring name AJ Lee) before becoming a New York Times Bestselling author with her book Crazy Is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules.  She is an advocate an ambassador for causes ranging from animal rights to mental health, and has built a hugely successful life, arguably against the odds. I spoke to AJ to learn how she’s turned ‘Crazy’ into her superpower.

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Our World’s Refugees

The greatest humanitarian crisis in history, is also the greatest crisis of our humanity. To learn more about our global refugee and migration crisis, we speak to Gulwali Passarlay (Afghan refugee, author & Co-Founder of My Bright Kite), Professor François Crépeau (Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants), Alexander Betts (Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs, University of Oxford), Catherine Woollard (Secretary General, European Council on Refugees and Exiles, ECRE) and Professor George Rupp (Former President of the International Rescue Committee, IRC).

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My Interview with Vincent Kompany, Captain of Manchester City FC

As Captain of Manchester City and of the Belgium National Team, Vincent Kompany has achieved huge success on the pitch.   Like many of his peers Vincent has immersed himself in playing football and being the best on the pitch- but perhaps most interestingly, he has also taken a deep interest in the business of football itself. I caught up with Vincent to learn more about the business of football, and what he learned doing an MBA.

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Leadership

Leadership sits at the very heart of everything we do as a civilisation, and to understand more we spoke to a group of the world’s foremost experts on leadership across the military, business, government education and research: General Stan McChyrstal (Founder, McChrystal Group & former commander of US and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) Afghanistan), Tony Hsieh (Founder & CEO, Zappos.com), General Richard Myers (President of Kansas State University, Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), John Kotter (Chairman, Kotter International & Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership – Harvard), General Sir Peter Wall (Chief of the General Staff, the Professional Head of the British Army), General Sir Richard Shirreff (Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, NATO), Professor Stewart Friedman (Founding Director, Wharton Leadership Programme & Wharton Work/Life Integration Project) and Drew Povey (Headmaster & Leadership Expert).

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Football and Society

In these exclusive interviews, we talk to five of the world’s most successful international footballers: Giorgio Chiellini, Louis Saha, Philip Neville, Leighton Baines and Hope Solo along with Jürgen Griesbeck (Founder, Street Football World). We discuss life as a footballer, how the game has grown to become the world’s most prominent sport, and the role it plays in society and culture. We also investigate the impact of wealth in the game and how football is changing the world through philanthropy and outreach.

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A Conversation with Slack Co-Founder, Stewart Butterfield

Slack launched in 2014 and has become the fastest growing business application in history- allowing millions of people in tens of thousands of organisations around the world to get work done. I caught up with Slack Co-Founder, Stewart Butterfield to learn more about his entrepreneurship journey, and the changing global workplace.

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A Conversation with Alfred Lin, Partner, Sequoia Capital

My conversation with Alfred Lin, Partner at Sequoia Capital- who have partnered early and at every stage of growth with the founders of companies that now have an aggregate, public market value of over $3.3 trillion.  Some of the firm’s most successful investments have been Apple, Google, Oracle, PayPal, Stripe, YouTube, Instagram, Yahoo! and WhatsApp.

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