The Innovation Civilization Podcast

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The Innovation Civilization podcast hosted by Waheed Nabeel, and friends of Empasco, features conversations with domain experts on the topics of civilizational progress, technology, history, philosophy, and the first-principles of the ideas that shape our world. read less
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Episodios

The New Scramble For Africa: The Economic History and Future Development of the Region
08-12-2023
The New Scramble For Africa: The Economic History and Future Development of the Region
On this African development-focused episode, we're joined by Dr. Pádraig Carmody, a distinguished professor at Trinity College, University of Dublin, and the author of the book "The New Scramble for Africa."   Professor Carmody guides us through a thought-provoking discussion:   -Unpacking the historical context of African scrambles and their enduring impact on the continent -Defining what a scramble is and how it shaped the socio-economic landscape of Africa -Examining the parallels between historical scrambles and the contemporary challenges affecting Africa today -Insightful analysis of the new scramble (e.g. with China) and its implications for the region's economic trajectory -Exploring the potential future of African development and the key factors that will shape it   We were also joined by, Jon Cayzer, who is a British civil servant and has worked in Africa for several decades.   Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo), for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets.   You can follow us on our socials for the latest updates of the Innovation Civilization Podcast   Instagram:  https://tinyurl.com/mw75d5v3 LinkedIn:  https://tinyurl.com/m7rr7sms Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/@innovationcivilizationpodcast   We're open to collaboration and want to hear your thoughts   Website: https://www.empasco.com Email: info@empasco.com Pod Host: waheed@empasco.com Pod Manager: mahir@empasco.com   Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode.   (00:00) - Intro   (01:35) - What drove Professor Carmody into writing a book on the scramble for Africa?   (04:43) - In delving into the first scramble for Africa and the influential Berlin Conference, what were the key motivations driving European powers?   (10:58) -  Is the scramble for Africa solely driven by asset stripping for the benefit of the global economy in what we now term the global north, or are their elements of a transformative vision aiming to uplift and shape the continent in a different way?   (19:09) - Did the historical division of Africa during the scramble leave lasting consequences on the persistence of poverty and the trajectory of economic development in the region?   (25:13) - How did the historical dynamics affect the current state of institutions in Africa?   (27:55) - How does Professor Carmody envision African states overcoming the challenges of comparative advantage and distance to become potent catalysts for innovation?   (32:57) - How does Rwanda's success, characterized by policy certainty, stand out as a potential model for other Sub-Saharan African countries grappling with similar issues?   (40:59) - How are technological advancements impacting job markets across the continent, and what strategies can African nations adopt to navigate the potential challenges posed by the rapid integration of AI technologies?   (43:42) - What are China's vision for Africa and the strategies they are employing to realize this vision, providing insight into their approach and objectives in the region?   (50:55) -  The role of industrial policy in fostering economic diversification and specialization and lessons African nations could glean from these examples in shaping their economic strategies.   (52:16) -  Is there a unique role that Africa can play in reimagining the global economy, offering solutions that transcend the limitations of the previous neoliberal frameworks?   (58:46) - Outro
Civilizational Tech:  From Egyptology to Modern-day Blockchain and AI
10-11-2023
Civilizational Tech: From Egyptology to Modern-day Blockchain and AI
From the technology used to build pyramids by Ancient Egyptians to blockchain & AI today, there's tremendous continuity in how technologies developed. We're joined by Dr. Christian de Vartavan, a distinguished Egyptologist whose contributions include 10 seminal works in Egyptology and an impressive tally of 40 scientific discoveries. Beyond his expertise in Egyptology, Christian is also recognized as a technologist and an accomplished authority in blockchain and artificial intelligence who regularly advises the UK government on the strategic integration of these emerging technologies.   We have also been joined by our Empasco director, Mohammad Syed. (@MohammadSyed159)   Join us for a thought-provoking conversation that spans across epochs, connecting the wisdom of ancient civilizations with the forefront of modern technological innovation.   In this episode, we delve into:   -Christian's journey from the realms of Egyptology to the forefront of blockchain and AI   -The parallels and intersections between ancient civilizations and cutting-edge technology   -Insights into his ground-breaking scientific discoveries and their implications for the modern world   -The role of blockchain and AI in shaping the future of media, society, and beyond   -A reflection on his family's legacy of advisory roles in royal, presidential, and governmental spheres, influencing trade, business, economics, and science.   Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo), for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets.   Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode.   (00:00) - Intro   (03:15) - Christian's background in Egyptology   (04:50) - About Christian's technological advisory role for the UK government   (06:41) - Technologies in Ancient Egypt   (10:20) - Views on the Pyramid making process   (13:01) - Controversial perspectives related to the Pyramids   (19:06) - Have we forgotten how to build a Pyramid?   (21:32) - Are we facing a modern-day puzzle with artificial intelligence, much like the ancient mysteries that confounded civilizations?   (30:24) - Do AI and blockchain technologies pose a risk of widening societal disparities? Is there a global divergence in AI approaches among countries?   (35:27) - How are we planning to enforce standards in regulating AI?   (37:53) - Amidst growing distrust in giants like Google and Facebook and a rise in anti-globalism, how does society navigate diminishing faith in both private and global institutions?   (42:06) - Considering the unmet expectations, boom-and-bust cycles, and recent downturn, what is the current assessment of the state and future direction of crypto and blockchain technology?   (51:05) - What are the scopes of these technological development related to Christian's proprietary tech at Projectus that focuses on the classification of knowledge and the philosophy of the internet?   (54:29) - How does Christian envision the future of statecraft, shaped by the concept of network states on the internet?   (60:07) - Outro
A Review of Ottoman Technological and Scientific Innovation History
20-10-2023
A Review of Ottoman Technological and Scientific Innovation History
In this episode, we sat down with Professor Dr. Salim Ayduz, a distinguished expert in Ottoman science and technology delving into the rich tapestry of technical innovations that helped create the Ottoman Empire's 600+ year tri-continental legacy.   In the episode, we cover:   -the forgotten pioneers of Ottoman science & technology -the social, political, and economic dynamics that influenced Ottoman innovation -comparative analysis of Ottoman and Western scientific and technological progress -challenges the empire faced in keeping pace with the changing world   Tune in to this enlightening episode that reveals the hidden chapters of Ottoman innovation, while also shedding new light on the challenges the empire faced as it navigated the currents of change across the centuries.   Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo), for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets.   Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode.   (00:00) - Intro   (02:15) - Professor Salim's background   (04:10) - Origin of the Ottoman Empire and why there is a lack of information on the Ottoman innovation landscape?   (11:44) - What is the Professor's research methodology when it comes to consuming knowledge and researching Ottoman innovation and inventions?   (15:35) - Ottoman's contribution to astronomy and astrology   (26:35) - Ottoman's contribution to mathematics   (31:45) - The inception and mass adoption of gunpowder and cannons in the Ottoman era   (36:11) - Notable innovations and inventions during the Ottoman period   (43:59) - The socio-political dynamics that influenced the decline of Ottoman contribution to science and technology   (50:49) - Challenges the empire faced in keeping pace with the changing world   (57:20) - Classical books reading recommendation by Professor on Ottoman innovation   (59:00) - Outro
Cities in the Sky 2: How Last Mile Drone Deliveries will Transform Our World
01-09-2023
Cities in the Sky 2: How Last Mile Drone Deliveries will Transform Our World
On this episode, we're joined by serial entrepreneur and CEO of Manna Bobby Healy (@realBobbyHealy) who runs one of the Top 5 drone delivery companies in the world. We also welcomed back a friend of the pod Pamir Sevincel, Partner at Blackbird. Join us as we talk about the ins and outs of a fundamental technology that'll terraform the way we live: last-mile drone delivery. In this episode, we cover: -Bobby's entrepreneurial journey and the lessons learned along the way -The genesis of Manna and the vision for drone-powered deliveries -The environmental impact of replacing traditional delivery vehicles with drones - Business models and venture funding landscape: current, future and past. - Advice to founders building hardware-heavy companies -The challenges and opportunities in the emerging drone delivery industry -The future of on-demand delivery and its potential to reshape urban living Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo), for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets. Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode.  (00:00) - Intro (02:25) - Bobby's journey to leading several successful startups (03:16) - What is Manna Aero? (07:50) - Use case of drone delivery for E-commerce businesses (15:04) - Replacing traditional delivery vehicles with drones? (20:00) - How feasible is drone delivery in rural/suburban areas? (22:21) - Economic impact on suburban drone delivery (26:01) - Challenges in the delivery drone industry (33:12) - What factors make places like Texas particularly appealing for startups and investors in the consumer business sector? What should be the focus of startups in the drone delivery space: profitability or scalability? (40:02) - Can AI-generated models help optimize drone delivery services? (52:56) - Future of on-demand delivery and the impending challenges (65:12) - Competitive Advantage and Unique Value Proposition of Manna (67:48) - Quick Fire Round
Why Technology & Political Economy Are Inseparable: Conversation with the Former Prime Minister of Estonia
08-07-2023
Why Technology & Political Economy Are Inseparable: Conversation with the Former Prime Minister of Estonia
We're joined at Empasco by the former Prime Minister of Estonia Taavi Roivas, who ran and built both sets of organizations: leading the highest political office of one of the most technologically advanced EU governments and now also being a technology entrepreneur to a hard tech startup doing mobilities. In the episode, we cover: - the confluence of technology and politics in shaping the future - can you run governments like tech startups? Similarities and differences. - education & what young people should study - the challenges that tech brings to democracies - AI, crypto, de-dollarisation and hot takes on the recent mega-trends with how governments should respond. Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo), for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets. Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode.  (00:00) - Intro (02:37) - Taavi's academic and political backstory (08:34) - How did Taavi successfully balance youth political engagement and academic pursuits, particularly in technology and science, while maintaining a harmonious environment towards a shared vision? (11:16) - What are the key similarities and differences in running a political organization compared to a technology or private organization? (14:14) - How is Auve Tech transforming the public transport sector? (19:46) - How can we encourage more individuals interested in societal development to engage in politics with a genuine understanding of technology? (25:30) - Should the use of disruptive contemporary tech like AI be heavily regulated?  (30:58) - How can governments achieve self-disruption, akin to companies like Amazon, while simultaneously maintaining stability for society? How to navigate the trade-off between  embracing change and ensuring stability (38:54) - Thoughts on the notion of the United States being in decline and the emergence of a more multipolar world? How would such shifts impact smaller countries and the  field of technology? (41:14) - What should the government's approach be for the use of cryptocurrencies? (44:18) - What is the government's stance on the potentially destabilizing effects of technology, particularly social media and digitization, on democracy, considering concerns about the  influence of platforms like Facebook and Twitter in shaping election outcomes? (50:16) - Quick Fire Round (53:40) - Outro
The Ethical & Philosophical Dimensions of Technology: How to Stop Tech From Going Wrong & What Can We Do About it?
02-06-2023
The Ethical & Philosophical Dimensions of Technology: How to Stop Tech From Going Wrong & What Can We Do About it?
In this episode, we're joined by one of the founding faculties of Stanford's technology ethics course. Professor Rob Reich is the author of the recently published book "System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong & How We Can Reboot." In the face of society-altering AI and advancing technologies, we confront pressing ethical and societal challenges. How do we address them effectively without letting technology wreak havoc? In the episode, we discuss: -how technology is reshaping our society -the problem with the efficiency and optimization-only mindset -the ethical and social impact of the digital technologies -the problems with big tech -is democracy fit for purpose in the age of tech Join us as we analyze the critical challenges faced by the digital society and present thought-frameworks for a feasible system reboot.   Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo), for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets. Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode.  (00:00)- Intro (03:31)- Origin story of the book -"System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong & How We Can Reboot." (05:17)- Does the specialization of knowledge witnessed in the past 2 centuries contribute more to our advancement or impede it? (09:56)- Is optimization bad for us? (13:23)- Is "stakeholder capitalism" the only way forward (14:26)- Is our current form of democracy optimized sufficiently to guide us towards the right conclusions amidst the rapid acceleration of technological advancements? (19:08)- Is sacrificing short-term prosperity for long-term stability and collective success worthwhile for societies pursuing lasting progress? (20:26)- How can we ensure that our institutions are adept at crafting agile regulations that can effectively address the evolving landscape of technology? (27:01)- How to strike a balance between implementing essential guardrails and the potential risk of losing innovation and economic benefits to jurisdictions with more permissive regulations? (30:32)- What are the limitations and potential drawbacks of relying solely on experts and dismissing the input and perspectives of the general public on important issues? (32:50)- How can we navigate towards a more balanced approach that incorporates stakeholder capitalism? (38:02)- How to assess the ongoing exploration and search for effective governance and cap table structures that successfully balance social impact and economic incentives? (39:00)- What is the problem with Big Tech? (41:25)- Outro
Innovations in Muslim Spain and Iberian Peninsula: How the 700 Year Period Transformed our World
15-04-2023
Innovations in Muslim Spain and Iberian Peninsula: How the 700 Year Period Transformed our World
Centuries before the official Renaissance of Europe began as we deem it, there was a part of Europe (i.e. Muslim Spain) which already begun the 'Renaissance' and made the region a powerhouse of innovation and prosperity that would go on to shape the world we live in today. A tale of technical innovations, pluralistic cohabiting of various religions, and translation of ideas that formed our modern universities/libraries today. We uncover a part of history that is often overlooked; our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo), delves into the 700-year Muslim rule in Spain - or Al-Andalus as it was called. He is joined by Dr. Elizabeth Drayson, Emeritus Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and author of four books on medieval Spanish history who takes us on a journey through the incredible scientific, cultural, economic, and diplomatic innovations that emerged during this time. In the episode we cover,  -the rise of Muslim rule in Spain -the development of science (astronomy, mathematics, agriculture, & medicine, etc.) in Muslim Spain that laid the foundations for all modern innovation and inventions - Jewish-Muslim-Christian cohabitation and relations in Muslim Spain. - The 'Golden Age for the Jews' and the tale of Jewish Viziers (Prime ministers) of Islamic emirates - The Arabic-to-Latin translation movement  - Lessons from 'Convivencia'  for the contemporary world  Join us as we uncover the hidden gems of history and showcase the incredible innovations that have shaped our world today. Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo), for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets. Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode.  (00:00) - Intro (03:15) - The emergence of Islamic Spain or Al-Andalus (06:07) - The historical significance of the region (07:49) - Exchange of Knowledge: Golden age of Jews under Muslims (16:28) - The contribution of Islamic Spain to modern technologies in the fields of scientific development, innovation, politics, & Governance (25:27) - Knowledge transfer: Importance of the Translation Movement (34:01) - What were some of the shortcomings or failures of Islamic rule in Spain, and how did they impact its legacy and relevance in modern times? (38:31) - How can we apply the lessons of historical collaboration and coexistence between different peoples and faiths to address contemporary conflicts and tensions in the world? (40:58) - Outro
Innovating Governance: How to Build a Digital-Native Nation?
25-02-2023
Innovating Governance: How to Build a Digital-Native Nation?
How to build a digital-native nation? How to use digital-native design to solve voter fraud and corruption? For an action-packed episode with an actual builder of digital governments, our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) takes the seat with one of the world’s most influential people in the field of digital governance, Siim Sikkut. (@sikkut) The man who led Estonia’s groundbreaking E-residency program and also played a builder role as the Estonian government’s former Chief Information Officer (CIO). Siim is also the author of the book ‘Digital Government Excellence: Lessons from Effective Digital Leaders” and helps policymakers and technologists around the globe in building future-ready digital societies.  On the episode we cover: -the fundamentals of building a digital nation -E-residency, virtual identity programs for non-residents -Estonian government's technological and legal approach to transforming the country into one of the most advanced digital nations in the world -strategies and policies needed to launch and steer development initiatives and regulations -how to use digital design solutions in overcoming issues such as voter fraud, tax fraud, corruption and enabling agile policymaking in government -how to collaborate with relevant stakeholders on policies concerning technology and digital adoption -how to use the best practices of scalable startups in innovating solutions for citizens  Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets. Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode.       (00:00) - Intro (04:05) - Siim's background in digital government (06:44) - What is the reason for the Tiger Leap Initiative originating in Estonia? (08:14) - What is unique about the Estonian government's digital Program?  (13:49) - How was the issue of building citizens' trust addressed in Estonia governments' digital program initiatives? (15:45) - What approaches were taken to address the problem of voter fraud? (25:25) - What steps were taken to communicate to government stakeholders and ministers that the process was iterative and there was a risk of failure, and how were they convinced of the importance of taking such risks in pursuing e-government progress? (28:00) - Revenue model of the E-Residency program of Estonia (33:13) - In what ways were digital solutions leveraged to combat corruption and enhance transparency? (36:32) - What are the best practices for smaller countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America that are interested in adopting a more digital government approach similar to the Estonian model? (43:25) - what approach do you think is more effective for politicians in terms of giving remits and prescriptions to civil servants for technology initiatives? (45:48) - What lessons can be learned from the failures of digital governments, and what traps do government officials commonly encounter on their digital journeys? (48:21) - Quick Fire Round (50:10) - Outro
Why Nations Fail: A Historical Analysis on the Origins of Prosperity & Poverty
28-10-2022
Why Nations Fail: A Historical Analysis on the Origins of Prosperity & Poverty
Why are some nations rich whilst others are poor? Why is Mexico much poorer than the United States? Why is Latin America so fundamentally different from North America?  How is it possible that an average American is 40 times richer than an average Sierra Leonean?  Is it climate, geography, culture, or could it be the ignorance of domestic leaders? Our ICP host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) sits down for an exhilarating episode probing the fundamental reasons why nations develop differently with none other than the world-renowned British economist and New-York Times best-selling author of the book "Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity & Poverty" - James Robinson. In the episode, we cover: -the basics of institution building -the key differences between inclusive & extractive economic/political institutions and their impact on economies -what spurred development in some parts of the world and why others lagged behind -historical context behind what led to the rise and fall of nations -how to develop sustainable political and economic systems for successful nation building Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo),, for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets. Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode.  (00:00) - Introduction (05:54) - James's background and what motivated him to study about institutions, economics & nations? (11:09) - Significance of democracy for nation building  (13:22) - Definition and importance of political/economic institutions (14:07) - Characteristics of inclusive and extractive institutions (16:51) - How can political centralization drive economic growth? (19:41) - Are inclusive institutions more democratic? (21:02) - Does democracy ensure economic development? (23:12) - Was the Industrial Revolution the biggest source of inequality in the world? (28:08) - Examples of nations with extractive forms of institutions  (30:47) - Impact of European Colonialism on poor countries  (35:57) - What sort of political/economic system drove China's economic growth? (40:36) - Is China's growth sustainable given the current authoritarian regime/institution policies? (42:56) - How do geography and culture impact economic development? (48:17) - What do virtuous and vicious circles mean in light of developing political/economic institutions? (58:05) - Outro
The Tech & Innovation History of the Mongol Empire: How the Horde Changed the World
22-07-2022
The Tech & Innovation History of the Mongol Empire: How the Horde Changed the World
Founded by the infamous Genghis Khan in 1206, the Mongol Empire created the 2nd largest kingdom in the history of the planet. What's less well known is that Mongol rule ushered in a plethora of technological innovation and development that shaped the formative years in trade & science infrastructure of a land mass spanning all the way to the East from Korea, through China, Central Asia, Russia, Persia and to even Eastern Europe parts like Crimea and modern day Ukraine. In an attempt to excavate and summarise the lasting impact the Mongol innovation, technology and governance had on the world, Empasco Partner Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) sits with historian and Financial Times best-selling author, Marie Favereau. Marie is an Associate Professor of History at Paris Nanterre University. She has been a member of the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology in Cairo, a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study, and a research associate at the University of Oxford for the major project Nomadic Empires. Her books include The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World (https://www.amazon.com/Horde-How-Mongols-Changed-World/dp/0674244214) and the Mamluk Sultanate (published in French) and the graphic novel Genghis Khan. In the episode we cover: -the reason for the rise of the Mongol Empire in the 13th & 14th CE. -long-term innovation view that the Mongols took in terms of funding projects -the strategies they took to set up the agricultural production and taxation systems throughout the kingdom -how they built and sustained the system for continuous innovation processes in areas such as astronomy, agriculture, maths, medicine, trade, botany, etc. -Early forms of democracy in the Mongol empires - The reasons for the downfall of the Mongol empire Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets. Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode. (00:00) - Intro (06:10) - Marie's background & inspiration for writing a book on Mongol innovation and tech history (08:05) - Who were the Mongols? (11:08) - What is the "Horde"? (13:33) - Were the Mongols just people who ravaged and conquered land through coercion and fear-mongering? (20:10) - What Military technology did the Mongols use? (27:38) - Mongol innovation,tech,governanace history (39:36) - Mongol economics (42:39) - Mongol system of wealth distribution (43:28) - How did the Mongols manage the Silk Road? (45:52) - About the creation of the largest integrated market in Pre-modern history (47:43) - How did the Mongols set up the infrastructure and economy of the cities within the empire? (52:40) - What was the Mongols' foreign policy to attract new trade and develop connections? (59:23) - The Mongol land law (61:25) - How did taxation help with the agricultural production? (62:30) - What led to the downfall of the Mongol Empire? (65:26) - Mongol Governance   We used the world's most advanced AI 'DALL·E 2' by @OpenAI to generate the episode cover art. Special thanks to Pamir Sevincel (@PamirSevincel) We made this episode a special listening experience btw.   Mongolian throat singing & classical instruments used:   Yoochin- hammered dulcimer of varying strings struck using two bamboo hammers   Khuuchir- two- or four-stringed instrument with a small sound box
Golden Principles of Change Management : How Can Organizations Thrive in an Era of Rapid Flux
20-05-2022
Golden Principles of Change Management : How Can Organizations Thrive in an Era of Rapid Flux
The defining periods in world history have always come about as a result of successful change management and revolutionary leadership. Reflecting on the last 2 decades of rapid flux coupled with  the ongoing global unrest in trade, politics, and commerce arising from a looming global recession, the Ukraine-Russia War and the after-effects of COVID19 calls for a timely occasion on  navigating through the factors leading to successful change management and leadership.  For an educative and thrilling episode on understanding the golden principles of change management and how public and private organizations can thrive in an era of rapid flux, we bring you  the most revered and one of Time Magazine's top 25 most influential authors ever on business and management - Professor John P. Kotter.(@JohnPKotter) He is the best-selling author, The Konosuke  Matshishita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School, award-winning business and management thought leader and founder of one of the leading management consulting  firms, Kotter International - a leadership management organization for the Global 5000 company leaders. He is the author of 22 books, 12 of them bestsellers - on business, management,  leadership, strategy execution, and transformation and his work has been published in over 150+ foreign languages. In the episode, we cover: -how Professor Kotter's 8-step change framework and 8 accelators can be applied in today's management processes -how private and public organizations can implement and manage change -the key distinctions between management and leadership -functions of organizational lifecycles and dual operating system -how big corporations can incorporate the startup mentality -whether leadership training is necessary    Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets. Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode. (00:00) - Intro (06:26) - Professor John P. Kotter's background (10:25) - How should modern firm's react to the level of rapid change? (12:44) - Is the 8-step change model still relevant today? (15:34) - Is the 8 accelerators similar to the 8-step change framework? What are the accelators needed for? (16:44) - How to implement and manage change amidst the ever changing nature of work?  (19:47) - Management vs leadership (29:59) - How are hierarchies and networks connected to the organizational life cycle? (35:52) - Use case example of dual operating system (39:19) - How to incorporate a startup mentality in large organizations? (43:51) - How does change management differ for public vs private organizations? (46:43) - Rapid-fire round: Getting to know more about the guest (49:47) - About Professor Kotter's most recent book - "Change" (52:43) - Can we train people to become better leaders? (54:20) - Outro
The Past, Present & Future of China’s FinTech Infrastructure Design: Forging the New Economic World Order
08-04-2022
The Past, Present & Future of China’s FinTech Infrastructure Design: Forging the New Economic World Order
China boasts the largest fintech ecosystem in the world having a penetration rate of 87%  and a total transaction volume of $51.8 trillion via mobile payments only (three times the country’s GDP). The country is setting strong examples for the rest of the world to follow as it continues to develop cashless innovation systems positing road maps and processes for a shared digital currency future.  The largely cashless economy is fundamentally changing the very nature of money as it emerges as the world's financial technology leader. How are they doing that? For an exclusive episode unpacking the FinTech infrastructure of China and its growing dominance in the world of tech-driven financial services, we sat down with one of the leading experts in FinTech and Innovations, Rich Turrin.(@richardturrin) Rich is the author of the best-selling books Cashless: China's Digital Currency Revolution (https://www.amazon.com/Cashless-Chinas-Digital-Currency-Revolution/dp/1949642720) and Innovation Lab Excellence. (https://www.amazon.com/Innovation-Lab-Excellence-Digital-Transformation-ebook/dp/B07PMF4YFL) He is an award-winning fintech innovation expert previously heading fintech teams at IBM, following a twenty-year career heading trading teams at global investment banks where he spent a large part of his career in Shanghai witnessing China's cashless revolution upfront. In the episode we deep-dive into: -the design and innovation processes that set up the Chinese FinTech infrastructure -the core reasons behind the massive adaptation of cashless payment systems in China -how the country incentivized its private tech firms to develop and encourage large scale FinTech solutions by provisioning banking licenses for them - comparison of NFC payment systems (Square, ApplePay, etc) vs Chinese payment rails (like Alipay) - QR codes as a tool for widespread fintech adoption in China -how China's central bank digital currency (CBDC) can transform and replace standard payment systems like SWIFT -how CBDC differs from ETH/BTC -how and why the west is falling behind when it comes to fintech -the rise of CBDCs and policy implications for the Emerging Market countries Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets.   Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode. (00:00) - Intro (03:22) - Rich's journey to writing "Cashless: China's Digital Currency Revolution (05:17) - Key differences between the Chinese society and the American society (07:51) - Why has the West fallen behind in terms of major fintech adaption vs China? (11:17) - What is the reason behind the rapid FinTech adoption in China? What makes the Chinese FinTech so special? (15:56) - What is Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)? Why should we care about it? (21:28) - Emergence of the early cashless payment systems (QR codes, NFC, etc.) (27:36) - Advantages of having CBDCs compared to the contemporary FinTech payment solutions (Ali Pay, WeChat pay, Apple pay, etc.) (34:48) - Crypto maximalist viewpoint vs CBDC (36:00) - Disadvantages to having CBDC (38:58) - How would CBDCs change/replace the current money transfer system platform such as SWIFT? (50:36) - Impacts on western policies  (53:24) - When will CBDCs get launched? What stage is it in right now? (56:03) - How is China breaking the tech industry? (59:42) - How should policymakers in Emerging/Frontier markets think about CBDCs?   Music used in this episode: Reverie Millenary | by PoKeR、李大白k (A tune inspired by one of the most famed female figures of ancient China, Empress Wu Zetian. it tells the story of an educated young lady employed in the palace for her academic talents. Through a variety of circumstances and political struggles, she eventually found her way up to the top as the Emperor of Tang Dynasty China, where her talents ushered the ancient kingdom into a golden era of economic momentum.)
Climate Tech Investing 101: How is Europe’s biggest climate tech VC deploying high-risk capital to undo the climate change crisis?
19-02-2022
Climate Tech Investing 101: How is Europe’s biggest climate tech VC deploying high-risk capital to undo the climate change crisis?
60 gigatons of Carbon Dioxide (Co2) is discharged into the atmosphere every year. Co2 levels are now higher than they have been in at least 800,000 years making climate change the number 1 threat faced by mankind. What tech to invest in in order to 'unf*** the planet'? For a momentous & thrilling episode on understanding the successful approach of high-risk tech investing in combatting the climate change crises, our host at Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) sat down with Danijel Visevic (@visevic) - the Founding General Partner of World Fund, Europe’s biggest climate tech VC fund. We cover : - the fundamentals & purpose of climate tech investing - the mechanics of a climate tech fund - how to manage LP expectations - Key technologies to invest in to undo the effects of climate change - Climate change policy prescriptions for government Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets. Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode. (00:00) - Intro (03:05) - Danijel's journey to becoming a leading climate tech investor (05:34) - World Fund's investment thesis for decarbonizing the planet (07:44) - Distinction between climate tech and clean tech (09:39) - Climate tech investing fund mechanics  (12:24) - What are the upsides or downsides to being a dedicated fund vs private VCs like Sequoia & SoftBank (14:31) - The purpose of investing in climate tech (16:47) - Managing Limited Partner's (LP) expectations - How to prioritize between short-term profit maximization vs sustainability?  (23:28) - Technologies that can help minimize the impact of climate change  (25:07) - What makes Europe the most suitable place for climate tech investing?  (28:11) - The different stages of fundraising for a climate tech startup (29:50) - How is World Fund developing the climate tech ecosystem in Europe? (31:13) - Next-generation climate tech innovations to look forward to   (35:25) - What immediate policies can government undertake in mitigating the effect of climate change crises  (40:07) - Outro
The Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethics & Global Value Structures
15-01-2022
The Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethics & Global Value Structures
Given how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is eating our civilization, it's essential to sketch out its first principles and ethical dimensions. We are joined by one of the world's leading AI/ML experts in former founder and co-lead at Google's AI ethical division, and the founder of Ethical AI LLC Margaret Mitchell (@mmitchell_ai) who speaks to our Empasco Co-Founder Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) on the fundamentals of artificial intelligence ethics and global value structures. Margaret has published more than 50 blockbuster papers on vision-language and grounded language generation concentrating on the evolution of AI towards achieving positive goals. She is vastly famous for her work on the instinctive elimination of undesired biases concerning demographic groups from machine learning models. And her work is utilized by some of the biggest companies in the world. Margaret was also the founding member of Microsoft's ethical AI group. In this episode, we talk about: - what is exactly AI?  - what's machine learning vs deep learning? -the first principles of Ethical AI -various types of bias and the existence of a 'good' and 'bad' bias as key components to building an AI model  -how governments and policymakers can evaluate ethical AI models -development of AI in the western world vs the Emerging markets -the possible utopian, dystopian and realistic predictions of a society fully adopting AI Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) for more updates on tech, civilizational growth, progress studies, and emerging markets. Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode. (00:00) - Intro (06:03) - Margaret's background on Artificial Intelligence (AI) (07:55) - Definition of Artificial Intelligence  (09:36) - Difference between Machine Learning & Deep Learning (11:56) - Ethics in AI (Definition & Practices) (13:43) - The role of the human layer in Ethical AI  (15:11) - Categories & Examples of biases that occur in AI (22:29) - Normative vs Descriptive approach for selecting biases in machine learning models (25:22) - Recent developments in the field of AI (26:50) - Effective practices of ethical AI in big tech companies (29:33) - Steps Governments & Policymakers can take to build and regulate AI models (32:08) - How should tech startups in Emerging Markets develop models in the field of AI ethics? (35:07) - Future of AI: Utopian vs Dystopian vision (37:41) - Margaret's recent venture on open source AI  (40:36) - Outro
From Poverty to Prosperity : How can Fragile Nations Manufacture Turnarounds
05-11-2021
From Poverty to Prosperity : How can Fragile Nations Manufacture Turnarounds
One of the world's foremost development economists Professor Sir Paul Collier from Oxford University, Blavatnik School of Government joins our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) for this breathtaking episode on poverty alleviation and turnarounds. Sir Paul has previously written 4 books on the topic of poverty alleviation, governance and sustainable growth including one of the most famous books in the development literature called 'The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It'. Prior to this Sir Paul also held the position as the Director of Research at the World Bank. In this episode we talk about: -definitions, types and causes of poverty. -properties of fragile states and the 'bottom billion' people in the world -how states can manufacture turnarounds including learnings from examples of growing middle-income countries such as Bangladesh, India, Singapore etc. -where Western institutions working in the development sector get it wrong and how to ameliorate those errors. -how to achieve good leadership and governance at a state-level. Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) for more updates on tech, civilizational growth and progress studies. Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode. (00:00) - Intro (06:23) - Humble roots and what made Sir Paul interested in the topics of development economics and governance? (08:25) - What is poverty? Does poverty always have to relate with a financial benchmark? What are the types and causes of poverty? (10:37) - Who are the "Bottom Billion"? (12:11) - what are the structural traps to poverty that Bottom Billion countries have? (22:13) - How do the Western institutions allocate capital for the development sector? (26:43) - What role do the World Bank and other financial institutions play to bolster infrastructure building? (30:26) - How can states manufacture turnarounds? (38:16) - How do countries like Bangladesh and other developing states continue to grow (autopilot development) despite high number of corruption and poverty? (42:13) - Are we on the right trajectory in terms of alleviating poverty? What roles do the government and state leaders have to establish strong societies? (46:16) - Outro
The History of Democracy and Innovation : Islamic World, China, and Europe
10-09-2021
The History of Democracy and Innovation : Islamic World, China, and Europe
We're joined by the Dean of Social Sciences at New York University and Professor of Political Science David Stasavage (@stasavage) who wrote the recent book (The Decline and Rise of Democracy). We talk about: - the first principles and definitions of what we exactly mean by 'democracy' - a compressed summary of the origins, and pre-17th century non-European early forms of democracy in the Islamic world, China, Africa. - democracy, institution-building, and state development in early Rashidun Caliphates, Umayyads and Chinese empires. - Does adopting democracy automatically lead to more economic development and innovation? - The reasons for the development of late democracy in Europe. - The reasons for development of the democratic model in the United States. - Technology and the future of democracy in the world.  Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) for more updates on tech and civilization. Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode. (00:00) - Episode intro and key moments (04:55) - Why David wrote a book on the history of Democracy across different regions? (05:52) - Definitions and first principles of Democracy. (07:10) - Is democracy a consensus-based system? (07:45) - First principles of early vs modern democracy (08:58) - Examples of early democracy across the world (09:32) - Compressed summary of the origins of democracy till today (11:20) - The role of democracy between 7th and 13th CE Islamic world (14:08) - How decentralised system of governance made democracy possible? (15:15) - Democratic process of the early Rashidun caliphates (16:30) - Standardization and unification of democratic policies (17:11) - How is China's political development different from the rest of Europe and the Islamic world (21:41) - How is democracy tied to the idea of economic development?  (24:30) - The role of democracy when it comes to technological innovations (25:48) - Emergence of democracy in Europe (28:09) - Why were Aristotle's democratic discussions more popular in Europe than in the rest of the world (29:31) - Impact of Aristotle's democratic theory on early Europe (30:23) - Does democracy help reduce inequality? (35:50) - What is bureaucracy? (37:49) - Mixtures model of democracy (39:25) - Are there hierarchies in a modern democracy? (41:54) - Does democracy change forms? (45:04) - Is autocracy deeply rooted in the culture of political and state development? (47:14) - Development of the democratic model in the US and the future of democracy (49:48) - Outro
How Apollo Transformed the World : Lessons Beyond America
19-07-2021
How Apollo Transformed the World : Lessons Beyond America
On the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo moon landings, we welcomed New-York Times Best Selling Author Charles Fishman (@cfishman), who wrote the book 'One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission that flew us to the moon’ (https://www.amazon.com/One-Giant-Leap-Untold-Story/dp/1501106295/). Follow our host Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) for more updates on tech and civilization. We talk about: - the factors that led to the success of one of the largest government-funded deep-science technology projects. - spinoff technologies and effects of Apollo on hardware and software we do today - communist management style vs democratic leadership - privatisation of space economy, decreasing costs, similarities to internet economy and opportunity for emerging market countries. - climate change, poverty vs space investment priorities? Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode.  (00:00) - Intro (09:08)  - Key factors that made a major technology project like Apollo successful (17:25) Evolution of Soviet centralized vs American decentralized management systems (23:12) - Apollos systemic impact on software (28:35) - Apollo as a global trust-building exercise for software (29:02) - Some of the defining spinoff technologies from Apollo (37:52) - How the context of 50s and 60s defined America and the Apollo mission  (43:03)  - Is space travel affordable? (44:39) - Investing in space technologies vs investing in climate change and poverty (47:06) - How does space science reinforce climate science?  (48:00) - Is there a new space race on the horizon? (53:29) - Opportunities for developing nations in the space domain (58:02) - Space applications within the local context (64:24) - Outro
History of Money, Foundations of Crypto and Applications for Emerging Markets
12-06-2021
History of Money, Foundations of Crypto and Applications for Emerging Markets
CEO at Mattereum, Vinay Gupta (@leashless), the man who lead the launch of the world's second-biggest cryptocurrency Ethereum at its outset, joins us for a very special third episode on the Innovation Civilization Podcast. We cover the history of money starting from ancient humans to today, the fundamental tech and thesis of crypto along with what emerging market policymakers & citizens can do to leverage this foundational technology. We are also joined by Empasco Partner Artur Safaryan (@asafaryann) and Co-founder Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo). Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp for the episode.  (00:00) - Introduction (02:36) - Vinay's story on being one of the early adopters of cryptocurrencies (03:57) - What is a smart contract? (04:50) - Origins and use of money (09:42) - Characteristics of money (11:32) - Digitization of money (14:10) - Problems with paper money (16:27) - Who is/are Satoshi Nakamoto? (19:18) - What is cryptocurrency? (22:32) - Is cryptocurrency considered as money? (28:06) - Where are we on the timeline with respect to the radical changes brought about by cryptocurrencies?  (30:46) - What are the missing components for the large-scale adoption of cryptocurrencies? (38:10) - Is crypto here to make you rich?  (39:11) - Benefits of cyptocurrency (44:13) - What enabled the rise of cryptocurrencies? (47:04) - How can governments in emerging markets leverage cryptocurrency for policymaking and state development? (58:56 ) - How blockchain is currently used in the charity space?  (61:55) - What should individuals in developing nations do to get into the crypto space?  (68:52) - Future of blockchain technology (71:42) - Outro
How to Create Radical Innovation Ecosystems? Lessons from British Industrial Revolution
17-04-2021
How to Create Radical Innovation Ecosystems? Lessons from British Industrial Revolution
In our second episode, our Co-Founder Waheed Rahman (@iwaheedo) is joined by British historian and author Dr. Anton Howes (@antonhowes)  where we uncover the roots of innovation in the modern world, including how to create innovation ecosystems with a focus on 16th-19th century Britain as a case-study.  Dr. Anton is the Head of Innovation Research at The Entrepreneurs Network and released his latest book 'Arts and Minds: How the Royal Society of Arts Changed a Nation'. He's also a former Lecturer in Economic History at King's College London.   OUTLINE: Here are the timestamps for the episode. On some podcast players, you should be able to click the timestamp to jump to that time.  (00:00) - Introduction to Episode (01:55) - First-principles: Defining Innovation vs Invention (07:08) - Industrial Revolution: Why this epoch of time is so crucial in innovation history? (12:43) - Specific technologies - Idea of different Industrial Revolutions (15:22) - Innovation in other regions  (16:47) - Key factors that led to an accelerated period of innovation and invention in 16th-century Britain (22:41) - Scientific Revolution and effects of the Baconian Program on Early Britain during the 1500s and 1600s (32:44) - Reasons and origins of why the idea of 'improvement mentality' came about (41:33) - Is Necessity the mother of all inventions?  (48:20) - Effect of British Colonialism in accelerating innovation (59:03) - Is there a decline in Innovation in Britain vs the American acceleration in the 20th century? (1:06:09) - Lessons for Emerging Markets when it comes to creating Innovation Ecosystems (1:14:28) - Ending