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Azeem Azhar's Exponential View
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Azeem Azhar's Exponential View

Author: HBR Presents / Azeem Azhar

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How will the future unfold? What is the impact of technology on business & society? As technology reorders the world in which live, who will be the winners and who will be the losers? Join Azeem Azhar, curator of the Exponential View newsletter, in deep conversation with the world's leading thinkers and practitioners exploring these and other important questions.

The views expressed on this podcast are those of its hosts, guests, and callers, and not those of Harvard Business Review.
133 Episodes
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Former Greek Finance Minister, economist, and bestselling author Yanis Varoufakis joins Azeem Azhar to discuss his speculative novel Another Now. The book isn’t pure fiction; it’s an optimistic vision of what our society could yet become -- a world where mass organization, technological progress, and an overhaul of companies and markets have made society more equitable.
Investors Nathan Benaich and Ian Hogarth co-author the influential, annual “State of AI” report. They join Azeem Azhar to discuss breakout developments in disparate fields, from defense to medical biology. And they offer their take on the flood of new investments into AI and how we can best keep the technology safe for humanity.
Renewable energy is the future of our power systems, but relying on solar, wind, etc. will require a more reliable and resilient grid. Energy storage will be essential, and Malta Inc.’s molten-salt system is one of the most innovative and promising technologies in the field. CEO Ramya Swaminathan joins Azeem Azhar to discuss why energy storage is so crucial to fighting climate change, how it could affect the economics of energy, and why the electric grid of the future will be more technologically diverse and complex than today’s.
Hopin is one of the fastest-growing startups in history. The virtual events company had six employees in February 2020, at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. A year and a half later, it employs more than eight hundred and is valued at almost $8 billion. Founder and CEO Johnny Boufarhat joins Azeem Azhar to discuss seizing the opportunity the pandemic presented, learning to lead at one of the fastest-growing startups in history, and why he dreams of a future in which a founder’s location is no impediment to success.
Governments and companies have committed to net-zero emissions by 2050, but it’s not clear how they plan to get there – or how much it will cost. Michele Della Vigna, who runs the Carbonomics research program at Goldman Sachs, has dug into the economics behind a transition to net-zero emissions. On the eve of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), he and Azeem Azhar discuss how capital markets, new technology, and government coordination could combine to accelerate the transition to a greener economy.
Ford has been making cars for 118 years -- nearly all of them with internal combustion engines. It now faces the biggest challenge in its history. Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss electrification, mobility, and the future of one of the titans of the industrial age.
Fighting the climate crisis requires investment, innovation, and on-the-ground know-how. Dawn Lippert works at the intersection of all three. She’s the founder and CEO of Elemental Excelerator, a non-profit incubator that helps climate-focused startups deploy and scale their technologies. She joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how innovative climate tech companies can make it to market, and why workers at Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are flocking to fight climate change.
Google, Facebook, Apple, and Uber are just some of the enormous companies that derive part of their value from network effects: the more users they have, the more value they provide. Serial entrepreneur and early-stage investor James Currier is one of the world’s foremost experts on networks, and on the companies that use them best. He joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how companies with network effects dominate markets, and why their influence will likely continue to grow.
Kim Stanley Robinson, the legendary science-fiction novelist, has a private utopian hope: “to dodge a mass extinction event.” He joins Azeem Azhar to explore his recent novel, The Ministry For the Future, and what it would take for institutions, individuals, and emerging technologies to save millions of lives.
Facebook serves 34 percent of the world’s population and decides who to block and what to censor. How should governments regulate this startling power? Nick Clegg, the UK’s former deputy prime minister and now vice president of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how governments might reassert control in the exponential age.
Visa processes more than 500 million transactions every day. How is the world’s largest digital payment platform adapting to new technologies and fresh competition? Charlotte Hogg, executive vice president and CEO of its European operations, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the evolving ecosystem of digital payments.
From predictive policing to automated credit scoring, algorithms applied on a massive scale, gone unchecked, represent a serious threat to our society. Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, director of Machine Learning Ethics, Transparency and Accountability at Twitter, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how businesses can practice responsible AI to minimize unintended bias and the risk of harm.
The Coming AI Hackers

The Coming AI Hackers

2021-06-0939:491

AI hackers are coming, and it’s not just our computer networks at risk – our laws and regulations are also vulnerable. Bruce Schneier, internationally renowned security technologist and fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how humans have always exploited loopholes in rule-based systems, and how that will change as AIs become more powerful.
Could we have a financial industry without banks or brokers? That’s the vision of decentralized finance – or DeFi – in which financial products are built from tamper-proof digital smart contracts interacting with blockchains. Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of Chainlink, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the promise of this emerging sector to bring greater transparency, control, and yield for both customers and businesses.
AI can offer a new type of competitive advantage, but entrepreneurs need to know what it is and how to unlock it. Ash Fontana, author of The AI First Company and managing director at Zetta Venture Partners – a firm that exclusively invests in early-stage AI startups, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the risks and rewards of applying AI to business problems.
Using forests to offset a company’s carbon emissions has been dismissed as “greenwashing.” But Diego Saez Gil argues that a verifiable and transparent global market in carbon credits is a vital tool to mitigate climate change. In part 2 of their discussion, he joins Azeem Azhar to explore how his company, Pachama, uses technology to connect farmers and ecologists with climate-conscious corporations in an effort to evolve the global carbon marketplace.
How do we build a market for carbon offsets that is both trustworthy and effective? Diego Saez Gil, co-founder and CEO of Pachama, believes he has the answer. In part 1 of the conversation, Diego joins Azeem Azhar to explore how AI, satellites, and LiDAR can be leveraged to verify the conservation efforts of farmers, NGOs, and governments and help lay the foundation for sustainable work against climate change.
Kenneth Cukier, senior editor at the Economist, and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at the University of Oxford, argue that because AI systems have no causal model of the world, they lack the human capacity for imagination and decision-making. Azeem Azhar explores their contention that we should not rely on AI to provide solutions to our problems. Rather we should systematically challenge how we frame our problems in order to produce breakthrough insights and innovations — then use AI to help enact those solutions.
In less than a decade France has gone from tech backwater to the startup engine of the EU. It recently celebrated its 12th company to achieve a $1 billion valuation and is well on the way to President Macron’s goal of “25 unicorns by 2025.” Kat Borlongan, director of La French Tech, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how her government taskforce has been working to effectively drive growth in the French startup scene.
Turning a corporate climate pledge into reality is a complex endeavor. Watershed, a software startup co-founded by Christian Anderson, is committed to using data to cut corporate emissions fast. In conversation with Azeem Azhar, Christian shares the challenges of putting this dream into practice.
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Comments (8)

Rajiv Aserkar

Supply Chain digitization is the need of the hour. Thisbis a very timely podcast.

Nov 26th
Reply

Luana Arch

really excellent conversation

Jun 27th
Reply

Mahsa kousha

Excellent conversation!

May 12th
Reply

Luana Arch

Great podcast, just frustrating the guest being interrupted several times.

May 3rd
Reply

gg

You cut the guest off a few times towards the end of the interview

Apr 8th
Reply

Aydin Kurt-Elli

Very interesting discussion but was very concerned at the implication of something Missy said re the B737max scandal. She said some carriers don't buy the same training packages for their pilots. The B737max is aerodynamically unstable, so a fundamentally flawed airframe. The MCAS and single AoA detector are flawed design and implementation problems. All compounded by Boeing not disclosing the MCAS even existed to carriers/pilots in the POH/training materials. This is criminal and raises the question, how can pilots trust a Boeing POH again in the future? This was not a choice by foreign carriers, but a decision imposed by Boeing to avoid the regulatory implications of disclosing the system. They applied the fail fast, fail often principle to try and catch up with Airbus and the failure cost lives.

May 23rd
Reply

Rick Bryant

an excellent uncomplicated interview and discussion regarding the future of health care and technology

May 6th
Reply

Oguz Bayram

great talk that drived me to think more consciously about the tech

Feb 7th
Reply
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