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Azeem Azhar's Exponential View

Azeem Azhar's Exponential View

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.

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Funding Innovation to Fight Climate Change

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.
2021-10-13
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How Network Effects Rule the World (with James Currier)

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.
2021-10-06
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Imagining Climate Futures with Kim Stanley Robinson

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.
2021-07-07
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How to Regulate Facebook (with Nick Clegg)

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.
2021-06-30
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The Future of Digital Payments

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.
2021-06-23
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How to Practice Responsible AI

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.
2021-06-16
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The Coming AI Hackers

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.
2021-06-09
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Banking without Banks: Decentralized Finance is Coming

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.
2021-06-02
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AI?s Competitive Advantage

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.
2021-05-26
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Building a Trustworthy Market for Carbon Offsets: Part 2

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.
2021-05-20
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Building a Trustworthy Market for Carbon Offsets: Part 1

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.
2021-05-19
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The Power of Mental Modeling and the Limits of AI

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.
2021-05-12
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Startups and the State: Growing French Tech

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.
2021-05-05
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How Data Helps Companies Honor Their Climate Goals

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.
2021-04-28
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The Future of Meat

Livestock is responsible for 15 percent of global greenhouse emissions. Could meat grown in labs offer a sustainable ? and palatable ? future? Didier Toubia, CEO and co-founder of cultured meat start-up Aleph Farms, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the biotech, ethics, and economics of making beef without cows.
2021-04-21
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Mapping AI?s Societal Impact

AI is not just code and algorithms. It?s an industry built on a global network of resource extraction, human labor, and data collection. Kate Crawford, senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research and research professor of communication and science and technology studies at USC Annenberg, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the far-reaching impacts of AI and to consider the urgent case for proper governance and regulation of the industry.
2021-04-14
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Making Quantum Computers a Commercial Reality

IonQ is the first company solely focused on quantum computing to go public, with its quantum computers accessible via the cloud today. The company?s co-founder/chief scientist Chris Monroe and president/CEO Peter Chapman join Azeem Azhar to explore how they turned cutting-edge research into a scalable product. They also discuss the engineering challenges that remain before quantum systems not only surpass the fastest supercomputers, but also become widely available.
2021-04-07
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Bitcoin and the Future of Decentralized Finance

Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the potential and politics of cryptocurrencies: from the ideological origins of Bitcoin to the new wave of decentralized financial products that could disrupt traditional finance.
2021-03-31
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The Evolution of Teamwork (with Atlassian CEO Scott Farquhar)

Atlassian, the enterprise software innovator, is helping to drive disruption across the world of work. Co-founder and co-CEO Scott Farquhar joins Azeem Azhar to explain how, during a global pandemic, they nearly doubled the size of their workforce, why the workplace will never be the same after Covid-19, and what the implications are for companies and employees who increasingly operate remotely, asynchronously, and in flatter hierarchies.
2021-03-24
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The Architects of AI

Cade Metz, technology correspondent at The New York Times, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss his new book Genius Makers. In it, he tells the story of the pioneers who brought AI out of academic labs, sparking a Big Tech arms race and transforming our everyday lives.
2021-03-17
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Universities and the Innovation Landscape

What are universities for? Are they an elite pipeline for elite jobs, or can they meet the needs of societies transforming amid technological advances? Azeem Azhar explores the role of higher education in research, innovation, and progress with Geraint Rees, Dean of Faculty of Life Sciences at University College London and a leader of their AI strategy. 
2021-03-10
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Engineering a Driverless Future

Chris Urmson, co-founder and CEO of the self-driving technology startup Aurora, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the state-of-play of self-driving technology, the criticisms the tech must address, and the huge challenges to be overcome before we trust a computer to drive our kids to school.
2021-03-03
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Fixing the Social Media Crisis

Social networks polarize communities and spread misinformation. Professor Sinan Aral, director of MIT?s Initiative on the Digital Economy and author of The Hype Machine, joins Azeem Azhar to explore what makes these networks so powerful and how we can engineer our way to a healthier online ecosystem.
2021-02-24
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Investing in Deep Tech for an Abundant Future

Could deep tech bring about an age of abundance? Matt Ocko, co-founder and managing partner of Data Collective Venture Capital, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the art of investing in startups that aim to transform entire industries with radically cheaper, cleaner products.
2021-02-17
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From Insurance Giant to Tech Platform: The Story of Ping An

From an insurance giant to an incubator of cutting-edge tech companies, Ping An?s evolution is impressive and unique. Chief Innovation Officer Jonathan Larsen joins Azeem Azhar to explore how the China-based holding conglomerate has managed such agility at immense scale.
2021-02-10
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Building A Quantum Computer with Light

?Quantum computing is to conventional computing what a warp drive is to a bicycle,? says Jeremy O?Brien, CEO of PsiQuantum. He joins Azeem Azhar to explore the exponential advantage quantum computing will bring to problems across science and industry, and how he?s using photonics to build the first productive quantum computer.
2021-02-03
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Bringing DARPA?s Innovation to Health

Regina Dugan, CEO of new biomedical non-profit Wellcome Leap and former director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the U.S., joins Azeem Azhar to explore how she approaches delivering breakthrough technologies and why she has now set her sights on global health.
2021-01-27
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Big Tech and a Decade of Antitrust with Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow, award-winning author, technologist, and founder joins Azeem Azhar to explore the power of big tech monopolies and how a future wave of antitrust lawsuits could unleash innovation across the sector.
2021-01-06
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Learning from 2020: Azeem?s Takeaways

Azeem Azhar reflects on how Covid-19 has affected technology and our lives in 2020 and why the effects of the pandemic will be felt for many years to come.
2020-12-30
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Applying the Pandemic Mindset to Climate Change with Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow, award winning author, technologist, and founder, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how we can harness massive collective action and exponential technologies to mitigate climate change.
2020-12-23
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Making Venture Capital Work for Entrepreneurs

Leila Rastegar Zegna, general partner and co-founder of Kindred Capital, joins Azeem Azhar to explore a new model for venture capital, where startup founders become partners in the fund. This new approach aims to align incentives for entrepreneurs and investors, in order to build a healthier innovation community.
2020-12-16
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IKEA: Making a $40 Billion Company Climate Positive

Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group, joins Azeem Azhar to explore IKEA?s goal to be a net reducer of carbon emissions by 2030 ? while still growing its business.
2020-12-09
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China?s Technology Transformation with Kai-Fu Lee

Kai-Fu Lee, AI pioneer and investor, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the evolution of China?s vibrant tech sector, the rise of consumer-facing robots, the consequences for labor, and the future of educational technologies.
2020-12-02
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Materials Built by Microbes: A Revolution in Materials Science

Zymergen CEO Joshua Hoffman joins Azeem Azhar to explore how cutting-edge bioengineering, robotics, and machine learning are helping create a new generation of high-performance, environmentally sustainable materials for the 21st Century.
2020-11-25
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Silicon Valley Needs a Shakedown with Chamath Palihapitiya

Investor Chamath Palihapitiya joins Azeem Azhar to explore the dysfunctional relationship between capital and companies, why he loves a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company), and why he?s championing a new wave of climate change innovators. Note: Portions of the conversation that had been removed in an earlier version of this episode have been reinstated for greater clarity.
2020-11-18
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How AI and Genomics Are Reshaping Farming

?The time for vertical farming is here,? says Mike Zelkind, co-founder and CEO of 80 Acres Farms. He joins Azeem Azhar to explore what?s broken in the food supply chain, and how a new breed of high-tech, indoor farms could deliver better, tastier food using a fraction of the resources.
2020-11-11
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Understanding the Enduring Consequences of Covid-19

Yale professor Nicholas Christakis argues that we can expect this current phase of the Covid-19 pandemic to end in 2022. In conversation with Azeem Azhar, Christakis explains why we need to brace for what comes next.
2020-11-09
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Should We End the Data Economy?

Ownership of personal data is a form of power ? and that power is concentrating in the hands of governments and big tech. Should we be worried? Dr. Carissa Véliz, from the Institute for Ethics in AI at the University of Oxford, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss her new book ?Privacy is Power.?
2020-11-04
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Facebook?s Tech Chief: How We Built It and Where We?re Going

Facebook?s Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer joins Azeem Azhar to explore how they built the infrastructure powering the social network, why AI and virtual reality are the core of its future, and how the company approaches content moderation.
2020-10-28
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DeepMind?s Journey from Games to Fundamental Science

DeepMind?s co-founder and CEO, Demis Hassabis, joins Azeem Azhar to explore his company's progression from gaming to accelerating scientific discovery.
2020-10-21
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How Taiwan is Using Technology to Foster Democracy (with Digital Minister Audrey Tang)

Audrey Tang, Taiwan?s first digital minister, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how the Taiwanese Government is using the Internet as a space for civic participation, dialogue, and consensus building.
2020-10-14
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How GPT-3 Is Shaping Our AI Future

OpenAI stunned the world with the release of the world?s most impressive language-generating AI. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman joins Azeem Azhar to reflect on the huge attention generated by GPT-3 and what it heralds for the future research and development toward the creation of a true artificial general intelligence (AGI).
2020-10-07
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Season 4 Finale: Azeem?s Favorite Episodes and Trends to Watch

As we wrap up the season and head off to a short summer break, Azeem Azhar reflects on what he learned from his conversations with technology and business leaders on the podcast -- and how those insights may help us understand where the world is headed.
2020-07-01
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Reimagining Capitalism for a Broken World

A thriving global economy depends on more than just free markets. Harvard Business School professor Rebecca Henderson offers a fresh vision of purpose-driven capitalism, where companies can make good profits by doing the right thing.
2020-06-24
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Engineering Biology: The Next Frontier

Drug discovery, novel materials, and genetic engineering are some of the topics under the microscope in Azeem Azhar?s discussion with Andreessen Horowitz general partner Vijay Pande. They explore the extraordinary possibilities that are opening up at the intersection of biology, engineering, and innovation.
2020-06-17
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Rethinking the Innovation Ecosystem

Starting a company with a stranger is not the traditional path for many entrepreneurs, but this is one of the basic principles of Entrepreneur First (EF), the world?s leading talent investor. Matt Clifford, EF?s CEO and co-founder, joins Azeem Azhar to explain why he invests in founders before they have a business idea and other novel approaches to venture capital and innovation.
2020-06-10
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Using AI to Decentralize Organizations

As the Covid-19 pandemic forces companies to rethink their workflows and structures, Azeem Azhar speaks with Daniel Hulme, CEO of Satalia, whose company runs as a decentralized swarm. There are no managers, no strict job roles, and no vacation limits. Yet, the company delivers artificial intelligence solutions to its customers. How does it work?
2020-06-03
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Empowering Workers in the Digital Future

Companies increasingly use digital systems to hire, fire, and monitor their employees. But who is keeping employers in check? Former union leader and AI ethics expert, Dr. Christina Colclough joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how to empower employees in the digitally-enabled workplace.
2020-05-27
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Building Better Cities After Covid-19

How do we build better cities after the coronavirus crisis? The World Bank?s Sameh Wahba joins Azeem Azhar to discuss how the World Bank partners with technologists to help cities on the frontline of the pandemic, and how the dynamism of urban density can be harnessed to build the livable and inclusive cities of the future. Note: We updated one sentence in this interview for clarity.
2020-05-20
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Fei-Fei Li?s Mission to Transform Healthcare AI

After ImageNet transformed AI vision, superstar Stanford computer science professor Fei-Fei Li has turned her attention to advancing healthcare. She joins Azeem Azhar to discuss her new approach to AI development, which incorporates interdisciplinary collaboration and focuses on ethical, real-world impact.
2020-05-13
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