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Vikram Seth

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Vikram is a renewable energy economist at Shell - essentially responsible for ensuring that the wind and solar farms that the business wants to build around the world will be viable.

Why do you do what you do? 

To make the world a better place - full of loving, healthy, engaged and inspired people doing what they love. At Shell I'm helping to make decisions that are sustainable in the long-term and to ensure that those with the power to change the world use that power to move the world forward.

What's the one thing that your work has taught you that you wish everyone knew?

Human nature is not fundamentally bad. If we see problems in the world that we are uncomfortable with there are probably systemic underlying issues that encourage such undesirable human behaviour to take place. Addressing the underlying structural issue (such as society's focus on infinite growth or maximising shareholder returns) is more effective than attacking the people who are acting out the negative behaviour that you see as a result.

What are your plans or ambitions for the next 6 months?

Begin to incorporate into my Bhangra dance classes some discussion around mental health, culture and self-expression. Also to create and use local cryptocurrencies to create a thriving local community...

What book do you find most inspiring at the moment?

Bernard Lietaer's "Money and Sustainability - the Missing Link". Bernard's work has influenced my thinking for a long time and he explores the impact of our monetary system on sustainability, social psychology and long-term thinking. This is a powerful challenge to the status quo of our current monetary system that I believe is essential for us to understand to deal with the challenges of climate change and declining social cohesion.

What's your breakfast of choice? 

Home made porridge with overnight soaked and peeled almonds, dried apricots, raisins and honey - warming and nutritious!

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