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Attali has served as Head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and chaired a Sarkozy commission examining the obstacles to French growth. He advocates deregulation, major investment in education and greater communication. Attali’s latest book, A Brief History of the Future, argues that by 2100 individual countries will have disappeared. What we need, as present crises in finance and climate show, are functioning world institutions and a global rule of law.

As the United Nations looked on, Hans Blix led the search for WMD in Iraq. The ex-head of the Atomic Energy Agency then chaired a commission studying paths to clear the world of both nuclear, biological and chemical arms. He does not consider it utopian to envisage life without nuclear weapons - by 2050. Mutual interdependence could provide alternative non-military leverage, reducing the dependence on weapons of mass destruction as bargaining chips.

John Browne transformed BP from a two pipeline player into one of the world’s biggest companies. In doing so he pulled off huge mergers, challenged the industry status quo and became the first oil CEO to acknowledge the risks posed by climate change. He has since written on business strategy, homophobia and the natural elements that shape our lives. In his speeches Browne considers how we can ensure that business is a powerful force for good.

The presenter of Radio 4’s Analysis programme and ex-Management Editor at The Economist surveys the landscape. Frances argues that the pace and stability of UK recovery will be held back until we make real progress on deficit reduction. She also suggests that we may find we haven’t measured productivity very well, complicated by the proportion of GDP coming from services – and the difficulty of calculating the impact of the digital world.

Mick began in Hollywood special effects, but his life changed after meeting an artist who had contracted Motor Neurone Disease. Mick set about designing an open-source device to track eye movement, allowing him to communicate again. The team has since used the same creativity in war-torn Sudan, reducing the cost of prosthetics for children by 90% with the help of 3D printing. Mike shares his infectious enthusiasm and asks “If not now, when? If not me, who?”

Professor Greer has carved an entire career out of speaking her mind. Since priming a whole seventies generation with The Female Eunuch, Germaine has sparked debate on everything from aboriginal rights to male nudes. 40 years after the arrival of feminism she sees the female narrative disappearing from the media: “We should be angry, but women are put off by ‘the ugliness of rage.’” Her solution is to mobilise along the lines of a WI pressure group.

A former Royal Marine, Monty formed his own expedition company and led a group of divers to rediscover a sunken city beside the coast of India, suspected to be the cradle of civilisation. On television, he was the winner of Superhumans and has presented The Great Escapes series. He’s also served as The Fisherman’s Apprentice, living and working in Cornwall for a year and has also presented on the National Geographic Channel and Discovery.

Since selling Red or Dead, Wayne has worked with local authorities to regenerate their housing stock, both in urban and coastal communities. He has also launched pop-up shops and Vintage Festivals, using modern technology and marketing to create a new heritage brand. Wayne believes economic recovery offers opportunities for the creative; his kiosks are a prime example, providing low-rent space to a new generation of designers.

Since stepping down from Shell, John has become a passionate campaigner for energy security. He offers a plan to wean America off oil from volatile regions by 2020, and argues for a single authority to control policy along the lines of the Fed. John concedes that fracking is complex and can be dirty, but considers it a necessary ‘highway to the future’ for the US – with constantly improving technology: “What’s needed is an honest conversation with the public.”

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