“Can we agree on what it is that we can actually do? And if we’re not doing the things that we clearly can afford to do and could actually do, what does that tell us about our politics, our social preferences?”
Adam Tooze is a better economist than most economists, a better historian than most historians, and has a focus more global than anyone currently writing. In his podcast with the economist Stephen Kinsella, he discusses his latest book, Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World Economy. He delves into just how complicated the ‘real’ nature of the Covid crisis is and what it tells us about this moment of acceleration we are heading into.
Kinsella and Tooze also discuss the possibility of a climate detente between the US and China, as well as risk societies and polycrisis, the idea that the vectors of global change from climate to geopolitics to future pandemics feed into and accelerate one another.
Wendy McCormack Stunt set up her B2B digital business card company, Go DigiCard, almost five years ago to make networking easier and faster by creating personalised business cards that can be shared with anyone that has internet access on her phone. Go DigiCard is now used by 300 organisations across Europe, China, and the United States. She talks to Cait Caden about signing a new large partner in the US, her plans to rebrand, and her vision of creating a Golden Pages of digital business cards.
In 2017, Shane Curran won the BT Young Scientist and Technology Competition. Two years later, after abandoning college after just weeks, he went to Silicon Valley with an idea. He returned with backing from some of the world’s biggest funds. But the young entrepreneur is interested in more than business – he is fascination by how technology shapes society and the nature of education. In this conversation with the economist Stephen Kinsella, they discuss the evolution of the higher education system, what it can do to help founders succeed, and what might come next.
Marie Donnelly is the new chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council, which is about to publish Ireland’s first five-year carbon budget. This ceiling on the amount of greenhouse gases the country can give off will trickle down into government policy for all sectors – and changes for every business. Donnelly takes Thomas Hubert through the process and shares tips on how business owners can prepare.
The Ireland football team lost heroically to Portugal on Wednesday night. Does this signal the beginning of a new era for Irish football and the Football Association of Ireland or is the road back too long and bumpy? Economist Colm McCarthy, Sean Keyes and Dion Fanning discuss Irish football and what needs to happen for it to prosper.
Eamonn Quinn has retail running through his veins. Having served as deputy chairman of Superquinn, the supermarket chain founded by his father Feargal, Quinn is now a board member and active investor in a portfolio of retail and food business such as Buymie and Kelsius.
In a podcast with Ian Kehoe, Quinn talks about how Covid-19 has accelerated shifts in shopping behaviour and explains what this means for traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers as well as the fabric of the high street. He talks about what retailers can do to remain relevant, why the smartphone is a gamechanger for retail, and how businesses can develop customer loyalty online.
Quinn also talks about the future of food, and addresses issues such as product traceability, labelling and Brexit. Quinn also explores his role as chairman of Buymie and Kelsius and reveals what he looks for in an investment opportunity.
Simon Kuper's new book details the making of Barcelona but also the series of blunders which led it to a position where it became a club with a billion euro debt. In this podcast he talks about the rise and fall of Barcelona, the personalities who shaped it, Johan Cruyff and Lionel Messi, in particular. The future - post Messi - is uncertain and as football becomes a playground for petro-states, success at Barcelona is not guaranteed.
Born in Canada to Iranian parents, Ali Niknam made his name and his fortune in IT in the Netherlands. During the financial crash, however, he decided to launch his own challenger bank, and over the course of the next decade, pumped more than €100 million of his own money into scaling bunq across 30 countries.
Last month, the company closed one of Europe’s largest Series A funding when it raised €193 from Pollen Street Capital in a deal that valued Bunq at €1.6 billion. As part of the transaction, Bunq also acquired Capitalflow, the Irish alternative lender that has advanced €650m to SMEs.
In this podcast with Ian Kehoe, Niknam talks about what attracted him to both Capitalflow and Pollen Street, and outlines his ambitious plans for growth in the Irish lending market. Niknam also talks how over regulation is stymieing market dynamics in the banking sector and benefiting the incumbents.
He talks about his personal motivations for launching a bank, how he brought it to profitability, and what separates bunq from the string of other challenger banks that have emerged in recent years.
Emran Feroz, an Austrian-Afghan journalist, provides context for what has been happening in Afghanistan. It is an explanation of the mess, as Emran sees it, the US made of Afghanistan and why Joe Biden’s talk of the Afghan people not having the will to fight ignored so much that happened in the past 20 years.
The soldier dying were cannon fodder, he says, who were asked to fight while corruption was rife among so many others in Afghanistan. It is a conversation which places the Taliban in context while also stressing that it is an illusion to believe that they have changed.
Prior to the pandemic, Noel Anderson was forecasting the best ever year for The Bridge 1850 and Lemon & Duke, the two Dublin pubs he co-owns with a number of prominent rugby players. However, since the first lockdown, the publican has been battling on all fronts.
Despite having taken out insurance specifically for Covid-19, FBD refused to cover his claim, and he ended up as one of four test cases against the insurer. In this podcast with Ian Kehoe, he talks about the negotiations with FBD prior to the case, the strain of the lengthy action and why the case, which has implications for more than 1,100 pubs, is far from over.
He also talks about the future of the city centre and reveals that while he is upbeat on hospitality, he is increasingly concerned about the lack of staff. Finally, Anderson shares his own journey - why he dropped out of college to take a bar job, before working his way up the ladder.
The past week has thrown more information at us about the accelerating climate change crisis than we can perhaps handle. To make sense of it – and figure out what to do next – John Reynolds, who has covered some of the most innovative Irish businesses in this space for The Currency, suggested a podcast with our Chief Economics Writer Stephen Kinsella, Innovation and Disruption Columnist Sinéad O'Sullivan and Senior Correspondent Thomas Hubert. This is how the discussion went.