Vikram Mansharamani

Speaker


Vikram Mansharamani

Yale Lecturer | Global Equity Investor | Bestselling Author of Boombustology

Boom-bust cycles. They’re occurring more frequently than ever. The most notorious ones impact financial markets, but they also impact nations, healthcare, food, energy, education, technology and many other areas as well. Vikram Mansharamani, the bestselling author of Boombustology, is expert at helping audiences recognize and manage the risk of “bubble trouble.”So valuable are his insights, that LinkedIn named Vikram #1 on their “10 Top Voices in Money and Finance” list in both 2015 and 2016. In his engrossing talks, Vikram steps back from complex market dynamics and uses a multiple-lens framework to look at disparate data to provide actionable insights and indispensable information.

Vikram has been an active participant in the financial markets for the last 20 years. His experience includes positions in management consulting, investment banking, and asset management. Analysis has been the focus of his professional endeavours and his current research interests include bubbles in both financial and non-financial markets, the unsustainable dynamics of food and fuel, and the relative value of experts vs. generalists in navigating complex uncertainties and risk.

He is a former director of the US-Pakistan Business Council, Interelate Incorporated, and ManagedOps Incorporated, and served as Managing Director of SDK Capital (and its predecessors). Currently, he is a lecturer at Yale University, where he teaches three popular classes: “Investment Management”, “Financial Booms and Busts”, and “Adventures in Business Ethics.” He is also a lecturer at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where he is co-teaching a course called “Humanity and Its Challenges.”

A bestselling writer, he is the author of Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst and is a regular commentator in the financial media, having contributed to Bloomberg, MarketWatch, CNBC, Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Yale Global, The South China Morning Post, The Korea Times, The Khaleej Times, and The Daily Beast, among others.

He currently serves on the board of the Africa Opportunity Fund, is a strategic advisor to Peter Kiewit & Sons, and regularly helps the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. He previously served on the boards of the Association of Yale Alumni, the U.S.-Pakistan Business Council, Interelate, and ManagedOps. He earned a Ph.D. and MS from the Sloan School of Management at MIT, an MS in Political Science from MIT, and a BA from Yale University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.


Zoom Out: The Generalist Advantage

Every day, we are confronted with radical global uncertainty — new policies and regulations, the impact of populism and protectionism on global business, fluctuating commodity prices, shifting political influence, interest rate and currency risk, and a myriad of other trends. To cut through the noise and confusion, we have increasingly come to rely on hyper-specialized experts. This trend has helped us to solve important problems, but not without a cost. The result is that we live in a world that overvalues expertise and specialization. Has the pendulum swung too far? Vikram Mansharamani thinks it has – and it’s impacted our ability to manage risk, navigate disruption and uncover hidden opportunities.

In this speech, Mansharamani offers scores of compelling real-life examples showing how expertise, while useful, leads to tunnel vision. Psychological studies have demonstrated that overreliance on the heavily-focused vision of experts can lead us to miss the most important signals—the ones we’re least primed to see. We can be blinded by focus. Instead, Vikram advocates cultivating a broader view – a generalist’s mindset. When most people encounter seemingly irrelevant information, they think “So what?!” Generalists think “isn’t that interesting!” Compiling these moments and connecting the dots often results in very different conclusions from the “experts.” Vikram’s real-life examples of this reveal an effective approach to anticipate the future.

Mansharamani explains why we need to supplement the overwhelming dependence on specialists with a self-reliant generalist mindset.  Generalist ‘foxes,’ more than specialist ‘hedgehogs,’ as Isaiah Berlin classified them, are psychologically open to ideas that are radically different from what they’ve encountered before. In fact, in our increasingly interconnected, dematerialized economy, the future may belong to the generalist. Those who connect dots rather than generate them will be better suited to navigate the uncertainty. Indeed, research has shown that generalists may be better at predicting the future than experts—likely because they are not bound to a single lens or framework, and they have a profound awareness not primarily of what they know, but of what they don’t know. With colorful examples from economics, aviation, sports, dieting, and detective fiction, Vikram shows audiences how intellectual humility, flexibility and breadth of perspective beat depth of knowledge. To succeed in the 21st century, he notes, we need to keep experts on tap, just not on top.

Building on insights from the research he conducted at the Harvard Kennedy School and from his current book project, Vikram shows the importance of thinking like a generalist, from the boardroom to the household to the operating table.

Entertaining and empowering, Vikram Mansharamani helps people be mindful about the appropriate times to zoom in and zoom out—and thus to become better prepared to manage risk and achieve a greater self-reliance. Audiences will leave knowing how to embrace the power of foxy thinking.

The Global Consumption Boom – Why Everything Is About To Change

As the middle-class balloons in emerging nations, a global consumption boom will have an unprecedented impact on food, fuel, precious metals and other commodities. The likely impact on the global standard of living will drive geopolitical and economic uncertainty. Vikram Mansharamani untangles the dynamics and helps audiences think differently about the nature of global prosperity and how it will shape their business.

The End of Cheap Food – A Forecast

Food is emerging as one of the future’s most volatile assets. Shifting political, economic, climatic and societal change all factor into the equation. Vikram Mansharamani shows that the era of cheap food is over and describes the geo-political and geo-economic ramifications—from Wall Street to Pudong. The implications of land grabs, fertilizer availability, climate change, water scarcity, and price-related food (in)security will have profound impact on our world.

The Global Economy – An Unconventional Look

Europe falling apart? China collapsing? Treasury bubble popping? Japan’s economy imploding? Energy dynamics creating geopolitical unrest? Vikram Mansharamani applies his multi-lens approach to help people manage the cross-currents of rapidly-changing global economic, financial and political developments. His customized content incorporates information that’s fresh and relevant.

Spotting Bubbles Before They Burst

Vikram contends the ability to identify financial (and other) bubbles before they burst is easier if you step outside your expertise. Narrow focus can lead to tunnel vision. Instead, look broadly through multiple lenses—to art markets, architecture, popular culture, economics, politics and more. Vikram empowers audiences—assuring them that they don’t need to be an expert to effectively anticipate the future.