The supermarket chain Whole Foods has quite a radical employee empowerment program, where employees get to decide whether another employee can work in their team or not. If they think this person's a slacker, doesn't have good ideas, they can vote and say, no, we don't want this person to be working with us on the vegetable aisle.
Bill Phillips was this nervous, chain-smoking student. He had signed up to be an engineer, he had gone away to fight in the Second World War, he had come back. He had switched to sociology because he wanted to understand how people could do these terrible things to each other. And he did a little bit of economics on the side.
I don't think Brian Cox does 'The Wonders of the Solar System' because he believes the world would be a better place if people understood about the rings of Saturn; I just think he finds physics extremely interesting. It brings him joy, and he wants to spread the love. I feel the same about economics.
Cory Doctorow should be too busy for lunch. He's co-editor of, and a prolific contributor to, one of the most influential blogs in the world, Boing Boing. Over the past decade the Canadian-born writer has published 16 books, mostly science fiction novels. He campaigns vigorously on the politics of the digital age.
Failure's inevitable. It happens all the time in a complex economy. And how did the economy produce all these amazing things that we have around us, computers and cell phones and so on? Well, the process was trial and error. There were a bunch of ideas, and the good ones grew and prospered, and the bad ones were pretty ruthlessly weeded out.