Name: Sethi, Simran
Q: What makes an idea “dangerous”?
Anything that challenges the status quo is dangerous.
Q: Which technological or scientific advancement excites you most?
The humble-but-mighty ones. 3-D printing of prosthetics for people who are hobbling around with ill-fitting ones, jaundice lamps for areas where children may not be diagnosed or receive inadequate treatment, beautiful and affordable homes made for people who have been made homeless by environmental disasters, that sort of thing.
Q: Which social or political movement scares you most?
Any movement defined by one group of people thinking they are better than another.
Q: What’s the one thing you wish society better understood?
How interconnected industry and government have become. The foxes are watching the henhouse.
Q: Will the defining catastrophe of the next decade be natural or man-made?
Man-made. Or, rather, people-made.
Q: What question have you been dying to ask someone (and who)?
I would like to ask Jonathan Safran Foer how he learned to write so well. And ask Barack Obama how his administration can sanction the force-feeding of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. And ask Chef Roberto Rossi to teach me every secret of Tuscan cooking.
Q: What question have you been dying for someone to ask you?
None really. I try to share what I need and want people to know. (Maybe too much!)
Q: If you could outsource one part of your life, what would it be?
Integrating data for my book on the slow extinction of food. And cooking. I’m a sucker for a chef.
Q: What’s your favourite book and why?
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron is a perennial favorite. It’s always inspiring to me when different parts of a work speak to you at different times.
Q: Favourite Youtube clip? (For fun)
I take myself way too seriously. I do love TED and TEDx talks. Maickel Melamed’s talk on overcoming obstacles hasn’t gotten nearly enough web love. He is brilliant and inspiring.
Simran Sethi appears on the panel ‘Stories Matter More Than Facts‘ at Festival of Dangerous Ideas. FODI is selling fast so get your tickets now!