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Waqās Ahmed


Waqās is founder of the DaVinci Network, author of The Polymath (Wiley 2019) and creator of the Polymath Festival. His research interests centre around human diversity and performance.

He holds a BSc in Economics (SOAS) and postgraduate degrees in International History (LSE) and Neuroscience (King's College London). His two main professional careers have been in diplomatic journalism and visual art.

Waqas - Faculty - LIS

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Waqas - Faculty - LIS


Waqās is founder of The DaVinci Network, a social enterprise and cultural movement designed to explore, optimise and promote many-sided human potential at the individual, organisational and societal levels. He is author of The Polymath (Wiley 2019) and creator of the Polymath Festival. This work is inspired and informed by the diversity of his own academic and professional background.

As Artistic Director of the Khalili Collections – one of the world’s most geographically and culturally diverse art collections – Waqās is driving a major global digitisation programme with Google and Wikimedia and is leading research on the influence of non-Western art on European culture. Waqas completed his postgraduate studies in Neuroscience at King’s College London, where he researched and published on multidisciplinary approaches to the treatment of chronic pain. More recently, his research focuses on cognitive flexibility and he is currently investigating the neural underpinnings of adaptiveness to novelty and complexity.

Before this, Waqās worked as a Global Correspondent for FIRST Magazine where he published several interviews with prime ministers, chief executives and renowned public intellectuals. Between 2011-2015, he was editor of the Official Reports for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings and was Editor-in-Chief of the UNESCO-endorsed publication Holy Makkah (FIRST 2017).

Waqās writes on philosophy, education, culture and business and has been published or featured by the Financial Times, Forbes, Fast Company, Philosophy Now and The Lancet. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Open University Business School and was selected as an IRG100 Leader by the Institute for Real Growth.

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