Five Minutes with Chris Vein

Session 1, 2017 Foreign Affairs Series – Speaker Profile 

Name: Chris Vein 

Position: Partner – PwC

Years of Experience: 30+

GLP Student Representative, Moses, sat down with Chris Vein to ask him 5 important questions in 5 minutes. Chris Vein presented at the GLP Foreign Affairs Series, Session 1, 2017 on Technology and the Future of Global Governance.


Chris Vein talking to former President of the US, Barack Obama.

1. If you had to share a meal with someone dead or alive, who would it be and why?

In the present-day struggle against uncertainty, people and governments are closing themselves to the outside world instead of opening themselves up to give. While this has given rise to nationalism, there has also been a notable return to religion by many people seeking stability amid this uncertainty. For this reason, sharing a meal with the founders of the world’s religions such as Jesus and Prophet Mohammed would be very appealing to me, simply to ask the question, why?

2. What does ‘global leadership’ mean to you and what do you feel GLP students can contribute to today’s global community?

Global Leadership is making a better world that is worth fighting for. As the next generation of leaders and innovators, your challenge is to rethink how we organise ourselves in this world, particularly given the global projected population of 9 billion by 2050. As future global leaders, you will have to decide how to manage this, given how much we are already pushing the world’s resources to over-capacity. Fortunately, your generation shows innate mastery of innovative technology, giving you the tools you need to solve the problems of today and tomorrow.

3. What was the last book you read?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Harari. It’s a fascinating read about how we, as homo-sapiens, were not only the only species of ‘humans’ to survive from pre-historic times but also explores how we came to dominate the world today.

4. What technology innovation had the biggest impact on your life?

The mobile phone. This single device has liberated and democratised knowledge so profoundly that knowledge today is simply ubiquitous.

5. What piece of advice would you give to your university self? Would you give the same advice to a student now?

I would give my younger self the same advice I give to any student today. Firstly, never be afraid to risk it all for what you believe in. Stay true to yourself and your values, even against what you are told. I have found through my career and in my life overall that my most significant successes have been a result of being true to myself. Secondly, be a catalyst for change. I mentioned earlier that a challenge for the future generation is leading the world in the face of over-capacity. As future global leaders, create your own vision using technology to ignite others towards innovation and change. Don’t ever settle for the prescribed measure because change has never happened top-down. And as you prove to the naysayers that it is in their interest to change, remember to appeal to their motivations because ultimately, we still need to share the world we all live in.

Chris Vein is the former Chief Innovation Officer for Global Technology Development at the World Bank. Mr Vein leads the implementation of the World Bank’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategy, ICT policy and engagement dialogue with internal and external clients, and global ICT knowledge and expertise with client countries. Prior to joining the World Bank, Mr Vein was the Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer for Government Innovation in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. 

Interview and article by Moses Qionibaravi, GLP Student Representative and Bachelor of Arts (Politics) & Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) student in his last semester at Macquarie University.

The Foreign Affairs Series is an exclusive seminar series that enables GLP students to participate in on-campus briefings with high-level professionals who have experience in the field of foreign affairs. To find out more log in to Thrive and keep an eye on your student email for upcoming FAS events. They book out fast so you’ll need to get in quick! 

FAS can be claimed for credit under GL X34 but make sure to attend two to complete the requirements of the code. 


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