Waqās is considered a world authority on multi-disciplinary thinking. His globally acclaimed book The Polymath (Wiley 2019) sets out how such thinking has always defined the highest performers in world history, and how it is now desperately needed to address the complexity of 21st century challenges. His ideas arise from over 10,000 hours of research as well as his own extraordinarily diverse career:
Waqās is Artistic Director at The Khalili Collections – one of the most comprehensive and diverse private art collections in the world. His work includes partnering with the likes of Google and Wikipedia to democratize art through digital curation, visual optimization and cutting-edge technologies. He was also the curator and host of the 2019 Official Opening of the Leonardo da Vinci 500th Anniversary Celebrations at the National Gallery in London. As an artist, his own paintings have been commissioned and acquired by major institutions worldwide.
Waqās is completing his postgraduate studies in Neuroscience at Kings College London, where he is investigating multidisciplinary approaches to the treatment of chronic pain. Another strand of his research focuses on cognitive flexibility, and his research interviews with world-leading brain scientists include Daniel Levitin, Ray Kurzweil, Noam Chomsky, Rand Spiro, Douglas Hofstadter and Iain McGilchrist.
Born and raised in Britain, Waqās has since lived in several countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. For five years he was a diplomatic journalist and publisher, namely as Global Correspondent at FIRST Magazine, where his exclusive interviews included the Presidents of Egypt, Sudan, Liberia, Sri Lanka and Guyana and the Prime Ministers of Ethiopia, Malta, Romania and Mauritius. He was also editor of the Official Reports for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (2011-2015) and has advised numerous clients on international communications campaigns.
Waqās holds a Masters degree in the History of International Relations from the London School of Economics (LSE) and was previously a visiting lecturer in International History at the University of the West of England. His paper on the Post World War Two movement for a World Government was published in the Federalist Debate. He was editor of Holy Makkah (FIRST 2017) – the first holistic exploration of the sacred city in the English language – which received praise from UNESCO, the Commonwealth and the Vatican.
HEALTH, FITNESS & SPORT
As a qualified fitness professional, Waqās was resident trainer at the University of London Union and initially trained with an elite division of the British Armed Forces. He has since coached people in multiple countries in various fitness methods and is currently developing a hybrid physical training system that draws on indigenous methods from around the world. Having been a youth athlete, playing cricket for Somerset and Gloucestershire, he is now on the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s cricket committee.
Having studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Waqās was appointed as Chair of the Commonwealth’s Global Citizenship Education panel, which developed a module that is being rolled out to tertiary education institutions across developing countries. He is also developing a polymathic curriculum for high school students and autodidacts, the framework for which was published in The Polymath (Wiley 2019).
Waqās speaks about each of these domains with authority; but above all, he is passionate about how such seemingly unrelated fields can actually serve to inform one another, often providing unique creative insights that would be unimaginable through hyper-specialization.
“With eloquence, clarity and authority, Waqas made a powerful case for multi-dimensional thinking as essential to personal fulfilment and collective problem-solving in the 21st century.”
Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce
"A 21st century Renaissance Man"
"Fast emerging as a young Leonardo da Vinci"
Prof Nasser D Khalili Founder, The Khalili Collections
“Exceptionally well-read, well travelled and multitalented”
Prof Edward de Bono Originator of Lateral Thinking and bestselling author of Six Thinking Hats
"A great writer and thinker... a true polymath"
Prof Daniel Levitin Neuroscientist, musician and bestselling author of The Organized Mind