Best of OZY - Newsmakers

Best of OZY - Newsmakers

Why you should care

These are just six of the major public figures who made time to be a part of OZY and, we hope, made us all a little smarter.

Former President Bill Clinton

Even if you didn’t watch our interview with former President Bill Clinton, you likely heard about it. In his OZY interview, President Clinton made news by offering President Obama some frank advice on health care. But that wasn’t the only interesting bit. Clinton also revealed his greatest influences as president, his surprising idea for ending gridlock in Washington and what he thinks is the surest way to get our economy growing faster (hint: it has nothing to do with interest rates).

This week, OZY is celebrating its six-month anniversary with six roundups of our best stories. Today, we have six people who deserve a second look.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair

In a wide-ranging discussion with Carlos Watson, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair touched on everything from lessons in leadership to tips for the GOP to his favorite TV shows. Honestly, it was a great interview. Totally worth watching. In fact, we made it into a three-parter. And you don’t have to take our word for it. One of our readers tweeted out at the time, “Off-the-hook awesome.” Declared another: “TAKE NOTES.” So grab a pen and click play.

Rev. Jesse Jackson

Often when we talk about race, we get a little generic. Which is why it’s easy to understand the initial reaction to the recent and highly publicized comments Rev. Jesse Jackson has been making about Silicon Valley. In his OZY interview, Jackson dove deeper and hit on some interesting points. Namely, that the resources that generate Silicon Valley are collective resources: school systems, roads and infrastructure, national security, R&D tax breaks and more—which means that racial diversity isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s a necessity, in Rev. Jackson’s eyes.

Grover Norquist

When it comes to the Republican Party, we’re still asking the same big question today that we did six months ago—where are they headed? Twice now, we’ve gone to conservative kingmaker, Grover Norquist, looking for answers. No one knows more about GOP politics than Norquist, the founder of Americans for Tax Reform and the key force behind the influential Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Last year, Norquist spoke with Carlos Watson about the future of a GOP that had just been saddled with the fallout from the government shutdown. And earlier this year, we asked Norquist for his early look at the 2016 Republican front-runners.

Bill Gates

We think of Bill Gates as one of the richest people on the planet, and an innovator in personal computing. But it’s also true that he’s traveled all over the world and championed causes as diverse as education reform and malaria prevention, and he’s a voracious reader who publishes an annual list of book recommendations. And as we learned in our work with him, he’s an infectious optimist. As 2013 came to an end, Gates took over OZY’s Presidential Daily Brief for a look back at the most important—and under-covered—stories in the world.

David Drummond

You probably use it every day, and chances are you’ve wondered how it is, exactly, that Google makes its money. David Drummond, the search giant’s top lawyer, rarely gives interviews, but few people have clearer insight into what it’s been like to watch the company grow, how it makes decisions about where to invest next and, moreover, what’s ahead for Silicon Valley as a whole. (Full disclosure: Drummond is also an investor in OZY.) Drummond talked about everything from his early days at Google to the importance of the right acquisition to race in Sillicon Valley .

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