With the motto to ‘always try your best’, Lord O’Neill gives an insight into his journey – from the sliding doors moment that led to his career as an economist, to taking on a passion for tackling superbugs – as well as perspectives on the emerging economies of today, serving as a minister in government (and why it wasn’t for him), his sporting heroes, and the power of scientific collaboration to bring a better future. He says: “The speed of vaccine development makes me think that if you get the right attention on a topic, the power of technology and science, and determination, we can crack all sorts of problems.”
Lord O’Neill is currently the vice-chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, chairman of Chatham House and a member of Shelter Social Housing Commission. Since leaving government in September 2016, having been Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Jim moved to the crossbenches of the House of Lords. He led an independent review into antimicrobial resistance (AMR) for David Cameron from late 2014 to September 2016, and remains focused on this challenge. Jim worked for Goldman Sachs from 1995 until April 2013, spending most of his time there as chief economist. He is also the creator of the acronym BRIC and has conducted much research about these and other emerging economies. Jim also served as a non-executive director of Manchester United before it returned to private ownership in 2005.