Waqas is founder of the DaVinci Network. He is considered a world authority on multi-disciplinary thinking, and 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.
“Fast emerging as a young
Leonardo Da Vinci”
Nasser D. Khalili
Waqas is Artistic Director at The Khalili Collections – one of the most comprehensive and diverse private art collections in the world. He has driven project with the likes of Google and Europeana to democratize art through digital curation, visual optimization and cutting-edge technologies.
Waqas is also one of the leading researchers on Western bias against non-Western art. He was awarded a grant by Wikimedia UK to investigate the nature and scale of this bias on Wikipedia, and recommend steps to readdress it.
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. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and on the Steering Panel of Art UK.
© The Khalili Collections
Waqas completed his postgraduate studies in Neuroscience at King's College London, where he investigated multidisciplinary approaches to the treatment of chronic pain. His research was published by the peer-reviewed journal The Indian Practitioner and selected by the IASP to be presented at the 2021 World Pain Congress.
Another strand of his research focuses on cognitive flexibility, and he is currently researching the neural underpinnings of cognitive flexibility with Professor Rand Spiro, the originator of Cognitive Flexibility Theory (CFT). .
Born and raised in Britain, Waqas 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.
Waqas 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.
As a qualified fitness professional, Waqas 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.
As a professional speaker with Kruger Cowne, Waqas 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 (RSA)