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The State and Innovation: Socialising Both Risks and Rewards, by Mariana Mazzucato


27th April 2017






CCCB Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. Carrer Montalegre, 5 - 08001 Barcelona


Building on her book The Entrepreneurial State: debunking private vs. public sector myths, Mariana Mazzucato’s talk will focus on the public sector investments that led to the Silicon Valley growth model. She will argue that the limited narrative of the state’s role in innovation—in the media, in policy and in economic theory— as only ‘fixing markets’ rather than co-creating and shaping them, has justified risks to be socialised while profits are privatised. It is this, not the “robots", that are leading to the problematic relationship between innovation and inequality. The talk will end by considering the concrete implications of a more collective understanding of wealth creation, and new ways to rethink public private contracts that lead to more inclusive growth.


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Professor Mariana Mazzucato (PhD) holds the Chair in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, University College London (UCL) where she is establishing a new Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (launching Autumn 2017). Mazzucato’s highly-acclaimed book The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths (Anthem 2013; Public Affairs, 2015) was on the 2013 Books of the Year list of the Financial Times. She is winner of the 2014 New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy and the 2015 Hans-Matthöfer-Preis and in 2013 she was named as one of the ‘3 most important thinkers about innovation‘ in the New Republic.

She has advised policy makers around the world on innovation-led growth and is currently a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisors; the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Economics of Innovation and SITRA’s (Finnish Innovation Fund) Advisory Panel.  Her current research projects include two funded by the EC Horizon 2020 programme:  Innovation-fuelled, Sustainable, Inclusive Growth (ISIGrowth) and Distributed Global Financial Systems for Society (Dolfins) and a new project on Rethinking Medical Innovation by the Open Society Foundations. Her recent research includes projects funded by the Ford Foundation and the Institute for New Economic Thinking, and work commissioned by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Brazilian Ministry for Science and Technology.

She is co-editor of a new book Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth (Wiley Blackwell, July 2016), and is currently writing The Value of Everything, which will be published by Penguin’s Allen Lane in 2017.

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