Quartz calls her “one of the world’s most influential economists... on a mission to save capitalism from itself.” WIRED declares “this economist has a plan to fix capitalism. It's time we all listened.” And Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean says she “stormed the global economic debate as a fresh, clear and rigorous voice.”
In the realm of economics and innovation, Professor Mariana Mazzucato stands out for her ground-breaking ideas and bold commentary on critical issues facing the world today. Known across the globe as an economist, academic, and thought leader, she has forced governments and businesses to think differently about the role of the state in fostering innovation and economic growth.
She’s a Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London, where she is Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (IIPP). She’s also an advisor to governments around the world, including Barbados’.
Professor Mazzucato is the author of four highly-acclaimed books: The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths (2013), The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy (2018), Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism (2021), The Big Con: How the Consulting Industry Weakens our Businesses, Infantilizes Our Governments and Warps our Economies (2023), but is perhaps best known for her concept of mission-oriented innovation.
This theory challenges the traditional economic thought that suggests that governments should facilitate innovation, not drive it. Rather, she believes that governments should embark on ambitious missions, akin to the US Government’s mid-20th century efforts to put a man on the moon, as a means of solving society’s big challenges.
Applying this thinking, she recently authored the paper “A Mission-Oriented Strategy for Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth in Barbados,” which focuses on turning the challenges of climate change, health, equity and inclusion, and digital transformation into opportunities for investment and innovation.
Professor Mazzucato’s alternate perspective on the job of Government doesn’t diminish the role of the private sector. Rather, she advocates for collaboration between the public and private sectors and labour to tackle issues ranging from climate change to healthcare. She challenges the widely held belief that innovation is the domain of the private sector by pointing out that for many of the much-touted technological advancements, private sector funds only came after the state made a high-risk investment.
The Central Bank of Barbados’ 48th Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture provides an opportunity for Barbadians to hear from this distinguished economist whose work is shaping opinions on governance, innovation, and economic development. An engaging TED speaker who has graced multiple stages, Professor Mazzucato is known for her ability to break down complex concepts, making her presentations accessible to a wide cross-section of people.
Whether you’re a student, entrepreneur, policymaker or just someone curious about innovation and how it can lead to inclusive and sustainable economic growth, Professor Mazzucato will leave you thinking differently.
Join us on Monday, November 27, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. in the Frank Collymore Hall to hear Professor Mazzucato speak. RSVP here to reserve your seat.