Political Economy
Political Economy
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Episode 185
Featuring Mariana Mazzucato
Demetri Kofinas speaks with Mariana Mazzucato about the subject of her latest book “Mission Economy,” in which she argues for a more innovative, collaborative, and mission-oriented approach to thinking about government's role in the economy in order to solve the most ‘wicked’ social problems of our time.

In Episode 185 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Mariana Mazzucato, a Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), where she is Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (IIPP). She is the winner of numerous, prestigious international prizes including the 2020 John von Neumann Award, Chairs the World Health Organization's Council on “the Economics of Health for All,” and is also the author of three highly-acclaimed books, the latest of which is “Mission Economy: a Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism.” 

In it, Mariana argues that if we want to meet the principal challenges facing us in the 21st century, we need to rethink the capacities and role of government and above all recover a sense of public purpose. We need to be innovative, collaborative, and mission-oriented in our thinking, while also taking a stakeholder view of public-private partnerships, which means that when we take risks together that we also share in the rewards that derive from those risks.  

The purpose of today’s conversation is to help you think bigger about how we as a community of citizens and nations can mobilize our resources in a way that is bold, inspirational, and oriented towards solving the most ‘wicked’ social problems of our time. This means changing government tools and culture, creating new markers of corporate governance, and ensuring that corporations, society, and the government can coalesce around a common set of goals, ambitions, and objectives.  

In the subscriber overtime, Mariana and Demetri discuss how the politics of divisiveness impact our ability to work towards shared outcomes, why Western society seems to have become more individualistic, and what we can do to shift our cultural awareness towards a more collaborative mind-set when it comes to value creation in both the public and private sectors.

You can access the episode overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this week’s episode through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application.

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Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas

Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

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Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas

Episode Recorded on 03/22/2021

Mariana Mazzucato (PhD) is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), where she is Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (IIPP). She received her BA from Tufts University and her MA and PhD from the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research. Her previous posts include the RM Phillips Professorial Chair at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at Sussex University. She is a selected fellow of the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) and of the Italian National Science Academy (Lincei).

She is winner of international prizes including the 2020 John von Neumann Award, the 2019 All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values, and the 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. She was named as one of the '3 most important thinkers about innovation' by The New Republic, one of the 50 most creative people in business in 2020 by Fast Company, and one of the 25 leaders shaping the future of capitalism by WIRED.

She is the author of three highly-acclaimed books: The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths (2013) which investigates the critical role the state plays in driving growth; The Value of Everything: making and taking in the global economy (2018) which looks at how value creation needs to be rewarded over value extraction; and the newly released Mission Economy: a moonshot guide to changing capitalism (2021).

She advises policymakers around the world on innovation-led inclusive and sustainable growth. Her current roles include being Chair of the World Health Organization's Council on the Economics of Health for All and a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisors, the South African President’s Economic Advisory Council, the OECD Secretary General’s Advisory Group on a New Growth Narrative, the UN High-Level Advisory Board for Economic and Social Affairs, Argentina’s Economic and Social Council, Vinnova’s Advisory Panel in Sweden, and Norway’s Research Council. Previously, through her role as Special Advisor for the EC Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation (2017-2019), she authored the high-impact report on Mission-Oriented Research & Innovation in the European Union, turning “missions” into a crucial new instrument in the European Commission’s Horizon innovation programme.

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