Professor Mariana Mazzucato (PhD) holds the RM Phillips chair in the Economics of Innovation at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) in the University of Sussex. Her recent book The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths (Anthem, 2013) was on the 2013 Books of the Year list of the Financial Times. It focuses on the need to develop new frameworks to understand the role of the state in economic growth—and how to enable rewards from innovation to be just as ‘social’ as the risks taken. She is winner of the New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy and in 2013 the New Republic called her one of the '3 most important thinkers about innovation'. She advises policy makers around the world on innovation-led growth and is a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisors; a member of the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Economics of Innovation; and a permanent member of the European Commission’s expert group on Innovation for Growth (RISE).
Professor Mazzucato's talk will look at why the discussion of policy as ‘intervention’ in the ‘market' is a myth. Markets are outcomes of different of interactions between heterogeneous agents (including different types of public and different types of private organizations). She will emphasise why this requires much more attention on the types of interactions, and the types of organizations. In particular, she will argue why the role of public policy must change from being about ‘fixing’ market failures, to one of actively shaping and creating markets. And the danger of not understanding this active role, given the societal challenges we have in front of us: battling climate change, inequality, and financial market reform.