SFU hosts renowned economist Mariana Mazzucato at speaking event
Nov 17, 2021
On October 20, 2021, SFU’s Stephanie Bertels, VanDusen Professor of Sustainability and Director of the Centre for Corporate Governance and Sustainability at the Beedie School of Business, moderated a virtual conversation with Mariana Mazzucato on what is needed to create a new economy that puts people and the planet first. Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value and Founding Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London, advises policymakers worldwide on innovation-based inclusive and sustainable growth. Recently, B.C. joined Mazzucato’s mission when the Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation enlisted her as an advisor to inform B.C.’s post-pandemic economic recovery plans.
Mazzucato didn’t dwell long on the problem, preferring instead to dive into the solutions. Nonetheless, she laid the foundation for the discussion by illustrating key shortcomings of the current economic system. She highlighted three facts:
- 56 per cent of G20 countries’ pandemic recovery funds were given to fossil energy projects;
- 80 per cent of the financial sector goes to financing itself and not the real economy; and
- shareholder profits are at a record high while inequality and polarization soar.
The current shareholder primacy model leaves governments responding with market fixes and band-aid solutions while society lurches from crisis to crisis.
Instead, Mazzucato advocates for a purpose-led economic transition that builds resilience by investing in communities and putting stakeholders at the centre of decision-making. Because the economy is an outcome of society’s decisions, she calls for better societal decisions that set the economy in the direction of resilience, sustainability, and equity. Doing so requires us to adopt “missions” to address the grand challenges of our time. This is the mission economy.
Read more about the event at the SFU Public Square website.
Watch a recording of the full conversation here: