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MSDI co-hosts world leading economist Mariana Mazzucato

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Monash Sustainable Development Institute, in partnership with the Centre for Policy Development, was delighted to host Professor Mariana Mazzucato, one of the world’s most influential and forward-thinking economists, during her visit to Australia this month.

Mariana Mazzucato is a Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), and Founder and Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose .

Professor Mazzucato’s advice is widely sought by government leaders seeking to forge growth models that are more innovative, inclusive and sustainable.

In a week-long visit to Australia, Professor Mazzucato addressed several public events and met with dozens of leaders across politics, policy, business, philanthropy and civil society. She challenged Australian leaders to identify national missions that would deliver public value, and then to reorient our institutions, resources and efforts to meet them.

Professor Mazzucato’s Melbourne public events included ‘The Value of Everything’ – hosted by MSDI, City of Melbourne and Centre for Policy Development as part of the Melbourne Conversations series at The Wheeler Centre.

Professor Mazzucato explored the role of the public sector in creating real value in the economy, tearing apart popular myths about the relative roles of the public and private sectors (‘government bad, business good’) in innovation and development.

Following her keynote, she was joined by a panel including Professor John Thwaites, Chair MSDI, Dr Sarah Pearson - Chief Scientist and Chief Innovation Officer, DFAT, and Professor Glyn Davis AC – Chair, the incoming CEO of the Ramsay Foundation. The panel discussed how risk aversion, a loss of public trust and negative portrayals of the public sector is limiting Australia’s policy prospects.

The following day, Professor Mazzucato addressed the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) on ‘Rethinking Business’. She described how business leaders in particular need to revisit old assumptions about their role to look beyond a narrow view of shareholder value.

When joined on stage by Clare O'Neil MP - Shadow Federal Minister for Financial Services, Sam Mostyn - Chair, CitiGroup and Melinda Cilento - CEO, CEDA, this inspiring panel demonstrated very clearly what more modern Australian political and business leadership might actually look like.

Professor Mazzucato is the author of two best-sellers, The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking public vs. private sector myths and The Value of Everything: Making and taking in the global economy.

For more details of her visit, check out her media engagements, including an op-ed for The Guardian, interviews with Radio National’s Saturday Extra and the Australian Financial Review, an interview with Laura Tingle on the ABC TV’s 7.30.

Monash Sustainable Development Institute is committed to lifting the standard of Australian public discourse by working with the world’s best thinkers and change-makers. This year we’ve hosted major visits from Jeff Sachs, Muhammad Yunus, Peter Singer, Beth Noveck and Mariana Mazzucato. We look forward to further enriching the public debate in 2019.