On a mission: SSE sponsor Mariana Mazzucato Australian tour

2 min read

On a mission: SSE sponsor Mariana Mazzucato Australian tour

On a mission: SSE sponsor Mariana Mazzucato Australian tour

Renowned economist, author, and public policy commentator Professor Mariana Mazzucato will arrive in Australia next month for her Mission-Led Australia Tour. The tour—a series of public lectures and high-profile keynote addresses in Sydney and Melbourne between 11-14 March 2024—is boldly framed around ‘[c]harting a new course for a more sustainable, resilient nation’ and is being supported by a number of government agencies, universities, and industry organisations already doing valuable work in this space, including the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE). 

Mazzucato, who is professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL) and founding director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP), is widely acknowledged for her groundbreaking research exploring ‘the nexus of innovation, government policy, and financial markets’ and for her work globally in advocating for innovation research and investment between governments and the private sector, for the benefit of humanity.

One for all

One of Mazzucato’s core ideas, explains the Australian Financial Review’s European correspondent Hans van Leeuwen, is that “the role of the state is not to correct market failure [but, rather to] work with the private sector to develop or shape markets, so that the economy rewards all players for their contribution.

“At the moment…markets too often permit the private sector to cream off rewards while leaving the public sector, the taxpayer, to carry much of the risk. The owners of capital harvest economic value that is at least partly created by workers’ effort and taxpayers’ money.”

Collaborate to innovate 

To solve the massive crises facing us, says van Leeuwen, as a humanity, innovation, collaboration, and ‘mission-oriented thinking’ is key. Public private partnerships should be symbiotic, working in concert with each other to share both the risks and rewards of innovation. 

Conventional modern wisdom tends to dictate that governments exist to crisis-manage massive disasters when they occur – think COVID, or any global financial crisis – and correct market imbalances, only when they arise, leaving ‘innovation’ to private enterprise. 

Instead, Professor Mazzucato champions the idea of governments leading the way by actively partnering with private enterprise to set goals and define collective missions, investing in innovation and actually governing the process from which, ultimately, the public benefits. 

Australia’s potential as a global leader in innovation

Our current Labor government’s alignment with many of Professor Mazzucato’s views is no secret. Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ essay, ‘Capitalism After the Crises’ (published in The Monthly in February 2023) suggested that a ‘wellbeing budget’ – one that broadens what gets measured beyond the traditional metrics of GDP growth – is long overdue. 

SSE welcomes, too, Chalmers’ emphasis on “place-based initiatives” in low-income areas, for example, to give communities “the genuine input, local leadership, resources and authority [needed] to define a new and better future, especially for kids .” 

Young people, along with First Nations people, culturally and racially marginalised (CaRM) communities, and women everywhere, form the backbone of SSE’s Strategy 2023-2026, in which we commit to our mission of building a nationwide culture of entrepreneurialism and shared prosperity. 

Young people are Australia’s future. Literally! So, being able to engage in-place with kids from regional, rural, and disadvantaged areas and backgrounds, enables us to help more young Australians carve out new pathways of self-determination than ever before.

Mission-led, a new way forward

As a community and a society, we need to explore and develop new ways to attribute value. And so, “[a]s Australia reaches a pivotal moment in developing its national capabilities and emerging technologies across sectors,” (InnovationAus), Mazzucato’s impending visit is “the perfect opportunity to convene Australian tech and government executives, industry experts, private sector influencers and investors to explore the nation’s leading challenges in the pursuit of a greener, mission-led agenda.”

As a purpose-oriented organisation, SSE is a proud supporting partner of Mazzucato’s Australian tour  , and we are passionate about shifting the dial for and alongside some of this country’s most challenged communities, empowering them with the skills needed to overcome systemic barriers to employment and education.