The Value of Everything

The value of everything

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Who really creates wealth in our world? And how do we decide the value of what they do?

Part of the lecture series between between UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) and the British Library on Rethinking Public Value and Public Purpose in 21st Century Capitalism.

At the heart of today's financial and economic crisis is a problem hiding in plain sight. In modern capitalism, value-extraction is rewarded more highly than value-creation: the productive process that drives a healthy economy and society. From companies driven solely to maximize shareholder value to astronomically high prices of medicines justified through big pharma's 'value pricing', we misidentify taking with making, and have lost sight of what value really means. Once a central plank of economic thought, this concept of value - what it is, why it matters to us - is simply no longer discussed. 

Yet, argues Mariana Mazzucato in her penetrating and passionate new book The Value of Everything, if we are to reform capitalism - radically to transform an increasingly sick system rather than continue feeding it - we urgently need to rethink where wealth comes from. Which activities create it, which extract it, which destroy it? Answers to these questions are key if we want to replace the current parasitic system with a type of capitalism that is more sustainable, more symbiotic - that works for us all. The Value of Everything reignites a long-needed debate about the kind of world we really want to live in.

This event has taken place, but you can watch a film of it below.

Mariana Mazzucato
is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London, where she founded and directs the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. She advises policy makers around the world on innovation-led growth and recently published the 'Mazzucato Missions Report' for the European Commission on how to redirect the European Commission’s innovation funding towards societal challenges and missions..

Her highly-acclaimed book The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths was on the 2013 Books of the Year list of the Financial Times. She is winner of the 2014 New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy and the 2015 Hans-Matthöfer-Preis and in 2018 won the Leontief Prize for the Advancement of Economic Thought. The New Republic has named her 'one of the three most important thinkers about innovation.' She is co-editor of Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth and her new book The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy will be published by Penguin (Allen Lane) in 2018.

She is founder and Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) whose programme of teaching, research and policy engagement is dedicated to rethinking ways in which public value can be created, nurtured and evaluated

In association with the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Name: The Value of Everything
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546

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