UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Efficiency towards what? Going beyond business as usual towards an inclusive and sustainable economy

21 October 2020, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Roger Martin

American democratic capitalism has led to unprecedented economic disparity. The obsessive pursuit of economic efficiency is driving inequality and making our economy more fragile.

This event is free.

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American democratic capitalism has led to unprecedented economic disparity. The obsessive pursuit of economic efficiency is driving inequality and making our economy more fragile.

While the rich are getting richer faster than ever, the middle-class family has fallen so far behind it would take three generations to recover – perhaps even longer in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The profit share is at a record level, the labour share at a record low. What can be done?

You are invited to debate this question with the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) in a discussion with us and Professor Roger L. Martin (Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and on IIPP’s Advisory Board). Roger will present his new book ‘WHEN MORE IS NOT BETTER: Overcoming America’s Obsession with Economic Efficiency.  The book reveals the dark side of efficiency, arguing we must stop viewing our economy as a perfectible machine focussed only on the bottom line, and instead understand it as a natural system that is out of balance. And how to change it.

This talk will be chaired by IIPP Director Professor Mariana Mazzucato in conversation with Roger Martin, Dr Keston Perry, (University of the West of England, Bristol) and John Elkington (Volans)

Follow the conversation at #IIPPInclusiveEconomy


  • Roger L. Martin (Professor Emeritus, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto; IIPP Advisory Board)
  • Dr. Keston Perry (Lecturer in Economics, University of the West of England, Bristol)
  • John Elkington (Co-founder and Chief Pollinator, Volans)
  • Chair: Mariana Mazzucato (Founder and Director, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose)

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About the Speakers

Roger L. Martin

Roger Martin
Roger L. Martin is Professor Emeritus at the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto, where he served as Dean from 1998 to 2013, and as Institute Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute from 2013 to 2019. In 2013, he was named Global Dean of the Year and in 2017, he was named the world's #1 management thinker by Thinkers50. He has published 11 previous books including, most recently, When More Is Not BetterCreating Great Choices with Jennifer Riel; Getting Beyond Better with Sally Osberg; and Playing to Win with A.G. Lafley, which won the award for Best Book of 2012–13 by Thinkers50. He has written 28 Harvard Business Review articles. Martin is a trusted strategy advisor to the CEOs of many global companies and originally hails from Ontario, Canada. Twitter:  @RogerLMartin More about Roger L. Martin

Keston Perry

K Perry
Dr Keston Perry is lecturer in Economics at the University of the West of England, Bristol. His work examines industrial policy, climate finance and global development issues with particular reference to resource wealthy countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. His recent work was published in the Cambridge Journal of Economics, Energy Research and Social Science, and the International Journal of Political Economy. He recently completed a report on climate reparations with the UN Association of the United Kingdom and is currently writing a book which focusses on the role of global finance in limiting the developmental potential of national institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean with Routledge. Previously, he was a postdoctoral scholar at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University and served as an external advisor for the United Nations Development Program. Twitter: @kestontnt More about Keston Perry

John Elkington

John Elkington is Co-founder & Chief Pollinator at Volans (2008- ), Co-founder and former Chairman of SustainAbility (1987-2008), Co-founder of CounterCurrent (1983- ), and Co-founder and former Managing Director of Environmental Data Services (1978-1983). Way back in 2004, BusinessWeek described him as “a dean of the corporate responsibility movement for three decades.” He has addressed over 1,000 conferences. He was a Faculty member of the World Economic Forum from 2002-2008. He has served on over 70 boards and advisory boards. His 20th book was published in April: Green Swans: The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism (Fast Company Press). Twitter: @volansjohn. More about John Elkington

Mariana Mazzucato

Founding Director at UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Mariana Mazzucato
Mariana Mazzucato is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value and the Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (IIPP). She is winner of international prizes including the 2020 John Von Neumann Award, the 2019 All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values and the 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. She was named as one of the '3 most important thinkers about innovation' by the New Republic and one of the 25 leaders shaping the future of capitalism by Wired, her highly-acclaimed book 'The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths' investigates the critical role the state plays in driving growth—and her book 'The Value of Everything: making and taking in the global economy' looks at how value creation needs to be rewarded over value extraction. She is a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisors; the South African President’s Economic Advisory Council; the OECD Secretary General’s Advisory Group on New Growth Narrative; the UN’s Committee for Development Policy (CDP) and recently the Special Advisor for the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation in the European Commission, authored the 'Mission-Oriented Research & Innovation in the European Unionturning “missions” into a crucial new instrument in the European Commission’s Horizon innovation programme. Twitter: @MazzucatoM. More about Mariana Mazzucato