UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


IIPP Director Mariana Mazzucato in Australia: missions, public value and the entrepreneurial state

18 December 2018

Professor Mazzucato visited Sydney and Melbourne, meeting with leaders, thinkers and practitioners across the policy and innovation communities in Australia to discuss reframing public value, the role of the state and the importance of mission-driven innovation.

Mariana Mazzucato in Australia

Professor Mariana Mazzucato delivered the John Menadue Oration in Sydney on the topic “Can the state deliver?” to an audience of 700 people eager to hear about the type of work IIPP are leading—a fantastic event and a broader tour of the country was made possible thanks to the Centre for Policy Development (CPD), supported by the University of Technology Sydney and the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. 

Professor Mazzucato’s visit to Australia spoke of the possibility of a new direction and a new energy to drive some truly big and bold “missions” that tackle Australia's toughest and most urgent economic, social and environmental challenges. And, in the process, a direction from which Australia might replenish depleted stocks of public trust and engagement with citizens and communities.

Professor Mazzucato’s visit to Australia resulted in:

  • Raising awareness of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) and Professor Mazzucato's work and encouraging new thinking about reframing public value, the role of the state and the importance of mission-driven innovation in the Australian innovation and policy community
  • Engaging and influencing the thinking and attitudes of a sufficiently large and diverse group of policymakers, leaders in government, academia, industry and civil society, social and policy entrepreneurs, media and the wider public
  • Driving real impact and encouraging a willingness to take up Professor Mazzucato and IIPP’s ideas and insights, and turn them into a distinctively Australian project for mission-led innovation to tackle some of their biggest challenges

This was made possible through a number of exciting potential opportunities during the trip including:

  • An IIPP collaboration with Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), including Australian membership of IIPP’s Mission-Oriented Innovation Network (MOIN)
  • An advisory function for Professor Mazzucato and IIPP to state and national governments in Australia on public sector capability
  • Developing a proposal for an Australian version of the Commission for Mission Oriented Innovation and Industrial Strategy (MOIIS) from the UK/IIPP experience
  • A CPD-IIPP collaboration on an Australian program of “missions”, starting with green finance. If successful, there may be opportunity to collaborate on 21st century health and care systems, perhaps early childhood or disability services. These initiatives would draw on advice and research from IIPP to help design, activate, implement and measure the “mission” projects
  • Exploring opportunities to engage IIPP in consulting and advisory work with clients in the public, private and NGO sectors focused on IIPP’s research on public value, the role of business, co-creation and mission-driven innovation for inclusive growth

Professor Mazzucato's trip to Australia marks the sixth continent IIPP’s message of public value and public purpose has visited throughout 2018.