UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


IIPP launches a new global engagement series: Public purpose in the time of COVID-19

27 May 2020

The Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) is hosting a series of events from May-July 2020 to discuss public purpose in the time of COVID-19 alongside an exciting lineup of leading experts.

covid event

The UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) announced the launch of an exciting new series of virtual events earlier this month titled, Public purpose in the time of COVID-19The weekly series will engage leading global thinkers in conversation on today’s most pressing challenges, from the macroeconomic policy response to the effectiveness of different public governance solutions and civic engagement experimentation.

Throughout the series, IIPP will seek to answer questions like: What ​is ‘public purpose’ in the time of a global pandemic? What is the role of the State in shaping a social and economic recovery with a new directionality?

This series will also explore how to give public purpose to powerful digital technologies and rebuild more resilient economic systems and institutions, as well as what is needed across emerging economies to avoid spiralling into more debt and inequality.

Whatever it takes: the macroeconomic response to COVID-19

Whatever it takes: The macroeconomic response to COVID-19
The first event, on Monday 18 May, titled “Whatever it takes: the macroeconomic response to COVID-19” was an engaging discussion with leading economists Professor Stephanie Kelton (Stony Brook University, New York) Professor Jan Kregel (Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, New York) and IIPP’s Head of Finance and Macroeconomics Dr Josh Ryan-Collins

The webinar, which was watched live by over 300 participants, discussed the response of central banks and ministries of finance to the COVID-19 pandemic, and what kinds of macroeconomic response are appropriate when supply and demand must be restrained at least in the short to medium-term.This webinar had a particular focus on the U.S. and European economies.

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One crisis leads to another: Challenges and responses across emerging economies in the time of COVID-19

One crisis leads to another
The second event, "One crisis leads to another: Challenges and responses across emerging economies in the time of COVID-19" took place on Tuesday 26 May and featured more of a global focus. Chaired by IIPP Head of Reseach Professor Antonio Andreoni, the event discussed challenges and responses across emerging economies with leading experts Alicia Bárcena Ibarra (ECLAC), economist and IIPP Advisory Board member Professor Jayati Ghosh and Dr Richard Kozul-Wright (UNCTAD).

The discussion focused on how COVID-19 is posing unprecedented challenges to emerging economies which are trying to deal with the health implications of the pandemic as well as trying to avoid the fast escalation of related social and economic crises, including access to food essentials, trade disruption, limited fiscal capacity and debt sustainability. But have any governments’ responses been effective so far? Are there specific government models and responses to learn from? What role are multilateral initiatives and international organisations playing? What are the medium to long-term risks for emerging countries? The webinar explored these issues with a focus on emerging countries and the evolving policy responses at both national and international level.

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Find out more about upcoming events

IIPP will be publishing recordings of all of the events in the series on our YouTube channel, so please subscribe for updates. 

Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #IIPPCOVID19 for more details on how to register for upcoming events.