UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Pope Francis cites work of IIPP Director Mariana Mazzucato in latest book

30 November 2020

In his newly released book, Pope Francis looks to the work of female economists as the path forward towards a more equitable economy.


Pope Francis, in his closing speech at The Economy of Francesco, spoke of the importance of changing dominant economic mindsets for new visions and models:

'We are not condemned to economic models whose immediate interests are limited to profit . . . and are unconcerned with human, social and environmental costs. Development cannot be restricted to simply economic growth - to be authentic it must be well round and integral.'

Pope Francis launched his latest book, Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future, at the end of international event, The Economy of Francesco, held on 19-21 November in Assisi and online. The book explains why we must and how we can make the world safer, fairer, and healthier for all people now. He explores how the Coronavirus pandemic can teach us how to handle crisis and upheaval in our lives, critiques current systems and ideologies which led to the current crisis and finally, offers an actionable blueprint for building a better world for all.

In the final section of Let Us Dream, when writing about political and economic decision-making, he states that the perspective women bring is what the world needs, naming IIPP Director Mariana Mazzucato, and friend of IIPP Kate Raworth as two examples, as well as highlighting the success of female leaders around the world have had in tackling COVID-19.

Pope Francis writes:

'I see ideas formed from their experience in the periphery, reflecting a concern about the grotesque inequality of billions facing extreme deprivation while the richest one percent own half of the world’s financial wealth… I see thinking that is not ideological, which moves beyond the polarization of free market capitalism and state socialism, and which has at its heart a concern that all of humanity have access to land, lodging, and labor.'

The Pope also states that Mazzucato’s The Value of Everything “provoked a lot of reflection” within him as the book issues a direct challenge to the wealth creators of our world, urging them to reprioritise 'value' over 'price'. In other words, 'taking' wealth is not the same as 'making' wealth, and the world has lost sight of what value really means.

The impact of Professor Mazzucato’s work on the Pope’s thinking on the most effective ways to construct a more equitable economy post-COVID was demonstrated earlier this year when the Pope invited her to sit on the Vatican COVID-19 Commission’s Economy Taskforce. She formed a group within IIPP, led by PhD student Asker Voldsgaard, tasked with preparing briefings for the Pope and the Vatican Directorate on key aspects of the economic response to COVID-19 ahead of the Pope’s weekly speeches. The Vatican and IIPP are currently working to their broaden relationship beyond the Taskforce to include work in the areas of public health, executive education and the Common Good.

Read IIPP’s COVID-19 briefing papers