UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


IIPP Partners with Camden Council to Launch a New Commission for Economic Renewal

23 September 2020

A top team of community, business and academic leaders co-chaired by Professor Mariana Mazzucato have come together to catalyse Camden’s renewal and spur its recovery from COVID-19.

Camden Locks bridge

Camden Council and the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) today launched The Renewal Commission, which will help spark ambitious policy and practical solutions to level up long-standing inequalities in Camden that were exposed by the Coronavirus. This work is particularly significant to IIPP as UCL is based in the London Borough of Camden.

The Renewal Commission, co-chaired by Council Leader Councillor Georgia Gould and IIPP Director Mariana Mazzucato, will develop and test policy for Camden Council, its partners and the community to address our grand challenge of reducing inequality and supporting a just transition to a low carbon economy. This will build on the ground-breaking work of Professor Mazzucato and IIPP on ‘mission-oriented’ policies.

The Renewal Commission will encourage Camden to build an inclusive, green economy and society. It will build upon and speed up existing work such as testing policy on Universal Basic Services on digital and transport, the Camden Climate Action Plan, the Good Work Camden programme and a High Streets Taskforce.

IIPP Director Mariana Mazzucato said, “We are launching the Renewal Commission at a critical moment. Around the world we are facing a triple-crisis: the immediate health and economic crisis of Covid-19, the fact we never fully recovered from the 2008 recession, and a race to stop climate change. We need to transform this into an opportunity for investment and participation. The Renewal Commission is seeking to capture this opportunity by addressing this triple-crisis in Camden, and influence cities around the world, with bold policies to develop a more inclusive and sustainable society and economy.

“At the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose that I founded and direct, we study how public value—value for citizens-- is created and evaluated. We do so in a way that builds strong links between new economic thinking and policy practice. Our ground-breaking framework of orienting policies around a bold and ambitious ‘mission’ has been adopted by the European Commission and the UK government in their Industrial Strategy. I’m so excited we can together experiment and put this into practice in Camden with a fantastic commission with broad experience across innovation, finance, sustainability, music, culture, and campaigning.”

Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council, said, “The story of the crisis in Camden shows the real cost of an unequal society and economy but also the power of places and communities, and their ability to lead change and recovery. Now is the time for locally driven, purposeful economic renewal. Camden Council has been on a journey to unleash the power of our communities and ensure all who live here have a stake in the wealth and opportunity on their doorstep. This is the moment to renew our democracy and economy.

"By bringing new and ambitious policy together with the expertise and energy we have in Camden, we can rebuild our local economy and society from the bottom up, so that everyone has a real stake in it and so that it functions to support all our residents and the health of our planet. I am really excited to work with our Commissioners, who represent the creativity, thoughtfulness, passion and rebelliousness of our Borough, and excited to be working with Professor Mariana Mazzucato and University College London”.

This will build on the ground-breaking work of Professor Mazzucato and IIPP on ‘mission-oriented’ policies, ​particularly on missions undertaken at city level, including our work in Greater Manchester with a carbon neutrality living mission, and our work with C40 Cities and UN HABITAT. It will also build on the Commission-led approach taken to advise the UK's challenge-led Industrial Strategy, through the year-long Commission on Mission Oriented Innovation and Industrial Strategy.

Meet the renewal commission members

The Renewal Commission brings together a diverse membership from across Camden, UCL, the worlds of business and the third sector. The commission will be jointly supported by Camden Council and IIPP. The Renewal Commission membership is:

  • Georgia Gould - Leader and Deputy Leader at Camden London Borough Council and London Councils
  • Mariana Mazzucato - Professor in the Economics of Innovation & Public Value at University College London (UCL) and Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (IIPP)
  • Sir Michael Marmot - Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL
  • Delia Barker - Programmes Director at the Roundhouse
  • Athian Akec - Member for Camden, UK Youth Parliament
  • Ann Phoenix -  Professor of Psychosocial Studies at the Institute of Education at UCL
  • Farhana Yamin - Lawyer, public speaker and climate activist
  • Simon Pitkeathly - Chief Executive of Camden Town Unlimited
  • George Mpanga (George the Poet) - Spoken word performer, recording artist, social commentator
  • Pooja Agrawal - Co-founder of Public Practice
  • Sadia Farah – First Step Action
  • Kate Bell - Head of Rights, International, Social and Economics department at TUC
  • Marcel Levi - Chief Executive of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Alexis Keir - Director of Elfrida Rathbone Camden
  • Saul Klein - Co-founder and Partner of LocalGlobe

Visit the Camden Renewal Commission website