UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Mariana Mazzucato meets President Gustavo Petro during trip to Colombia

21 October 2022

UCL IIPP Director Mariana Mazzucato has met with Colombian President Gustavo Petro, Finance Minister José Antonio Ocampo and the Colombian Cabinet to discuss a new approach to value creation and production and present a soon-to-be launched UN-backed report.

Left to right - José Antonio Ocampo, Mariana Mazzucato and Gustavo Petro, Mariana and Petro holding each other's books

President Petro welcomed Professor Mazzucato to the Presidency of the Republic on Thursday 20th October 2022 to discuss the need for different approach to capitalism, one focused less on redistribution and more on predistribution. In an intimate meeting with Petro’s economic advisers, the president praised Professor Mazzucato’s emphasis on a radical new approach to creating and distributing value in the economy. 

Before the private meeting, President Petro chaired an official dialogue with more than 15 private sector representatives, during which Professor Mazzucato used the platform to underscore the need for a new social contract between the state, capital, and labour. The UCL economist made the crucial point that the public and private sectors could find more symbiotic ways of working together, especially by leveraging public policy tools such as making access to public investment conditional on private sector behaviour change that puts public value at its core. 

In the morning, Professor Mazzucato was invited by Colombia’s Finance Minister and world famous Columbia University economist, José Antonio Ocampo to present her new report to a group of Colombian ministers, including Cecilia Lopez Montaño, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Irene Velez Torres, Minister of Mines and Energy, Susana Muhamad, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Arturo Luis Luna Tapia, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Guillermo Francisco Reyes, Minister of Transportation, and Senator Clara Obregon, former employment minister.

Columbia engagement

Professor Mazzucato presented her new report, Transformational Change in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Mission-Oriented Approach, commissioned by the UN’s Economic Committee on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), which argues for a new mission-oriented approach to industrial strategy in the region. 

These ideas are particularly relevant for Colombia as the country faces three critical transitions: the energy transition (strengthening renewable energy sources, such as green hydrogen), the export transition diversifying the country’s exports away from oil), and the fiscal transition (diversifying the country’s tax collection). Leveraging a new approach to industrial strategy that respects and bolsters these transitions will be a key challenge and opportunity for the country, with an ultimate view to wean itself off oil exploration. 

Columbia engagement

On her final day in the country, Professor Mazzucato will meet with Maria Mercedes Jaramillo, the Director of Planning at the Bogota City Council before travelling to Buenos Aires in Argentina on 22nd October 2022, where she will attend an official dinner hosted by President Alberto Fernandez and launch her new report at the ECLAC Annual Sessions

For more information

Read the English version of Transformational Change in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Mission-Oriented Approach here.

Read the Spanish version, Cambio transformacional en América Latina y el Caribe: un enfoque de política orientada por misiones, here.