On Friday 14 December, Professor Mariana Mazzucato met with a group of 50 social entrepreneurs, innovators and public servants connected to the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA). A lively and wide-ranging conversation covered the role of government and the public sector, as well as entrepreneurs and social innovators.
The power of artificial intelligence and “big data” was also explored in some questions that tested their impact on government policy-making and the development of innovation policy especially. Other themes from Professor Mazzucato’s work, including the importance of public investment in many of the core technologies and platforms of the technology revolution, the difference between value creation and value extraction and the importance of co-creating responses to the big challenges implicit in the SDGs were the focus of more questions and debate.
Mariana Mazzucato reinforced the need for civil society and social innovators to be a “thorn in the side” of the larger systems of policy and public investment to make sure they took a large, positive and innovative frame of reference to the search for solutions to big societal challenges that invest in public value.