1. The Climate-KIC team
  2. Paul Dickinson SPARK! lecture
  3. Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Paul Dickinson says that sustainability is something that governments don't do. But Mariana Mazzucato says government is a key player in driving innovation. See what she says by viewing our Perspectives on Innovation module.
How can governments help promote sustainability through innovation?
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Great question! Mazzucato is a big proponent of the 'entrepreneurial state', the idea that governments have a key role to play as a true venture capitalist, as they are the only party willing to make the type of risky investments with payback periods > 20 years.

However, more than anything else, Mazzucato is arguing that we should stop thinking that there is a strong divide between the market and the government, the private and the public. This divide is simplistic and false.

I think that Paul Dickenson would agree with this, as he is constantly emphasizing the fact that we own the companies, and consume the products. I am positive that they will agree with each other on this.

So yes, I agree that governments alone cannot deal with sustainability. However, Mazzucato showed (with lots of evidence) that they have a major role to play in innovation. Saying that governments don't do sustainability is therefore simply not true. But best of all would be to stop thinking in these big divides between companies, government and citizens and have a deeper sense of collective responsibility.
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