Innovation and Inclusive Growth: COVID-19 as a window of opportunity

Hosted by the Institute of Global Affairs, the School of Public Policy, and the Centre for Economic Policy Res

Online public event


Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown

Professor Riccardo Crescenzi

Professor Riccardo Crescenzi

Professor Mariana Mazzucato

Professor Mariana Mazzucato

Lord Sainsbury

Lord Sainsbury

Tharman Shanmugaratnam

Tharman Shanmugaratnam


Professor Erik Berglof

Professor Erik Berglof

David Sainsbury’s book Windows of Opportunity: How Nations Create Wealth came out just before COVID-19 forced the global economy into lockdown. This high-level panel looks at the pandemic as an opportunity to promote inclusive growth and innovation in a more sustainable way. In particular, it will examine the role of the emerging and developing world in creating new sources of growth and the role leadership plays in achieving structural transformation.

Meet our speakers and chair

Gordon Brown (@OfficeGSBrown) is the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He is Chair of the Global Strategic Infrastructure Initiative of the World Economic Forum and also serves as Distinguished Global Leader in Residence of New York University. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2010.

Riccardo Crescenzi (@crescenzi_r) is Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also an Associate at the Centre for International Development (CID) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and is affiliated with the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) and the Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC) at the LSE. He has been  a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Taubman Centre, Harvard University. Until September 2014 he was Programme Director of the MSc in Local Economic Development.

Mariana Mazzucato (@MazzucatoM) is Professor in the Economics of Innovation & Public Value at University College London (UCL), she is the Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose. She is winner of international prizes including the 2020 John Von Neumann Award, the 2019 All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values, and 2018 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. Her book The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths (2013) investigates the role of public organizations in playing the ‘investor of first resort’ role in the history of technological change. Her book The Value of Everything: making and taking in the global economy (2018) brings value theory back to the center of economics in order to reward value creation over value extraction.

David Sainsbury was Finance Director of J. Sainsbury plc from 1973 – 1990 and Chairman from 1992 – 1998. He became Lord Sainsbury of Turville in October, 1997 and was appointed Minister of Science and Innovation from July 1998 until November 2006. He is the founder of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and founded and chairs the Institute for Government. He was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge in October 2011. David's new book is Windows of Opportunity: How Nations Create Wealth.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam (@Tharman_S) is Senior Minister in Singapore, after serving as Deputy Prime Minister for eight years. He is also Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, and advises the Prime Minister on economic policies. In addition, he chairs the National Jobs Council, aimed at rebuilding skills and jobs in the wake of COVID-19. Tharman is, concurrently, Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He served for several years earlier as Minister of Finance, and as Minister for Education. Internationally, Tharman chairs the Group of Thirty, a global council of economic and financial leaders from the public and private sectors and academia. He also co-chairs the Global Education Forum, and the Advisory Board for the UN’s Human Development Report. He did his university education at the LSE, University of Cambridge and Harvard University.

You can order the book, Windows of Opportunity: How Nations Create Wealth, (UK delivery only) from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney

Erik Berglof (@ErikBerglof) is Professor in Practice in the Department of Economics at LSE. 

More about this event

The LSE School of Public Policy (@LSEPublicPolicy) is an international community where ideas and practice meet. Our approach creates professionals with the ability to analyse, understand and resolve the challenges of contemporary governance.

The Institute of Global Affairs (@LSEIGA) aims to maximise the impact of LSE's leading expertise across the social sciences by shaping inclusive and locally-rooted responses to the most important and pressing global challenges.

The Centre for Economic Policy Research is a network of over 1500 Research Fellows and Affiliates, based primarily in European universities. The Centre coordinates the research activities of its Fellows and Affiliates and communicates the results to the public and private sectors. CEPR is an entrepreneur, developing research initiatives with the producers, consumers and sponsors of research. Established in 1983, CEPR is a European economics research organisation with uniquely wide-ranging scope and activities. The Centre is pluralist and non-partisan, bringing economic research to bear on the analysis of medium- and long-run policy questions.

This event forms part of LSE’s Shaping the Post-COVID World initiative, a series of debates about the direction the world could and should be taking after the crisis.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSECOVID19

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Innnovation and Inclusive Growth: COVID-19 as a window of opportunity.

A video of this event is available to watch at Innnovation and Inclusive Growth: COVID-19 as a window of opportunity.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

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