The Government of British Columbia is teaming up with a world-renowned professor from University College London (UCL) to advise on the future of the economy as B.C. develops a long-term economic plan that will steer the province through the post-pandemic era.

Mariana Mazzucato and her team at UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) will advise the B.C. government as it develops its plan to build a sustainable, inclusive and innovative economy. Government will seek input from B.C. business groups, labour, Indigenous Nations, post-secondary institutions, not-for-profit organizations, local governments and the public.

Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, is leading the public and stakeholder engagement on this plan. Some of these sessions will involve people representing multiple sectors so they can come together to share ideas about the future of B.C.’s economy. The economic plan will build on B.C.’s long-standing advantages and reflect people’s values to build a sustainable, inclusive and innovative future.

“The pandemic challenged B.C. in ways we never imagined. It brought out the very best in us as British Columbians, but it also shined a light on the historic gaps we see in our province,” Kahlon said. “But with better days around the corner, we are also turning our minds and our hearts to the kind of stronger B.C. that we want for ourselves and future generations. B.C. has weathered the storm better than most jurisdictions, thanks to our strong economic foundation, but there is more work to be done. Our economic plan will be our roadmap to ensuring B.C.’s long-term economic prosperity, and I am pleased to have Professor Mazzucato advising me and government on this critical work.”

Mazzucato is a professor in the economics of innovation and public value at UCL where she is founding director of the IIPP. She is the author of three highly acclaimed books: The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths (2013); The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy (2018); and the newly released Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism (2021). She advises policy makers around the world on innovation-led inclusive and sustainable growth.

Mazzucato and her team of experts at IIPP will advise the Province on aligning public-sector capabilities, financing mechanisms and citizen engagement with a new mission-oriented innovation strategy for building an inclusive and sustainable economy.

“Governments have a critical role to play in shaping markets, not just fixing market failures,” Mazzucato said. “Responding after a failure has occurred is, by definition, too late – and often carries a high financial and human cost, as we have seen with COVID-19 and the 2008 financial crisis. As the Province of B.C. advances its economic recovery agenda, it has the opportunity to shape a different kind of economy – one that is sustainable, inclusive, resilient and oriented around solving problems that matter to people and planet.”

The consultation process has begun. The economic plan is expected to be released this fall. Kahlon will lead public and stakeholder engagement over the summer. Beyond the economic plan release, a broad-based and enduring dialogue with people, businesses, not-for profits and Indigenous peoples will continue to help build a more sustainable, inclusive and innovative economy for people, businesses and communities throughout B.C.

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