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Creative Destruction

Richard Holden and Philippe Aghion

I don’t want people to be poor. I don’t want people because they come from poor families to not have the same possibilities as people born from other families. There are many people who could be innovators and they are not innovators because they come from poor families. I would like everybody to get access to the same education, but also the same aspirations so that they could all become innovators - so my policy is really to deal with social mobility. It’s very important, social mobility. You can reach social mobility with education.

Philippe Aghion

Capitalism is in crisis. Inequality is rising and climate change means we need to make drastic changes to the way we do business. The COVID-19 pandemic, too, has exposed numerous flaws in our current systems.  

But is capitalism dead, or can we re-imagine it in a way that will keep society prosperous, promote social justice and re-green our planet? 

As calls for radical change grow, French economist Philippe Aghion believes that we don’t need to throw the baby out with the bath water. He argues it’s possible to create a better capitalism by harnessing the power of creative destruction – the process by which new innovations continually emerge and render existing technologies obsolete. 

Hear him in conversation with UNSW economist Richard Holden as they discuss how the transformation of capitalism can achieve a more sustainable and inclusive prosperity, and how this might impact on politics and democracy. 

Presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas and UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture as part of Social Sciences Week 2021.

The Centre for Ideas’ international conversation series brings the world to Sydney. Each digital event brings a leading UNSW thinker together with their international peer or hero to explore inspiration, new ideas and discoveries.

Philippe Aghion

Philippe Aghion

Globally-renowned economist Philippe Aghion is a Professor at the College de France and at INSEAD, one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools. He is a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and a fellow of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research focuses on the economics of growth, and he has published widely on the effects of automation on employment, and the link between trade and the flow of ideas, knowledge, and innovation. His most recent book is The Power of Creative Destruction, with co-authors Céline Antonin and Simon Bunel. 

Richard Holden

Richard Holden

Richard Holden is a Professor of Economics at UNSW Sydney and President of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He was formerly on the faculty at MIT and the University of Chicago, and earned a PhD from Harvard University. He has published numerous papers in top economics journals and is a regular columnist at The Australian Financial Review.

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