The Economics of Innovation – placing entrepreneurial novelty at the heart of Aotearoa New Zealand’s economic transformation

3-4 August 2023, Harbourside, 4 Taranaki St, Wellington

Download the conference programme and recordings here

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini. Success is not the work of an individual, but the work of many.

“For innovative capacity to flourish, we need to move away from innovation as a sporadic activity, fuelled predominantly by crises, to systemically embedding innovation at the heart of policymaking and public administration.” – OECD

This year’s GEN conference takes a deeper look into how innovation in economics can help us address the increasingly complex and fast-paced challenges that are already upon us or are expected to intensify. These include such wicked problems as climate change, housing and infrastructure, inequality, and global health challenges. The solutions to these issues lie within government, business, and the not-for-profit sector.

We build on the idea that economic growth is driven largely by innovative capacity, such as improvements in knowledge and technology, collaboration, and innovative environments such as clusters and cities.

The OECD is calling for public sector organisations to increase their innovative capacity so they can lead with more innovative policies to address our most pressing problems, and opportunities.

One example of where innovative responses are increasingly required is in improving environmental performance as polluters face increasingly stringent market pricing, environmental taxes, and regulations. Tipping points for zero emission technologies are also emerging to accelerate our economic transformation to a low carbon economy. Well-designed policies such as market-shaping investments and regulations can de-risk and bring forward these tipping points and limit global warming sooner.

We welcome your support as we hear from world class international and local speakers about the policies and economics needed to transfer New Zealand into a leading innovative economy.

We have a wonderful line up of international and national experts, with our first day looking at innovation more widely and the second day examining the energy transition in particular.

Speakers include:
Rowan ConwayPolicy Fellow and Visiting Professor of Strategic Design at UCL. Between 2019-2022 she worked with Professor Mariana Mazzucato to lead the Mission Oriented Innovation Network at UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, convening global policy-making institutions such as the Scottish Government, the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova, the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment, the OECD, UNDP and the BBC in a range of exploratory design projects focused on mission-oriented innovation and public value creation.

Erica Thompson, author of Escape from Model Land, Associate Professor of Modelling for Decision Making at UCL’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy, Fellow of the London Mathematical Laboratory, where she leads the research programme on Inference from Models, and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the LSE Data Science Institute. Erica will speak online.

Sacha McMeeking, Head of School, School of Māori and Indigenous Studies, University of Canterbury, Sacha has a serial entrepreneur’s approach to working with and for Iwi Maori. From instigating United Nations proceedings to architecting a Māori social enterprise fund and leading commercial negotiations, she is known for solution-building that meets Iwi Māori aspirations.

John Reid, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Canterbury’s Ngāi Tahu Research Centre. He is a specialist in leading and developing multi-disciplinary research and development programmes focused on addressing interrelated social, economic, and environmental problems. His research explores the way in which Indigenous and Western cultures shape identity, sense of place, and approaches to social and economic development.

Saul Griffith, who will discuss community abundance through electrification. Saul is is an inventor, author, and founder of multiple companies and nonprofits. He has led projects for agencies including NASA, DARPA, National Science Foundation and more. He has founded and co-founded multiple successful companies, including one acquired by Google, another by Autodesk, and another by a consortium of vehicle manufacturers including Toyota. In 2007 he was awarded a Macarthur Fellowship, the so-called ‘Genius Grant’, for inventions in the service of humanity.

You can book here.







Links to previous conferences:

2022: New economic thinking in Aotearoa New Zealand