How Can We Recapture the Ambition and Hope of the Space-Race Days?
Mariana Mazzucato Guests on the Radio Open Source Podcast
Open Source is the world’s longest-running podcast. Christopher Lydon circles the big ideas in culture, the arts and politics with the smartest people in the world. It’s the kind of curious, critical, high-energy conversation we’re all missing nowadays.
Who remembers a certain cool competence in the self-image of Americans? And who can imagine recovering it? Mariana Mazzucato wants to tell you: she can! Born in Italy, raised in the US, holding forth now from University College London, she’s got an audience on both sides of the Atlantic. Her message is: we’ll change our luck only by transforming ourselves with ideas and dreams at the grand scale of the emergencies in energy, jobs, health, and justice. When she speaks of a Moonshot Mission to change capitalism, she’s evoking John F. Kennedy’s promise to put a man on the moon in the 60s. On the 2021 agenda, host Christopher Lydon asks her to grade our wins and losses in the struggle with COVID so far, and the prospects in our struggle to save the climate.
From the episode:
Mariana Mazzucato: This is not a pie-in-the-sky ambition. It has happened before. The way that government led the Apollo programme could hardly differ more from conventional thinking about the role of government in the economy, which leaves us ill equipped to tackle the greatest challenges of our time. The public sector set itself a goal hitherto hardly contemplated outside the ranks of science-fiction writers, visionaries and a handful of scientists. It did so with a sense of urgency, with a clear and ambitious objective to accomplish the truly extraordinary: putting a man on the moon and bringing him back safely to a firm and very tight deadline.
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