Mission Economy | Mariana Mazzucato

Summary of: Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism
By: Mariana Mazzucato


Get ready to take a giant leap into a world of transformative thinking as we explore ‘Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism’ by Mariana Mazzucato. This book summary delves into the complex challenges faced by our political economy, highlighting the need for big-picture thinking and visionary change. Drawing inspiration from the groundbreaking 1960s moon mission, Mazzucato calls for a transformative approach that prioritizes mission over budget. We’ll examine the consequences of financialization and the current reluctance of governments to push for bold change. Learn how the Apollo program exemplifies high-impact governmental innovation and how harnessing a shared mission-driven approach can lead to extraordinary accomplishments.

A Sense of Mission

The Covid-19 pandemic uncovered deep structural problems in the political economy, requiring big-picture thinking and a sense of mission to fix. Mariana Mazzucato proposes transforming our political economy with a mission as visionary as the 1960s moon landing. The government’s commitment to spending whatever it took on the moon mission paid off with spillover effects that created countless knock-on effects. To build a resilient future world, we need to completely overturn our thoughts around both government and capitalism and put the mission first.

The Consequences of Financialization

The finance sector prioritizes itself and widens inequality instead of advancing society. Governments need to take bold action to create visionary change, but they have been reluctant to do so. This has led to the financialization of more businesses and the heating of the planet. Governments should not shy away from creative thinking and risk-taking, as demonstrated by NASA’s successes in the 1960s.

Mission accomplished

The US government’s ambitious Apollo program to land a man on the moon serves as an inspiration to all. The mission’s success was fueled by visionary and purposeful leadership that inspired the entire nation and the world. Despite facing controversies concerning the allocation of resources, the mission became a source of national pride. The mission’s approach to innovation and experimentation was critical to its success. NASA encouraged its teams to take risks and investigate multiple solutions to problems, leading to genuinely productive partnerships between government and business. The Apollo mission’s outcomes-based budgeting committed to spending whatever was necessary for success, and this commitment resulted in countless spillover effects, including innovations throughout various industries that we enjoy today. The Apollo mission was no vanity project, as its long-term benefits were invaluable.

Environmental Missions

In today’s world, we need missions that aim to solve global issues such as poverty, sustainable energy, gender equality, and combating climate change. The United Nations’ list of 17 sustainable development goals for the world provides an excellent starting point for these missions. Of the many missions that can be chosen today, most of them concern the environment. Making the oceans plastic-free is an enormous task that requires cross-sector collaborations. However, with the right people and a clear mission, it can be achieved. The Green New Deal and the European Green Deal provide great examples of visionary leadership missions require, but a more participatory approach is necessary for missions that affect people’s lives directly. If everyone unites behind one mission, we can accomplish amazing things and solve the world’s most pressing issues.

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