IOS Debate: The Role of the State in Solving Societal Challenges

Our society faces many challenges these days, including climate change, aging, threatening pandemics, or labor inequality resulting from digitalization. There is a strong call for more active government intervention to solve such challenges. However, governments are also known to be less creative and efficient in coming to solutions than the market often is. In this debate, two reputable academics will shed light on the role of the state as proponent or opponent of the following proposition:

“The state should direct the process to solve large societal challenges”

Speaking for the proposition will be professor Koen Frenken from Utrecht University. Professor Karl Wennberg from Linköping University will be arguing against the proposition. Both speakers will give an opening statement, and a rebuttal against each other’s arguments. After this, the audience can ask questions, and we take a vote among the audience. 

Koen Frenken is a full professor who specializes in the economics of innovation. He received the prestigious NWO VIDI and VICI grants, and currently works on developing the idea of mission oriented innovation systems.  

Karl Wennberg is a full professor who specializes in entrepreneurship, organizational change, and their macro-level implications. He published in leading (management) journals, and is actively engaged in discussing the role the state in solving societal challenges. 

The debate is open to all scholars, students, professionals or others who are interested. This is the first debate organized by the stream Institutions, Innovation and Prosperity  externe linkfrom the Institutions for Open Societies program at Utrecht University. The aim of these debates is to give a broad perspective on issues related to Institutions, Innovation and Prosperity, and to promote a discourse around these. The debate is hosted by Frank van Rijnsoever and Samuele Murtinu.

The debate will take place on Thursday June 17th from 15.30 until 16.45 via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 856 5188 2485
Passcode: 8k4tzw

Source: Utrecht University

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