he COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important public sector capacities and capabilities are in terms of reacting to crises and re-configuring existing policies and implementation practices. Climate emergency and other similarly wicked challenges show that the public sector needs to develop dynamic capabilities to shape societal responses and markets. Yet, public organisations are notoriously risk averse and focused on stability. In this talk, Rainer Kattel – Deputy Director and Professor of Innovation and Public Governance at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) – argues that public organisations must find a sweet spot in balancing capabilities for agility and for stability. He will share recent examples of public organisations that have succeeded in building such capabilities and draw some lessons of what the main challenges are in growing and maintaining dynamic capabilities in public agencies.
Deputy Director & Professor of Innovation and Public Governance / UCL IIPP
Before joining UCL IIPP, Rainer led Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance for 10 years, building it into one of the leading innovation and governance schools in the region. His background is in philosophy, political philosophy, classics and public administration.
Rainer has also served on various public policy commissions, including the Estonian Research Council and European Science Foundation. He has worked as an expert for the OECD, UNDP and the European Commission. Currently, he leads the Estonian Government’s Gender Equality Council, and is a member of E-Estonia Council advising the Prime Minister of Estonia.
He has published extensively on innovation policy, its governance and specific management issues. His recent books include:
- Schumpeter’s Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy: A Twenty-First Century Agenda (edited with Leonardo Burlamaqui; Routledge, 2018)
- Special issue of Industrial and Corporate Change on mission-oriented innovation policy (edited with Mariana Mazzucato, 2018).
- Innovation Bureaucracy (with Wolfgang Drechsler and Erkki Karo; Yale, 2020)
In 2013, he received Estonia’s National Science Award for his work on innovation policy.