Can Capitalism Fix the World? - Oxford Literary Festival

Mon 18 Mar 2024, 16:00 - 17:00

Portrait of Professor Colin Mayer FBA
Oxford Martin School: Lecture Theatre

This event is part of the Oxford Literary Festival

Investment banker and philanthropist Professor Ken Costa and business expert Professor Colin Mayer FBA look at the future of capitalism. How will a younger generation with a different perspective on capitalism and the planet use the vast wealth it is about to inherit? And how can we change the way businesses operate so they solve the world’s problems rather than cause them.

Costa is chairman of Helios Fairfax, the largest private equity group in Africa, and creator of Tick Tock Club for Great Ormond Street Hospital, which has raised £50 million for the hospital. In The 100 Trillion Dollar Wealth Transfer: How the Handover from Boomers to Gen Z Will Revolutionize Capitalism, he argues that the impending transfer of wealth from the ‘baby boomers’ to the young generation will be a seismic event. He argues that Generation Z and the Millennials will inherit financial and political power to banish the past and create a future they want. However, he says the younger and older generations will need to work together to ensure we create a socially energised capitalism and do not repeat past mistakes.

Mayer is visiting professor and Emeritus Professor of Management Studies at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Said Business School at the University of Oxford. In Capitalism and Crises: How to Fix Them, he argues that we have failed to understand the key institutions at the heart of capitalism: businesses. He says the problem is that the key driver of capitalism is profit and the way those who run the system are resourced and rewarded. And he outlines what needs to change if we are to tackle the challenges of the 21st century and flourish and thrive.

Discussions are chaired by Mary Hockaday, master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, a former controller of BBC World Service, a former head of the BBC newsroom, and a one-time foreign correspondent for the BBC and The Independent.

Speakers: Professor Ken Costa and Professor Colin Mayer FBA

Chair: Mary Hockaday

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