Even after stepping off an international flight, and despite a troublesome phone line, economics professor Mariana Mazzucato, comes across exactly like she does in the countless podcasts, YouTube videos, and articles. No nonsense, forthright, and articulate about her ideas.  

Those ideas — which have led her to advise everyone from firebrand US politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to the European commissioner for research, science and innovation Carlos Moedas, and the government of Scotland — have captured the imagination of a number of SA government officials.

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