Since 1969, people have asked themselves why if humans can land on the moon, can’t they solve pressing problems here on Earth, such as poverty, dementia and climate change. Mariana Mazzucato offers an answer: if only governments would apply the mission-driven methods of the Apollo project, they could.

Mission Economy, the new book from the high-profile economist noted for her advocacy of a more active state, contains many screenshots of the whiteboards beloved of brainstorming meetings, each with an ambitious goal at the top: secure the future of mobility, clean oceans, defeat cancer; below is a jumble of boxes and circles linked by multidirectional arrows. We need a “solutions-based economy”, driven and co-ordinated by more powerful governments engaged in every stage of the process of innovation...

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