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The Power of Creative Destruction

About this event

28 January 2021 from 19:15 until 21:15

Philippe Aghion and his coauthor Céline Antonin will deliver a cutting-edge analysis of what drives economic growth and a blueprint for prosperity under capitalism, based on their newly published book.

T>heir approach will then be put in perspective a presentation by the European Investment Bank on the new facts from their latest annual Survey on Investment in Europe, highlighting the weaknesses and strengths of European corporations.

You will have the opportunity to interact with all speakers and debate about the main factors underpinning growth, investment and innovation today and in the future.

This event has a special significance for the School on two counts. First, it inaugurates a new series of discussions taking place on Thursdays at 7.15 p.m. around our core values and distinctive features, namely innovation, creativity and sustainable growth. In this slot, all the students of the School are free from any other commitment, and we open it to the entire Sciences Po community. Second, it constitutes a prelude for the constitution of the core curriculum "Data and Digital", scientifically sponsored by Philippe, that we aim to put in place, if everything runs on course, at the start of the 2021 academic year.

Background on the book: The Power of Creative Destruction: Economic Upheaval and the Wealth of Nations

Crises seem to follow each other. Inequality is rising, growth is stagnant, the environment is suffering, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed every crack in the system. We hear more and more calls for radical change, even the overthrow of capitalism. But the answer to our problems is not revolution. The answer is to create a better capitalism by understanding and harnessing the power of creative destruction--innovation that disrupts, but that over the past two hundred years has also lifted societies to previously unimagined prosperity.

In their book, Philippe Aghion, Céline Antonin, and Simon Bunel draw on cutting-edge theory and evidence to examine today's most fundamental economic questions, including the roots of growth and inequality, competition and globalization, the determinants of health and happiness, technological revolutions, secular stagnation, middle-income traps, climate change, and how to recover from economic shocks. They show that we owe our modern standard of living to innovations enabled by free-market capitalism. But we also need state intervention with the appropriate checks and balances to simultaneously foster ongoing economic creativity, manage the social disruption that innovation leaves in its wake, and ensure that yesterday's superstar innovators don't pull the ladder up after them to thwart tomorrow's. A powerful and ambitious reappraisal of the foundations of economic success and a blueprint for change, The Power of Creative Destruction shows that a fair and prosperous future is ultimately ours to make.

Book already available in French – to be published in English in April 2021.

Background on the European Investment Bank 2020 Investment Survey

The pandemic is weighing on European businesses. Our latest EIB Investment Survey reveals that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is being felt by firms across the European Union (EU) and has impact on their future investment plans. With investment collapsing, many firms – particularly the smaller – may fail to adapt to a new normal after COVID-19, becoming ever less competitive (“zombification”). Failing to invest, they will also be left exposed to the risks posed by the climate transition.

The EIB Survey Report and Results


 Natacha Valla - Dean, Sciences Po School of Management and Innovation

Guest speakers

 Philippe Aghion - Professor, Collège de France, Chair of Innovation

 Céline Antonin - Lecturer, Sciences Po, Senior Economist, OFCE

Grégoire Chauvière Le Drian - Head of EIB Group Office in France, European Investment Bank

Christoph Weiss - Senior Economist, European Investment Bank


 Hadj Khelil 



Thursday evening events in Finance, Innovation and Growth – Spring 2021*

7:15pm - Live broadcast on YouTube (possibly also onsite at Sciences Po, circumstances allowing)

28 January 2021: The Power of Creative Destruction – Philippe Aghion, Céline Antonin & the EIB

4 March 2021: Le Capitalisme Responsable – Jean Dominique Senard & Yves Perrier

18 March 2021: Can Finance Save the World ? – Bertrand Badré

Contact: emi@sciencespo.fr

* : Programme subject to additions. The Thursday evening series also covers « Rendez-Vous de la Création » and « Futurs Pluriels ». This version: 4 January 2021.


About this event

28 January 2021 from 19:15 until 21:15