Carlota Perez

Researcher, lecturer and international consultant, specialized in the social and economic impact of technical change and in the historically changing conditions for growth, development and competitiveness.


“Capitalism, Technology and a Green Global Golden Age: The Role of History in Helping to Shape the Future”
The increased awareness of the role of technology and innovation in the economy has not yet found a clear expression in orthodox economic theory – or in the growth strategies being applied across most of the advanced world. There are currently widely divergent opinions... read more
“From long waves to great surges: continuing in the direction of Chris Freeman’s 1997 lecture on Schumpeter’s business cycles”
The first edition of Theory of economic development was published in 1911. It is a well known fact that after his death Joseph Alois Schumpeter – the most quoted economist after Keynes – experienced a purgatorial season from which he emerged at the time of the first petroleum shock... read more
“Innovation as Growth Policy: The Challenge for Europe”
The advanced world is facing a crucial moment of transition. We argue that a successful outcome requires bringing innovation to the centre of government thinking and action... read more
"The new context for industrializing around natural resources: an opportunity for Latin America (and other resource rich countries)?"
This chapter argues that development is a moving target, and that windows of opportunity to both ‘catch up’ and ‘leap ahead’ present themselves at certain times and in specific regions due to technological revolutions and paradigm shifts. Having examined the historical precedents... read more
"Technological revolutions, paradigm shifts and socio-institutional change"
The last decades of the 20th Century were a time of uncertainty and extremely uneven development. People in many countries and in most walks of life feel uncertain about the future for themselves and their workplaces, about the prospects for their own countries and for the world as a whole... read more




  • I gave the Keynote for an event of the European Social Democrats in Amsterdam (Sept. 5, 2020). I briefly answered five big questions: What can we learn from technological revolutions? Why is there so much populism now? Why did we move to extreme free market ideas? What have social democrats been doing and why doesn’t it work? And why move towards smart green fair and global growth? My talk: USING THE HISTORY OF TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTIONS to help us understand the present and shape the future

    The technology for the webinar did not work very well, so the YouTube video has many mute parts and glitches. You can find the program here and the whole video here

  • I recorded a presentation for Baillie Gifford, the Scottish long term investors: TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTIONS AND THE SHAPE OF TOMORROW. Why the future is not always the continuation of the recent past.

    The talk lasts one hour, covering: (1) the difficulty of predicting the future (2) getting help from recurring past patterns (3) asking where we are now in such patterns (4) how to shape the future by shaping the direction of the new technologies and, finally, (5) the role of the Covid-19 crisis in opening new possibilities.

  •    PANELS

  • I was in a panel for the EU Research and Innovation DG on “An all-inclusive recovery for a stronger Europe” with Kate Raworth (Doughnut economics), Sandrine Decleve (Co-President of the Club of Rome). Stephanie Kelton (Modern Monetary Theory), Mariana Mazzucato (IIPP and Entrepreneurial State) and Mariya Gabriel (EU Commissioner for Science and Innovation). I argued that to succeed with sustainability we need to marry ICT and green and that the best way to save the economy was to save the planet.

  • Hilary Cottam presented her powerful report on Welfare 5.0 referring to the social revolution that has to accompany a potential golden age based on the information revolution. It was chaired by Mariana Mazzucato, the Director of IIPP, and commented on by Anne-Marie Slaughter (CEO New America), Imandeep Kaur (Director of Civic Square) and me. I referred to how Hilary’s proposals came from the wisdom of experience and why the time was ripe for putting them to practice. But no matter how appropriate the safety net, society needs to be fairer to begin with, so that welfare policies only have to care for a decreasing minority. Link to the event.


  • Mik Kersten, the author of Project to Product, interviewed me for his podcast MIK+ONE about my reasons for optimism in these turbulent times:
    Episode 3: Mik Kersten + Carlota Perez

    I discussed how I see both lifestyles and public policies changing to make the best of the ICT revolution

  • I had an interesting and long conversation with Azeem Azhar in his Exponential View podcast in the Harvard Business Review website:
    Bubbles, Golden Ages, and Tech Revolutions


  • I wrote a blog for the Deep Transitions project (@DTransitions2) about why we need to imagine the future in order to shape it, but also why it must be based on the technological and innovative potential at hand (in this case ICT). “Imagining a good life in a green and fair society: You must visualise the future in order to shape it!”

  • I put up a new blog in my BTTR project page about “The Post-Covid 19 crisis as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”. It is basically a further discussion of the one I put up in March, noting that a consensus is growing about making the reconstruction a renewal in a socially and environmentally sustainable direction.

  • The turning of the tide is being accelerated by the realities revealed by the pandemic. Andres Shafer and I wrote a blog for IIPP, published in Medium. It’s the first of a series about a different form of growth and why it's now becoming more likely. “After the pandemic: Smart, green, fair (and healthy) global growth”


  • This September (2020) I gave my semester course in two weeks “Techno-Economic Paradigms and Technological Transitions”. It was designed for the master’s degree students on “Technology Governance and Digital Transformation” of the Ragnar Nurkse Institute at TalTech, Estonia, but it’s open to all TalTech master’s students, mostly engineers. I had 64 fantastic participants this time, all very active and imaginative. I was exhausted with the four-hour plus session in the evening (and so were they!) but that’s the creative way that the Nurkse has found to bring teachers from abroad, one after the other for two weeks each. Great solution! Among the teachers in the intensive teaching scheme are Erik Reinert, Wolfgang Drechsler, Jan Kregel and Vasilis Kostakis.

  • In March and April 2020, I gave my regular lectures to the master’s students of the Institute of development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex. This time over internet, with 36 students from all ovr the world, listening, discussing and doing online workshops. I mainly argued that technological revolutions make opportunities for development a moving target and that the current opportunity with the ICT revolution may be more favourable to developing countries than mass production. Among other things, natural resources plus technology is a new available option.

  • A few days before the lockdown on March 2nd 2020, during the University strike, I have a talk about “the historical role of organised labour and protest movements in shaping capitalism and technology” at IIPP-UCL.

  • My other website

    I have a separate website for my current research project, funded by Anthemis UK:

    I am working on a sequel to Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital, this time focusing on the role of the state. There will be articles and blogs as the project progresses. Your comments will be welcome.

  • There are three working papers up: One jointly with Tamsin Murray-Leach:
    “A Smart Green ‘European Way of Life’: the Path for Growth, Jobs and Wellbeing”

    And two others:
    “Is Smart Green Growth the Solution? Lessons from History”

    “Capitalism, Technology and a Green Golden Age: The Role of History in Helping to Shape the Future”

  • See also a series of blogs about Brynjolfsson and McAfee’s Second Machine Age:

    I argue that this revolution is indeed unique, but also one of a series of five, rather than only the second since the Industrial Revolution in England, as they claim. So I make various parallels with previous ones. And yet, I also wonder why, if it is such a momentous transformation, their policy recommendations are so timid and give such a small role to public policy.

    1. Introduction: the pitfalls of historical periodization

    2. The periodization of history into technological revolutions: why, what, how many and when?

    3. The current moment: beginning of a new machine age and/or the turning point of the fifth great surge?

    4. The historical patterns of bounty and spread

    5. Does technology determine the future? Socio-political shaping as a recurring need within the unique space of the possible

    6. The limits of the Brynjolfsson and McAfee policy recipes: Proposals on human capital

    7. The limits of the Brynjolfsson and McAfee policy recipes: Proposals on science, technology and infrastructures

    8. The limits of the Brynjolfsson and McAfee policy recipes: Proposals on fiscal stability and welfare

    9. The socio-political shaping of a better future with an understanding of the nature of the new technologies

  • Recent Talks:

  • I gave a talk in the annual event of Otto Scharmer’s (U-theory) GAIA group. I mainly wanted to share optimism about a good future after Covid, while emphasizing that digital is an essential part of going green and that to be fair nationally and globally we need growth, but of a green and human centred type and not based on wasteful mass production. TOWARDS SMART, GREEN, FAIR AND GLOBAL GROWTH: Learning from the History of Technological Revolutions

    The session was chaired by Otto Scharmer and the other talk was by Sandrine Dixson-Declève , the co-president of the Club of Rome, who also gave an optimistic message about policies moving towards sustainability. The whole session can be watched here

  • In May 2020, in the midst of the pandemic lockdown I gave a talk in the virtual Consensus event of the blockchain and cryptocurrency crowd: THE SOCIAL SHAPING OF TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTIONS: Blockchain and AI in the Information Age My goal was to clarify a confusion about blockchain and cryptocurrencies, which are often associated with my theory about technological revolutions, bubbles and golden ages. I basically argued that there is a major difference between a revolutionary technology (like artificial intelligence or blockchain) and a technological revolution, which involves many successive revolutionary technologies and technology systems, such as the mass production revolution in the 20th century and information technology now. I also suggested that, in the necessary process of modernizing government such technologies could play a key role.

    After the talk there was a discussion with Chris Burniske, the author of Cryptoassets, chaired by Zack Seward of Coindesk.

    And finally there was a Q&A session

    Not an easy task. I was in the lion’s den.

  • In January 2020, I video-recorded a talk for the Ali Baba New Economy Think Tank Summit, in China bout how digital and green are the shape of the future.

  • In October 2019, I gave a talk in Paris for Sogeti/Capgemini in their European 2019 Executive Summit. I presented my ideas about how we are at a crucial moment for shaping technology towards a meaningful sustainable future and explained how this is the challenge of this generation.

    You can download my presentation here: 2019 Executive Summit

  • Across September and October, I gave my annual two week intensive course (4-hours a day) in the Master in Technology Governance in Taltech, Tallinn, Estonia.

    Twitter feed: "My 2019 course at the Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance in TalTech, Estonia..."

  • In September, Sogeti invited me to speak at their 2019 Executive Summit: Utopia for Beginners, in Chicago. I presented my ideas about how we are at a crucial moment for shaping technology towards a meaningful sustainable future and explained how this is the challenge of this generation.

    YouTube: ‘Our digital Future – A New Golden Opportunity’

  • In May I participated in a discussion with Kate Raworth, the author of Doughnut Economics, moderated by Mariana Mazzucato. It was the first in a series of discussions on Innovation and the Welfare State jointly organized by IIPP-UCL and the British Library:

    Harnessing data for green growth with Carlota Perez and Kate Raworth

    Kate brilliantly presented her notion of development in a space that is sustainable, both socially and environmentally. I presented five lessons from history leading to why this is the moment to shape technology in the direction of smart green growth.

  • For more talks and videos go here.

  • Recent Interviews and Podcasts:

  • An interview by Owen Poindexter where I give my reasons to favour Universal Basic Income: Technological Economic Cycles, feat. Carlota Perez

    I essentially argue that technological revolutions radically change the nature and conditions of work and they therefore require welfare revolutions and institutional innovations. And, to be consistent, those who think giving something for nothing is harmful for people should also be against inheritance.

  • For more interviews and podcasts go here.
  • Recent Teaching:

  • In December 2019, I lectured to undergraduates in Economics at Brighton University about how the information revolution opens possibilities for an environmentally and socially sustainable future.

  • In October 2019, I gave two lectures and two seminars in the MPA (Master in Public Administration) at IIPP-UCL.

    Twitter: UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

  • In April 2019, I gave the final lecture of the IIPP Course on Rethinking Capitalism: Lecture 10: Capitalism, technology and innovation. After nine brilliant lectures by well-known economists questioning the various aspects of orthodox economic thinking about capitalism, it was my turn to look to a possible sustainable future. You can watch the whole series here.

  • Recent Publications:

  • I contributed a chapter titled ‘Transitioning to Smart Green Growth: Lessons from History’ for the recently published book Handbook on Green Growth, edited by Roger Fouquet (Elgar 2019).

  • I wrote a blog for UNCTAD titled "An opportunity for ethical capitalism that comes once in a century". It refers to how midway along the diffusion of each technological revolution society gets a chance to actively shape the new technologies with a social purpose in mind. A global sustainable golden age is a real possibility and the chance to shape it is now.

  • The Peter Drucker Forum blog published an article I wrote about
    “Why it’s time to bring back –and modernize– government”.

  • A new working paper is up:
    “Is Smart Green Growth the Solution? Lessons from History”

  • I contributed a chapter on ‘green growth’ in Rethinking Capitalism, edited by Michael Jacobs and Mariana Mazzucato (Political Quarterly, Wiley Blackwell, 2016)
    You can access the table of contents and introduction here:
    You can find it as working paper in: Capitalism, Technology and a Green Golden Age: The Role of History in Helping to Shape the Future

  • There is a chapter of mine on using natural resources as a platform for industrialization in Akbar Noman and Joseph Stiglitz (eds.) (2016) Efficiency, Finance and Varieties of Industrial Policy: Guiding Resources, Learning and Technology for Sustained Growth Here is the table of contents. And here is the previous working paper.

  • I sent a letter to the Financial Times arguing with J. Rostowski’s article about how to interpret the parallel with the 1930s for explaining today’s success of the populists. You can access the letter and the discussion in the comments via my Twitter account: @CarlotaPrzPerez "Making the same mistakes as in the 1930s": via @FT

  • There is a European Union report on Green Growth and Jobs, by an expert group I chaired. It is titled Changing gear in R&I: Green growth for jobs and prosperity in the EU Download from:

  • For more publications go here

  • Documentaries:

  • A documentary about Schumpeter with the participation of many neo-Schumpeterian economists, including myself. Schumpeter, the Man Who Discovered Capitalism:

  • You might also be interested in another documentary, also with the participation of a similar group of us, titled When Bubbles Burst:


    More videos here:

    2018 June, Summit of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Techno-economic paradigm shifts.

    2017 November, Presentation in the Global Drucker Forum, Vienna. "It is time for government to come back boldly, wisely and adequately"

    2015, Netherlands. Conference, Connecting the Dots, Utrecht. Technological revolutions and the impact on Society.

    2014. Comment to Andy Haldane's presentation in the Opening Session of the Conference on Mission-Oriented Finance for Innovation (MOFI2014), Westminster, London.

    Carlota Perez: 4. Small Knowledge-Intensive Enterprises: crucial for competitiveness of countries vimeo

    July 2008, Amsterdam. Interview at FreedomLab, 6. Pardigm Shifts: No eternal truths. Economics is not Physics. We need a theory of change.
    Technological Revolutions Financial bubbles Installation Period Frenzy Deployment Period Golden Ages Dual strategy Techno‑economic paradigms Neo‑Schumpeterian Respecialization Synergy Turning Point Future markets Knowledge society Green growth Maturity Full global development Globalization Sustainability Socio‑economic development Paradigm shifts Irruption Market hyper‑segmentation