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




  • In the Digital Capitalism Congress organised in Berlin by the FES Competence Centre on the Future of Work I shared a panel with Evgeny Morozov. I held that we are at a crucial moment for shaping a better future, at the confluence of three critical junctures: post-Covid reconstruction, the climate emergency and giving direction to the wayward information revolution. Hence, it’s time to revitalize and modernize governments to engage in five major tasks. Among them is the opportunity to seize the global leadership in a new green ‘European way of life’. You can watch the whole panel in English or in German.

  • Simon Wardley the creator of the Wardley Mapping method for management, invited me to the annual MapCamp event. I gave a talk in the Green transition section about why digital and green go together.

    And here’s the link to the whole panel with Andra Sonea and Adrian Cockcroft.

  • 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

  • See more recent talks below


  • After three waves of jobs and skills destruction (Globalisation, technology and now Covid) we must not let the green transition be the fourth. That’s what I basically said in the panel discussion at the Nobel Prize Summit of the Club of Rome in April 2021. We need a job-creating route to sustainability and we need a sort of Marshall Plan for the developing world just as the reconstruction of Europe after WWII to make possible a new Golden Age. The time for proactive governments is back. I enjoyed the company of Per Espen Stoknes (Norwegian Business School), Sharan Burrow (ITUC General Secretary), Jayati Ghosh (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Jennifer Hinton (Stockholm Resilience Center) and Ilona Otto (University of Graz).

  • The green economy is not only about renewable energy, it will also require dematerialisation though an intelligent and thrifty use of materials. In this panel chaired by Dan Hill and organised by IIPP UCL, Saskia Sassen, Tanushri Shukra and I give initial presentations and discuss the issue. Watch my presentation: Materials sustainability and the need for wide-ranging political support.
    Watch the whole event.

  • On Nov 12, I participated in conversation with Stelvia Matos, Head of the Centre for Social Innovation Management at Surrey Business School. We discussed the shaping of the Post-Covid future on two levels. I presented the macro-historical point of view and Stelvia, the view from the very poor areas in the developing world, specifically the Brazilian favelas. Radical redesign for sustainability through entrepreneurship and innovation.

  • See more recent talks below


  • 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

  • See more recent interviews below


  • The turning of the tide is being accelerated by the realities revealed by the pandemic. Andres Schafer, a Venezuelan journalist, and I are writing a series of blogs for IIPP (Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose) where I am an honorary Professor. They are published in Medium.. We are covering “Smart, green, fair and global growth” in the context of the post-pandemic world
    1. After the pandemic: Smart, green, fair (and healthy) global growth
    2. SMART and GREEN: The green taming of the smart shrew: Coupling digital with the environment
    3. FAIR: Times of greed; times of fairness
    4. GLOBAL: Is full global development the silver bullet?
    5. GROWTH: (Forthcoming)

  • “The Golden Age at our Doorsteps” is an article I wrote with Andrés Schäfer, for the book Faster than the Future by the Digital Future Society of Barcelona. In five acts, we unfold the story of capitalism driven by successive waves of technology until we reach the turning point of the Covid pandemic. Where have we come from? Where are we headed? The digital revolution is ready to be deployed and, with adequate policies and directionality, could lead us to a new era of global, digital, green and socially fair prosperity. The question is how. And that is what we tried to answer.
    You can also download our article here
    And the whole book here

  • The post-Covid reconstruction resembles other crucial moments in history. In my article for the Progressive Post Magazine: “Using the history of technological revolutions to understand the present and shape the future”. I write about how to shape the digital revolution rising to the challenge in the era of climate change and inequality A bold sustainable win-win game between business and society is the way for social democracy to defeat the populist tide.

  • See more recent publications below


  • In October 19 and 26 I gave two lectures on technical change to the students of the master’s in public administration in the IIPP-UCL (Institute of Innovation and Public Purpose in the University College London) founded and directed by Mariana Mazzucato. Thirty-five students from several countries. A very interesting and interested group. I enjoyed the seminars on the 20th and 27th. A few weeks later I had a meeting (equally virtual) with the seven Latin Americans. We had a good discussion.

  • 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.

  • See more recent teaching below

  • 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 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.

  • I gave the inaugural lecture of the 2020-21 academic year at the Latin American Centre at Oxford University. I talked about Technological Opportunities and a Dynamic Post-Covid future for Latin America. My proposal is to combine technology, natural resources and social inclusion taking advantage of the new technological and market potential.

  • 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.

  • For more talks and videos go here.

  • Recent 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.

  • Recent Interviews and Podcasts:

  • I gave an interview to Roel Verrycken of the Belgian business daily De Tijd. Corona can lead to a golden age. They tell me it was the most widely read for three whole days. People are looking for new directions, which is what I tried to signal there. You will need Google Translate because It’s in Dutch 😉 It was also published in French here.

  • 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:

  • 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.

  • 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 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:

  • Another blog in my page on the Beyond the Tech Revolution project Digital and green: a very convenient marriage. I basically argue that we need to move towards green with the help of the digital revolution and give some examples of what that could look like.

  • 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.

  • I contributed a chapter titled ‘Transitioning to Smart Green Growth: Lessons from History’ for the 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”.

  • 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. You can watch it here. The trailer can be watched here (in English) and here (in Norse). There are also some interesting fragments available here. And here.


    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