New centre to tackle major economic challenges

The Oxford Martin School and the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) have announced that they are joining forces to create INET@Oxford, a major new interdisciplinary research centre at the University of Oxford.

INET@Oxford builds on an existing INET research programme at Oxford. The new expanded centre will have a five-year budget of over $25 million, with core funding from INET, a New York-based non-profit foundation started by George Soros, matching support from Oxford, and research grants from a number of other institutions.

The centre will have over 40 leading academics involved and will aim to stimulate innovation and debate in economics, support visionary interdisciplinary research, and contribute to the education of the next generation of economists as well as business and government leaders.

Explaining his reasons for funding research at INET@Oxford, Mr Soros said: 'Fresh thinking in economics is urgently needed to mitigate many global challenges, not least systemic financial crises, the creation of sustainable jobs and employment, and the wide-ranging challenges of development.'

INET's Executive Director, Dr Robert Johnson, added: 'INET is about leading-edge economic research that challenges conventional wisdom. The Oxford Martin School’s dedication to innovative interdisciplinary research makes it an ideal home for this major INET centre.'

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the ongoing Euro crisis, a number of leading economists, policymakers, and business leaders have called for a fundamental re-think in economics. INET@Oxford will focus on new and innovating thinking in economics.

The centre will seek to bring together thinking from across academic disciplines in its approach to economics. In addition to economists, the centre will work with physicists, biologists, psychologists, anthropologists and others across the physical and social sciences.

An important part of the centre's mission will be to facilitate the application of its research to critical economic policy problems. The centre will engage with leaders from government and business.

Oxford University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Hamilton said:  'The Oxford Martin School provides a fertile interdisciplinary home for this new centre which will see the acceleration of research with great potential for positive real-world impact. INET@Oxford will greatly enhance our ability to nurture new research and engage with leaders on critical global issues.'

Professor Ian Goldin, Director of the Oxford Martin School, said: 'The establishment of INET@Oxford is an exciting development which aims to yield major advances in key areas of economic theory and policy. The Oxford Martin School focuses on the greatest challenges of the 21st century. This new centre will focus on addressing some of the greatest economic challenges we face, ranging from avoiding future financial crises to ensuring that the positive potential of globalization is realized and its risks mitigated.'

The director of INET@Oxford will be Eric Beinhocker, formerly a partner at McKinsey & Company and a senior fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute. He said: 'INET@Oxford has an ambition to make a significant impact on policy-making at the global level.

'In addition to working with a strong network of academics, INET@Oxford will collaborate closely with policymakers in finance ministries, central banks, development agencies, multilateral institutions, and other institutions where key economic policy decisions are being made.'

The announcement of the formation of INET@Oxford was made at the INET Annual Conference in Berlin by INET's Executive Director, Rob Johnson, and Ian Goldin, Director of the Oxford Martin School.