BE YOND CAPI TALISM
people would never
Susan Athey is the Economics of
Technology Professor at Stanford GSB.
Science and technology research can make
drastic improvements to health, education,
and well-being, but far too few innovations
are reaching the people who need them most.
Despite many advances, “we haven’t
seen many large-scale applications to
problems of the poor,” says Susan Athey,
professor of economics at Stanford GSB.
Athey spoke at the Inaugural Market
Shaping Conference on September 21–22 at
Stanford GSB. The conference, organized
by the school’s Initiative for Shared
Prosperity and Innovation, examined
how interventions by governments and
private organizations could encourage
innovations with massive social impact
despite meager financial returns. Market
shaping isn’t a new concept — consider
how pharmaceutical companies offer
cheaply discounted vaccines in developing
worlds. But as Athey pointed out, the
opportunity to identify and address
problems of poverty and inequality around
the world “is still wide open.”
Supported by Schmidt Futures,
a philanthropy promoting emerging
technology and science, the event
drew about 45 academics, investors,
foundation executives, and others.