Employment is in transition; the platform economy has enforced more independent entrepreneurship and flexible contracts than we have ever seen. Income inequality is growing as taxation systems reward those with capital, resulting in a loop of the rich getting richer and the poor remaining poor. Simultaneously, housing markets are increasingly under pressure. Subsidised housing seems to no longer suffice in ensuring affordable housing for everyone. How to overcome the insecurities for people that come along with these developments? How can contemporary capitalism ensure happy workers and thriving communities? What actions could and/or should firms take? And what role do governance and democracy have to play in all this?

Josh Ryan-Collins
Head of research UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose & author of several books a.o "Why Can't you Afford a Home"
Kees Buitendijk
Filosoof en bestuurskundige, programmacoördinator Finance and the Common Good bij denktank Socires
Moderated by
Natasja van den Berg
David van Overbeek
Moderator | Econoom, filosoof en maker De NIeuwe Wereld TV

About the speakers

Isabelle Ferreras is a senior tenured fellow (Maître de recherches) of the Belgian National Science Foundation (F.N.R.S., Brussels). She is professor of sociology at the Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium) where she teaches at the Department of Social and Political Sciences, at the Institut des sciences du travail and at the Economics School of Louvain. Since 2004, she has been an associate of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School (Cambridge, MA) where she is now a Senior Research Associate. Ferreras’s last two books are “Firms as Political Entities. Saving Democracy through Economic Bicameralism,” Cambridge University Press (2018) and “Le Manifeste Travail. Démocratiser, démarchandiser, dépolluer“, co-authored with Julie Battilana and Dominique Méda, Paris: Le Seuil (2020).

Josh Ryan-Collins is Head of Finance and Macroeconomics and Senior Research Fellow at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose and an economist with interests in finance and banking, land and housing, economic rent and climate change. Josh is the author of three books, two co-authored, of which Why Can’t you Afford a Home (2018, Polity) is the most recent. His work on the interaction between the financial sector and housing markets has received international press coverage and led to invitations to provide guest lectures and advisory work from governments, public agencies, academics and civil society groups from across Europe, including the European Commission.

About the series

This event is developed by
In collaboration with
Programme seriesFuture of Capitalism

Over the past century, the capitalist model of the free market economy has demonstrated to be an effective vehicle to create wealth. However, in today’s globalised world, the downsides of this model have become more and more obvious: ecological decay, increasing inequality worldwide, financialisation, inadequate resource allocations and a new geopolitical power balance. The credit crisis of 2008, and more recently, the coronacrisis, have further exposed these issues. How can the freedom and innovative potential of free markets be squared with the requirements of ecological sustainability and social justice and inclusivity?