Professor Carlota Perez has spent her career researching the profound impact technology has had on socio-economic development. In this fascinating interview, we explore the two distinct phases of a technological revolution as outlined by Carlota: installation – or experimental early phase – and deployment (or “Golden Age”). Carlota emphasizes the critical role governments play in this phase. By setting a clear and context-sensitive pathway for the transformation through new policies, regulations and taxes, the state can ensure a win-win outcome for both business and society. Considering the trends from the four previous technological revolutions, Carlota compares the current socio-economic situation to the 1930s and suggests how we can move forward towards a sustainable golden age for our information revolution.
Carlota Perez is a Venezuelan-British researcher and educator, currently affiliated to three universities in the UK – LSE, IIPP-UCL and SPRU (Sussex) – and to TalTech in Estonia. She specializes in the relationship between technology and socio-economic development, with a focus on techno-economic paradigm shifts and the theory of great surges (a development of Schumpeter’s work on Kondratieff waves). Her book, Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages, published in 2002, has had a profound impact on our understanding of how technology shapes our institutional, economic, and social development.