Past Event

20th Annual Conference: Let’s Talk About Capitalism – And Society Too

September 18, 2023
9:00 AM - 5:20 PM
Event time is displayed in your time zone.
Faculty House

The Center on Capitalism and Society will hold its 20th annual conference, Let’s Talk About Capitalism – And Society Too, on Monday, September 18, 2023 at Columbia University's Faculty House.

Let’s Talk About Capitalism – and Society Too refers to the extraordinary objections being raised against capitalism in America and several European nations. It refers also to extraordinary charges of sickness in American and some European societies. According to a recent Pew Research Center Survey, 39% of Americans have a “negative impression of capitalism” – notwithstanding the gains made by some groups. Is capitalism broken? Do we know of a better system?

Capitalism and society are interconnected, of course. It may be difficult to have a healthy society without an effective economy. It would be unusual to have a bountiful economy without a society expressing its creativity.

Livestream: click here to stream the conference


8:30am: Registration opens

9:00am - 9:03am - Welcome and introduction

Edmund Phelps, 2006 Nobel Laureate in Economics and Director, Center on Capitalism and Society

Morning sessions: Capitalism

9:03 - 9:30am

Redesigning Politics for Sustainable Development

Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University and President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

9:30am - 10:00am

Capitalism and the Challenge of Inequality

Andrzej Rapaczynski, Daniel G. Ross Professor of Law Emeritus and Joseph Solomon Professor Emeritus of Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning, Columbia University

10:05 am - 10:35am

From Social Democracy to Democratic Socialism: Lessons from a Brief History of Equality

Thomas Piketty, Professor at School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) and at the Paris School of Economics*

*Appearing virtually

10:40am - 11:10am

Taking Stock

Richard Robb, Professor of Professional Practice in International Finance, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and CEO, Christofferson, Robb & Company

11:15am - 11:45am

Women vs Capitalism: How the System, Left to Itself, Constrains and Undervalues Women’s Contribution to the Economy and Produces Sub-Optimal Economic and Social Outcomes

Vicky Pryce, Chief Economic Adviser at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy at the Department of Political Economy, King’s College, London

11:50am - 12:20pm

What (If Anything) Is Wrong with Capitalism?

Rahel Jaeggi, Professor of Practical Philosophy and director of the Center for Humanities and Social Change, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

12:25pm - 12:55pm

From Progress to Pessimism: The Case of Sweden

Leif Pagrotsky, politician and economist, former Minister of Industry and Trade of Sweden

1:00pm - 2:30pm - Luncheon at Faculty House (By invitation)

Capitalism and Kinship

Agnes Callard (luncheon speaker), philosopher (Ancient Philosophy and Ethics) and Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Chicago

Afternoon sessions: Work and Society

2:30pm - 3:00pm

Ruling by Acting

Richard Sennett, Chair of the UN Habitat Urban Initiatives Group, Senior Fellow at the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University, and Visiting Professor of Urban Studies, MIT

3:05pm - 3:35pm

A Dysfunctional Market Economy: Italy

Stefano Micossi, Advisor on strategy and policy, Assonime, Visiting Fellow, European University Institute, and former Director General of Industry, European Commission

3:40pm - 4:10pm

Lessons from the Harvard Study of Adult Development about Social Connection and Work

Marc Schulz, Professor of Psychology on the Sue Kardas PhD 1971 Professorship and Director of Data Science, Bryn Mawr College; Associate Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development

4:15pm - 4:45pm

How the Welfare State Affects Inequality and Social Mobility: A Comparison of the U.S. and Denmark

James Heckman, 2000 Nobel Laureate in Economics and The Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the College, University of Chicago

4:50pm - 5:20pm

Economic Growth in the Anthropocene

Sir Partha Dasgupta, Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Cambridge

5:30pm - 6:45pm - Cocktail Reception at Faculty House

7:00pm - 8:30pm - Dinner at Faculty House (By invitation)

The Economy and the Good Society

Joseph Stiglitz (dinner speaker), 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics and University Professor, Columbia University


For more information, please contact [email protected].