Executive Talk - Cornel Ban

Last week, on Wednesday the 9th of September we hosted another Executive Talk session in which we discussed the entrepreneurial state and innovative municipalities. This is a topic that we at Transilvania Executive Education are concerned about and we felt like this is a discussion that we needed to have with our students, alumni, and the business community. Our special guest was Cornel Ban, Associate Professor of International Political Economy at the Copenhagen Business School.

Cornel Ban was previously Reader at City University of London, assistant professor at Boston University, and research fellow at Brown University in the United States. He has been writing for a while about Romania’s economic development model and is currently involved in conducting research on entrepreneurial municipalities and smart cities across European cities and regions. His most recent book, Ruling Ideas: How Neoliberalism Goes Local, (Oxford University Press, 2018) received the Political Economy Award for 2017 of the British International Studies Association.

Cornel walked us through various economic theories and growth models applied in countries as diverse as South Korean and Japan, Finland and Sweden, and invited us to overcome the obsolete economic perspective that opposes pro-state and pro-market views that dominated for a long time the economic debates in Romania. He brought to the forefront numerous examples such as the development of Samsung Electronics and Apple’s edge technology outlining the fact that all breakthrough technical innovations are the result of state-led efforts. The appearance of these innovative companies and products would not have been possible without decades of state investment in research and policies that created the emergence of innovative ecosystems. Today, there is massive evidence that entrepreneurial states not only deal with market failures but also create and shape new markets particularly in the areas of innovation, or quality of life enhancement. This aspect is critical for understanding the rise of American hegemony in the postwar period and of the Chinese challenge today. And has been excellently wrapped-up and explained by one of the most visible economists at the moment, Mariana Mazzucato, in her much-praised book “The Entrepreneurial State” . However, Cornel considers that this existing research has a major blind spot. It obliterates the role of the cities and regions. Despite the centrality of nodal cities in the global economy, work on entrepreneurial municipalities is in its infancy and needs more research. This presentation dealt with this gap by focusing on successful cases of coordination between town hall, universities, public sector services, and the private sector.  The scope of this discussion was to propose some policy lessons for Romanian cities that aspire to become poles of innovation and development and inspire decision-makers and entrepreneurs to see and imagine the entanglement between state and market in a different and more creative way.

More details about Cornel Ban's work can be found here. 

We are Transilvania Executive Education. In partnership with Hull University, we aim to connect the companies and entrepreneurs in the region with the opportunities of international business and promote connected and critical thinking amongst the future leaders and professionals of the Romanian business community. We provide the Hull University Executive MBA delivered by the Hull University Business School, which is the only genuine British EMBA from the Transylvania area. The program is certified by AMBA & AACSB accreditations and the modules are taught 100% by a fly-in faculty. The program was launched in 2015 and so far, has had more than 140 students and alumni enrolled in the program. A new class is scheduled to start in April 2021.

More info: www.teecluj.ro