UnHerd: Why Mariana Mazzucato is wrong about the ‘entrepreneurial state’

The world is facing a number of very grave threats – climate change, air and ocean pollution, organised crime, cyber-threats, antibiotic resistance, pandemics, cancer, dementia, road deaths, persistent poverty and so on – all of which demand some form of intervention and leadership by the state. What is at issue is the way in which the state should intervene.

Energy Policy: Open source software and crowdsourcing for energy analysis

Informed energy decision making requires effective software, high-quality input data, and a suitably trained user community. Developing these resources can be expensive and time consuming. Even when data and tools are intended for public re-use they often come with technical, legal, economic and social barriers that make them difficult to adopt, adapt and combine for use in new contexts. We focus on the promise of open, publically accessible software and data as well as crowdsourcing techniques to develop robust energy analysis tools that can deliver crucial, policy-relevant insight, particularly in developing countries, where planning resources are highly constrained—and the need to adapt these resources and methods to the local context is high. We survey existing research, which argues that these techniques can produce high-quality results, and also explore the potential role that linked, open data can play in both supporting the modelling process and in enhancing public engagement with energy issues.

United Nations: Time to reflect, refocus, reinvigorate

Michael wrote this piece about a year ahead of Rio+20, the 2012 Summit on Sustainable Development. He argued that Rio should focus on three things: making sustainability relevant to all by focusing it on resource efficiency; accelerating the transition that is anyway happening in the energy sector; and figuring out realistic ways to unlock large climate finance at scale. He knew he was whistling into the wind, but hey, he enjoys writing.