´Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism´

´Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism´ – a book of encouragement! Sustainability, lifelong learning, Celanese history and a reminder of the importance for peace.

Even though Mariana Mazzucato’s book ‘Mission Economy’ is about the development of a solution-oriented economy that takes care of the most demanding goals of our time, some nuances have become ingrained in my memory that mean a lot to me personally.

In addition to the basic message of the book, here are five additional reasons why it was worth it for me to read. All page information refers to the German edition.

  1. Celanese History: The successful Apollo mission to the moon landing is described as a best practice of a government mission from which much can be learned for today. My former and long-time employer had a piece of the mosaic involved. Page 115 mentions the temperature-stable PBI fibers of Celanese, which protected the astronauts from intense heat and were melt-proof.
  2. ́Business philosophy ́ in reference to Hannah Arendt’s concept of ‘vita activa’. I believe in the meaningfulness of a value-based economy and “the need for a society to remain open to true discourse, to the critique of ideas and to explicit debates about values” (page 243).

    In our social dialogue between the generations, ́Fridays-for-Future meets Sustainability Corporate Culture ́, we deal with exactly this topic within the Leadership Network Rhine/Main around Laurin Strößenreuther and the Association of the Free Ecological Year FÖJ in Hesse.

  3. Business meets art when Olafur Eliasson is quoted on page 257 as saying “that we need a new focus on experience and a public space as a space where you can feel confident enough to disagree.”

    In the exhibition at Tate Modern in London in 2019, in contact with Eliasson’s art, the aim was to give the works further meaning when their own associations and memories are brought in and a temporary community is formed with the surrounding people. For Eliasson, this increased awareness of himself and other people creates a new sense of responsibility. An interesting experiment. Also for me at that time.

  4. The promotion of lifelong learning is a concern of mine, which I share with Klaus-Peter Mikulla, Christian Schade, Leonie Koch and others. On page 153, this point is found as an element on the mission map for improving viability and quality of life throughout (increasingly longer) life. A big and important topic!
  5. The double page 140/41 reminded me of something fundamentally important. I have almost lost sight of UN Goal 16 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. On the emblem of peace, justice and strong institutions, the white dove can be seen – what a contradiction in the current geopolitical situation. And what a demanding and challenging goal this has now become.


The recommendations for the necessary competencies for mission-oriented innovations on page 202 are of overarching importance to me and also applicable to the current geopolitical situation: Courage, dynamic competence, leadership qualities, resilience and creativity. That is what matters.

Mariana Mazzucato’s Mission – a book of encouragement. Thanks to Annika Scharbert and Nikolas Galbenis for the recommendation.

And which book is encouraging you?

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