Annual John Urry Lecture 2021

Thursday 28 October 2021, 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Connected brain/knowledge


Management School Lecture Theatre 4 & Online via Microsoft Teams, Lancaster, United Kingdom

Open to

All Lancaster University (non-partner) students, Alumni, Applicants, External Organisations, Families and young people, Postgraduates, Prospective International Students, Prospective Postgraduate Students, Prospective Undergraduate Students, Public, Staff, Undergraduates


Free to attend - registration required

Registration Info

Please book your ticket via our Eventbrite Page

Event Details

Taking ideas seriously: what does it mean to have a Knowledge Economy?

Professor Diane Coyle CBE, Bennett Professor of Public Policy, University of Cambridge

It’s at least a quarter of a century since social scientists began to describe the changes digital technologies were bringing about as ’the knowledge economy’ and yet neither policies nor economics itself have yet fully got to grips with the implications. This lecture will discuss how societies need to adapt to the world so significantly shaped by information and ideas, in the face of the immense material challenges we now face.

Diane Coyle is the Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. Diane co-directs the Bennett Institute where she heads research programmes under the themes of progress and productivity. Her own research focuses on the digital economy and digital policy, and on concepts and measurement of economic welfare. Diane is also a Director and research theme leader of the Productivity Institute, a Fellow of the Office for National Statistics, an adviser to the Competition and Markets Authority, and Senior Independent Member of the ESRC Council.

Author of books including The Weightless World, The Soulful Science, The Economics of Enough, GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History, and Markets, State and People, the constant theme of her work has been the way technological change is driving profound shifts in the structure of the economy, and consequently how economic analysis and policy advice need to adapt if they are to help understand and deliver broad-based economic progress. Her new book (October 2021) Cogs and Monsters is motivated by these underlying questions.

Diane is also an ardent advocate of better communication by economists, and the need for a conversation between the profession and the public, for which she was awarded a CBE.

The Annual John Urry Lecture is organized by the Institute for Social Futures, the Centre for Mobilities Research and the Department of Sociology of Lancaster University.

For any enquiries about the event, please contact: Prof David Tyfield ( or Louise Bush (


Contact Details

Name Louise Bush