José Neves Adelino Discusses the Meaning of Inclusive Capitalism

José Neves Adelino
Trustee, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

The discussion around inclusive capitalism embraces fundamental questions about our search for balance between efficiency and equity. Such questions are absolutely critical for societies that strive to grow the economic pie to meet individuals' expectations, while slicing it in ways that secure the sustainability of their own institutional frameworks

On the efficiency front, inclusive capitalism takes into account economists' proposals for how market failures can be addressed in order to sustain the architecture required for market-based economic systems.

On the equity front, discussions taking place around inclusive capitalism help contribute to our understanding of what might be an appropriate distribution of wealth in our societies. Different groups have different views as to the degree of acceptable wealth differentiation.

The inclusive capitalism debate contributes to the understanding of these differences and forces us to think of equity as a constraint on efficiency.

I have recently become very interested in discussions around the impact of technology on our societies. While technology has enormous potential to alleviate wealth differentiation, and has played a great role in reducing global economic inequality, we must accept that technological change relies on knowledge and this is not evenly distributed. The emergence of a new knowledge era, in which wealth accumulates to a limited number of individuals, poses great challenges for our societies. It will be important to address these within the framework of inclusive capitalism.