Abstract: This talk, to be given as a keynote address in September at the UK-China Economics Association annual conference, explores the idea that China will emerge as the dominant player in a Fifth Industrial Revolution, which will turn on decarbonisation of energy, transport, building services and the food supply. The talk looks at the notion of successive waves of industrialisation from the late 18th century through the early 21st century, and considers the contours of the next Industrial Revolution. Then it turns to a consideration of the respective places of Britain, America, and China in the global value chain, and why decarbonisation will represent different challenges than the transformative technologies of the past. While a reversal of fortune is not inevitable, it is certainly possible over the course of the 21st century.
Biography: Dr. D’Maris Coffman joined UCL in September 2014 as a Senior Lecturer in Economics and Finance of the Built Environment at CPM here at UCL Bartlett. In February 2017, she was appointed Interim Director (Head of Department) of BSCPM. In late January 2018, she was appointed to a professorial chair in Economics and Finance of the Built Environment with effect from March 2018. Before coming to UCL, she spent six years as a fellow of Newnham College where I variously held a junior research fellowship (Mary Bateson Research Fellowship), a post as a college lecturer and teaching fellow, and a Leverhulme ECF. In July 2009, she started the Centre for Financial History, which she directed through December 2014. It is still going strong, but has moved from Newnham College to Darwin College in line with the affiliation of its new director. She did her undergraduate training at the Wharton School in managerial and financial economics and her PhD in the School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn, her doctoral research in the UK was funded in part by the Mellon Foundation under the guise of an IHR pre-doctoral fellowship and an SSRC international dissertation fellowship. Professor Coffman’s research interests span infrastructure, construction, real estate and climate change.