External Forces and Trends

Industrial Strategy in the 21st Century: Preparing Business for the New Economy

  • Hybrid Event
  • February 22, 2024 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm UTC+0


Preparing the world of business for the novel challenges of the coming decade has reignited the longstanding debate around Industrial Strategy. Should a government have a strategy for its economy and, if so, what should it cover?

The fact that many countries are now developing an industrial strategy reflects the rapidly changing political and economic environment. Recent global events have seen the end of a period of relative geopolitical stability, de-regulation, light-touch government intervention and the globalisation of trade. Governments have become increasingly concerned about their strategic capabilities and supply chains, especially those that are critical to national security and economic sustainability.

Add to the mix the challenges around ageing populations, more frequent climate events, and a real-time impact of the push for Net Zero – and it’s not surprising that policy makers see the need for some sort of industrial strategy. As the FT’s Martin Sandbu noted, “The return of the activist state is now the establishment’s house view.”

But what the strategy should cover is less clear! It is simply impossible for medium sized economies to compete on all fronts. They lack the economic clout of the US, China, and the EU. State investment must therefore be more targeted. Industrial Strategy demands choices and trade-offs – and an honest appraisal of an individual country’s latent skills and economic potential.

What, then, are the different approaches to Industrial Strategy adopted by the world’s leading economies? How do they differ, and how do they contribute to the sustainable growth of the economy?

Whereas much of the current discussion merely focuses on analysis of the problems, our PARC event aims to be ‘solution focused’. We will examine component elements of an economic strategy for medium sized economies, identify the potential trade-offs and priorities, and assess what the implications are likely to be for businesses.

To help us build a comprehensive picture, this event and the accompanying short paper will gather evidence and opinions from business leaders, academics, and policy experts.


The Royal Air Force Club, 128 Piccadilly, London W1J 7PY

Vicky Pryce

Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR)

Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). She was previously Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting, Director General for Economics at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Joint Head of the UK Government Economic Service. Before that she was Partner at the accounting and consulting firm KPMG after senior economic positions in banking and the oil sector. She has held a number of academic posts and is a Fellow and Council member of the UK Academy for Social Sciences, a Fellow of the Society of Professional Economists and a Companion of the British Academy of Management. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the central banking think-tank OMFIF and of the Economic Advisory Group of the British Chambers of Commerce. She is also a Patron of the charities Pro-Bono Economics and Working Chance. Her books include: Greekonomics: The Euro Crisis and Why Politicians Don’t Get It; It’s the Economy, Stupid Economics for Voters, with Ross and Urwin; and Redesigning Manufacturing, with Nielsen and Beverland. Her latest book, Women vs Capitalism, was published by Hurst in November 2019. She is co-founder of GoodCorporation, a company set up to advise on corporate social responsibility and is a Freeman and Liveryman of the City of London.

Read more

Giles Wilkes

Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government, and Partner for Flint Global

Giles splits his time between business consultancy Flint Global and the Institute for Government. In the past ten years he has worked as special adviser to Vince Cable, secretary of state for Business, and prime minister Theresa May, across all aspects of business policy. In between, he has enjoyed stints as a writer of comment for The Financial Times and in various roles at IG Group, a financial derivatives specialist.

Read more

Join PARC today

  • Become part of our community of Senior Performance and Reward Leaders
  • Access facilitated connections with confidential, peer exchange and discussion
  • Join our special interest and focused working groups
  • Attend our programme of events relating to organisational performance and reward strategy
  • Gain network insight and timely perspectives via PARC’s member query service and Pulse Surveys
  • Team access to our development programmes for future reward leaders
  • Invitations to off-programme, confidential, member-led discussions

Forgot your password?

Don’t have an account? Become a member and gain access to:

  • Research and resources for HR and Reward leaders
  • Regular online and in-person events on business and reward topics
  • Advisory support including member surveys, curated content and insights from experts
  • Brokered connections with HR and Reward leaders to share knowledge and good practice
  • Development programmes for future reward leaders