Skip to main content

Knowledge economy cities vs left-behind places: can the gulf be narrowed? (CIMR debates and workshops in public policy)

Venue: Online

Join the Centre for Innovation Management Research on Wednesday 5 May for our Workshop Knowledge economy cities vs left-behind places: can the gulf be narrowed? Part of the CIMR Debates and Workshops in Public Policy series.

Speakers: Professor Maryann Feldman, Dr Thomas Kemeny
Chair: Dr Frederick Guy
Discussant: Professor Raquel Ortega-Argilés

The places in modern economies with the biggest concentrations of highly paid jobs are hubs of the knowledge economy – technology, science, finance, government, creative industries. In many countries, a gulf has grown between these places and other “left behind” places – a gulf not only of incomes, but of education levels, of age, and of political inclinations. What can be done about this? To what extent is this gulf simply the product of technological change, and to what extent might it be closed by policy interventions? What should those interventions be?

Please sign up to this event by 5pm on Tuesday 4 May. You will be sent the link to join on the morning of the event.



Maryann Feldman 

Maryann P. Feldman is the Heninger Distinguished Professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina, an Adjunct Professor of Finance at Kenan-Flagler Business School and a Research Director at UNC Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. Her research and teaching interests focus on the areas of innovation, the commercialization of academic research and the factors that promote technological change and economic growth. Prof. Feldman is an editor of the journal, Research Policy.

Prof. Feldman was the winner of the 2013 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research for her contributions to the study of the geography of innovation and the role of entrepreneurial activity in the formation of regional industry clusters. From 2014-2017, Prof. Feldman held a joint appointment at the National Science Foundation as the Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) Program Director and chaired an inter-agency working group on Science Policy.

Feldman is a prolific writer whose work appears in numerous journals, including: Management Science, Organization Science, Research Policy, The Journal of Technology Transfer, American Economic Review, The Review of Economics and Statistics, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Economic Geography, and The Brookings Papers on Economic Policy.


Thomas Kemeny 

Dr. Tom Kemeny is Reader (Associate Professor) in Economic Development in the School of Business and Management at QMUL. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics’ International Inequalities Institute. He has held academic appointments at the University of Southampton, LSE, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his PhD from UCLA. 

Tom’s prize-winning research is focused on cities and the deep determinants of uneven development. His recent work considers long-run patterns of technological change as a driver of spatial and interpersonal inequality. In seeking to explore what shapes regional prosperity, he explores the roles of specialization, trade, immigration, innovation and social institutions. He was awarded the Understanding Society Paper Prize in 2019 for his study of Brexit and internal migration. In 2015, his book, The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies: Lessons from San Francisco and Los Angeles, was published by Stanford University Press.  


Raquel Ortega-Argilés

Raquel Ortega-Argilés holds the Chair in Regional Economic Development at the Department of Strategy and International Business and the City-REDI research institute at Birmingham Business School, The University of Birmingham, UK. Her current research work focuses urban and regional inequalities and development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and current issues such as the uneven regional impacts of Brexit and Covid-19 or the regional effects of the digital economy and automation. She is an editor of Regional Studies.

Previously, Raquel has held positions at the University of Groningen, Technical University of Lisbon, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Max-Planck Institute of Economics, and the University of Barcelona. She is the holder of the 2019 Martin Beckmann Prize for the Best Paper published in Papers in Regional Science for her work on the economic exposure to Brexit in European regions and the 2016 Regional Studies Best Paper Award for her work on the regional dimensions of Smart Specialisation.

Her work has been published in international journals such as Canadian Journal of Economics, Journal of Productivity Analysis, Empirical Economics, Science and Public Policy, Small Business Economics, Regional Studies, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Economic Geography and the Journal of Regional Science and in refereed books on innovation and entrepreneurship, European policy or regional economic development topics. 


Frederick Guy

Frederick Guy is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London. Previously he was a research officer at the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge. Before undertaking his postgraduate studies, he worked for ten years as a manager and director in consumer cooperatives in California and Massachusetts.

His research has addressed regional income disparities and monopolistic platform business models; knowledge and skill in clusters and regions; unemployment insurance, skill diversity and innovation; how surveillance technologies reduce wage (power-biased technological change); employers’ failure to adopt high-performance work practices because they enhance workers’ bargaining power; how low superstore costs can raise prices in small shops; and determinants of executive compensation.

His work has appeared in Research Policy, the Journal of Economic Geography, Regional Studies, the British Journal of Industrial Relations, Environment and Planning A, Economics Letters, the Review of International Political Economy, Employee Relations, Science and Public Policy, Spatial Economic Analysis, and the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society. His book The Global Environment of Business is published by Oxford University Press.

He received his BS in Political Economy of Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and his PhD in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE.



Contact name: