About the Event


The New Enlightenment: Reshaping Capitalism & the Global Order in a Neo-Mercantilist World is the first major international scholarly event to be held at Adam Smith’s historic home, the Panmure House.


Hosted by Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University, and the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, this by-invitation-only gathering of scholars, policymakers, business leaders, and thought leaders will give us a chance to reflect on what Smith saw as the moral and political foundation of capitalism, where economic theory and policy have gone in the intervening 250 years, and what we need to do for democracy, society, and the economy to thrive over the next 250 years. Read more about this “call to arms” at Panmure House.

An ancillary purpose of the event is to contemplate how Panmure House might be used in the future as the focus of further debate and discussion. Edinburgh Business School is eager for ideas on how this magnificently restored asset can play a key role in the intellectual life of an open liberal and moral society.

The event will take place in Edinburgh on July 1–2, 2019, and will feature a dinner at Edinburgh Castle on July 1 and on the Royal Yacht Britannia on July 2.

Much is at stake. The event organizers believe that the Scottish Enlightenment that Adam Smith and his friend David Hume led is under threat from both within and without. The ethical foundations of capitalism have been forgotten. Some large emerging economies have adopted mercantilist beggar-thy-neighbor policies that threaten the very existence of the liberal world order that Smith helped us understand and appreciate. 

We will take our cue from Smith and adopt a multidisciplinary approach to the economic problems that threaten the market system and liberal democracy. We will endeavor to find ways to shape a new and better future, bearing in mind the technological, institutional, and political opportunities and threats confronting us. 


The New Enlightenment Paper


Reshaping Capitalism

Senior Contributor, Forbes; Author of The Age of Agile

“We're all drunks looking under the lamppost.”
—Aviv Nevo, professor of economics, University of Pennsylvania (2018)

Read the article.