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The 15th ISS (International Joseph Schumpeter Society) Conference, Jena, 27-30 July 2014

by Tony Irawan

The theme of the 15th ISS conference is “Foundations of Economic Change – Behaviour, Interaction and Aggregate Outcomes”. This conference covers a broad range of topics reaching from Behavioural and Experimental Economics to Evolutionary Economics, Economic Growth Theory and Agent-Based Modeling. In the plenary sessions, several leading researchers have presented and discussed their ideas on several key issues in Schumpeterian economics. W. Brian Arthur has shared his thoughts on the topic of complexity economic and innovation. During the same session, the issue of complexity was further discussed by Magna Fontana particularly within the Agent-Based Modeling framework.
In the second plenary session, Wesley Cohen presented his study on industrial dynamics in the United States’ manufacturing. He emphasized the acquisition and commercialization of invention in US manufacturing. Then, Guido Buenstorf complemented the session by emphasizing the framework of Schumpeterian incumbent. In total, the ISS conference had seven plenary sessions, seven parallel sessions and one final outlook. Interestingly, the ISS conference also had three semi-plenary sessions. In each semi-plenary session, participants were able to choose one out of three topics.
The topic of the parallel sessions was also interesting. All participants were allowed to choose from a broad range of topics. Furthermore, the conference also delivered a strong message about the importance of the green growth concept. There were seven sessions in the parallel sessions that focussed on the green growth concept, namely green innovation: energy, green innovation: industry studies, green innovation: structural dimensions, policy: renewable energy, green innovation: determinants and incentives, sustainable development, green innovation: capabilities and complementarities.  
In terms of the up-to-date technical approach, I found that many Schumpeterian economists are now focusing on Agent-Based Modeling (ABM). There were a quite substantial number of papers that were presented in the parallel sessions which employed the ABM approach. Moreover, there was also one plenary session and one semi-plenary session that discussed the ABM approach. Interestingly, the ABM approach is currently used not only in Microeconomics but also in Macroeconomics, as a study presented by Mauro Napoletano demonstrated.