New Money Review podcast

New Money Review podcast


The spirit of innovation

February 24, 2020


Money is undergoing unprecedented change: around the world, we see new ways of paying each other, new stores of value, new ways of recording economic activity and new forms of exchange.


But how surprising is this period of upheaval? From the wheel to the loom, the steam engine to electricity and the computer, human history has witnessed regular, intense bouts of technological progress. Are there particular factors that lead to a spirit of innovation?


Anton Howes, our guest on the latest New Money Review podcast, is well-placed to answer that question.


Anton is historian-in-residence at the UK’s Royal Society for the encouragement of arts, manufactures and commerce, which is nearly 270 years old. Before that he was a lecturer in economic history at King's College London.


His specialist subject is the three-century period of English history when the country switched from being a ‘godforsaken backwater’ off the north-west coast of continental Europe to playing the leading global role in the industrial revolution.


Listen to the podcast to hear Anton’s views on the following topics.



  • What is innovation?

  • Why Elizabethan England lagged in agriculture and industry

  • How an ‘improving mentality’ came to England

  • Institutional support for innovation

  • The role of royal monopolies and early corporations

  • Great exhibitions, world fairs and international competition

  • Copyrights, patents and innovation