How Powerful Can Economics Be?

Nobel Perspectives is getting to the bottom of the questions that matter. Whether you're interested in climate change, societal trends or the tech revolution, UBS and Nobel Laureates stand together as thought leaders on the global economy.

23 Aug 2019

Most scientists who have contributed to society rarely get the spotlight. To dive deeper into science and learn more about the life and work of Nobel Laureates was the starting point of a journey that became Nobel Perspectives. Today, the UBS initiative which presents award-winning ideas in the field of economics has evolved to one of the largest archives of Nobel Laureate interviews to date.

You get these sound bites that economics failed to understand the 2008 collapse. It’s a useless science. But I never see things being written saying medicine has failed to understand cancer therefore it’s a useless science.

– Christopher Pissarides

Nobel Perspectives introduces Nobel Laureates in Economic Sciences and provides a platform for a discipline that adapts to a constantly changing world and endeavors to improve human wellbeing. “An economic idea can be worth a trillion dollars,” explains Nobel Laureate Bengt Holmström, taking the development in China as a prime example. “When China got their economics right, 400 million people got out of poverty. That’s how powerful economics is.”

By bringing the highest honored economists together on a digital campus, the first of its kind, Nobel Perspectives is able to ask the questions that matter. Will China lead the tech revolution? Can economics help fight climate change? How will FinTech reshape banking? Nobel Laureates know the answer.

Clients expect us to provide them with a first-rate view on what’s happening in financial markets. And you could only offer such an expert view if you yourself have a deep and nuanced understanding of the forces that drive global economy.

– Winfried Daun

“Nobel Perspectives provides a livelier, a richer, a more engaging type of economic content than what people are used to when just reading textbooks,” says Winfried Daun, UBS’s Group Head of Brand Strategy. “Clients expect us to provide them with a first-rate view on what’s happening in financial markets. And you could only offer such an expert view if you yourself have a deep and nuanced understanding of the forces that drive the global economy.”

In 2017, UBS carried Nobel Perspectives to the next level by launching a regular event series that enables clients, employees and students to enjoy personal interaction with Nobel Laureates. This innovative interface allows scientists to shed their status as intellectual figures and become fireside chat partners for inquisitive minds.

At the first event in Singapore, 1000 students applauded as four Nobel Laureates entered the stage to answer their questions. The telephone of UBS’s Chairman of the Board rang non-stop, but Axel Weber was busy listening to the Singaporean Minister of Finance, who after ten minutes was still cheering about “Nobel Perspectives Live!”.

Today, “Nobel Perspectives Live!” has stopped in Singapore, Shanghai, New York and London, with new events already on the horizon. The event series has appeared in nearly 40 articles published in international press and welcomed more than 6,000 attendees.

Though we may not realize it, economics is part of our everyday life. Nobel Perspectives shows how a field that seems rather complex at first sight is actually straightforward, fascinating, fun and essential to our well-being as well as our ability to thrive in the future.

UBS has been able to partner with some of the greatest minds in economics. We want to share our insights with others and invite people to think about the big questions in life and learn more about something as quintessential as economics.

As time evolves, more questions will arise and we need to keep abreast of changes around environmental issues, labor markets or technological developments. By teaming up with more than 45 Nobel Laureates in Economics, we are prepared to continue the journey, hoping to make a difference by answering the questions that shape our world. Join the journey.

More Nobel Laureate stories

What’s the key to happy, productive employees?

Bengt R. Holmström

Nobel Laureate, 2016

Why is there unemployment when jobs are available?

Sir Christopher A. Pissarides

Nobel Laureate, 2010

Can people be nudged into making better choices?

Richard H. Thaler

Nobel Laureate, 2017