Alderman & Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli is Emeritus Mercers' School Memorial Professor of Commerce at Gresham College, having held the chair from 2005 to 2009. His first degree was in Government from Harvard, followed by mathematics and engineering studies at Trinity College Dublin and a PhD from the London School of Economics in chaotic systems, where he was also a Visiting Professor.
Professor Mainelli is Executive Chairman of Z/Yen, the City of London’s leading commercial think-tank and venture firm, which he co-founded in 1994 to promote societal advance through better finance and technology. A qualified accountant (FCCA), securities professional (FCSI), computer specialist (FBCS) and management consultant (FIC), Michael began his career as a research scientist in aerospace (rockets) and computing (architecture & mapping). He later became a senior partner with accountants BDO Binder Hamlyn directing global consulting projects. During the 1990s he worked for the UK Ministry of Defence as Corporate Development Director for Europe’s then largest R&D firm, the Defence Evaluation & Research Agency leading to two privatisations. Career highlights include directing Z/Yen’s Long Finance initiative with Gresham College and the City of London Corporation asking “when would we know our financial system is working?” as well as creating the Global Financial Centres Index, Global Intellectual Property Index, London Accord and Farsight Award. Michael also conceived and produced the first complete digital map of the world in 1983, Mundocart (a 1980’s Google Earth), and the $20 million Geodat consortium cartography project.
Michael is non-executive Director of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UK’s national body for standards and laboratories), AIM-listed Sirius Minerals plc (potash mining), AIM-listed Wishbone Gold Plc; Alderman for Broad Street Ward (elected) at the City of London Corporation; Almoner for Christ’s Hospital School; Trustee of International Fund for Animal Welfare. Michael has held numerous advisory posts, for example with Hitachi UK, City University and HM Treasury. Michael won a 1996 UK Foresight Challenge award for the Financial Laboratory, 2003 UK Smart Award for prediction software, 2005 British Computer Society Director of the Year, 2011 Technology Strategy Board Challenge Award for financial avatars, and was awarded Gentiluomo of the Associazione Cavalieri di San Silvestro in 2011. Michael is a Liveryman, Worshipful Company of World Traders, Freeman, Watermen & Lightermen, and represents the Financial Services Group of Livery Companies.
Michael has published over 40 journal articles, 150 commercial articles and four books. Michael’s humorous risk/reward management novel, Clean Business Cuisine: Now and Z/Yen, written with Ian Harris, was a Sunday Times Book of the Week in 2000; Accountancy Age described it as “surprisingly funny considering it is written by a couple of accountants”. Their third co-authored book, The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions, based on his Gresham lectures, won the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Finance, Investment & Economics Gold Prize. Michael plays bagpipes, loves skiing and sailing and, with his wife, Elisabeth, he races and restores the 1923 Thames Sailing Barge Lady Daphne and sits on the world’s oldest sailing racing body, the Thames Match Committee. With an international family, Michael speaks English, German, French and Italian poorly, but even worse Spanish and Chinese.
To access all of Professor Mainelli's previous Gresham College lectures, please click here.
Paul Ekins PhD, MSc (Econ), MPhil (Peace Studies), BSc (Eng) has a PhD in economics from Birkbeck College, and a BSc in electrical engineering from Imperial College (both University of London). He is Professor of Energy and Environment Policy at the UCL Energy Institute, University College London. He is a Co-Director of the UK Energy Research Centre, in charge of its Energy Systems theme, and also leads UCL’s involvement in large research consortia on Bioenergy and Hydrogen. He is also Chairman of the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP), the UK’s most effective initiative at promoting resource efficiency in industry, and the Director of the UK Green Fiscal Commission, which is exploring the prospects for and implications of large-scale environmental tax reform in the UK. He was a Member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution from 2002-2008 and, from 2003-2007, was on the UK Government’s Sustainable Energy Policy Advisory Board. He also has extensive experience consulting for business, government and international organisations.In 1994 Paul Ekins received a Global 500 Award ‘for outstanding environmental achievement’ from the United Nations Environment Programme.
Paul Ekins’ academic work focuses on the conditions and policies for achieving an environmentally sustainable economy, with a special focus on energy and climate policy, and the modelling of the energy system; on innovation; on the role of economic instruments such as environmental taxes; on sustainability assessment; and on environment and trade. He is the author of numerous books, papers and articles on environmental taxation and other sustainable development issues, including Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability: the Prospects for Green Growth (Routledge, London, 2000).