Stream: Artificial Intelligence
Marc Ventresca is an economic sociologist in the Strategy, Innovation and Marketing Faculty at Saïd Business School and a Governing Body Fellow of Wolfson College.
Marc’s areas of expertise include market and network formation, entrepreneurship, governance, and innovation and technology strategy.
His research and teaching focus on the formation of markets and networks in business and social settings. Specifically, he researches how markets are built and the actors who build them. He is also an expert in the areas of governance, innovation and technology and how they interact with markets and networks.
Trained in sociology and political philosophy, Marc takes a novel approach to researching how markets and networks are formed over time. While many finance colleagues treat market formation as an exit strategy for entrepreneurs who want to realise value from their ventures, Marc sees markets as political and cultural institutions. He uses strategy, sociology, economic theory and organisational theory to understand markets’ existence and underpinnings.
‘I don’t assume that markets self organise for a functional reason. In some cases, market formation is a political process, or one driven by emulation,’ he says. ‘If one country initiates a successful stock exchange, another country may create a stock exchange to emulate that success, for parity of national ‘status’, or because of provisions by global intermediaries like the IFC. This sociological perspective to markets also takes symbolism and signalling into account.’
Marc is involved with a number of entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives within Oxford. He is academic director for the ‘Science Innovation Plus’ initiative, which is a partnership between Saïd Business School and the Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences. This partnership engages sciences doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows with the MBA innovation and entrepreneurial activities. He has supported the School’s annual ‘Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford’ event over the years and frequently participates in the ‘Inspiring Women in Leadership and Learning’ (iwill) initiative. He is founding convenor of the research seminar series ‘Strategies, Institutions and Practices at Saïd’. Marc also acts as an advisor to several technology and social innovation start-ups founded by recent Oxford alumni.
Beyond Oxford, Marc works on various journal editorial boards; he hosts executive education seminars and lectures; he serves as an external assessor at universities around the world and he was a core faculty member for the Goldman Sachs ‘10,000 Women Entrepreneurs’ initiative in the Oxford partnerships with Zhejiang University (Hangzhou China) and with SWUFE (Chengdu China). This programme provided business and management education to women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging markets.
Marc has held research affiliations at the Oxford Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, the Global Public Policy Academic Group at the Naval Postgraduate School, the Center for Organizational Research at the University of California, the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, and the Stanford Center for Innovation and Communication.
Marc earned his BA in political science/political philosophy and two MAs in education policy and sociology, then earned his PhD in political and organizational sociology, all from Stanford. He served on the faculty at the Kellogg School of Management and Department of Sociology at Northwestern University for many years before joining Oxford in 2004. He has been a visiting faculty member at the Copenhagen Business School, the University of California at Irvine, the University of Illinois, Stanford University’s School of Engineering (Center for Work, Technology and Organizations) and the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research, among others.