Mark is a multidisciplinary economist with an academic, public policy and commercial background. He leads The Good Economy’s research and policy work.

Mark Hepworth

Founding Director, Research and Policy

Mark is a multidisciplinary economist with a varied academic, public policy and commercial background. He leads The Good Economy's research and policy work, including on The Good Economy Job Ratings and financial innovation as a driver of inclusive and sustainable development.

Mark has a long-standing interest in new economic development ‘paradigms’. Through the 1980s and 1990s, he developed an international reputation for his seminal research on ICT and the information society, at the University of Toronto and the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He acted as a policy advisor to the OECD, UN Economic Council and European Commission. 

Between 1997 and 2007, Mark co-founded Local Futures and built it into a leading UK economic development consultancy and place analytics business (now part of Grant Thornton). Backed by UK cities and regions, the European Commission and ICT companies, Mark’s pioneering research on ICT and the knowledge economy influenced policy development at all levels. He set up the UK’s first Knowledge Economy policy network.  

In 2007, Mark became a Visiting Professor in Applied Economic Geography at Birkbeck College, University of London. He founded Geoeconomics to continue his economic development consultancy interests, specialising in the green economy and corporate economic impact assessment (in partnership with Oxford Economics).

As Social Value Advisor to Big Issue Invest, Mark co-created the innovative social impact assessment methodologies which underpin the Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund and the Standard Life Investments UK Equity Impact - Employment Opportunities Fund. Mark has also produced social impact assessments for private equity firms, Enterprise Ventures and LDC, described by the British Venture Capital Association as state of the art. 

Mark is a member of the UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing Working Group on UK Inclusive and Sustainable Development.

Mark graduated in economics from the University of Warwick and holds a Ph.D. in economic geography from the University of Toronto.