PhD (Economics) (Lincoln), FASSA

My work is based on integrating economic theory with other domains of theory (including evolutionary theory, network and complexity theory, cultural and creativity theory, theory of new knowledge and technology, information theory, organization theory, among others) in order to produce new domains of research and applications. This synthetic inter-disciplinary approach is particularly powerful in leveraging the insights from one field into another, and thus reinvigorating that field (as with both evolutionary economics and the nascent cultural science, both fields I have worked to develop, and now with my new work on ‘institutional crypto-economics’).

The importance of this work lies in developing integrated new theoretical and analytic frameworks that advance research and policy. Examples of this are the development of the complexity (graph-theory based) framework and the micro-meso-macro framework (developed with John Foster and Kurt Dopfer) for evolutionary economics, which introduced key analytic constructs (connections as a way of studying dynamics, and the meso domain) into the foundations of evolutionary economic theory, which then enabled other concepts and applications to be built on that, including new policy models. My recent work developing the field of cultural science (with John Hartley) opens new approaches to studying the origins of innovation and social dynamics. My research developing the theory of innovation commons shows the role that emergent social organization and governance plays in the origin of new technologies and new industries. My current work (with Sinclair Davidson) extending institutional economics to analyse the logic of blockchain based economic coordination is designed to help understand how entrepreneurship and the adoption of blockchain technology will shape economic dynamics the economic consequences of crypto-asset regulation and taxation, including global competition.

The impact of such integrative frameworks enables other researchers to make connections between seemingly unrelated domains and therefore to work on more complex problems using more sophisticated and powerful analytic tools. My work, which is based in simple economic models or logic, is nevertheless widely cited outside of economics domains. This research and its translations has also contributed to shaping new policy approaches to innovation and technology policy, creative industries policy, and to intellectual property.

2017 - Director, Blockchain Innovation Hub – RMIT University

2017- Deputy Head Research, School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, 2017

2014- Professor of Economics, School of Economics, Finance and Marketing RMIT University

2012-13 Associate Professor, School of Economics Finance & Marketing, RMIT University

2006-2012 Principal Research Fellow (Level D) CCI, Queensland University of Technology (part-time secondment from UQ)

1999-2012 (Level B/C), School of Economics, University of Queensland

ARC Future Fellowship

International Joseph A. Schumpeter Prize 2000

  1. Potts, J. (2017) ‘Governing the innovation commons’ Journal of Institutional Economics (forthcoming)
  2. Hartley J, Potts J (2014) Cultural Science: A Natural History of Stories, Demes, Knowledge and Innovation. Bloomsbury: London.
  3. Potts J, Davidson, S., de Filippi, P., (2017) ‘Blockchains and the economics institutions of capitalism’ Journal of Institutional Economics, (forthcoming)
  4. Potts, J., Almudi, I., Fatas-Villafranca, F., Izquierdo, L. (2017) ‘Economics of utopia: A co-evolutionary model of ideas, citizenship, and socio-political change’ Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 27(4): 629-662.
  5. Potts, J. (2016) ‘Innovation policy in a global economy’ Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy 5(3): 308-24.