Cheveners debate globalisation and technology at the University of Sussex

Melissa Guadalupe Social Media Ambassador

You know what a great way to spend a cold day is? Participating in an intense and passionate debate between Chevening Scholars!

The first #CheveningDebate of this year asked the question: ‘Are technology and globalisation destined to drive up inequality?’

To start us off, the debate chair and guest speaker, Dr Alberto Marzucchi from the SPRU, shared with us some of his insights from the research he's conducted in the topic. After his presentation, Dr Marzucchi asked the audience of scholars to raise their hands and vote whether they were ‘for’ or ‘against’ the statement that technology and globalisation are destined to drive up inequality. A slight majority showed that the general opinion was ‘for’ this argument.

Dr Alberto Marzucchi

This set the stage for the first team to start their participation. Team ‘for’ was led by Grace Porman Astari (Indonesia), Vathana Seourn (Cambodia) and Gerald Stefano (Cameroon). They focused on how technology and globalisation can drive up income inequality using examples and case studies from China and the UK.

Chevening Debate team

The ‘against’ team led by Janice Sue Wong (China), Diego Alvarez Ampudia (Mexico) and Adegboyega Ogunwale (Nigeria) arguing that the issues causing inequality were not globalisation and technology per se but rather the philosophy and politics behind their application. They used examples of integrated health care and remote education platforms.

Chevening Debate team

After both teams had presented their arguments, it was time for them to take questions from the audience. This developed into really passionate exchanges about the role of the state, international networks, and the historical aspect of the globalization phenomenon.

Dr Marzucchi gracefully brought the conversations to an end with a final round of votes and it was surprising to see how a slight majority leaning towards the ‘for’ argument in the first vote had faded to leave place for a strong tie between both teams.

As is the Chevening way, we closed off the evening with a lively networking session between the participants, and here you could still hear the discussions carrying on between glasses of wine and tasty snacks!