Constructive Dialogue on Globalisation Issues
1st July, London Metropolitan University, Moorgate EC2N 6SQ
The balance between government, business and organisation representatives was excellent.
The plenary session was chaired by Professor Roderick Floud, Vice Chancellor of London Metropolitan University and President of Universities UK.
The invited panel of guests were:
- Sultan Ahmed, Student at City and Islington College
- Peter Hardstaff, Head of Policy, World Development Movement
- Franc Jegede, Environmental and Applied Sciences, University of Derby
- Muriel Johnson, Social Compliance Manager, Marks and Spencer
- Cherecee Williams, Student at City and Islington College
The Question Time style session enabled delegates to raise issues from the day and discuss them with the panel. Issues raised included operation of multinational corporations, and links between the countries in which they live and work. The role of government was raised and how it can be shaped to best suit workers in their country. It was viewed that multinational corporations can be seen as vehicles of change, but must be accountable. The responsibilities of corporations must be recognised in addition to the potential for good and bad practice. There was a strong call that debt relief must be more widely implemented.
The issue of food was raised, with questions of why imported food in the UK is inexpensive. Panel responses agreed that the consumer does not meet the external costs of food production, therefore making products a lot cheaper, to the disadvantage of the producer.
The session was brought to an end with the panel members being asked which global hero, past or present, they would like to spend time with in the Big Brother house. Answers included Nelson Mandela, Marie Curie, Mother Theresa, Marcus Garvy, and day-to-day unsung survivors, although most agreed that they would not like to spend any time in the Big Brother house.
"I would recommend others to attend"
Delegates attending included representatives from Norfolk Education and Action on Development, Co-op, HopeHIV, University of Derby, Marks and Spencer, Company of World Traders, VSO, Nottingham Trent University, London Metropolitan University, World Development Movement, Response Consulting, and the Department for Trade and Industry.
Plus, students and teachers from these eleven schools and colleges:
- Broomfield School
- Burntwood School
- City and Islington College
- John Ruskin College
- Kingston Grammar School
- Lady Margaret School
- Prendergast School
- Richmond Upon Thames College
- St Paul's Girls School
- Surbtion High School
- Tower Hamlets College
The standard was very high and pitched appropriately to the students attending
The delegates were students of Geography, Economics, Business Studies and Politics studying at AS and A level. The topics and issues raised were very important to these subjects and enabled balanced dialogue between different interest areas of interest. Thinking skills and critical thinking were employed as development was made during the day.
Support and thanks
In the preparation and conduct of the conference, a great deal of assistance was received in many ways from Felicity Brown, London Metropolitan University, and from Worldaware staff and volunteers: Lucinda Campbell-Gray, Parmender Daniells, Bob Ely, Andrew Fraser, Felicia Hodge, Sir Jim Lester, Karen Norris, Simon Scoones, Catherine Stocker, Bob Webster, Angus Willson, Virginia Winter.
Report complied by Catherine Stocker July 31st 2000