Forty students, from sixteen schools in and around London, gathered at the Legatum Institute for a taste of university-style study centred on the question ‘Does capitalism in history increase inequality or improve the lives of the majority?’.
Dr Victoria Bateman and Professor David Abulafia, both fellows of the Legatum Institute, led seminars that explored both sides of the argument. The sessions were followed by working groups in which students argued from their own perspectives and challenged the views of their peers.
A panel debate closed the academic side of the day with representatives from each seminar taking to the stage to argue for the collective views of their groups. Questions from the floor were the highlight of the event, with many students challenging the panellists’ arguments and eloquently explaining the reasoning behind their personal views.
The afternoon concluded with a mixer, where students had the opportunity to chat further with peers from other schools. Many of the participants asserted that they would like to see more events of this kind, which offer a valuable and unique opportunity to discuss and debate interesting, cross-disciplinary questions that sit outside the national curriculum and have great relevance today.