For 800 years, Oxford and Cambridge have enjoyed a friendly rivalry. This can be seen in sporting events such as the Boat Race, but also at Union debates. One of these historic debates was held at Cambridge Union on 16 May where I had the honour of being chair of the Annual Oxbridge Business School debate. The topic was:

“This house believes that globalisation perpetuates social inequity.”

Speakers in Proposition (Oxford Saïd) were Eric Sukumaran, Senjuti Bhattacharyya, Ryan Farrell and Marla Woodward.

Speakers in Opposition (Cambridge Judge) were Monique Andrew, Kevin McCarthy, George Downing and Navin Chandiramani.

The debate was opened by Saïd’s Eric Sukumaran, who argued that globilisation and inequity had contributed to a number of problems such as the rise in populism in western countries. The Cambridge team countered by citing a number of statistics suggesting that poverty has been substantially reduced globally over the past 40 years, the period associated with the rise of globilisation.

Both teams made excellent arguments, but in the end the Cambridge team emerged victorious with a two-vote advantage. The officers from the Oxford and Cambridge Unions choose Kevin McCarthy as the best speaker of the evening and following the debate, both teams and guests enjoyed a drink together at the Union Bar.

The debate allowed all those involved to address a problem that afflicts society globally, promoting engagement and active dialogue. It was an inspiring learning experience for everyone who participated from both business schools, and differed completely from traditional in-class lecture experiences, by providing an active learning experience for those in the audience and debate teams.

Special thanks to the core committee at CJBS: Ainsley, Cameron, Monique, Navin, Tomo, Nahush and Galuh. Another special thanks to Saïd’s Amanda Foreman who organised the debate on behalf of Oxford.