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Union Debate: The Role of Universities in Creating Social Impact

The Skoll Foundation
Event organized by The Skoll Foundation

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In an era of rapid technological and societal disruption, social innovation and entrepreneurship have emerged as promising approaches to confronting “wicked” problems. The theme of this year’s Skoll World Forum, “The Power of Proximity,” underscores the need for social innovation to come from the ground up.

Universities – long beacons of intellectual inquiry and knowledge generation – have come under criticism for perceived elitism and disengagement from their communities. Recent evidence suggests that universities are lagging behind the private and public sectors in driving social innovation. Has the ivory tower become an iron cage?

Join us for a lively debate in an unparalleled setting—the Oxford Union’s legendary Debating Chamber. Global leaders from the public, private and academic sectors will engage in a British Parliamentary-style debate on the following Proposition:
“This House believes that universities lack the necessary ‘proximity’ to be effective agents of social innovation in the 21st Century.”

with the speakers including:
- Bill Drayton (CEO, Ashoka)
- Agnes Binagwaho (Vice Chancellor, University of Global Health Equality)
- Meagan Fallone (CEO, Barefoot College)
- Keith Magee (University College London)

Audience members will have the opportunity to join the discussion and, of course, select the winning team. The debate is certain to be a highlight of Skoll Week 2018.

This event is free and open to the public.No registration is required, all are welcome to join us, but please arrive on time, as seating is of course limited.

Not in Oxford? Join us via Facebook Live and join the conversation using #DebateSkollWF.