03 Sep 2012: Graveney School meet Statoil Advisory Committee
DM UK Champions congratulated by Statoil and Nobel Laureate Joe Stiglitz
On a late summer’s evening, overlooking a stunning view of London, the new DM UK Champions, Graveney School from Tooting, London, were congratulated by the competition’s new headline sponsor Statoil, and Nobel Prize winning economist Professor Joe Stiglitz.
The evening was hosted by Lady Barbara Judge, a leading business woman and Statoil board member. It provided a wonderful opportunity for the winning students to discuss ideas, business and politics with leading figures from Statoil.
Graveney School debaters: Aaron Stead, Alex Dignan, Caitlin Comins, Georgia Haigh, Laurence Maples and Orla Oakey, with teachers David Perks and Hans Bhurruth, being congratulated by Statoil Board members Lady Judge and Roy Franklin; Statoil employees and members of Statoil’s Strategic Advisory Council.
Sir John Scarlett, Chair of Statoil’s Strategic Advisory Council and former head of the Secret Intelligence Service, congratulated the Graveney students and introduced them to fellow Council members: David Goldwyn, former energy policy advisor to Hillary Clinton; Professor Joseph Stiglitz; Ian Howat, former head of strategy at Total; and Peter Ho, former head of the civil service in Singapore.
Roy Franklin, Board member of Statoil ASA, said:
“I was very impressed by the winning team from Graveney School - they were a bright and engaging group and came across as highly aware of the issues shaping our world. To be able to form and express opinions around these issues, as in debating, is a crucial skill to foster as they progress from school education.”
Professor Stiglitz was also impressed by the students and commented:
“I myself was a debater in secondary school. I could see the benefits in these young students even in brief conversation — inquisitive, analytic, and focused minds, able to articulate their ideas clearly and forcefully. I was particularly struck by their poise, to which their participation in debating I am sure contributed.”
Speaking on behalf of the Graveney team, debater Georgia Haigh said of their experience:
“It was fantastic to have a conversation with a group of influential intellectuals and business people. They were not only interested in what we had to say, but were also impressed by our achievements and enthusiastic about what we had gained from the competition. I ended up having a conversation about Venezuela with Joe Stiglitz and Anders from Statoil, discussing tuition fees with members of the Statoil board and taking some life lessons from John Scarlett.
Winning Debating Matters is not simply about lifting up the trophy at the end of a hard fought competition. It’s about learning more about the world around you, the people you meet through the various events, and the conversations you are able to have with them. Preparing for debates is extremely interesting, and you become more informed as a result, more able to discuss important issues, and more confident to question the views of others - be they your team mate, or Joe Stiglitz!”
The Graveney team will now go on to their final debate competing against Our Lady Queen of the Missions School, Kolkata (reigning DM India champions) at the DM UK v India International Final debate at the Battle of Ideas Festival on Saturday 20th October at the Barbican Centre.
The Battle of Ideas 2012 features 350 speakers at 75 debates, including keynote sessions on equality, free will and the 21st century case for freedom, strands on the Battles for Europe, the media, the UK after the riots and ethical issues in science and medicine. Early Bird weekend tickets are £90/£50 until 10 September. Together with The Hargrave Foundation, the Battle of Ideas are delighted to be able to offer Debating Matters students a free day ticket to the Battle of Ideas festival, attending on either Saturday 20 or Sunday 21 October. And if you want to attend the whole weekend you can do so for just £10 for the other day! To reserve your free day ticket/s email now.