Changing the World from Avenue Campus

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Last weekend saw the taking place of Southampton University’s third annual International Development Conference at Avenue Campus, bringing together students to learn and discuss what it means to make a difference on an international scale.

Organised by English student Natasha Unwin and a team of dedicated volunteers, this event involved a day of talks and discussion groups, run by some of the most exciting names currently in international growth. The weekend kicked off on the evening of Friday 11th, with the thought-provoking film, Black Gold, portraying the unfair wage distribution within the Ethiopian coffee trade.

The next day included talks on all manner of international development aspects, beginning with a rousing lecture given by Southampton alumni Judith Randall, based on worldwide development goals. Judith posed the question “what will it take to achieve a world without absolute poverty?” causing much lively debate and discussion amongst the attendants.

Other speakers included Rob Norman and Christabel Buchana, writers at New Internationalist magazine and their controversial topic-“is aid dead?”, Amy Horton who provided an informative discussion about ethics in the food industry, and Caroline Elliot’s ‘War on Want’, questioning the rise of informal economy.

The day ended with a productive and dynamic ‘open space’ discussion in Avenue Cafe, where issues that had been raised during the day were dissected and analysed, and keen, ethical heads were put to together as to the future direction of international development, and what we as students can do to facilitate it. After a tiring, but inspirational day, we all felt we had discovered a little more about our own roles within worldwide development.

If you would like to be involved in the running of next year’s IDC or any ethical and environmental events, e-mail Natasha at the Southampton Student Hub, on ncu1g10@soton.ac.uk.

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I am studying English and Philosophy in my 2nd year, I live in a house with 4 weirdos, a trampoline and two fish called Jermaine and Vince. I love the write, I have two blogs, and also write for Summit magazine :)

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