13 Mar 2017 Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre (The NCS) Student’s Experience Session With Harvard’s Professor Michael Sandel
NCS students and staff had the privilege of meeting Harvard academic Professor Michael Sandel, who is recognised as one of the great thinkers of our time.
His online Harvard course Justice and his book What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets has captivated audiences across the globe. “Justice” was the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on television and has been viewed tens of millions of times, which led him to be named “most influential foreign figure of the year” by China Newsweek.
Professor Sandel spoke briefly about the political climate we now face and then shed some light on how we got here. Students had an opportunity to ask questions on political philosophy as well as other areas of their studies. NCS students and staff were also given tickets to attend his LSE lecture “In Conversation with Michael Sandel: capitalism, democracy and the public good” where he put forward his argument that the move to a market based society has led to perverse outcomes and incentives and it was time for a change in the political discourse to one that centred around big ideas.
Everyone at The NCS would like to thank Professor Sandel for the time that he gave our students.
The Student View
``To be given the opportunity to engage in philosophical discourse with a leading philosopher from Harvard was an enriching experience which extended the frontiers of my political awareness and inspired me to continue to grapple with the most pressing questions which dominate the current political sphere. His suggestion that progressive parties are in need of redefining their mission to move past a ‘politics of protest’ to a ‘politics of persuasion’ stimulated my desire to become a leader in the political profession, challenge the status quo and take an active role in shaping the future.`` - Saadia
``Speaking to a Harvard professor about his pragmatically progressive opinions was an incredibly enlightening experience. Discussions ranged from the moralistic constraints that should exist in financial markets; the growing issue of ``meritocratic hubris`` in the public sector to the dire need for change within the established political system. This was invaluable opportunity, but beyond inspiring - it was galvanising. I truly feel that Sandel's simplistic appeal to fundamental human morality, as his core political belief is that 'progressive politics should speak a language of moral philosophy', separates him as a leading figure of our times.`` - Iram
``It was a remarkably unique experience to meet the influential Professor Michael Sandel. With his immense knowledge of political philosophy, he engaged our minds with contemporary political debates and conversations. Nothing could be more inspirational to the aspiring youth.`` - Nikoleta