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News > School News > 'You are the future… innovate' - behavioural economist gives fascinating talk to pupils

'You are the future… innovate' - behavioural economist gives fascinating talk to pupils

3 Nov 2022
School News

THE important impact younger generations will have on the UK’s economy was highlighted to teenage pupils in a fascinating lecture delivered by leading economist and author Roger Martin-Fagg.

Talking to a broad mix of Years 9 – 13 students with an interest in economics and business, Mr Martin-Fagg addressed many factors influencing the economy, including growth, inflation, and commodity prices, to help them gain a better understanding of the subject.

A behavioural economist and educator, Mr Martin-Fagg delivered the talk as part of Dame Allan’s Schools’ exciting new programme – ‘The Lectures’ – and explained how he makes future predictions based on current economic activity, trends and indicators.

Tailoring his lecture to suit the 13 to 18-year-olds in the room, while also being relevant to attending parents, staff and guests, he looked at demographics and their implications on the economy.

He inspired teenagers by highlighting the potential of Generation Alpha, a demographic of diverse, tech-savvy and innovative children, and Generation Z, digital natives who have been brought up in the information age, to increase productivity and ensure a strong economic future.

“If we are going to innovate and get productivity up, we need to tap into where the real talent is…. and I’m looking at it,” he told the audience. “It’s your future; you are the future.”

Mr Martin-Fagg’s talk covered a broad range of topics, including the monetisation of resources, the importance of small businesses, the role of the banks, the influence of the media and Government, and the factors contributing to an economic boom or recession.

Armed with slides to illustrate the various data and statistics used by economists, he also reflected on the impact of Brexit, unstable political leadership and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing unusual economic activity during the pandemic, he said: “The last two and a half years were mad years, we actually need to ignore them because the data is just noise.

“We are witnessing a big reset and, while the UK’s transition has been unnecessarily wobbly due to a lack of political leadership, our economy is rapidly returning to normal.”

Year 13 pupil Jonathan Pye, who is studying Economics, History and Politics at A Level in the hope of taking a BSc in Politics and International Relations at university, said the talk was fascinating.

“He made the subject really relevant and applied it to real life, so I think everyone in the room got a much better understanding, and it certainly helped my studies,” he said.

Aspiring medic, Sriya Sagi, who is taking A Level Economics, Biology and Chemistry, added: “I found the talk both engaging and eye-opening – it was really interesting to get a more in-depth perspective on the concepts we learn about in lessons.”

Colin McFall, Head of Economics and Business, said pupils benefitted enormously from the breadth and depth of ideas covered in the lecture.

“Roger’s bold, evidence-based forecasts on the likelihood of recession, the prospects for wage growth and house prices, and the arrival of the hydrogen-based car will be viewed with great interest by our economists over the remainder of their A level course and in the undergraduate years that follow.” 

On February 16, Sara Davies MBE, an investor on BBC One’s Dragons’ Den and entrepreneur who, aged 21, founded Crafter’s Companion, a multi-million pound business with a global distribution centre in County Durham, will give the third talk in the series.

For tickets visit the events page of the website.

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