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. Six 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”. Speakers will include, Bill Drayton (CEO, Ashoka), Agnes Binagwaho (VC, UGHE), Meagan Fallone (CEO, Barefoot College), and Fred Swaniker, (Founder & CEO, African Leadership Group).

This event is free and open to the public, no need for registration.

If you cannot attend, you can join us live via our Facebook Live stream! #DebateSkollWF

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