Blavatnik School students continue winning streak in the MPP vs MBA Debate

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The traditional MPP vs MBA Debate saw another victory for the Blavatnik School students last Thursday, 8 June, after a heated discussion on data sharing and tech companies.

The topic, which has often been in the news in recent weeks, was structured into the following motion for debate: “technology firms should be compelled to share personal data of their users with government agencies upon demand”.

The Said Business School’s team was in favour of the motion, highlighting that such policy would enhance security, well-being and would be administered through due process. The team included Kristina Partsinevelos, Arvind Iyer, Cara Skikne, and Rutendo Chigora.

The Blavatnik School was represented by Tejas RK Motwani, Jonathan Padilla, Tida Yingcharoen, and Kristie Barrow, who argued that data sharing could lead violation of privacy, affecting democracy and freedom, and that there is no apparent need for such a policy.

The student-led event took place at the Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History, which in 1860 hosted the notorious Great Debate between Samuel Wilberforce and Thomas Huxley about Charles Darwin's Origin of Species.

Before the start, the MPP team was the favourite – the Blavatnik School teams have won all previous debates against the Said Business School. After over an hour of grueling arguments, witty comments and tough criticism by both sides, the panel of three judges decided that the MPP students were more convincing in their arguments, and awarded them the victory by a majority of 2:1.

Rutendo Chigora from the Said Business School team was awarded ‘Best Speaker’ – and we’re proud to highlight that she’s also an alumna of the Blavatnik School.

Congratulations to both teams for an engaging debate on such a great topic. We look forward to hearing from our MPP students over the summer, as they now head into their Summer Project placements.