unctad.org | Summer School looks at finance, debt in development discourse
Summer School looks at finance, debt in development discourse
03 September 2018
Summer School
The Young Scholars Initiative of the Institute of New Economic Thinking and UNCTAD teamed up to offer their first summer school for young professionals and academics.

The inaugural UNCTAD Summer School kicked off in Geneva, Switzerland, on 3 September with a lecture by Richard Kozul-Wright, director of UNCTAD’s division on Globalization and Development Strategies.

The theme of the Summer School was “Money, finance and debt: Old Debates, New Challenges,” and Mr. Kozul-Wright spoke about the predicament faced by developing countries in a world economy largely rigged against their interests and the history of UNCTAD’s contribution to the debate.

“UNCTAD has always worked on money and finance,” Mr. Kozul-Wright said in a wide-ranging lecture on Development Challenges in the Age of Hyperglobalization. “And in most cases, we were ahead of the game.”

Summer School

The session was livestreamed on Facebook and can be watched here (starts around 24 minutes in).     

Around 45 members of the Young Scholars Initiative (YSI), a global network of researchers and young professionals from a range of universities and other institutions run by the New York-based Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), attended the weeklong event at the Palais des Nations.

At the first of what is expected to be annual event, participants not only represented institutions as diverse as the University of Massachusetts at Amhurst, Université Grenoble Alpes and NYU Shanghai, but also diplomatic missions to the United Nations, and development agencies and banks.

The scholars came from some 25 countries including Burkina Faso, China, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania.

“This is a mix we hope will produce a different type of conversation,” Mr. Kozul-Wright said.

Patrick Kaczmarczyk, a PhD student from Germany at the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, University of Sheffield, UK, is researching the role of transnational corporations in economic development.

Wonderful opportunity

“I met Richard Kozul-Wright at an INET conference in Edinburgh last year, and a 30-minute coffee conversation with him basically set out the literature review of my PhD!” he said.

“Being with inspirational young scholars and highly intelligent UNCTAD staff provides me with so much new input.”

Amarilys Abreu, originally from Puerto Rico, is studying at the University of Turin (UNITO), Italy, and came to the Summer School to add to her studies into the legal aspects of the Sovereign Debt Workout Mechanism proposed by UNCTAD in 2015.

“For me to be here is a wonderful opportunity because I want to make sure that the research I’m doing for my PhD is relevant to policy,” Ms. Abreu said.

“There isn’t a better place than UNCTAD for me to find out more about this.”

The second session, also livestreamed on Facebook (starts around 4 minutes), heard from UNCTAD’s Stephanie Blankenburg on the topic of the international monetary system and its implications for developing countries.

The UNCTAD Summer School, was due to end on 7 September, was set to hear from speakers including Gary Dymski, Chair in Applied Economics at the Leeds University Business School, UK; Yuefen Li, Special Advisor on Economic and Development Finance, South Centre; Daniel Munevar, economic affairs officer in the debt branch at UNCTAD and coordinator of the Latin American working group of YSI-INET; and many others.


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