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Griffith University tackles questions about the fate of the next generation

‘Exploring economics: will the next generation be worse off’ is open for enrolment now and asks if the next generation will be better or worse off than their parents.

London and Queensland, 23rd October 2017: Two of Griffith University’s leading economic minds, Professor Ross Guest and Professor Fabrizio Carmignani, have come together to help inform the debate over whether the next generation will be better off than those who have gone before.

Available on FutureLearn, the social learning platform, ’Exploring economics: will the next generation be worse off?’ enables individuals to hear from experts about issues such as economic growth, economic policy, the advantages and dangers of innovation and explore the criteria for successful government intervention.

The course runs for three weeks from 6th November, though participants can learn in their own time in bite-sized chunks. The course will give people the tools they need to have an informed opinion about the relative prosperity of the next generation. Learners will look at big questions such as: ‘Is innovation strong or struggling?’ ‘Can money buy well-being?’ And ‘Who are the middle class and why do we need them?’ Learners will also look at areas that determine living standards, such as inequality, innovation and unemployment.  

Professor Carmignani said: “It’s an issue that cuts across generations and demographics, so the way in which it’s designed and the issues we talk about are varied. It could be for parents who are worried about the future of their children, university students, or even grandparents who want to look back on how things used to be.”

The course could also be beneficial for policy makers who want to ensure prosperity using existing resources and technology.

Professor Guest said participants could engage with the course however they like.

“There’ll be learning activities, videos and readings – how much people want to think about these big ideas is really up to them.

“Our role is share those ideas, give them a perspective and let them form their own opinion.”

Professor Guest added that the course as an opportunity to bring big ideas to the world at no cost.

“I’m always excited about the power of economics to explain ideas, bring insight and to basically improve the world,” he said.

“That might sound like an overstatement, but I don’t think it is. Economics can improve the world in a lot of areas – environment, health, education, material standard of living – all sorts of things.”

 Economics is far from a settled science and the two Professors have differing views about what that future looks like – the tension between these two economic minds and their views is at the heart of the MOOC.

A highlight of the course will be a debate moderated by political scientist Professor Anne Tiernan, with the winner to be determined by vote.

“I expect to be checking the results every 5 minutes, because I’ll be interested to see how people respond to our different arguments,” said Professor Carmignani.

“That’s the strength of the course – it centres on the confrontation of two opposing views.”

The course ‘Exploring economics: Will the next generation be worse off?’ is open for enrolment now and due to begin on 6th November. More details here.

Notes to Editors

About FutureLearn

Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, enabling online learning through conversation. With over 6.5 million people from over 200 countries across the globe – a community that is continuously growing – it offers free and paid for online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, as well as organisations such as the European Space Agency, the British Council and Cancer Research UK. FutureLearn’s course portfolio covers a wealth of areas to promote lifelong learning for a range of applications including general interest, an introduction to university studies, continuing professional development and fully online postgraduate degrees.

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