Events - 19.03.2013 - 00:00 

4th Annual Challenge the Best

This year’s theme “The Future of Work” saw students from 25 different universities and 19 countries interact and workshop with this year’s distinguished panel of academic, political and business leaders.


19 March 2013. As explained by Ambassador Walter Fust, chairman of the event, “Challenge the Best is a truly unique project. The resulting dialogue will not only be an experience; it will also nurture the exchange of knowledge and views.” 

The four-day Challenge the Best event concluded with a panel discussion where students were able to challenge, disagree and even interrupt panellists during the debate. This year’s notable panel, which was moderated by the BBC’s Lucy Hockings, included:

  • Koos Richelle – Director General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion of the European Commission and Chair of the UN Commission for Social Development
  • Dr. Tomáš Sedláček – renown macroeconomist, a member of the National Economic Council of the Czech Republic, professor at Charles University and author of the international bestseller “Economics of Good and Evil»
  • Dr. Nicola Fielder – Operations Director at Lee Hecht Harrison
  • Daniel Straub – Co-founder of the initiative “Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen” (unconditional basic income)

The student panel started off by asking about the future of employment, the future labour market and whether or not Europe will run out of work. Speaking from his experience working for the European Commission, Koos Richelle stated that although things have changed dramatically in the last decade, Europe will not run out of work and that 2% growth is their aim.

The students then expressed concern that opportunities might not be available for them when they are ready to enter the workforce, to which Daniel Straub challenged students to, “find your calling and don’t play defence at the age of 23.”

Dr. Nicola Fielder continued with this line of thinking, stating that change is certain: “The job market will change. Labour will change. You will change. So learn to adapt to change.”

Tomáš Sedláček noted that the western world became reliant on growth in the economy and the financial crisis came about, in part, because we expected more growth than we experienced. “Economic growth is a bonus, a gift, but it should not be depended upon. Growth covers up our problems and is addictive.”

The 2013 version of Challenge the Best was made possible with the support of Ambassador Walter Fust and a dedicated student organising committee.

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