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Meritocracy Debate

November 18 2021@ 8:30 pm11:30 pm
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This House Believes There is No Merit to Meritocracy

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…The idea of meritocracy has dominated political
discourse since the term was coined by Michael Young in 1958. More than 60 years on,
accusations of cronyism and inequality still hound The Establishment. In a society where wealth,
education, and connections are crucial, the merit of meritocracy is drawn into question. Is
meritocracy a failed relic of the past or a guiding light for the future?


Professor Daniel Markovits

Professor of Law at Yale Law School. In 2019, he authored The
Meritocracy Trap
, in which he argues that ‘meritocracy has become
the single greatest obstacle to equal opportunities in America today’.

Adam Boulton

Current Editor-at-large of Sky News and presenter of All Out Politics and
Week In Review. He has written for publications including The Times, The
Guardian, The Spectator, The New Statesman
and The Independent.

Sarah Atkinson

CEO of the Social Mobility Foundation, which offers
support networks and opportunities to students from
lower-income backgrounds.



Adrian Wooldridge Current Political Editor and columnist for The Economist. Earlier this year he published The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World.

Helen Goulden CEO of The Young Foundation, which aims to develop better connected communities across the UK in a bid to tackle strutural inequality. The Foundation has incubated over 80 organisations including the Open University.

Bim Afolami MP Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden. He is the patron of numerous charities, including Harpenden Spotlight on Africa, Growing Resilience in Teens, and Tilehouse Counselling.

Date: November 18 2021
Time: 8:30 pm11:30 pm
Event CategoryDebates