Commentary by Daniel Robb ’10
Brophy has traditionally put on a fairly good Summit.
The topics have been controversial to say the least, but this is to be expected from topics which carry such importance.
Each has also been covered very well, and stimulated much discussion and argumentation.
The Summit on immigration was particularly incisive. It even inspired large student protests, as well as counter-protests.
The reason that Summit was such a huge issue was because many students received the impression that Brophy was being incredibly biased in their presentation. While there was no obligation to answer those cries considering the point of the Summit is not to have a completely unbiased presentation of an issue, the next seemed to.
The Summit on war brought in speakers and issues that showed a range in spectrum of opinion.
Last year’s Summit on climate change came with the introduction of workshops and other new features, while at least from my perspective, it was much less controversial.
But all of the Summits I have seen have done at least one thing well: They presented a great deal of information, which even if it didn’t provide an opposing viewpoint, provided a jumping off point for it.
I expect no less from the Summit this year. Choosing the economy and globalization as the topic was a smart, timely move. The abundance of different issues and information contained within it is a great starting point for discussion.
It is also especially involved in the main issue of all the Summits: human dignity. Economics penetrates almost every aspect of societies everywhere.
Economics is not only a good context in which to discuss how a money affects human dignity, but it can be used to discuss how you define and assess what human dignity is in the first place.
Even in the three previous subjects, human dignity is almost always explored within the realm of economics. It usually pertains to how much wealth a person has in comparison with others, as well as how or even if you should distribute wealth.
Because of these things, I expect this year’s Summit to be the most interesting and engaging of the last four years. The planners have made it better every time, and I think have gained valuable experience.
The speakers and specific issues they have chosen have historically been interesting and engaging, even if sometimes biased.
This is a topic that can also be related to the students directly. Personal finance and how to make, use and manage money are all things that will be essential as students leave high school.
Given this opportunity that only shyly presented itself in the previous years, I expect the next weeks to be engaging and personal.