Exceptional People: How migration shaped our world and will define our future (Oxford Literary Festival)

Past Event

02 April 2011, 7:30pm


Speaker: Ian Goldin, Director of the Oxford Martin School

Location: Christ Church: Christ Church Library

(A talk based on the book co-authored by Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron and Meera Balarajan)

Organised as part of the Oxford Literary Festival. To book tickets, please click here.

Throughout history, migrants have fuelled the engine of human progress. Their movement has sparked innovation, spread ideas, relieved poverty, and laid the foundations for a global economy. In a world more interconnected than ever before, the number of people with the means and motivation to migrate will only increase. ‘Exceptional People’ looks at the profound advantages that such dynamics will have for countries and migrants the world over. Challenging the received wisdom that a dramatic growth in migration is undesirable, the book proposes new approaches for governance that will embrace this international mobility.

‘Exceptional People’ shows that migrants in today's world connect markets, fill labour gaps, and enrich social diversity. Migration also allows individuals to escape destitution, human rights abuses, and repressive regimes. However, the book indicates that most current migration policies are based on misconceptions and fears about migration's long-term contributions and social dynamics. Future policies, for good or ill, will dramatically determine whether societies can effectively reap migration's opportunities while managing the risks of the twenty-first century.

Dr Ian Goldin is the Director of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. He was Vice President of the World Bank (2003-2006) and prior to that the Bank's Director of Development Policy (2001-2003).

'With a deep sense of what sort of creatures we humans are, this book takes us through millennia in the unending quest of people for development and discovery. It suggests that population movements have been the carriers of innovation from one region to others. It will change, if anything can, the way governments and international organizations view immigration policy,' Edmund S. Phelps, Nobel Prize-winning economist.

This event is part of the Oxford Literary Festival. Tickets cost £10.00, and are available through the Oxford Playhouse.

Other Oxford Martin School events at the Literary Festival include: