LSE academics talk to TED

Dr Jonathan Mijs and Dr Seeta Peña Gangadharan at TEDxLondon Images:Justin Ng

LSE academics Dr Seeta Peña Gangadharan and Dr Jonathan Mijs were among the experts speaking at Beyond Borders, a TEDxLondon event held at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Speaking in the session ‘Ideas that help us to understand the world’, their talks challenged the audience to consider their attitudes to inequality, and highlighted the uncomfortable truth about the increasing control that technologies have over our daily lives.

Technologies of control and our right to refusal

Most of us don’t realise how much digital systems govern access to our basic public services, like education, health and housing. Even more terrifying is how much data is collected about us and used without our knowledge.

Dr Seeta Peña Gangadharan, Assistant Professor in LSE’s Department of Media and Communications, began asking questions about surveillance, privacy, and data profiling in 2011. In this talk, she examines the issues raised by the increasing control technologies have over our daily life, and our right to refusal. As she reveals a frightening picture of how data profiling works against us, Seeta highlights how people are resisting and why being a good digital citizen means rejecting technological systems that mistreat us.

Watch Dr Gangadharan’s talk at

Why you don’t care about inequality

Not since the Great Depression of the 1930s, have we seen the level of inequality that is pervasive in our society today. Yet despite the rise in inequality, levels of popular concerns about the issue remain low. Why are we so willing to accept inequality as the status quo?

Dr Jonathan Mijs, Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute at LSE, has been researching our attitudes and beliefs about economic inequality. His research reveals a terrifying truth: the greater the spatial and social distance between the rich and poor, the less we see and care about inequality. Yet, if equality is a goal we want to work towards, then it’s time to bridge this distance between the rich and the poor. It starts with crossing the social, class, and spatial borders that divide us.

Watch Dr Mijs’ talk at

Behind the article

Both talks were given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.  For more on TEDxLondon 2019 Beyond Borders, see