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Speaker(s): Julia Hardy, Andrew Keen, Martha Lane Fox, Professor Sugata Mitra, Sue Palmer
Chair: Fi Glover

Recorded on 28 March 2017 at Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

In this new series of debates entitled Glass Half Full, being recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 4, Fi Glover pits optimists against pessimists in a new topical debating format. A lead speaker on each side presents their argument, and both question expert witnesses to support their point of view. At the end of the debate, the audience votes and declares in favour of an optimistic or pessimistic view of the subject – Glass Half Empty – or Full!

In this debate on digital technology, Fi Glover pits optimists against pessimists. Is digital technology damaging children and hindering their development, or is it providing them with exciting new opportunities for education and enriching their lives?

The first debate, We Can Look Forward to a Healthier Future, takes place at LSE on 9 March. The second debate will be on 15 March, the topic is A Global Population of 9 Billion is Sustainable.

Julia Hardy (@itsJuliaHardy) is a TV and radio presenter specialising in technology, video games and “the online self”. She is currently Radio 1’s video games presenter and was previously Sky Sunrise’s technology expert. She runs the blog Misogyny Monday, dedicated to fighting sexist abuse online.

Andrew Keen (@ajkeen) is one of the world’s best-known commentators on the digital revolution. He is the author of three books, most recently The Internet Is Not the Answer. He is executive director of the Silicon Valley innovation salon FutureCast, and a Senior Fellow at CALinnovates.

Martha Lane Fox (@Marthalanefox) is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, co-founder of Lastminute.com and founder Executive Chair of Doteveryone, an organisation devoted to using technology to change the world for the better. In 2016, she was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Twitter.

Sugata Mitra (@Sugatam) is Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, UK. He was given the $1m TED Prize in 2013 in recognition of his groundbreaking work and to help build a “School in the Cloud”.

Sue Palmer, a former headteacher in Scotland, has written more than 250 books, TV programmes and software packages on aspects of literacy. She is a frequent contributor to the Times Educational Supplement and Child Education, and in 2016 was one of 40 senior figures to write an open letter calling on the government to introduce national screen-use guidelines.

Fi Glover (@fifiglover) is a multi-award winning broadcaster. She is one of the country’s best-known radio voices, having worked on BBC Radio 4, 5 Live, Radio 2, Radio 1 and GLR. She currently presents BBC Radio 4’s The Listening Project.

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