Adam represents University of Wolverhampton at global economics event
Adam Barrs, second year, BSc Economics and Finance student, has been the University’s Warwick Economics Summit 2021 ambassador.
The Warwick Economics Summit is the largest student-run conference in Europe and welcomes student delegates from around the globe. This year, speakers included 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen, and Winner of the 2016 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences Professor Oliver Hart.
The role of ambassador includes marketing the summit to students at the university and form a delegation to attend. They have to keep students informed of what’s happening at the summit and answer student queries.
Adam, 26, said: “The role was definitely made more challenging this year due to the pandemic and distance learning, but it was a rewarding role nonetheless.
“I was really excited to have the chance to discuss topics with people outside of our university community and hear different perspectives. Equally important though, was the experience as a leader, the marketing experience and representing our university were all big factors that made me really want to go for it.
“The standout experience from this year’s Summit for me was one of the panels on the topic of the ‘Green Transition’. It wasn’t one of the sessions I was most looking forward to but while the talk was ongoing, the discussion that was taking place in the chat box was incredibly stimulating and thought provoking.
“The talk by Professor Shoshana Zuboff from Harvard University which covered the emerging topic of surveillance capitalism was scary, pertinent and topical while David Davis, Former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, provided some great background to the UK government after the EU referendum.”
As a part of his role, Adam wrote a blog post on cryptocurrencies. On where the idea came from, Adam added: “I’ve been involved in cryptocurrency trading since 2016 and I’ve seen it go from a very niche asset to something people have heard of, especially Bitcoin, though they may not understand it.
“I thought with the current discussions in central banks of using digital currencies and the role decentralised finance in developing nations, it seemed an opportune time to talk about it, especially as I feel a fair degree of affinity towards the cryptocurrency space.
“It seems well timed given Tesla has recently invested $1.5bn in Bitcoin and intends to use it as a payment method!”
On why he decided to study his economic degree at the University, Adam said: “I was going from job to job, not really enjoying any work I was doing as well as struggling with my mental health and I had a moment where I thought there had to be more to life than what I was experiencing.
“I attended an open day at another university to get some more information about applying as a mature student and was flatly told I was wasting my time so I didn’t pursue the idea again for a year or two.
“I then attended an open day at the University of Wolverhampton with the same questions and Dr Michael Ogunseyin reassured me that the university would offer all the support I needed and that I was deserving of the opportunity.
“The warmth and kindness I felt from Michael and the university was the key factor. I’m eternally grateful to Michael for that because I now feel like I’ve regained control over my life and my mental health.”
Chiara Donegani, course leader for economics, said: “Adam is an inspirational student to his students’ cohort and the whole Business School. I am delighted to witness his achievements so far and how well he did in promoting this event to his fellows.
“The Warwick Economics Summit was an amazing opportunity for our students to join in and discuss Economics topics with people around the world and to listen to world-famous Economists.
“Next year I will definitely encourage our students to take this opportunity again and I am looking forward to receiving students’ requests for expression of interest to be the next University of Wolverhampton ambassador for the Warwick Economics Summit.”
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