Stacy Lee, 2T05, represents CJC at The Straits Times' Education Forum, 6 Apr
CJC was invited to participate in The Straits Times’ annual ST Education Forum held on 6 April this year - one of only two junior colleges invited by The Straits Times. Stacy Lee, 2T05, represented the college to form the panel with two social entrepreneurs proposing the motion, ‘Entrepreneurs do more harm than good’, at the Forum. She shares her experience:
‘The Straits Times Education Forum was an eye opening experience, a platform for intellectual sparring with some of the world’s emerging entrepreneurs through the provision of invaluable insights to the dark side of what we generally perceive to be the overwhelming benefits of technology today. Being a CJC debater for the motion of “Modern Day Entrepreneurs Do More Harm Than Good” was a golden opportunity to offer my unique youthful standpoint. On the surface, the motion seemed rather counter-intuitive given the arguably indispensable role of entrepreneurs in modern society. However, this forum urged me to look at the players from another perspective and consider the harms that inevitably arises from the dynamic of modern entrepreneurship.
Working alongside Mr Aral Balkan and Ms Sumitra, key players in promoting responsible social entrepreneurship, I was privy to their projects which offered a deeper insight on the ills of surveillance capitalism. The notion of how a handful of individuals today know everything about us while we know nothing about them reshaped the way I perceived the world. Understanding how technological giants like Facebook actually have two audiences, us - everyday consumers who use their platforms for free, and the influential firms that purchase their services explicated how this vicious cycle of monetization begins.
But what struck me the most was that despite the seeming inevitability for the propensity of harm stemming from surveillance capitalism, there are activists who are confronting this and are urging us to do the same. As Mr Aral puts it, we are currently experiencing “exponential growth in a finite system” and that is the problem.
Hence, my biggest takeaway was the mindset of sustainable growth as what is needed today is technology for the common good controlled by the public instead of a centralised web of reputable tech giants.’
A feature on our college in The Straits Times: