In January 2018, Class of 2019 student Mai Amit started a Minerva chapter for the international student network Rethinking Economics.
Rethinking Economics (RE) is a student network which started in the UK in 2013, and seeks to change the way that economics is taught in schools. RE claims that economic education is, “too male, too white, too old.” The concept behind RE is that students today will be the leaders of tomorrow and therefore they should be exposed to a less uniform education, and one that allows for different perspectives that will shape the way they think in light of today’s highly interconnected world.
Amit says the aims of RE aligned with things she had begun thinking about. She got in touch with them in November 2017 to talk about RE in the Minerva context.
“We tried to think how to integrate it with the Minerva model which is not a campus based model,” Amit says, “they were really helpful with setting up the foundations of this.”
“Now we have really formed this group of people that are dedicated, and inspiring, and wonderful, and love to do these things, and I think the things we’ve been able to do in one semester–or less than one semester–are really incredible and most of all one of our biggest achievements is that now I’m quite confident […] in the ability that we have to continue the activity now that we’ll be spread out completely,” says Amit of the experience.
This semester, members of the Rethinking Economics Hub have had meetings and started a newsletter, as well as more casual get-togethers to watch and discuss speeches by economists and policymakers on Youtube.
“We are invited to participate in the Skype calls that happen every few weeks with everyone from all over the world, that’s not that new from a Minerva perspective, but it’s really, really , really special to hear the Rethinking group[s] […] from all over the world […] say what they are doing and ask for the support, and for me it’s the first time to participate in something that has the nature of a network…it’s really a lot of well meaning people that have a shared mission,” says Amit of the highlights of being part of the global network of RE. “I wish for this to operate on the global scale that we are. So this network feeling that I’m talking about amongst the global Rethinking movement, I wish for that to happen on the Minerva scale.”
“I hope that students in the classes below us will have the privilege of joining something that’s established rather than establishing something […] I think that would really lower the burden of entry, and I think that’s something we’re setting as a milestone,” says Amit of her hopes for how RE will be received by future Minerva students.
“I wish for people to feel that this can offer them an academic setting for discussion that they would otherwise not be able to get at Minerva,” says Amit, “I hope that it would give some credence to Minerva students’ academic or intellectual interest economically.”
RE operates in the form of initiatives, and has multiple levels of commitment that can pair well with the amount of time students are able to dedicate. Participation ranges from simply attending events and benefitting from resources shared in groups, to leading projects, coordinating with the wider RE network, or getting involved in their campaigns.
Students from the Minerva chapter have been invited to take part in fully-funded conference in Paris this August.
The Rethinking Economics Minerva Hub will continue to operate through the summer and is planning to host a conference in London during the fall semester that will be open to the public with academic speakers. There will also be the opportunity to work with other Rethinking chapters in London and the greater UK area.