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Debate: Helping the World's Poor

Assigned: Thursday, August 27
Due date: Tuesday, September 1
URL: http://www.tinyurl.com/ndeqzd

"Kids in the developing world need the newest technology."  -- Nicholas Negroponte [1]

"The world's poorest two billion people desperately need healthcare, not laptops." -- Bill Gates, 2000 [2], [3]

Assignment

Students will be assigned to teams (which will be listed on the assignment web page) on the first day of class.  Students should read or watch each of the listed resources in their section and add an additional useful resource through a comment on the assignment web page.  It is recommended that team members also at least each skim the resources of other teams, in order to be able to make intelligent criticisms.

Each student should independently produce 1-2 pages of notes to help them take part in the debate and to turn it for grading at the end of the class.  The audience for the debate would be an imaginary grantor of $10 million.  Students can optionally pretend to be an individual associated with their cause, such as the ones listed.  Each team will have about 10 minutes at the beginning of Tuesday's class to plan together before the debate.  Each team will make an opening statement of approximately 5 minutes, advancing their position and providing background necessary for understanding it.  There will then be a round of cross-examination, in which teams can criticize the claims of other teams, who get to respond.  Finally, there will be brief closing statements.  Each team member should have some speaking role.

Teams

critics of OLPC

Position: The best way to help the world's poorest two billion people is by providing healthcare, not technology.
Team: Clare, Drew, Kat, Simon
Individuals: Stephen Dukker, Bill Gates, John Wood

Grameenphone

Position: The best way to help the world's poorest two billion people is by providing them with access to telephones.
Team: Clare, Helen, Linda, Lovage, Rhi
Individuals: Iqbal Quadir, Muhammad Yunus

OLPC

Position: The best way to help the world's poorest children is by providing them with access to computers and the Internet.
Team: Anna, Kehontas, Maria, Sarah, Stephanie
Individuals: Nicholas Negroponte

United Nations

Position: The best way to help the world's poorest two billion people is by providing basic health care to mothers and children, fighting HIV, and promoting literacy.
Team: Celeste, Kelsey, Rebecca, Yuen
Individuals: Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-Moon
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Ellen Spertus,
Aug 26, 2009, 3:23 PM
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