"Wealth is in this diversity" and other testimonials of the Lindau 2017 Meeting with Nobel Prize in Economic Science

07 September 2017

From August 22 to 26, 2017, 17 Nobel laureates in Economic Sciences met in Lindau, Germany to find the next generation of researchers in Economy and in this way exchange experiences and knowledge. Columbus, thanks to an agreement with the Lindau Foundation, channeled the participation in this meeting of 11 young economists from its partner universities. Inspiring speeches, incredible experience, contacts and networking, perspectives of collaboration are some of the common words that describe this experience. Here is the voice of the participants.

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Pedro Gabriel Degiovanni – Universidad Nacional de Córdoba

"I'm following a Master's degree and I am the youngest. I have had the opportunity to met many students from PhD and Postdoctoral  studies. It seems to me that this has been an excellent experience to know how the economist's life path is, the future of the career, and to know what they are doing, where they are, how they feel and the difficulties they have had. This has been one of the aspects that I have apreciated the most of this meeting. Of course, the great opportunity to meet Nobel prizes is incredible. It is very inspiring to know that they are open people, who want to talk to us, and that they are interested in discussing what they think and know what we think of their research."

Dirk Foremny

“To be honest, I came here with not any big expectations because it is very difficult from the outside to know what to expect to be with Nobel Laureates alive. When I arrived, I was positively surprised of how close you are to the Nobel Laureates. When you arrive and you see the leading researchers in economics on the stage talking about their research it is very inspiring. But after some conferences I also realized that they are really curious about us and about our researches. Sometimes they were asking questions about our research. I was asked about a project I am working on during a seminar. So I realized that they are genuinely interested in what the new generations of researchers are working on and I found that very inspiring. This is probably one of the things I appreciated the most here in Lindau. But it is not only about the interaction between the Nobel Laureates and the young generation. I think that also, in a more horizontal sense, I found very inspiring the interaction between different researchers like Assistant Professors, Young Researchers doing Master or Doctoral studies. From these interactions some interesting academic collaborations can arise. I really found that in this environment here I was basically very inspired and stimulated, that is why I really appreciated the opportunity to participate in this meeting here.”

Cesar Mantilla – Universidad del Rosario

"It is a very special opportunity to be in contact with students and researchers of masters, doctoral and postdoctoral studies and  to interchange ideas and discuss about Economy. It goes beyong sitting there and listen to Nobel laureates. It is more about reflecting, thinking on what they expose in their lectures."

Andres Garcia – Universidad del Rosario

"One of the highlights of the meeting is the open dialogue that has taken place from many perspectives. Both on the side of the participant economists, their experiences, their studies, as well as the jobs they do. There has been also a wide heterogeneity of topics and the ways in which these themes have been presented. The three or four presentations of the European Union were interesting as well since the officials presented their perspectives and opinions. All this is enriching not only from the point of view of technical training as an economist but also as an experience of life."

Mauricio Rodriguez – Universidad del Rosario

"In general terms, the conferences that I found most interesting are those that are a little closer to my research interests. Apart from this, what I liked the most is to hear a little about the personal experiences of the Nobel Prize laureates. It is interesting to know, beyond their research, the individuals who are behind the results and with whom we share the same profession. In particular, I really liked what Holmström* said about the importance of being respected within his field of study as a professional. This seems to me absolutely key.  At the beginning of our scientific career as researchers, we are a little more concerned about immediate issues. When you are a Master student, you are thinking about the PhD, and then when you are idoing your PhD studies, you already want to be an Assistant Professor. So, in this way, you loses your time with immediate concerns as well as you lose of sight the most important goal which should be to be recognized among your peers within your profession."

* Berg Robert Holmström - 2016 Nobel Prize in Economics

Paulo Marques – ISCTE-IUL

"I would like to emphasize on the origin of these meetings in Lindau because I was very struck by the fact that in 1951, in the context of post-world war, the meetings were organized with the objective of bringing together different researchers as a sign of reconciliation and peace . For me, this origin is very inspiring in the context in which we are today. It is very important to maintain this spirit. It is important to keep the economy connected to the reality in which we live. As economists we must have this constant concern. On the other hand, I allow myself to make a criticism. We are academics and must have a critical spirit. At this meeting in Lindau I could see the predominance of the neoliberal and neoclassical perspective in many of the Nobel presentations and conferences. I think we should have a more open, more diversified economic consciousness with different perspectives and this I think is one of the aspects to improve."

Ricardo Barradas- ISCTE-IUL

"It is an incredible opportunity to be at this event that brings together the international academic community around the Economic Sciences. One of the good points of this meeting is the proximity between the participants and the Nobel laureates, even though we are at different stages of our academic career. "

Liana Bohn – Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

"It is an incredible opportunity to be here and meet people so different, who come from many different countries and who also have very different ideas. Wealth is in this diversity. Even if it has already been highlighted that there has been a stronger current, I believe that the different lines of thought and research that we come to know are incredible. You have the possibility of making many relationships to subsequently be able to carry out research involving people from different countries. There are also many ideas that have been presented, as well as the Nobel research results. This could give us hints of topics to work for in our future research papers, as a continuation of our current research topics."

Paulo Hoecker - Pontificia Universidade Católica de Rio Grande do Sul

"I think that the interchange in this meeting is very enriching because, in addition to the direct interaction with the Nobel laureates, it is also possible to interact with different researchers/economists who are also working to make their contribution to the Economic sciences. In this sense, this experience is very enriching, not only because of the different fields and areas of research presented here and the number of participants, but also because of the diversity of origins of each of them. I believe that the work of the Scientific Committee in charge of choosing the participants made sure of this and today there are 66 nationalities represented at the meeting. To this day, this is the most important scientific/academic event that I have been able to participate in my life. It is an incomparable experience and also very enriching. All the work  and time invested in my studies and research work has been rewarded by being able to participate in this event."

Juan Manuel del Pozo – Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

"Being here at this event is invaluable. First of all, because I have been able to meet young researchers like myself, with interests similar to mine with whom I hope to learn and explore different areas of research and to collaborate scientifically in the future. Secondly, it seems exceptional the opportunity to be in the presence of the Nobel laureates alive. This not only allows us to talk with them about doubts we had when studying their theories during our undergraduate or graduate studies, but also it allows us to discuss on how to solve problems of our time. After this meeting I think I have more questions than answers but I think this is also part of the experience. This meeting was great."

Dante Urbina – Universidad de Lima

"Science is not abstract, science is concrete, built through a process, a process carried out by an entire scientific community and this involves concrete people. In our field, Economics, the most influential people are the Nobel Prize laureates, with whom we have had the opportunity to interact in this meeting. In particular I have been fortunate enough to be able to speak with Aumann, Myerson, Heckman and also with Mirrlees*. In this exchange of ideas you can find many interesting things. I came to this event with the conviction that a new economic theory is needed, that we need a broader, more pluralistic vision. After these conversations and having attended the lectures I go home with the conviction not only reaffirmed but even stronger than this new economic theory is necessary. In this sense, I believe that events such as these are key for young researchers, those who are going to actually build science in the near future and who will inspire new generations of researchers. In this context the role of organizations such as the Columbus Association, the Lindau Foundation or our universities is fundamental. For this reason I take the opportunity to thank these institutions for having made this experience possible.”

*Robert J. Aumann –  2005 Nobel Prize in Economics

 

*Roger B. Myerson –  2007 Nobel Prize in Economics

 

*James Joseph Heckman -  2000 Nobel Prize in Economics

 

*Sir. James A. Mirrlees – 1996 Nobel Prize in Economics

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