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Is Mass Migration Making the World a Better Place?

Does the world need more or less mass migration?

To some, the very word ‘migration’ generates fear, suspicion and even hatred. But according to Felix Marquardt, author of the acclaimed The New Nomads, we need to look afresh at our notions of the mass movement of people around the world. Far from being abnormal, he claims, the act of going in search of a better life is at the core of human experience. Since the age of the hunter-gatherers, migration has been the most effective means of education, emancipation and empowerment known to humanity. And today, as the world falls increasingly prey to nativist and political polarisation, migration is the surest way to break down barriers and find personal and political emancipation. 

That’s the argument that Marquardt made in this special Intelligence Squared event. But according to author David Goodhart, it epitomises the wrongheaded worldview of the global elites who know nothing about the harm mass migration causes to communities on the ground. Rich countries ransack the best and brightest talent of poorer ones leading to brain drain and inequality. And national solidarity is eroded as towns and cities are changed unnervingly fast by inflows of migrants with different cultures and values.  

Does the world need more or less mass migration? 



David Goodhart

Commentator and author

Founding editor of Prospect magazine who is currently head of the Demography, Immigration and Integration Unit at the think tank Policy Exchange. His recent book The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics is one of the most influential post-Brexit analyses and was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. His previous book The British Dream: Successes and Failures of Post-War Immigration was runner-up for the Orwell Prize in 2014 and was a finalist for ‘Political Book of the Year’ in the Paddy Power Political Book Awards.

Félix Marquardt

French author, columnist, entrepreneur and author of The New Nomads: How the Migration Revolution is Making the World a Better Place

French author, columnist and entrepreneur. He is the founder and chair of Youthonomics, a think tank and data analytics social business focused on youth empowerment. He has advised several heads of state, including most recently Emmanuel Macron. He previously ran communications for the International Herald Tribune and is a regular contributor to CNN, the BBC, The New York Times, The Guardian and Die Welt. He is the author of The New Nomads: How the Migration Revolution is Making the World a Better Place.

Jenny Kleeman

Award winning journalist, broadcaster and documentary film-maker

Award winning journalist, broadcaster and documentary film-maker. She presents the Breakfast show on Times Radio from Friday to Sunday and is the author of Sex Robots and Vegan Meat: Adventures at the Frontier of Birth, Food, Sex & Death.