Student Governor Talks Humanity for Extended Project Qualification

As a part of his Extended Project Qualification, Reach Academy student Tom Matthew presented a lecture discussing the signs of progress, the challenges and the threats humanity faces.    

Tom, an FE Student Governor, gained an interest in learning about inequalities in 2016 after he visited a charity in Uganda. Seeing the poverty-stricken environment that people had to face every day truly opened his eyes to some of humanity’s failings.   

“I began to realise the extent of the injustice in the world”, said Tom.   

Subsequently, he began researching global issues such as poverty, life expectancy, and violence. He noted how these areas have changed over time and how they have shaped different countries.   

Tom later read Factfulness, a book by Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Hans Rosling, and Ola Rosling, which helped him to see the world from a different angle. Rather than just dwelling on the injustice, Tom delved deeper into how the world has succeeded and began to research humanity’s future.  

During his lecture, ‘The Human Race: The progress we have made, the challenges we face and the threats to our way of life’, Tom discussed his research and findings to his peers.  

Breaking down the lecture into different stages, Tom began with the progress humanity has made. Here he touched on how levels of extreme poverty have reduced, how life expectancy has increased and how levels of violence have reduced by most measures. He then moved on to the challenges people face, discussing inequality, global health and the challenge of ending poverty.   

Theorising the future threats to humans, he mentioned current pressing challenges such a democratic breakdown, technological developments and climate change.   

He explained that the goals for things such as climate change aren’t currently well defined. This is a concern as we will need to act soon and on an international scale.  

On a final note, Tom said, “We have overcome crazy challenges before, and I am hopeful we will make the changes to prevent the major catastrophes which we are threatened with. However, it won’t be easy.”  

He reflected on his project, “This lecture has brought a lot of my studies together. This topic is something I have been looking at for the last few years. Focusing my findings and putting it all onto paper has been really satisfying and enjoyable.”   

“Although I live quite far away, I chose Exeter College for opportunities like this.”   

Want to continue your education journey with Exeter College? Register now for Exeter College Showcase – your one-stop-shop for everything the College has to offer under one roof.