On Thursday 4 November, forty-four students from Development Management boarded a bus to Cumberland Lodge in Windsor. The weekend long trip served as an opportunity for the students to escape London and attend a number of seminars and group activities in the beautiful setting of a 17th Century, Grade II listed country house. Geoffrey Goodwin reflects on the trip.

cumberland-lodge

When we think of development we tend to think of a complex process that is perpetually in motion. It is fitting, then, that the highlight of our recent trip to Cumberland Lodge was Professor Teddy Brett gliding across the dance floor. Never has one man done more to integrate development and dance. The same could not be said for Dr Geoff Swenson. But he recovered the credibility he lost by fleeing the dance floor by giving a fantastic talk on legal pluralism in Afghanistan.

Other highlights included a lively discussion on the Sustainable Development Goals, anthropological reflections on refugee crises and a great presentation on agriculture, global value chains and fair trade.  The weekend finished with the staff and students playing a hotly contested board game. The exercise illustrated that under certain conditions building trust and working collectively can overcome narcissistic despots. There is hope for the United States after all.

Geoff Goodwin is a LSE Fellow in International Development. He holds a PhD in Political Economy from University College London and a MA in Economics from the University of Leeds. Prior to joining the department, he taught Latin American Economics at UCL and was a Research Associate at FLACSO-Ecuador.