This week's Champion of the week is Marco Gundermann, an economist from Berlin who identifies as gay and studied at the Free University Berlin, UCL, University of Birmingham and University of Nottingham. Marco has worked as an election campaign manager, researcher for a German MP and in academia. He has taught at the University of Nottingham, University College Cork, University of Merseburg, Cardiff Metropolitan University and now at the University of Northampton, where he is the subject group leader (Head of Department) of Economics and Politics.
Why did you choose to study economics?
It sounds corny, but I wanted to improve people's lives and policy making. I'm passionate about economics, which is applied philosophy for me. How can we make better decision when resources are limited. What is fair and what makes us happier. I love helping students discover and develop their potential.
How would you describe economics?
Sometimes economics is a social science and sometimes more practical philosophy. It looks at interactions and trade-offs, when making decisions in a finite world.
If you had a time machine and could meet your 16-year-old self, what advice would you give them?
Be who you are meant to be and celebrate that. Don't take yourself so seriously, but also don't underestimate the difference you can make. Finally, please be kind to yourself.
What is your favourite part of economics?
Arguing, being aware of the key questions, not the obvious ones.
Is there anything you would do differently if you had the chance?
Many things, but then this would have put me on a different path and who knows whether that really would have been better.