Tallinn University of Technology

On April 14, TalTech's student teams debated the moral and business ethical cost of organising a sports competition in an internal round of the European Ethics Bowl competition. At issue was whether we can enjoy something whose ethicality is questionable, such as the violation of human rights of football stadium builders in preparation for the Qatar Football World Cup, or the participation of athletes from the Russian Federation in the Olympic Games?

TalTech 2023 European Ethics Bowl võidutiim, korraldaja Aive Pevkur ja žüriist Merle Ojasoo

The teams highlighted the responsibility of states, international organisations and individuals. We, as spectators of sporting competitions, share the responsibility for ensuring that sporting competitions are organised in a way that respects human rights and is free of corruption. The main argument was that human rights outweigh economic interests.

The winners this time were Sander Sagar (Master student, SGB), Indrek Paljak (Bachelor student of IT) and Kadi Jakobson (PhD student, School of Science). The winning team pointed out that it was easier to find points in a debate when working in pairs, but that one of the difficulties was the vagueness of the debate and maintaining focus. Together, they agreed that teamwork requires a big contribution from everyone and does not come naturally. Ahead of the international semi-final online on 16 May, the team is putting emphasis on better formulation of the debate questions, as there was concern that the tone of the debate might seem too offensive when asking the opposing team questions.

Main organiser Aive Pevkur: "The format of the Ethics Competition allows students from different faculties to work together, developing critical thinking, argumentation and collaboration skills. To succeed in competitions, you need to have a broad outlook, the ability to see problems in a broader context and good teamwork. This year's teams showed that TalTech students can deal with moral issues in a smart and informed way."

Watch the winning team’s video here.

The ethics competition aims to get students to discuss issues of importance to society in order to develop critical thinking, teamwork and reasoning skills. According to Aive Pevkur, it has also been requested and recommended by employers.