My issues of concern include:
This is my list of the major strategic issues that are being affected now by economic, societal, cultural and political changes.
As keystone issues such as Climate Change, technology (AI and Robotics), Migration Patterns, Global Trade limits, and falling birth rates in the “so called” developed world expand these strategic issues and their effect on people will necessitate new and future proofed approached by Government, Business and Society in general.
Ireland has the capacity and the positioning to be a global prophetic voice in leading fresh thinking on these matters. I summarize the issues below and expand my thinking on them within the blogs on this website.
Education: My involvement in education, training and the digital strategy for Dublin has convinced me that we need to address now how we recognize and reward teachers better, while changing our Education model to encompass the digitally engaged world.
Health and Wellbeing: Our Health system is always criticized but the treatment people receive once they are in it is second to none. I believe Sláintecare will make a difference. But health care must be about preventative actions not just remedial ones. My experience in running a ‘Health is Your Wealth’ programme, and in dealing with the aftermath of suicide convinces me that we need an approach where the community, the family and the individual become concerned with wellbeing – mental and physical.
Aging – Challenges and opportunity: I want to create a society where older people are helped and encouraged to embrace a ‘second life’ while also dealing with the pension time bomb. Addressing safety and security: Reducing the burden of being asset rich and cash poor.
Remember aging is a part of the human condition and most of us will experience the challenges of old age.
Respect and Tolerance – The Faith and Passion Dilemma: Ireland today is a more tolerant place and our laws now reflect a respect for difference. Above all as a society we have embraced the notion of freedom of choice and have acknowledged the right to choose difference. However, we are in danger of inflicting the same domination on others as many of us experienced and we need to promote respect and recognition of the good in others, even if we differ in belief or conviction.
Future of Work, its implications and challenges for our society and economy. Since the early 1990s, I have been an advocate for a Social Wage / Basic Income. Increasingly as technology automates the workplace we need to redefine what is considered productive work and rethink how we share wealth in society.
Northern Ireland: Brexit remains a concern. There are those who believe a border poll would create a United Ireland. I used to hold that view. Now I fear that the economic costs would result in the Poll being lost in the South. Maybe we should look beyond the binary option – the North in the UK or the North in a United Ireland. Maybe the North should stand apart, and yet be a part of both UK and Ireland (EU) for a period so that it can build its economy.
Housing and Community: The idea of viable communities must be central to the long term solution to the housing crisis. Social Housing as a concept is misleading; we need a Public Housing programme and a Public rented sector which is open to all regardless of income. Why on the road to that end can we not learn from other countries and swiftly provide ‘quick build’ temporary homes, ease the crisis and allow space to catch up on home building.
Social Inclusion and Migration: Unequal societies and a world where wealth and opportunity is not shared equally, breed resentment, conflict, misery and despair. We need to rethink how we address the factors that create social exclusion and we need to recognize the value and the inevitability of human migration. I believe that diversity in any society is to be welcome and diversity is greatest when new communities with different traditions, cultures, faiths and experiences are facilitated to integrate without losing their own identity. Interculturalism enriches our understanding of the world, stimulates healthy curiosity and contributes to our society and our economy.
Climate and the Sustainability of our Planet: the Earth is a living eco-system and a gift that each generation must treasure and hand on. While countries and businesses need to act, each one of us must also act and change our lifestyle, our casual use of energy and our cast away shopping habits. Ultimately we need to rethink the economic growth model that we measure “richness” by so that we reduce the harm this exploitative use of the finite resources of the earth has on Climate and thus on Life itself.
The “commuter nightmare”, childcare , family and community.
The above are issues I have been involved in through work and in my life and they are issues I am passionate about.
- Established Maynooth’s Student Union,
- Developed Community Enterprises and the Social Economy,
- Career Guidance for schools and adults,
- Community Employment,
- Business rightsizing in Eircom,
- Inter-agency Development Board ; established a ten year Economic, Social and Cultural Strategy,
- Learning City Network,
- City Childcare Committee,
- Family Friendly City initiative,
- Social inclusion Policy and Structure,
- Intercultural Office,
- Aging Well City network and “Walk & Talk”,
- Health is Your Wealth Programme,
- International & Economic Development Office in Dublin,
- Smart City Initiative working with Business and Third level Education; led on the development of a Digital Dublin Strategy,
- Festivals and events eg: Chinese New Year Festival, Russian Festival,
- established a City Research Office,
- established a Web Portal www.dublin.ie,
- Established Your Dublin -Your Voice an online consultation platform for citizens,
- Access Dublin Initiative and worked closely with the National Disability Authority on making Dublin accessible to everyone,
- Supported and brought major conference events to Ireland: including Web Summit, Pendulum Summit, Social Media Summit, Cities against Poverty (UNDP), One Young World, Cities of the Isles, Innovation 2.0.
“I believe that listening is the key to wisdom”
What Do I Bring
Strategic policies that address the present and the future