Almost one hundred delegates from across the country attended attended South Eastern Regional College’s (SERC) Driving Social and Economic Change Conference on Thursday 24 January at La Mon Hotel and Country Club:

Thinking differently about the link between social and economic well-being in Northern Ireland

Our premise for the Driving Change conference was recognition of the skills gap articulated by many businesses and the high level of the economically inactive across Northern Ireland and the disconnect between these two issues. 

We felt a creative solution was required and the conference has provided a space for delegates to hear from some inspirational speakers, discuss what might be possible and agree some key actions. 

Leading practitioners and thinkers, Professor Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University; Dorte Nielsen, internationally acclaimed author and founder of the Centre for Creative Thinking in Copenhagen, and Steve Orr, Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst Inc, which is dedicated to the creation and support of entrepreneurs have each shared their extensive knowledge and challenged delegates to think differently about the link between social and economic well-being in Northern Ireland.

To drive major societal change, behaviours need to change

We recognise that to drive major societal change, behaviours need to change, and many organisations and sectors have a vital role to play to maximise what we can achieve collectively.

Our Driving Change conference has presented an opportunity for collaborative working to help deliver increased employment and wealth, in addition, it’s about creating more opportunities for people and ensuring they have access to them, regardless of their background. 

Education is one of the most powerful tools for individual and social change and we must do all that it takes to facilitate it.

This is just the beginning. Delegates from business, local government, health, academia and the voluntary and community sector have left today feeling inspired by world-class speakers and armed with collaborative key actions from our workshops to kick-start a more joined-up and creative way of thinking to drive social and economic change across the country.

Heather McKee, SERC Director of Strategic Planning, Quality and Support

Driving Social & Economic Change has been supported by the Connected Project.

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