South Eastern Regional College (SERC) is preparing to host its first Driving Social and Economic Change Conference which will take place at the La Mon Hotel and Country Club, Belfast, on 24 January 2019.

The full-day conference will bring together internationally recognised academics, educators, policy makers and researchers from around the world, focusing on a range of topics to address the well-being of citizens through collaborative action, that not only supports individuals to fulfil their potential but also meets the needs of industry. 

Leading practitioners and thinkers have signed up to speak at the event including keynote addresses from Professor Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University; Dorte Neilsen, internationally acclaimed author and founder the Centre for Creative Thinking in Copenhagen, and Steve Orr, Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst Inc dedicated to creation and support of Entrepreneurs. Each will share their extensive knowledge and challenge delegates to think differently about the link between social and economic well-being in Northern Ireland.

Under the theme "Driving Social and Economic Change" delegates will hear keynote presentations and take part in stimulating workshops and seminars, in an informal small group environment, providing the opportunity to share ideas and best practice with colleagues.

Themes for the workshops include: Unlocking talent, Fulfilling potential: Does Education Create Aspiration and Hope?; Social Inclusion: Working in Partnership to Improve Social Mobility and Business Growth; Invest in your People, Invest in your Business: Delivering Competitive Advantage through Investing in People.  

The conference is aimed at anyone who has an interest or a key role in creating positive societal change, understanding how communities and business can create wellness and the social and economic development of our regions.

Heather McKee, SERC Director of Strategic Planning, Quality and Support said, “SERC is delighted to be hosting this conference. There is a critical need for joined up thinking to advance the role of positive social and economic development. The conference provides the perfect platform to kickstart the conversations that are needed to make this happen, as well as providing an unrivalled opportunity to network, collaborate and communicate."

“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. The conference is an opportunity for collaborative working to help deliver increased employment and wealth, in addition, creating more opportunities for people, and ensuring access to those opportunities for people 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.”

Delegates wishing to attend the conference are invited to secure their place by registering online. The conference cost has been capped at £30 (£38.57 including fees and tax), thanks to the generous funding received the Connected Project.

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