Global Irish Network
One of Ireland’s greatest resources has always been her people. Successive Irish Governments have built a multi-layered relationship with the Diaspora that has marked us as a role model for many other countries. The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade continues to ensure that the enhancement of our connections with members of the global Irish community remains central to Government policy.
The establishment of a permanent global network of those invited to the initial Global Irish Economic forum, and other influential members of the Diaspora was identified as an important objective by 2009 Forum participants. In early 2010, the Global Irish Network was launched and now comprises of almost 350 of the most influential Irish and Irish-connected individuals abroad. Members of the Network, who come from a diversity of fields and are based in almost 40 countries, provide Ireland with an invaluable resource of international expertise from which we can draw as we work towards economic recovery. Since its inception, the Network has worked closely with the Government and State Agencies in promoting Ireland’s economic, cultural and tourism messages in key markets. The Network is also a key partner in our ongoing efforts to restore our international reputation.
The success of Network members is testament to the hard work, innovation and ability which characterises the Irish abroad. Members have clearly demonstrated a willingness to engage in delivering economic recovery in Ireland. The connections made and ideas generated have demonstrated that in this modern globalised world, the reach, power and influence of so many members of the Irish Diaspora can provide Ireland with an important competitive edge. Harnessing this potential provides the State with a significant asset in engaging new and emerging markets.
The second Global Irish Economic Forum was held in Dublin Castle October 2011 and was highly successful. Convened by the Government, it brought together some 270 members of the Global Irish Network drawn from 37 countries with the Taoiseach, Government, State Agencies and domestic business leaders for a frank and intensive exchange of ideas on the Government’s priorities for economic renewal, job creation and the restoration of Ireland’s reputation abroad.
The format of the event comprised plenary sessions and working groups, based on the priorities in the Programme for Government. A number of the plenary sessions and breakout panel discussions were streamed live and be viewed here. The full Report of the Forum is now available. It was prepared by the Smurfit Business School and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and including full details of the outcomes form the working groups that took place during the event.
Having reviewed the outcomes of the Forum, the Government identified a number of initiatives for priority delivery, Network members have been directly involved in a number of specific initiatives including: The Gathering, the Global Irish Contacts Programme (an EI/DFAT mentoring scheme for Irish companies); Connect Ireland; expansion of the Farmleigh Fellowship Programme in Asia; and the Invest in Ireland Conference in NY last February. In addition, several of the ideas raised at Dublin Castle are now contained in the Action Plan for Jobs.
The Governments primary goal is to ensure that the Forum makes a tangible contribution to Ireland’s economic recovery and will therefore work to ensure that in 12 months time, the post Forum process has contributed: to the re-envisaging of Ireland; to the restoration of our international reputation; to the re-engagement of Ireland with its friends and allies abroad; to the re-energising of the country; and to the domestic reform process.
For more information relating to The Global Irish Economic Forum and The Global Irish Network, Please click here.