Ireland 100

What is Ireland for?
Ireland 100 is a concept project that was discussed and iterated with a group of people during a short-short workshop session on September 10th, 2008.

Ireland, the state, will shortly be 100 years old and having achieved statehood and relative peace, prosperity and stability, with the help of its friends in the world, it needs now perhaps to look to its contribution or what it can give back to the world in the 21st Century.

With relentless optimism and a mind to the possibilities
Ireland’s citizens need to begin to debate and answer the questions;
What is it Ireland can be in the world?
What is it Ireland must be in the world?
What is it Ireland truly stands for and believes in the world?
What is it Ireland can contribute by way of solutions to the big world issues of the 21st Century?
How can Ireland lead in the world as a small and creative nation and a widespread diaspora?

This is a conversation and debate too important to be left for the politicians or policy makers to have alone. They need help, perspective and input from all of us citizens, children, non nationals, diaspora, young public servants, young busi¬ness people, young entrepreneurs and so on.

To participate in Ireland 100 is a privilege and a responsibility so we will run a competition to select the best 100 Public Servants, 100 City Managers, 100 Schools, 100 Businesses, 100 ex-Patriate Clubs, etc., that will work on this and bring their ideas and hopes to a central forum where a shared and combined Manifesto for Ireland for the next 100 years will be proposed to the nation and then voted on or adopted at a future date.

There are generally accepted excellent pieces of work or contributions already made by others around the world – the Earth Charter for instance. These reference documents or proposals will form the context to and inform the work we all do here in Ireland.

Canada 150 for instance a programme for young public servants in Canada that we can adapt and adopt for Ireland’s circumstances and systems of governance. The intention is to start this ‘conversation’ in 2009 the European Year of Creativity.

The hopes for this project are:
That it will engage with many citizens and get levels of awareness raised on the big world/Irish issues,
That it will increase the levels of discussion, debate and information shared on the big issues that face us in a spirit
of ‘can do’ and optimism,
That it will grow a stronger sense of ‘ownership’ of the issues and solutions to these issues amongst the widest possible spectrum of citizens (including citizens who no longer reside here),
That it will develop a strong ‘voice’ of the people and pressure on policy makers and politicians and civic managers to ensure they are more likely to do the ‘right thing’ in any given strategic situation,
That we encourage a more active and positive citizenship in the next and following generations.

Project references:

Canada @ 150

OECD Review on Irish Public Service

The Earth Charter Initiative

Touching the State - What does it mean to be a citizen in the 21st century?

National Day Should Celebrate Citizenship by Elaine Byrne