Are we lacking in our individual ambition now we have ‘peace’?

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA in London (one of the very few organisations of which I am member) is speaking in Belfast later today as the Peace III funding comes to a close. Having reviewed some of the patterns of funding, it is part of Matthew’s thinking that if there is a deficit in those patterns, it has been in the area of innovation (something many would argue is not generally served particularly well by the long lead times required for gaining public sector funding).

In yesterday’s blog post, he gives us a hint of his pitch:

I will suggest that most of the thinking, spending and action on overcoming segregation and hostility between the communities in Northern Ireland relates to initiatives which are either egalitarian or hierarchical in mode. What can we do to engage the power of individualism?


Strong visionary leadership, good urban policy and the hard graft of community work are all important to start to overcome the divisions in Northern Ireland, but so are role models whose pursuit of individual ambition leaves no space for politics or tribalism.