#Belfast2020: How can Belfast meet the new demands of the future?

Now, this is an online ‘event’ that was originally scheduled to take place in December. In fact when I look back at the first one we did on the subject of #Belfast2020, it looks somewhat quaint given what was to follow under the flags dispute.

We already have some concrete themes for tomorrow’s debate. I’ve sketched some of the main themes out here on this debategraph (You can contribute your own insights if you register at: http://debategraph.org/belfast2020):

We’ve picked 2020 to focus on because it sits just beyond the next two election cycles, but not so far ahead that we cannot conceive of actions that can be taken now and could affect outcomes seven years hence.

Big issues include ongoing cuts to government budgets, stable but relatively high unemployment rates, particularly youth unemployment (which may be a contributing factor in the destabilisation we’ve witnessed in some parts of inner city Belfast).

Strands we want to tease out, which we’ve gathered from a previous event in Long Gallery include:

– Collaboration, what it means and the need to sacrifice ownership…

– Releasing assets from none state players, churches and community associations… can certain tasks be done in a different way?

– Utilising soft power or social capital around schools libraries and other established resources…

– Fast cycle consumer facing developments pop up shops and temporary use of office spaces…

– What kinds of interventions can be done and made sustainable in rural areas, where sports are almost the only kinds of activities available for youth? (lessons from Lisanelly?)

– And what about the build environment and the empty spaces around Belfast? What latent resources are there?

If you want to join in, you can register with directly with Google Plus, or use your gmail or youtube account to access it. Either way, let me know directly before the event by emailing me at mick.fealty@gmail.com, and I can help you through any technical problems.

We’re running this event in conjuntion with Artemis social enterprise

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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