Slugger event at John Hewitt Summer School: What’s good for the economy, good for the environment and good for people?

Slugger O’Toole returns to the John Hewitt International Summer School in Armagh next Wednesday evening (28 July at 7pm) with a panel discussion looking at the triangle between economy, environment and people.

Is Northern Ireland keeping those three aspects in balance? Are we destroying people and the planet in the name of prosperity? Can we ensure that wellbeing, sustainability and justice benefit everyone?

I’ll be joined by Steven Agnew, Dawn Purvis and Joanne Stuart to mull over what’s good for the economy, good for the environment and good for people?

  • Steven Agnew is the head of RenewableNI which gives a voice to the local renewable electricity industry. He was elected as the first leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland in 2011 and was an MLA for North Down for eight years until September 2019. He recently took to the silver screen starring in Welcome to Northern Ireland which premiered at the 2020 Belfast Film Festival.
  • Dawn Purvis describes herself as a recovering politician after leading the Progressive Unionist Party and being an MLA for East Belfast for four years. She is the former director of Marie Stopes Northern Ireland. As well as her day job in social housing, she serves on a number of boards including Healing Through Remembering, Informing Choices NI, Alliance for Choice, Positive Life, and is the vice-chair of the John and Pat Hume Foundation for peaceful change and reconciliation.
  • Joanne Stuart is the chief executive officer of the Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance, the private sector voice of the local tourism industry. Prior to this she spent 30 years working in the technology and innovation sector. She is a previous chair of the Institute of Directors in Northern Ireland, and is currently a governor of The Irish Times and governor of Wallace High School. Joanne is also an assessor for Diversity Mark NI.

The NI Executive’s dithering delay to receive the latest scientific data and analysis – postponing the decision on whether theatres can open on Monday 26 July until a meeting on Monday 26 July – means that by Wednesday it may be possible for a few of you to join us safely in the audience at the Market Place Theatre in Armagh. But given the uncertainty, all the summer school sessions will be also be streamed online. Audience tickets are £8/€9.50; streaming tickets cost £5.

In the meantime, how well do you think Northern Ireland manages to balance its economy, environment and people? Let me know in the comments below.