#DigitalLunch: Imaging creative solutions for Belfast’s future needs?

However smart we get, it is impossible to absolutely tell what the future will bring. And no, I’m NOT talking about a border poll, but the future of Belfast in just seven years time. But we can be sure of several things. One of them is that Stormont cannot turn the tide of austerity sweeping through civil society. The other is that the city’s infrastructure cannot in the foreseeable future count on large amounts of capital investment. Today’s digital lunch … Read more

#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 … Read more

#Belfast2020: Welcome to today’s #DigitalLunch…

I had a phone call earlier asking me what a digilunch was… Before I could answer the reply was, a colleague asked me and I told her it sounded like a bunch of people sitting at their computers banging on and eating sandwiches… To which my response was, yep that’s pretty much it!! Going live now… Today’s starts at 1pm and is the first in a two lunchtime session which will consider the future of Belfast over a relative medium … Read more

#Belfast2020: What horses should Belfast hitch its future to?

Katheryn Torney’s excellent interviews in the Irish Times today asks some searching questions about the past. Daniel Jewesbury’s remarks are particularly revealing where he notes that over the last ten years “we have spent a lot of time hitching ourselves to the wrong horses.” In part, I suspect this is an inevitable downside to the post conflict society where there is little agreement over the longer term destination of the local population. And not least, though not exclusively, the political … Read more

What do you want from Belfast in 2020?

On Friday we’re holding the first of two #DigitalLunch sessions in partnership with the social enterprise, Artemis, in advance of an event they are holding in Stormont next week, which in part will show case some of the work they’ve been doing in Belfast schools. The purpose of Friday’s #DigitalLunch is not to have yet another infertile argument about policy or political instruments or even arguments about whether we ought to be following the shared future or separate but equal … Read more

#AssetTransfer: Investing in schools in order to help meet community demands…

One of the issues in Belfast is the crumbling leisure infrastructure. The (relatively speaking) cvast number of centres were built in thick of the troubles in the late seventies and early eighties as a large scale capital investment programme. They were located in specific areas in order to take account of the physical separation of working class urban communities. At the time it was not reasonable to expect individuals from the lower Shankill to visit the Falls. Some are already … Read more