#TheReset Podcast: “Why can’t government do things (anymore)”?

Ed Straw has been in and around government and state led projects for a large part of his later working life. He has also been involved with the UK Labour Party using his trained engineer’s eye to look at how things work. His new book throws new light on the problem of poor “government agency”. Powered by RedCircle In it we cover: Governments are hooked on a systematic approach which assumes society remains as simple as it once was. This results …

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#TheReset: NI’s opportunity lies in attracting new people as well as new jobs

Today I spoke with my old friend and Lagan College alumnus Shane Greer, who now owns and publishes Campaigns and Elections Magazine and lives and works in Washington DC about whether in order for Northern Ireland to get a good reset we need to think more globally, not to mention bigly. The main impetus for the start of the discussion was his recent Reset essay on what he sees as a live opportunity to exploit the new home working arrangements …

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As we face into another winter with Covid, it is best to expect (and be prepared for) the worst…

I’ve been doing a lot of radio commentary on Stephen Nolan’s show since the onset of the Covid crisis. I often take quite a conservative line when it comes to criticising the government. Although there often are serious issues inside the Executive, the fact is we are ALL facing a crisis of epic proportions. As Evans and Stevens say in their excellent briefing from earlier in the year, “a good rubric for decision making is to expect the worst.” This …

Read more…As we face into another winter with Covid, it is best to expect (and be prepared for) the worst…

#SluggerTV – Our New Economic Normal #TheReset

Events are moving pretty fast this week as we try to work out how to deal with surging case numbers and rising hospital admissions. Another grim set of statistics are the rising numbers of unemployed people, particularly under the age of 35, as we deal with the recession brought on by the pandemic. Times are uncertain and in this fourth episode of  Slugger TV to tie in with The Reset series, we turn our focus to the economics of the …

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#SluggerTV – The future of Belfast City Centre #TheReset

How can Belfast City Centre adapt to these changed times and thrive? Colin Neill (chief executive of Hospitality Ulster), Glyn Roberts (chief executive of Retail NI) and Suzanne Wylie (chief executive of Belfast City Council) joined David McCann in the latest episode of Slugger TV.

The Future of Retail – #TheReset…

Aodhán Connolly, Director, Northern Ireland Retail Consortium There was an unsettling sense of déjà vu when the latest restrictions on households meeting were announced. After a summer when it, slowly, felt as if Northern Ireland was reopening it was an unpleasant reminder coronavirus is still present and not yet beaten. The feeling of the world closing down a little bit is something we are all adjusting to again. However, things are not the same as March. We have all learnt …

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Covid has unleashed a vast global economic experiment, #CargoOfBricks…

In today’s Cargo of Bricks, we take our first look at how the southern economy is coping with the shocks to the labour market in particular. With my guest Dan O’Brien, chief economist at the IIEA in Dublin we cover… Powered by RedCircle It is absolutely impossible to read too far into the success or failure of what amounts to ‘the biggest social policy or political experiment in decades’. Government is able to hold to it’s massive intervention in the …

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Time to reset our approach to energy efficiency of homes to support a green, climate-resilient recovery…

By Dr Patrice Cairns, Policy Manager, RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). You can follow her on Twitter. This year, for many, their home has become not only their shelter but a place of work, of homeschooling, of social space and respite. It can be assumed that there is undoubtfully now a greater appreciation of the intrinsic link between wellbeing and improved indoor health. However, if we spend more time at home, we will typically use more energy. The built …

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#SluggerTV – The Role of Tourism #TheReset

Our latest episode of Slugger TV looks at how the local tourism industry can be reset. Brona Moffett (National Museums NI) and Michael Stewart (hospitality consultant) joined David McCann to discuss the sector which is worth 4.9% of Northern Ireland’s GDP, sustains over 40,000 jobs, and has taken a real battering since March.

Representative democracy and its likely (and perhaps unlikely) rivals to power

Whilst Citizen’s Assemblies are not the panacea that some of their advocates suggest, what they can do is reveal otherwise unregarded characteristics of the electorate to elected representatives. As Jamie Pow notes in Fortnight Magazine, the New Decade, New Approach Deal document pledges to hold regular citizens’ assemblies that might bring democratic institutions and the people closer. But he says, they must be meaningful. Well, quite. As The Economist noted last week… …because citizens’ assemblies reflect the population, their conclusions …

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#CargoOfBricks: Strategic response needed from Stormont for “education leavers”

The Reset In partnership with the Ulster Bank

One of the key reasons for having #TheReset project in a space like Slugger is to look behind the headlines and try to assay the effects of the Covid emergency, not just in health, but in other key areas of life. As we prepare for a second wave, the effects on those leaving education are acute. So this week I spoke to Professor of Education Tony Gallagher, to get his take on what that means in practice… Powered by RedCircle …

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#TheReset -We need to talk about debt…

Richard Ramsey, Chief Economist, NI, Ulster Bank During the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, one of the legacies was over-indebtedness that created zombie companies which weighed on growth as the economy sought to recover. These businesses were mostly larger and within certain sectors. The excessive debt was largely linked directly or indirectly to property. This time is different. It’s different because the banks are well-capitalised and stable. There is no credit crunch – where the cost of borrowing rises …

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#TheReset: Incredible opportunity to bring well-heeled consumers into the Northern Ireland economy

As more companies move to downsize their office space and shift workers permanently to work-from-home status, an opportunity exists for Northern Ireland to take the lead in the post-COVID economy. In mid-April this year, my business partner and I took the decision to close our offices in Washington DC. Permanently. Only a handful of weeks after issuing a mandatory work-from-home order for all staff it became clear that remote work had not undermined productivity at all. If anything, productivity was …

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While COVID-19 may have cut Executive and local government budgets, it has clarified their purpose – to improve the wellbeing of people across Northern Ireland…

Lauren Pennycook is a Senior Policy and Development Officer at the Carnegie UK Trust. You can follow her on Twitter. In the space of five short years, the landscape in Northern Ireland has transformed. New powers have been conferred to local government; the draft Programme for Government sought to deliver public services differently; and the Northern Ireland Assembly collapsed. New structures were formed and new sectors stepped up in an attempt to, in part, fill the political and policy vacuum …

Read more…While COVID-19 may have cut Executive and local government budgets, it has clarified their purpose – to improve the wellbeing of people across Northern Ireland…

#TheReset Podcast – Steve Bradley on the future of Derry…

Steve Bradley is a regeneration consultant, you can follow him on Twitter. Steve is a very popular writer on Slugger with some of his posts getting over 40k readers, you can view an archive of his posts here. In this podcast, we discuss the future of Derry and the Northwest. In particular, we discuss: The future of Ulster University in Derry or lack thereof The potential for an independent University How Covid-19 will affect Derry, in particular, fewer people having …

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Van the Man, or how expressive individualism is pulling us away from our obligations to each other

So Van Morrison has brought out some new tunes which include “criticism” of the government’s Covid policy. I’m as much a fan as the next Ulsterman, but it seemed a good moment to reflect on the way expressive individualism is pulling us away from our obligations to each other. Even Henry Ford understood the immense value that lies in others, “if there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of …

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Mallon’s decision on the interconnector ought to be the thin edge of a positive #Reset wedge

Interesting development earlier this week as Nichola Mallon approved the new North-South interconnector from Tyrone to Meath, not least because of the cacophony of noise arising not just from rivals but even from within her own party. The BBC reports… The approval is for the building of a single circuit 400kV electricity line consisting of 102 towers over 34.1kms in length from Moy in County Tyrone to Crossreagh in County Armagh. The first application was lodged on 15th December 2009. …

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#SluggerTV – The role of the Third Sector #TheReset

David McCann was joined by guests Gráinne Walsh (Stratagem) and Jacinta Linden (SPACE NI) to examine how the third sector sector was the bedrock of our response to the pandemic. Remember all of those charities who stepped up while revenues were falling and did extraordinary things to help the most vulnerable in our society? In this episode, we hear about the resilience of this sector, from making headlines for innovative ideas such as Kindness Kits and new ways of working. can help provide a reset for the local economy and our society in the years ahead and what is needed from local policy-makers to help make it all happen.

#TheReset: Taking to the skies once more

Brian Ambrose, Chief Executive, George Best Belfast City Airport Covid-19’s first shock delivered to the UK aviation industry, and indeed Northern Ireland, came in the form of Flybe’s collapse in early March. Whilst this was the first impact on home soil, it was a stark realisation that Northern Ireland would not emerge unscathed from this pandemic. Lives would sadly be lost, ‘normal’ would become a thing of the past and our economy would bear the brunt of the tremors. As …

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#TheReset: What does Jürgen Klopp have to do with democratic renewal? #CargoOfBricks #Podcast

Do we need a re-set in political culture? We often tie ourselves in knots thinking that Northern Ireland is an exception to the rest of the world, but this week’s guest on #CargoOfBricks Richard Wilson’s experience is much broader and he thinks politicians are falling far short of current needs. Powered by RedCircle In it we cover… How our Victorian ideas of how representative democracy actually works are being quickly outrun by a connected electorate which is losing its patience …

Read more…#TheReset: What does Jürgen Klopp have to do with democratic renewal? #CargoOfBricks #Podcast