Future Politics conference to provide new entry point to old problems

06 September 2022 - by Anna Mercer

Stratagem and the John and Pat Hume Foundation have joined forces to deliver a new political conference which is set to take place in Belfast in September.

Future Politics: Delivering Effective Government will bring together politicians and policymakers to discuss how to address long-term policy challenges and make our political system more sustainable.

The event will be held under Chatham House Rules and will feature six panels that include consideration of the future of the political institutions; the culture and architecture of public policy; the role of media and social media in political discourse; optimising North/South/East/West relationships in a post-Brexit world; and how we can deal with challenges around culture.

Speakers include experts in government policy, leaders from business, culture, the arts, former politicians, academics, and the media, and are drawn from the UK, Ireland, EU and the US. Chairing the conference will be Irish Times Northern Editor, Freya McClements and former BBC Political Editor, Mark Devenport.

The conference is kindly being supported by Queen’s University Belfast; the Irish Institute at Boston College; the Irish Institute at University of Liverpool; Open University; Ulster University; Community Foundation; NILGA; and IBEC Global.

Panel 1: Almost 25 years since devolution: what does good government look like and how do we achieve it?

  • David Ford, Former Justice Minister, Alliance Leader and MLA
  • Dawn Purvis, John and Pat Hume Foundation Board Member; Head of Corporate Affairs at Choice Housing Ireland Limited; Former MLA and Leader of the Progressive Unionist Party
  • Jarlath Kearney, Former Sinn Féin Special Advisor; Strategy Advisor; Equality Commissioner 
  • Mark Durkan, John and Pat Hume Foundation Board Member, Former deputy First Minister, Member of Parliament and SDLP Leader
  • Richard Bullick, Former DUP Special Advisor; Former DUP Head of Policy; Barrister 

Panel 2: Cutting through the noise: creating a more reflective political discourse

  • Brendan Hughes, Political Reporter, Belfast Live
  • Clare Bailey, Former Leader of Green Party and MLA
  • Kezia Dugdale, Director John Smith Centre; Former Leader of the Scottish Labour Party and MSP
  • Dr Olga Jurasz, Senior Law Lecturer, Open University
  • Sara Canning, John and Pat Hume Foundation Board Member; Phlebotomist, Altnagelvin Area Hospital and campaigner for truth, justice and equality

Panel 3: Delivering better outcomes for people: the architecture and culture of policymaking 

  • Alison Allen, Chief Executive, NILGA
  • Denis McMahon, Permanent Secretary, Executive Office
  • Professor Duncan Morrow, Director of Community Engagement, Ulster University
  • Jennifer Wallace, Director, Carnegie UK Trust
  • Jill Rutter, Senior Fellow, Institute of Government

Panel 4: Whose culture is it anyway? Moving away from a binary state

  • Colin Davidson, Artist; Chancellor of Ulster University; Patron of WAVE Trauma Centre
  • Labhras Ó Murchú, Ardstiúrthóir, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann; Former Senator in Irish Senate
  • Professor Pete Shirlow, Director, Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool
  • Ryan Shaw, Youth Worker, Youth Action
  • Terry Wright, Former UUP member, campaigner for Civic Unionism

Panel 5: Our place in the world: resetting our Transatlantic relationships

  • Dr Bob Mauro, Executive Director of Irish Institute, Boston College
  • Ian Hunter, US Director, OCO Global
  • Jackie King, Executive Director of International Business, IBEC Global
  • Ryan Feeney, Director of Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility, Queen's University Belfast

Panel 6: Making the three strands work for prosperity: North-South, East-West in a post-Brexit world

  • Andrew McCormick, Former Permanent Secretary and Director General of International Relations, Executive Office
  • Professor Katy Hayward, Political Sociologist, Queen's University Belfast
  • Kristy McManus, National Director, IoD
  • Lee Reynolds, Former DUP Special Advisor; Former Director of Policy