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How can we shape Ireland’s future?

In recent decades little attention has been paid to issues concerning the future. However, the future, how it should be shaped and who should be involved in shaping it has never been more significant. Since 2007 the world’s economy has been in turmoil and our political systems have failed to deal with these difficulties in a fair and just manner. Questions regarding the shape of Ireland’s future are now critically important.

  • What Ireland do we want to pass on to future generations? 
  • Do we want to leave a legacy of greed, over-consumption, individualism and failed institutions? 
  • Do we want to leave a sustainable Ireland where everyone has sufficient income to live life with dignity and everyone is entitled to a share of the commons?

If we want to leave behind a sustainable Ireland, a country where economic development, social equity and sustainability go hand in hand then we have a responsibility to consider how we can contribute to creating this legacy. 
Currently our level of trust in the ability of politics to support and promote change is at an all-time low; it has been eroded by a series of poor decisions. As a result there is an absence of trust between citizens and government. 

As citizens we need to consider what responsibility means to us. We need to hold people in public office accountable for the decisions they make, but we should also aim to take responsibility ourselves as citizens and get involved at local and community level to work for change. 
It is imperative at this time to move from a system of delegation of responsibility to one of co-decision making, co-production and co-responsibility. Only when we do this can we hope to leave a sustainable legacy for future generations.
These issues and more were vigorously debated at Social Justice Ireland’s conference on ‘Sharing Responsibility in Shaping the Future’. 

A book entitled Sharing Responsibility in Shaping the Future, containing all the papers presented at this conference may be accessed here.