Paddy Cosgrave, CEO and Co-Founder of WebSummit and Christine Bohan, Deputy Editor of address our 31st Social Policy Conference

Posted on Saturday, 17 November 2018
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Our 2018 Social Policy Conference, From Here to Where?, brought together a diverse range of voices to discuss what should shape the Programme for Government of the 33rd Dáil.

Delivering their Keynote Addresses, Paddy Cosgrave, CEO and Co-Founder of WebSummit, and Christine Bohan, Deputy Editor of, discussed themes such as the influence, or otherwise, of the Enlightenment philosophers on today's politicians and what the Programme for Government could learn from the newsroom.

Paddy Cosgrave, Web Summit – Learning from the past to shape the future

“The very existence of exceptional tax breaks to large asset owners is entirely antithetical to classical liberalism is the opposite of the cornerstone of enlightenment ideals on Tax work and reward. That Paschal Donohue and Leo Varadkar to invoke enlightenment ideas without any seeming knowledge appears nothing else than a misappropriation of history.

They rightly realise there is no philosophical basis for their core policy positions related to work and taxation so instead they simply pretend there is a basis by falsely appropriating the ideas of some revered enlightenment philosophers of the past and hope nobody calls them up on it.”

 Christine Bohan, The Journal - What the next Programme for Government can learn from newsrooms

“I would suggest that this is a time when institutions - countries, social media publishers, newsrooms - should not just be focusing on growth as a metric, but instead of more qualitative metrics. For Ireland, this would be questions like is this a fair country? Is this an equal country? Are people getting the opportunities that they need to build a life? Are they happy?”

Videos and papers from our Social Policy Conference 2018, From Where to Here? Are available now on our Publications section.