Social Capital and Wellbeing in Ireland Tom Healy
The future of Irish society is uncertain. We have emerged from a
period of extraordinarily rapid growth in measurable market income
(let’s be careful with our language and descriptions!). Before that we
had a period of extraordinary economic crisis characterised by high
unemployment, emigration, stagnant or falling incomes and continuing
poverty for many.
Now we are at a crossroads.
What sort of society do we want for the future – our future in what sort
of world? And what sort of economy, education system, community
development, governance do we want and need to realise the society
of the future? Through education and other means, are we to ‘meet the
needs of the economy’ or is ‘education’, the ‘economy’ and many other
things to meet the needs of real people in a society? These are tough
questions and involve a lot of thinking and a lot of hard work. They are
not necessarily the stuff of immediate response, marketable ideas and
measurable returns to investment.