ENGAGING THE CITIZEN - Futures For Civil Society

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Presentation by The Rt Hon George Reid at NICVA\'s Annual Conference on 21st November 2008

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  • ENGAGING THE CITIZEN - Futures For Civil Society

    1. 1. ENGAGING THE CITIZEN Futures For Civil Society The Rt Hon George Reid
    2. 2. <ul><li>The Drivers of Change </li></ul><ul><li>The Challenge of Politics </li></ul>
    3. 3. “ The development of a dynamic and responsive strategy for outreach and public engagement ”
    4. 4. “ We must try to accept that we have a shared past and try to learn from it. “ The differences in our societies must cease to be barriers between us. “ We must learn to live together – not only to be supportive of our respective individual diversities but indeed to be champions of respect and tolerance of others”
    5. 5. N.I. CHALLENGES <ul><li>Promotion of Vision and Values </li></ul><ul><li>Division on Religious Boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Tolerance of Difference </li></ul><ul><li>Collective Campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>Trust in|from the Assembly </li></ul><ul><li>Dependency on State Funding </li></ul><ul><li>Clear unifying Agenda </li></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>GOALS OF INQUIRY </li></ul><ul><li>Explore threats and opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Identify how policy and practice can be enhanced </li></ul><ul><li>Improve ability of civil society to meet future challenges </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>WHAT IS CIVIL SOCIETY? </li></ul><ul><li>Associational Life </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘good’ society </li></ul><ul><li>Arenas for public deliberation </li></ul><ul><li>“ Civil Society is a goal to aim for, a means to achieve it and a framework for engaging with each other about ends and means” </li></ul>
    8. 8. FUTURES THINKING “ The purpose of looking at the future is to disturb the present”
    9. 10. PLEASE, NO CONSULTANT SPEAK!
    10. 11. <ul><li>FAULT LINES </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge of Sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>Isolation of the Poorest </li></ul><ul><li>Social Cohesion under Pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Shifting Activism and increasing obstacles to engaging with civil society </li></ul>
    11. 12. <ul><li>FAULT LINES </li></ul><ul><li>Application of Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary & Community Organisations lose their Distinctiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Diminishing Areas for Public Deliberation </li></ul><ul><li>Marginalisation of Dissent </li></ul>
    12. 13. LOCAL LIFE
    13. 14. DIVERSITY WARS
    14. 15. ATHENIAN VOICES
    15. 16. GLOBAL COMPACT
    16. 17. <ul><li>WHAT NEXT? </li></ul><ul><li>Social Justice and Climate Change </li></ul><ul><li>Financial Industry </li></ul><ul><li>The Media </li></ul><ul><li>The Deliberative Process </li></ul><ul><li>Marginalisation of Dissent </li></ul>
    17. 18. <ul><li>ANOTHER FAULT LINE </li></ul><ul><li>Devolution as a Driver of Change </li></ul><ul><li>State no longer sole source of authority </li></ul><ul><li>Responsibility for Civil Society largely devolved </li></ul>
    18. 19. QUESTION 1 Is Devolution Decentralisation, power handed down from the Centre? Or is Devolution a dynamic process, power rising up from the People?
    19. 20. QUESTION 2 Does the Northern Ireland Assembly practise Representative Democracy? Or does the Northern Ireland Assembly practise Participative Democracy?
    20. 21. <ul><li>COMPARISONS </li></ul><ul><li>Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Equal Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing of Power </li></ul>
    21. 22. “ The development of a dynamic and responsive strategy for outreach and public engagement ”
    22. 23. <ul><li>A People’s Parliament </li></ul><ul><li>Politics too important to leave to the politicians </li></ul><ul><li>Let the People in </li></ul><ul><li>Let the People have their say </li></ul><ul><li>Let the People change law </li></ul>
    23. 24. “ We must learn to live together – not only to be supportive of our respective individual diversities but indeed to be champions of respect and tolerance of others”
    24. 25. <ul><li>A Civic Agenda? </li></ul><ul><li>Decide Representative or Participative Democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Decide Decentralisation or Devolution </li></ul>
    25. 26. <ul><li>A Futures Agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Think Needs not Positions </li></ul><ul><li>Consult with Civic Society </li></ul><ul><li>Open the Assembly to the People </li></ul><ul><li>Agree a Petitions System </li></ul><ul><li>Stand for Election </li></ul>
    26. 27. “ Look to the Future. Accept the Challenges. Society fails if the citizen is not engaged. “ Setting an agenda for change is not a burden. It’s a responsibility. And an opportunity to change for good ”

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