The Presidency Seminars – 2011 to 2018
Shaping Ireland’s Shared Future
President Higgins today (25 May 2012) invited young Irish people to offer their vision for Ireland and asked them to think and speak of how that vision might be achieved.
Speaking as he officially launched, Being Young and Irish, the first in a series of Presidency Seminars, President Higgins said,
“I said in my inauguration speech that as part of my Presidency I would host a number of Presidency seminars which would reflect and explore themes that were important to the shared life of the Irish people. The first of these Seminars will focus on the theme of Being Young and Irish. I also said on that occasion that we must together build a new citizenship for which we need a new discourse.
We must seek to build together an active, inclusive citizenship: based on participation, equality, respect for all and the flowering of creativity in all its forms. A confident people is our hope, a people at ease with itself, a people that grasps the deep meaning of the proverb ‘ní neart go cur le chéile’ – our strength lies in our common weal – our social solidarity.”
At the launch in Áras an Uachtaráin this morning the President invited young people to use whatever media suited them best to put forward their vision for Ireland. He mentioned as examples narrative, song, poetry, video or audio recordings.
He suggested that in their submission to www.president.ie or via post to Áras an Uachtaráin young Irish people at home and abroad address the following questions:
· What is your vision for Ireland?
· What can you and other young people do to achieve this?
· What else needs to happen to make your proposals possible?
In addition to the online and postal consultation process the President will host a number of face to face regional workshops. The multimedia consultation and workshops will culminate with a final Presidency seminar to be held in Áras an Uachtaráin later this year. The President will also publish a final Being Young and Irish report and will deliver this report to the appropriate authorities and agencies.
The deadline for submissions to the multimedia consultation for Being Young and Irish is 29 September 2012.
About Being Young and Irish
The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, is inviting young Irish people at home and worldwide to play an active part in shaping Ireland’s shared future.
Being Young and Irish, the consultation with Irish people aged 17 to 26, seeks to advance the national discourse on inclusion by harnessing the power of young people, enabling them to participate and involved in that discourse. The ambition is to create a society which values every citizen in every generation.
The central goal is to engage young people as active and reflective citizens in contemporary Ireland, and to endorse them as one of the sources of wisdom in solving core social, political, economic and cultural issues confronting Ireland. It is President Higgins’ hope that the Being Young and Irish consultation and seminar will:
· Open up channels of participation for young people and involve them in the national discussion and debate about what kind of country we now have, what form of republic we wish to create and how it can be achieved.
· Identify, promote and celebrate original, youth-led sensitive and realisable solutions to our present conditions and proposals for a better society in the future.
· Hear from young people and seek their views on the difficulties young people from diverse backgrounds are experiencing, as young and Irish people today.
What are the Presidency Seminars?
In his inaugural address on 11 November 2011 President Higgins announced his intention to hold a number of Presidency Seminars which would reflect and explore themes important to Ireland’s shared life yet separate and wider than the immediate events to which legislation is directed.
The first of President Higgins’ Presidency Seminars Being Young and Irish seeks to advance the national discourse on inclusion by harnessing the power of young people, enabling them to participate and be more involved in decision making. Being Young and Irish aims to hear from young Irish people aged 17 to 26 at home and abroad.
Further seminars will take place throughout President Higgins’ seven year term and will encompass consideration of global issues, stressing the importance of the ethical connection between politics, economy, development and society.
Twitter tag: #youngandirish