The Centre for Democracy and Peace Building Fellowship (CDPB) is full steam ahead for another year and Fujitsu NI is delighted to be a part of this fantastic initiative once more as it moves into its third year of nurturing local leaders.
The Fellowship Programme is designed for leaders from political parties, business, public and civic society backgrounds working in Northern Ireland. Through a series of curated sessions, participants have the chance to develop their leadership skills by learning from renowned speakers from across academia, public sector, and business.
Fellows recently enjoyed a residential trip to Oxford, learning more about how to tackle complex topics, as well as leadership and diplomacy traits from a wider variety of speakers. Fujitsu hosted a “co-design” session to enable the fellows to identify a social challenge and apply design thinking methodologies to consider solutions and approaches to solve these challenges. This session was very well received by all who took part in the sessions.
The next CDPB Fellowship programme session took place on Thursday 20th October and built on the skills learnt in September residential. This session was led by Dr Janet Smart, Emeritus Reader in Operations Management from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. There was a follow-up session where the design thinking workshops presented their progress against their challenges.
In the afternoon, keynote speaker Angela McGowan, Director at CBI Northern Ireland, presented on current pressures and future opportunities for the Northern Ireland economy and businesses. This was followed by a discussion between Angela, John Healy from Allstate NI and myself on how best to address these pressures and opportunities in the future.
With just three sessions remaining before fellows present their group projects, we are proud of the progress made to date by this year’s fellows. Their dedication to civic society is inspirational and we are proud to be a part of their leadership journeys.
David Clements, Client Director at Fujitsu NI
Read more about the CDPB programme at: https://fellowship.democracyandpeace.org/
Lord John Alderdice has been awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Royal College of Psychiatrists during their annual awards ceremony.
The awards mark the highest levels of excellence and achievement within the field of psychiatry.
Lord Alderdice was born and brought up in Northern Ireland and played a vital role in helping to resolve conflict and restore peace during the Troubles. In 1978, he joined the Alliance party which tried to build the centre ground. In 1987 at the age of 32, he was elected leader of the Alliance Party.
He engaged in ongoing talks including with the prime ministers of the UK and Ireland and leaders of the EU and the President of the USA, that culminated in the Good Friday Agreement in Belfast in 1998.
In his psychiatry career, he was appointed to professorships at the University of San Marcos in Peru and at the Universities of Virginia and Maryland in the USA. He currently holds appointments at Oxford University, including Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College and Executive Chairman of The Changing Character of War Centre at Pembroke College.
He is a professor of practice at the Global Humanity for Peace Institute at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Lord John Alderdice said: “This award is a demonstration of the good fortune I have had in my professional life to be encouraged by colleagues in psychiatry who care both about their patients, and the disturbed societies in which they live.
“The mental health professionals that I worked with in Northern Ireland, and later around the world, gave me the intellectual, emotional, and collegial support that I needed to work in situations of conflict.
“I want them and others to know that they should never underestimate the impact and importance of encouragement, especially to a young person trying to do the best they can for others.”
Dr Adrian James, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “If anyone deserves a lifetime achievement award, it is Lord John Alderdice. He has devoted so much of his working life to politics and psychiatry.
“Not only was he an ambassador for peace and conflict resolution during turbulent times in Northern Ireland but he is a focused and world-leading psychiatrist at the top of his profession.
“It is wonderful to be able to recognise him through this award.”
Dr Richard Wilson, chair of RCPsych NI, said: “Many congratulations to Lord John Alderdice on this much deserved award. Not only has he been an important political figure in Northern Ireland, but he continues to be a leading light in the world of psychiatry.
“This accolade is a true testament to an interesting and much varied career.”
Twenty-five leaders from politics, the business community and civic society here, have been selected for the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building’s 2022 Fellowship programme.
The Fellows, unveiled today at an event at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, will engage with leading policymakers, academics, business leaders and public figures on social, political and economic issues and seek to develop their understanding of how to tackle those issues in Northern Ireland.
The Fellowship is backed by the leadership of some of the highest profile businesses operating in Northern Ireland including Allstate NI, FinTrU, Devenish, Fujitsu NI and Ulster Carpets. The programme is also supported by leading academic institutions and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Irish-American Partnership.
Speakers at the announcement of the new Fellows included Head of the NI Civil Service, Jayne Brady, as well as Chair of the Fellowship Advisory Programme, John Healy from Allstate Northern Ireland, and representatives from all five main parties.
Now in its second year, the six-month programme will see the Fellows undertake workshops and training in Belfast, Dublin and Oxford.
John Healy, Vice President at Allstate NI and Chair of the Fellowship Advisory Board, said:
“This is an incredible group of talented participants selected for this year’s Fellowship programme. As we begin the second cycle of this programme, – and the first without the political institutions in place – it is critical that these Fellows are well-equipped to provide leadership skills to tackle and navigate us out of the significant number of problems we are facing here in Northern Ireland.”
“The chosen 25 candidates will be joined by a group of business, political and civic society leaders throughout the next 6 months, who will assist with the formation of the strategic leadership tools and techniques required to overcome the obvious hurdles in front of us. We need to invest in our potential game changers right now and this Fellowship is a purposeful way of making that happen.”
“I would like to thank the significant contribution that the advisory board of the Fellowship has made shaping this programme into the success it is already. Their time, effort and commitment should act as a guiding light to the past, present and future participants.”
Karise Hutchinson, Professor of Leadership at Ulster University and Vice-Chair of the Fellowship Advisory Board, said:
“Given our troubled past in Northern Ireland, and the current political paralysis, we often neglect to be ambitious for the future. The Fellowship programme seeks to continue the conversation about what good leadership is, one that explores the possibilities of what a forward thinking society looks like.”
“As we move towards the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, this is a prime opportunity for renewal and to help develop those ambitious young leaders that will be taking on these challenges. I am proud to be supporting the launch of this year’s fantastic programme alongside my colleagues on the Advisory Board.”
The 26 participants of the 2022 CDPB Fellowship programme include:
Alfred Abolarin, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Housing Executive
Caoimhe Archibald MLA
Charmain Jones, Women Spaces Co-Ordinator, Northern Ireland Rural Women’s Network
Conleth Burns, Senior Associate, More in Common
Diane Forsythe MLA
Doire Finn, Constituency Manager
Don McCann, Strategy Manager, Invest NI
Eoin Bradley, Political Strategy Advisor
Gina Savage, Vice Principal, St Patrick’s Grammar School, Downpatrick
Cllr Hannah Irwin
Jamie Warnock, Head of Policy and Engagement, Law Society of Northern Ireland
Jonathan McAdams, NI Civil Service
Joy Ferguson, Economist
Karen Smyth, Head of Policy and Governance, NI Local Government Association
Michael McConville, Engineering Manager, NantHealth
Nuala Murphy, Director, Diversity Mark
Nuala Toman, Head of Policy and Communications, Disability Action
Padraig Delargy MLA
Patricia O’Lynn MLA
Phillip Brett MLA
Cllr Ryan McCready
Stephanie O’Rourke, Deputy Director, Springboard Opportunities
Cllr Stephen Donnelly
Cllr Ben Mallon
Tara Grace Connolly, Media Researcher
Launching amid another Stormont impasse, the programme equips aspiring leaders here with the skills to lead Northern Ireland forward
Applications are now open for the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building Fellowship, a prestigious programme which seeks to produce Northern Ireland’s next generation of changemakers.
Now in its second year, the Fellowship aims to strengthen Stormont’s democratic institutions and ensure that our next generation of Ministers, CEOs, and civic leaders, are best placed to lead the region going forward. Previous Fellows include John Finucane MP, Connie Egan MLA, and Cllr Aaron Callan and IoD Northern Ireland Director, Kirsty McManus.
The Fellowship is delivered by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building (CDPB), working with leading representatives from Northern Ireland’s business sector including Allstate NI, FinTrU, Devenish, Fujitsu NI, Ulster Carpets. The programme is also supported by leading academic institutions and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In discussions with leading policymakers, academics, business leaders and public figures, Fellows will engage with global social, political and economic issues and seek to develop their understanding of how to tackle those issues in Northern Ireland. Successful participants will also have the chance to participate in residential sessions at the University of Oxford and in Dublin.
Fellowship Chair, and Managing Director of Allstate NI, John Healy, says that this year’s programme is timely and significant given the current political deadlock facing Northern Ireland. He calls on parties, businesses, and civic society organisations to nominate those individuals that can use the Fellowship to build a better society here.
John Healy, Managing Director at Allstate NI and Chair of the Fellowship Advisory Board, said:
“The Fellowship is a brilliant initiative, and this year’s programme could not have come at a more crucial time. Northern Ireland is facing multiple challenges and with the Stormont corridors empty, we are also facing a political leadership crisis. This programme will give our future leaders the knowledge, skills, and relationships to look beyond the insular world we face here, and bring an exciting, new, and much-needed vision to our region’s future.”
“Last year’s Fellowship was a resounding success, seen through the election of former Fellows following May’s Assembly poll. This year’s expanded programme includes engagements with some of the UK and Ireland’s brightest minds in Dublin, Oxford, Belfast, and everywhere in between. From political parties, to businesses, to the third sector, I would encourage all organisations to nominate an individual for this year’s Fellowship they feel could help shape the future of Northern Ireland.”
Karise Hutchinson, Professor of Leadership at Ulster University and Vice-Chair of the Fellowship Advisory Board, said:
“Next year we will celebrate 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement. A hard-won hallmark of compromise, it is disheartening that we currently face the prospect of honouring this milestone with no functioning government in place. The Fellowship seeks to ‘level up’ our next generation of political, civic and business leaders, giving them the confidence and ability to address Northern Ireland’s ongoing political, economic, and social challenges. At its core, it seeks to pave the way for a new spirit of possibility and compromise in our society.”
“Our Advisory Board contains leaders from Northern Ireland’s leading companies who will seek to instill in this year’s participants the hard and soft skills required to introduce real, wholesale change. I am thrilled to be supporting this fantastic programme, and I would encourage all those eligible to apply.”
Those interested can complete the Fellowship application form at fellowship.democracyandpeace.org where they will be asked to upload their CV and a short essay.
At this juncture in global political affairs and international relations there has never been a greater need across the world for people to work for democracy, reconciliation and peacebuilding. We have seen such efforts blossom over the last 25 years in Northern Ireland/Ireland and I hope that they will continue to bear fruit to reflect unity in diversity in our restored political institutions. Such work can and should be replicated in other parts of our global world.
This compelling imperative fuelled my desire to accept the invitation to join the Board of CDPB in July 2021 and eventually to accept the unanimous support of Board colleagues to take on the mantle of Chairperson of this important organisation. I was replacing Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP who stood down as Chair and still remains a member of the Board. CDPB owe our thanks and gratitude to Sir Jeffrey and his predecessor, Lord John Alderdice who along with other Board members provided strategic direction to ensure that our organisation continues to fulfil our objectives. We have all been ably assisted by Eva Grosman who is our Chief Executive. Eva is a powerhouse and has provided dynamic leadership in these islands in terms of peace-making and democracy. We and the wider community owe Eva an enormous debt of gratitude and heartfelt thanks. I hope to continue to work with Eva and her team to ensure that the objectives of the organisation continue to be fulfilled.
Our democracy and peacebuilding work has been overshadowed by war in Ukraine in 2022. We have all been horrified by the scenes of mass death and destruction which we have witnessed on our television screens on a daily basis since late February. International efforts are required to work with President Zelensky to ensure that peace and democracy is secured and that the Ukrainian people can return to their homeland through a massive re-building programme for peace, prosperity and infrastructure building.
Our work has concentrated in the past year in the following areas: Fellowship programme which involved young people from across Northern Ireland coming together to work on democratic peacebuilding initiatives. This programme will continue to be delivered and sincere thanks are due to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin, Irish American Partnership, our corporate partners and our mentors from business and industry for their advice, sponsorship and unfailing direction and guidance.
Other work programmes included the Unite Against Hate which was supported by the Executive Office.
Our international work focuses on engagement with colleagues in Colombia and work led by Lord Alderdice in Jerusalem.
This year also witnessed the appointment of Reeya Gadhvana as our Head of Programmes and we will continue to work with young people and internships – in fact we will be hosting two young women from Harvard in Belfast during the summer.
Notwithstanding the rigours and challenges of the pandemic over the last couple of years, our work has continued and blossomed. That bedrock of support from the wider community including business and industrial representatives is invaluable on so many levels as we continue our mission and fulfil the objectives of CDPB.
CDPB is one of the most inspiring and worthwhile organisations I have worked with, and I hope to continue to work with Eva, Board members and others to fulfil our commitment to democracy and peacebuilding locally and internationally.
Baroness Margaret Ritchie of Downpatrick
Thanks to the support from The Executive Office’s Central Good Relations Funding, the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building delivered ‘Ending Hate. Embracing Diversity.’ as part of the longstanding Unite Against Hate campaign.
Unite Against Hate 2022 comprised of four key elements:
- A Workshop Series led by experts on diversity and inclusion (Deepa Mann-Kler), community relations (Sughra Ahmed) and mediation (Dorcas Crawford), helped attendees to develop the skills to overcome their biases, build braver communities and communicate in a healthy and conflict-free manner.
- Online and On-demand Workshops based upon the initial workshop series accessible to all for FREE on Unite Against Hate website.
- The Unite Against Hate Pledge asking people to challenge, reach out and speak out against prejudice and hate crime within Northern Ireland. This pledge received support from across the community within NI and across political parties with several MLAs signing to pledge support.
- The Pledge Launch at the Skainos Centre in East Belfast. This insightful day was organised to include panels discussing topics such as challenges to peaceful relations in NI today, as well as the experiences of ethnic minorities in NI. The pledge itself was launched at the event by the Lord Mayor Kate Nicholl.
CDPB Chair Baroness Ritchie commented: ″Embracing diversity and uniting against hate is crucial in Northern Ireland because we know the consequences of prejudice, discrimination and hatred. We must embrace and support our minority communities and show them that Northern Ireland has learned from the past, and is now a place where diversity is celebrated, not rejected.″
The Unite Against Hate campaign has been delivered by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building and supported by the Executive Office’s Central Good Relations Funding, part of the The ‘Together: Building a United Community’ (T:BUC) Strategy.