Fellows travel to Dublin for residential

Following on from our Fellowship Programme session in December with Bauer Media NI, Newtownards, our Fellows travelled down to Dublin for the next instalment of the 2023/24 programme.

The Fellows were treated to a fascinating series of discussions focusing on leadership in reconciliation and the arts, including members from the Houses of the Oireachtas, The Irish Times, Royal Irish Academy, Irish Museum of Modern Arts, Citi Bank, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ciarán Ó Cuinn, and Tim O’Connor.

We would like to offer our thanks to our Fellows for a fantastic and constructive residential and to our colleagues and hosts for their support and hospitality.


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TEDxStormont returns for its 11th year to a packed audience

TEDxStormont returned for another successful year in January with many inspiring and insightful talks on this year’s theme of ‘Restore’.

Over 175 people joined us in the Great Hall, Stormont, on January 20 to discover innovative ideas, hear inspiring stories, and have thought-provoking discussions on how to rejuvenate our world, revive our communities, and rekindle hope for a sustainable future.

We were honoured to be joined by experts from a wide variety of fields who empowered us to restore the balance in our lives and the wider world. A huge thank you to our MC, Sarah Travers, and all our speakers: Alex Kane, Celtic Psalms, Ed Lindsay, Heidi McIlvenny, Jamie Duffy, Jane Shaw, John Martin, Justin Lowry, Kiran Young Wimberly, Matthew Taylor, Michael Boyd, Michael O’Sullivan, Paula Kennedy Garcia, Romav Ali, Sinead Sharkey-Steenson, and Susan Lagdon.

We would also like to extend our thanks to Camlin Group, BiOPAX Ltd, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland, and our production partners Ulster Screen Academy, for their vital support of TEDxStormont 2024. Thank you also to Brown O’Connor Communications, Bespoke Communications, Focus Audio Visual, Northern Ireland Assembly staff and Kelvin Boyes for their support and help on the day for bringing together a broad range of ideas and perspectives.


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CDPB hosts first alumni event

CDPB was delighted to launch the first event for our alumni network on January 19 with conflict management consultant and mediator Dorcas Crawford.

Dorcas offered valuable and practical insight on mastering difficult conversations drawing from her vast experience. It is certainly a skill all leaders from across Northern Ireland can continually improve on.

We would like to extend our thanks to chief financial office of Allstate NI Christina Bates and Allstate Northern Ireland for helping to host the event.

We look forward to sharing further updates on how we intend to grow and develop our alumni network as we seek to equip and facilitate leadership development to bring about benefit for all in Northern Ireland.


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Cultural Diplomacy and the Art of Soft Power

Cultural Diplomacy and the Art of Soft Power – The role of art and artists in shaping Ireland’s international image – North and South

What is the role of cultural diplomacy in our ever-increasing polarised and divided world? How can we foster a better understanding between cultures and nations? How can cultural diplomacy pave the way to the wider cooperation and dialogue?

During this seminar we will examine the role of cultural diplomacy, learn how we can foster an effective cultural dialogue, and examine the role of art and artists in shaping the island of Ireland’s image (North and South) in the international context.

The seminar will feature a keynote address from Evgeniya Ravtsova, International Programmes Manager at the Victoria and Albert Museum, on the Art of Soft Power, followed by a panel discussion with Sheena Barrett, Head of Research and Learning, Irish Museum of Modern Art; Dr. Kim-Marie Spence, Lecturer, Arts Management and Cultural Policy Queen’s University Belfast; and Richard Williams, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Screen.

This event is part of Imagine! Belfast.

Event Details
Thursday, 21 March | 3pm – 5pm
The Black Box, 18–22 Hill Street, Belfast
Free Admission

Book your tickets at: https://imaginebelfast.com/event/cultural-diplomacy-and-the-art-of-soft-power/

TEDxStormont set for return to Parliament Buildings with stellar line up of speakers

TEDxStormont is gearing up for its return to Parliament Buildings on Saturday 20 January with an exceptional lineup of speakers featuring one of Northern Ireland’s best-known columnists and commentators Alex Kane, TikTok piano sensation and songwriter Jamie Duffy, and accomplished A-Level student and Syrian refugee Romav Ali.

The daylong event, supported by Biopax, Camlin Group and Coca-Cola and compered by presenter and broadcaster Sarah Travers, is expected to see 200 guests fill the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings. This year’s speakers will deliver their talks on the theme of ‘Restore’.
As the driving force behind Northern Ireland’s screen industry and which produces award-winning graduates for one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, the Ulster Screen Academy from Ulster University is also on board as TEDxStormont’s production partner.
Standing on the iconic red dot, speakers will share their innovative ideas, inspiring stories, and thought-provoking discussions on how to rejuvenate communities and rekindle hope for a more sustainable and harmonious future.

Beginning as a four-day conference in California, TED and the TEDx programme has grown to support world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives like TEDxStormont, which since 2013 has organised over 20 events and meet-ups, including TEDxStormont, TEDxStormont Women, Salons, City 2.0, TED Global viewing parties, TED Circles, Countdown, and a week-long virtual Summer Camp.

Across the span of a decade, TEDxStormont has hosted some of the most acclaimed speakers including Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, Lyra McKee, Ana Matronic of the Scissor Sisters, and astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

The event will bring individuals from an array of backgrounds such as academia, journalism, music, business, and sport.

TEDxStormont speakers being announced today include:

Alex Kane – Political Columnist and Commentator
Celtic Psalms – Music Group
Ed Lindsay – Custodian and Owner of Finnebrogue Woods
Jamie Duffy – Musician and Songwriter
Jane Shaw – Therapist, Writer and Educator
John Martin – Head of Policy and Advocacy at RSPB NI
Justin Lowry – Antique Dealer and Reuse Revolution Enthusiast
Kiran Young Wimberly – Presbyterian Minister and Co-founder of Celtic Pilgrims
Matthew Taylor – Mental Health Campaigner
Michael Boyd – Sport, Business and Human Rights Specialist
Michael O’Sullivan – Economist and Author
Paula Kennedy Garcia – Customer Experience Thought Leader, Innovator and Strategist
Romav Ali – A-Level Student
Sinead Sharkey-Steenson – Leadership Career Coach
Susan Lagdon – Lecturer in Psychology (Mental Health)
Declan Keeney – Professor of Screen Technologies & Innovation
Heidi McIlvenny – Marine Specialist

Dr Terry Cross OBE, Chair, Biopax, said:
“At the heart of progress lies original ideas and inspiring people which together, shape our future. It is so important to provide a platform for those who pave the way for positive change. This is why we are proud at Biopax to be supporting an endeavour like TEDxStormont which works towards turning visionary ideas into a sustainable reality”

Peter Cunningham, Chief Executive, Camlin Group, added:
“We are so pleased at Camlin to be supporting TEDxStormont this year. As we embark on a new year which always brings with it fresh opportunities and new challenges, there is no better time to come together and hear innovative ideas for change and progress from inspirational people. At Camlin, we believe in the power of working together, alongside our company purpose to ‘engineer better futures’, a value which TEDxStormont embodies”.

Eva Grosman, Curator of TEDxStormont 2024 said:
“We are excited to be welcoming some of the most inspiring and esteemed individuals from various backgrounds at this year’s TEDxStormont. This year’s event will allow us to engage with speakers who are leading the change in restoring ecosystems, relationships, and societal well-being. Taking place in the historic backdrop of the Great Hall at Stormont, together we will have the opportunity to learn, adapt and empower ourselves to restore balance in our lives and the world around us”.

Tickets and more information are available at www.tedxstormont.com.

Colombian delegation visits London and Belfast

The Centre for Democracy and Peace Building had the pleasure of working closely with the Colombian Embassy to the United Kingdom in November.

The week of engagements began with co-organising a discussion in the House of Lords with CDPB emeritus chairman and host, Lord Alderdice, in conversation HE Ambassador Roy Barreras and the Women Weavers of Mampuján, exploring lessons of the Irish and Colombian peace processes, reconciliation, and the art of healing.

The Ambassador was a plenipotentiary negotiator on behalf of the state in the peace process with the former FARC guerrillas and spent three years negotiating that process, achieving the signing of the Peace Agreement in 2016. The women are part of a group of displaced women from the community of Mampuján in the Montes de Maria region of Colombia which was destroyed from the conflict. Drawing on Afro-Caribbean storytelling and local textile art traditions, the group depict the atrocities they had suffered as a community and document their displacement, a central component to their process of healing and re-building.

Later in the week CDPB had the honour of hosting the Ambassador and his delegation in Belfast for a day full of engagements and fruitful conversations concerning the shared learnings from the Colombian and NI peace processes. The Ambassador was welcomed by the Speaker of the Assembly, Alex Maskey, at Stormont before engaging with a delegation of political leaders from Northern Ireland. Later in the day he met with members of the British Council and received a VIP tour of the award-winning Titanic Belfast.

The Women Weavers of Mampuján engaged with various individuals from across Northern Ireland in a workshop at Ulster University, Stitching our Stories: Displacement, Healing, New Possibilities, in partnership with Conflict Textiles. It was a truly powerful day with many friendships made and experiences shared. The Ambassador was welcomed to Ulster University later in the day by Vice Chancellor Paul Bartholomew to open the new Conflict Textiles exhibit and gave a lecture on the vital role of empathy in the process of reconciliation.

A special thanks to the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council for their vital support in making the Stitching our Stories workshop possible, Conflict Textiles, as well as Ulster University and Ulster Presents, especially Professor Duncan Morrow, Professor Brandon Hamber, and Cian Smyth.