President Higgins Opens Ireland’s First Students’ Economic Forum

Posted on: 08 February 2012

President Michael D. Higgins opened the inaugural Trinity Economic Forum on Friday, February 3rd last. The forum was entirely run by student volunteers and welcomed 150 students from across the island of Ireland to debate and participate in shaping the future of the Irish economy.  The two day event included experts and commentators in economics with participation from the student audience.

Pictured at the Inaugural Trinity Economic Forum are Professor Linda Hogan, Vice-Provost/ Chief Academic Officer, Trinity College Dublin; Seán Gill, Co-Founder of the Forum and Economic Student, Trinity College Dublin; President Michael D.Higgins; Patrick Lynch, Co-Founder of the Forum and Economic Student, Trinity College Dublin; and Carmel O’Connor , People Partner, PwC.

A group of Trinity students came up with the idea of the Trinity Economic Forum in order to offer much needed engagement and discourse at a national level, to promote student participation in shaping the future direction of economic policy in Ireland, and in doing so to provide employment opportunities to students through networking events with key individuals and businesses.

Speaking on the occasion of the opening of the Forum, President Higgins said: “There are many questions that need to be raised in public discourse here in Ireland if we are to restore not just our economic growth in financial terms, but confidence in political economy as a discipline and source of policy choice, as well as confidence in ourselves as a people and society. We need to rebuild a sense of trust and community so that we can build a new economy predicated on a shared common good rather than speculative aspirations for individual aggrandisement far removed from the real economy in a national or international traded sense.”

“When I was inaugurated as President of Ireland last year I stated that we must seek to build together an active, inclusive citizenship. I also stressed the importance of citizens of all ages making their own imaginative and practical contribution to the shaping of a shared future. An event like this one here today truly reassures me that we have many young and active citizens anxious to play their part in crafting the Ireland in which they wish to live, work  and rear their families in the future: young people who have the will to participate and the imagination to seize the opportunities that comes their way; to ‘be the arrow and not the target’ of the society they wish to shape and share in the years ahead.”