Big Ideas - A Festival of Economics the programme so far...

The countdown is on to Big Ideas - A festival of Economics. With two weeks to go the list of speakers and topics is looking pretty impressive.

We are delighted that the event will be opened by Mairtin O’Muilleor Minister for Finance who will share his reflections on the importance of big economic ideas in a conversation session compered by the BBC’s Seamus McKee. Then the day moves into a series of discussion groups, plenaries and workshops. The full list of topics is below.  

There are four independently organised fringe sessions for to choose from over lunch and then we have our exciting keynote address from Professor Steve Keen who will talk about his Big Idea of a Debt Jubilee. There are more discussion groups, plenaries and workshops in the afternoon. We are exicted that the final session on the future of the economy in Northern Ireland will be addressed by Simon Hamilton MLA Minister for the Economy.

Then we will round things off with an informal drinks reception to mark the end of a long day and a busy four years of the Centre for Economic Empowerment. The exact timings of each session and more info on each speaker will be available next week so keep an eye on the website or follow #BigIdeasNI for information.


Is Left-Right Politics the big idea we need?        

  • Eoin Rooney
  • Jeffery Peel
  • Lee Reynolds, DUP
  • Clare Bailey, GPNI
  • Alex Kane
  • Peter Bunting ICTU

Is a tax on land not buildings the big idea we need?      

  • Ronan Lyons
  • Nicola McCrudden, CIH
  • Brian McClure, DoF
  • Emer Ó Siochrú

Is Universal Affordable Childcare the big idea we need?             

  • John Barry, QUB
  • Mairaid McMahon, FSB
  • Pauline Walmsley, Early Years
  • Clare Hanna, SDLP

Is Better Economic Data the big idea we need?

  • Richard Prothero, ONS
  • James Gillan, DoF
  • Stephen Farry, APNI
  • Paul MacFlynn, NERI

Is Greater Devolution of tax powers the big idea we need?

  • Daithí McKay MLA SF
  • Jenny Bloomfield, SCVO
  • Stephen Clarke, RF
  • Sammy Wilson MP, DUP
  • Paul Silk

Is Strategic use of procurement the big idea we need?

  • Martin McBride, Envision
  • Colin Jess, Social Enterprise NI
  • Michael Watson, DoF
  • John McMullan, Bryson
  • Maeve Monaghan

Is Modern Benefits the big idea we need           

  • Micheal Collins, NERI
  • Prof Eileen Evason
  • Leo O’Reilly, DfC
  • Tony Weekes, Universal Income

What are the big ideas shaping economic future?          

  • Colin Neil, Hospitality Ulster
  • Sinead O’Regan, Upper Springfield Development Trust
  • Seamus McAleavey, NICVA.
  • Others tbc

Fringe Sessions – Community Energy organised by Fermanagh Trust, Social Finance from the Building Change Trust, Participatory Budgeting organised by the Open Government Network and all the way from Switzerland we have campaigners from the sovereign money movement. And Matt Johnston will be hosting a discussion session on public transport - what if it was free?

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