After two decades of exceptional economic growth and cultural change, Ireland faces the greatest challenge yet: how to create sustainable competitive advantage to guarantee success in the future.
It is becoming apparent that pouring money into scientific research and technology is not enough to encourage a culture of innovation in business, public services, education and communities.
We must explore the resources that are unique to Ireland, that are inimitable and represent Ireland’s difference in a global context. Social and cultural capital, sense of place and national identity are such valuable resources. These, along with science and research, can feed into and enhance learning in Irish business and society to create true competitive advantage.
With recent power-sharing arrangements in the North and immigration changing the island’s ethnic make-up, now is the time to examine what a holistic approach to social and economic development might mean for Ireland over coming decades.