"In a thought-provoking welcoming address, Ruairi Quinn TD, Minister for Education and Skills, set out the challenge for the conference. Drawing on his historical knowledge and political acumen he explored how the momentous changes underway in Ireland and the UK were challenging the traditional citizenship heritage of nationalism that gave people a responsibility to participate in society from birth. He contended that the squeezing of nationalism by the forces of localism and internationalism, and the rise of individualism, meant that we were entering ‘unchartered waters’ in terms of keeping people interested and connected collectively. This raised the fundamental challenge of how best to prepare people, particularly young people, for responsible citizenship and informed participation in society in the coming decades. He argued that the future peace and prosperity of the five nations depended on the ability to resolve this challenge."
- Extract from the conference report (available to download at fivenations.net/previous-conferences-2000-2011.html).
Note: while this is an audio recording of the address, you can also find a video on youtube by going to the webpage above).
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