Fellowship for Northern Ireland’s leaders opens for applications

Applications are now open for the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building Fellowship, a prestigious programme which seeks to produce Northern Ireland’s next generation of changemakers.

Now in its second year, the Fellowship aims to strengthen Stormont’s democratic institutions and ensure that our next generation of Ministers, CEOs, and civic leaders, are best placed to lead the region going forward. Previous Fellows include John Finucane MP, Connie Egan MLA, and Cllr Aaron Callan and IoD Northern Ireland Director, Kirsty McManus.

The Fellowship is delivered by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building (CDPB), working with leading representatives from Northern Ireland’s business sector including Allstate NI, FinTrU, Devenish, Fujitsu NI, Ulster Carpets. The programme is also supported by leading academic institutions and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In discussions with leading policymakers, academics, business leaders and public figures, Fellows will engage with global social, political and economic issues and seek to develop their understanding of how to tackle those issues in Northern Ireland. Successful participants will also have the chance to participate in residential sessions at the University of Oxford and in Dublin.

Fellowship Chair, and Managing Director of Allstate NI, John Healy, says that this year’s programme is timely and significant given the current political deadlock facing Northern Ireland. He calls on parties, businesses, and civic society organisations to nominate those individuals that can use the Fellowship to build a better society here.

John Healy, Managing Director at Allstate NI and Chair of the Fellowship Advisory Board, said: “The Fellowship is a brilliant initiative, and this year’s programme could not have come at a more crucial time. Northern Ireland is facing multiple challenges and with the Stormont corridors empty, we are also facing a political leadership crisis. This programme will give our future leaders the knowledge, skills, and relationships to look beyond the insular world we face here, and bring an exciting, new, and much-needed vision to our region’s future.”

“Last year’s Fellowship was a resounding success, seen through the election of former Fellows following May’s Assembly poll. This year’s expanded programme includes engagements with some of the UK and Ireland’s brightest minds in Dublin, Oxford, Belfast, and everywhere in between. From political parties, to businesses, to the third sector, I would encourage all organisations to nominate an individual for this year’s Fellowship they feel could help shape the future of Northern Ireland.”

Karise Hutchinson, Professor of Leadership at Ulster University and Vice-Chair of the Fellowship Advisory Board, said: “Next year we will celebrate 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement. A hard-won hallmark of compromise, it is disheartening that we currently face the prospect of honouring this milestone with no functioning government in place. The Fellowship seeks to ‘level up’ our next generation of political, civic and business leaders, giving them the confidence and ability to address Northern Ireland’s ongoing political, economic, and social challenges. At its core, it seeks to pave the way for a new spirit of possibility and compromise in our society.”

“Our Advisory Board contains leaders from Northern Ireland’s leading companies who will seek to instill in this year’s participants the hard and soft skills required to introduce real, wholesale change. I am thrilled to be supporting this fantastic programme, and I would encourage all those eligible to apply.”

Those interested can complete the Fellowship application form at fellowship.democracyandpeace.org where they will be asked to upload their CV and a short essay.

The Fellowship’s Advisory Board includes

  • John Healy, Managing Director at Allstate NI (Chair)
  • Professor Karise Hutchinson, Professor of Leadership at Ulster University (Vice-Chair).
  • Darragh McCarthy, CEO, FinTrU;
  • Owen Brennan, Chairman, Devenish;
  • David Clements, Client Managing Director, Fujitsu NI;
  • Nick Coburn, Managing Director, Ulster Carpets.

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