As we head into 2021, the Forum takes an opportunity to scan the horizon for some key challenges, opportunities and risks facing public and state bodies and public benefit entities over the coming 12 months and beyond. First amongst these is the Irish economic and fiscal outlook, particularly in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. Secondly, the Covid-19 crisis has led to demonstrable change across many organisations with collaboration and innovation occurring with commendable pace. We consider how this might support the Public Service Innovation Strategy and Our Public Service 2020 reform plan in 2021. And finally, the area of diversity is rightly garnering increasing attention, with relevance to senior teams and boards and committees. We consider progress to date and what expectations mean for public and state bodies and public benefit entities.
This Forum session will hear from three expert speakers (to be confirmed shortly) on these three topics. The agenda will consider key questions, such as:
What are the scenarios for the Irish economy and fiscal policy in 2021, and what is most likely?
For how long can relatively cheap government borrowing endure?
What does innovation and the innovation strategy mean for public and state bodies, and public benefit entities?
How might organisations best permanently embed recent collaboration and innovations during Covid-19?
How much progress has been made in respect of improving diversity on senior teams and boards?
What steps can public and state bodies, and public benefit entities take to practically improve diversity?
Stephen is an economist and Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Limerick, Ireland, Senior Fellow at the Melbourne School of Government, University of Melbourne, Australia, and Research Associate at the Rhodes Centre for International Finance at Brown University.
His interests and research centre around the economics of small open economies like Ireland, and health systems, including using national accounting data to make better models.
Stephen is a well known public commentator on economics, and is Chief Economics Writer for The Currency.news, and was for 4 years a columnist with the Sunday Business Post. He has written for the Guardian, the New York Times, and the Irish Independent, and has twice won Economic Commentator of the Year.
Laura is Head of Public Service Reform at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, where she has responsibility for overseeing the implementation of the Our Public Service 2020 reform plan, including a recently published Public Service Innovation Strategy. Prior to joining DPER, she was Chief Executive of the Royal Irish Academy.
Brid is an experienced Chairperson, Board Member and former Senior Executive. Brid is the previous Deputy Chief Executive of ESB, having spent eight years on the ESB Executive Team with responsibilities including the Group’s retail business and internal Group services. Brid is Co-Chair of Balance for Better Business, and Chair of Nephin Energy Ltd, the Irish Cancer Society and Bank of Ireland Staff Pension Fund Trustees, as well as a Non-Executive Director of PM Group.
She has been a member of TLAC (Top Level Appointments Committee), Director of Dublin Theatre Festival, FBD Holdings plc (2011-2016), IDA (1996-2006) and Commissioner of National Pensions Reserve Fund (2001-2009). Brid is a Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors, an Actuary and Fellow of the Irish Institute of Pension Management.