Peter Finnegan, Director Office of Economy & International Relations at Dublin City Council, shares his thoughts with us and calls upon those who want to contribute to making our world smarter, safer and sustainable. Visit www.dublin2013.ie to register and join the cause.
"I am looking forward to seeing the movie Lincoln. I am particularly impressed that Daniel Day Lewis held the European Premiere in Dublin and that the proceeds are going to support a charitable cause. Lincoln the man was concerned with Human dignity and with freedom. He tackled the global societal cancer of his day...slavery. Slavery existed because of perceived economic necessity in the southern states. Technology had built a new industrial base in the northern states that relied less on human sweat and toil. Technology and economy provided momentum for a growing belief in human rights and dignity. Lincoln was the one who brought these forces together and created change.
We all need to be a Lincoln today in our own sphere of work or influence.
Today we face a similar challenge. We live in a challenging and unequal world , locally and globally. We understand today that we also live on a fragile planet whose physical infrastructure and natural eco system requires care. Today we face choices...will technology liberate individuals and nations, enhance human dignity and create better economic models? Can we create a safer, smarter and sustainable world?
On February 20th and 21st this year we invite those who care to Dublin. We call on those who have the potential to be other "Lincolns" to join us in the 8th World Forum of Cities Against Poverty. This event will seek to identify and agree ways in which technology companies working with cities can help build a safer, smarter and sustainable planet. By addressing the major urban challenges that underpin poverty be it economic, energy, water, education, health, safety or participation we can create equity of opportunity and build communities and economies. The "soul and heart" of this event is not technology, not city leadership but rather how generosity of spirit by city leaders and business leaders can improve and save lives of human beings enslaved by the chains of poverty. We are at yet another crossroads in human history where technology can help tackle the slavery of poverty? We know our technology leaders and university researchers have the capability to create solutions but do they have the generosity to engage those solutions in a way that helps solve real problems in cities and among groups who have limited economic power today? We do believe that if they do address poverty then those who are now excluded from productive economic activity could be the very people who become entrepreneurs and consumers within new markets.
Ireland has its own economic challenges like the rest of the developed world but it is at this very time that we can lead and act in the spirit of Lincoln. In reaching out to make a difference by tackling poverty and promoting equity in our world we will be doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. A safer, smarter and more sustainable world will help redefine the standards and the principles by which we live, work and do business.
The event on the 20 th and 21st of February has already attracted some of those who are famous activists and thought leaders. There are others from business, politics, aid agencies, Philantrophy and academia who we would like to have there and participating . We need their Lincoln Moment so that a force and energy for change might build. We also need you for each of you has the power to make a difference..so visit www.dublin2013.ie and be with us as we seek to make a global difference."