Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world seemed to becoming more polarised, politics more divisive and people more reactionary. Despite our hyper-connectedness, people were also feeling increasingly isolated, particularly those most vulnerable in society. All the while, the mega-issues of climate change, poverty and inequality were becoming more pronounced worldwide. Then COVID-19 happened. The pandemic presents us with a unique opportunity to reflect on how our societies and economies function, and what could be improved. Our responses to this crisis, collectively and as individuals, can shape a more inclusive and sustainable future for everyone. In turbulent times, the world needs ambitious and values-based leadership. It needs solidarity and innovation. We must see the opportunity before us, then we must seize it. This session will discuss how we can lead the change towards a better future in practical, creative and ambitious ways.
Work Language: English
Andrew Forde’s professional background is in the field of international human rights law, which is the topic of his PhD research. For more than 15 years Andrew has worked in the area of human rights and humanitarian affairs in many parts of the world including Kosovo, India, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Dominican Republic and France. Before returning to Ireland he served as political advisor to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe with a specific focus on south Eastern Europe, the Nordic region and the south Caucasus. He has always been an active volunteer, having served amongst others on the board of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) and as a crew member of the RNLI Lifeboat service and the Order of Malta Ambulance Service. Andrew is a firm believer in the power of cooperation, and the idea of service above self. In 2015, Andrew was awarded the JCI Ireland Outstanding Young Person of the Year (TOYP) Award for his contribution to human rights.