Imagine this!It is 2025 and communities across Ireland have been revitalised from within. Local councils have been central to this economic and social renewal, working alongside each and every community in the country. Capable and confident, these communities are ready and willing to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the fast paced modern world. And after twenty years of sustained investment in community infrastructure, local economies are strong, particularly in those areas where poverty has persisted for generations.
A new civic spirit sweeps through rural, urban and suburban communities alike – galvanising communities to harness their energies for the wider public good. The explosive growth of social entrepreneurs and a shift in the expectations of society has resulted in the development of a more socially responsible corporate business sector. And at the local level, this growth in social enterprise has been driven by community-based organisations and enabled by progressive councils who take on a more facilitative and catalytic role. Grass-roots community organisations work alongside social entrepreneurs, and local government and the wider public sector make ever better use of public assets.
Local authorities work with their local public sector partners to plan and manage public assets together. These public assets have been rationalised and modernised – stimulated by a flexible framework from government. In every locality a proportion of all public assets are in the ownership or management of sustainable and energetic community organisations.
Communities regularly conduct “calls for action” to stimulate change locally and bring under-used assets into better public use, putting their case to their local councillor, their TD and their council.
How do we get there?
Is this the way forward for Rural Ireland? Take a look and let us know what you think. Do we need something similar in Ireland?