Strong and Sustainable Communities

As part of my Presidency, I have encouraged new thinking about the connections and balance between society, economy and environment. This will be important over the coming years as global challenges make themselves felt in every local place.

Sustainability means thinking carefully about how we strengthen our social fabric and how we manage or protect natural resources. It means promoting those forms of economic activity which operate in an ethical way, respecting the environment and supporting decent employment. It requires careful planning, and planning for care, to ensure all generations have the security and supports they need to flourish. Hospitality, celebration and creativity are also important threads in each tapestry of connection.

When I speak, as President, about work, the social floor, the use of technology or the role of the state in innovation, my concern and emphasis is on how these issues play out in real lives lived in real communities.

In counties, towns, villages and cities across Ireland, I have met with people who are coming together to demand and chart new and better paths to development –­ thinking local while thinking long. They should be heard and supported. Our best instincts of creativity, generosity, inclusion and respect will be the true drivers of sustainability and these are qualities that our communities hold in abundance. Over the coming years, I hope to further contribute to and champion the empowerment of Ireland’s communities in all their diversity.