CFNI Director Avila Kilmurray (right) with Jackie Redpath (centre) and Conference Host Committee Chair and Chairman, Philanthropy Ireland, John R Healy (left).
Philanthropy conference a huge success
Belfast has played host to the 23rd European Foundation Centre Annual Conference, with 600 delegates from across Europe to discussing philanthropic investment and related issues.
Holding off stiff competition from a number of key European cities, Belfast hosted the annual conference has not been held in a UK venue for almost 20 years.
The conference took place over 3 days in early June and saw delegates discussing a wide range of issues including the ongoing global financial crisis, the rising popularity of extremist political parties in Europe and the ensuring equality for all groups in the funding process.
Local speakers at the event included Jackie Redpath from the Greater Shankill Partnership and Geraldine McAteer, CEO of the West Belfast Partnership Board.
Speakers from further afield included Jeff Raikes, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Astrid Bonfield, Chief Executive of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.
Throughout the conference, delegates were treated to a number of site visits to some of the world class landmarks and venues Northern Ireland has to offer, including the Glens of Antrim, the newly opened MAC, the Titanic Quarter and the Ulster Museum.
Thematic evenings hosted at venues such as the Crescent Arts Centre, Ballybeen Social Enterprise Centre and Culturlann Irish Culture Centre gave delegates an opportunity to get a real sense of the work being carried out by community and voluntary groups in Belfast.
Avila Kilmurray, Director of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, said: “We are proud to have been involved the European Foundation Centre Annual Conference and feel Belfast, and Northern Ireland as a whole, showcased itself to the world as an example of how a city can move from conflict to change.
“It was a hectic schedule and a busy few days, but all feedback indicates the conference was a real success ,with delegates from all over Europe coming to the city and hearing positive stories of peace building and community development.
“Everyone at the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland really feel Northern Ireland should be promoting itself as a success story in terms of our post-conflict work – exporting our knowledge and expertise to countries coming out of periods of strife and conflict”.
More information on the EFC Conference can be found by clicking here, including a video blog which has interviews with some of the key speakers.