19th January, 2012

Young Leaders Inaugural Worldwide Summit 2012

Young Leaders Inaugural Worldwide Summit 2012

Over 100 delegates from 10 cities around the globe descended on New York City for the inaugural Global Young Leaders Summit from January 19-22, 2012.

The Young Leaders discussed issues of governance, membership, communications and engagement throughout the four day event that started with a reception at the host hotel, The Fitzpatrick Grand Central, where the Young Leaders were welcomed to NY by City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn who addressed the group and talked about the kindred bond between New York City and Ireland.

Day two began with the group attending a breakfast at the New York Stock Exchange, with an address by NYSE/Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer, who spoke about his personal connection to the Fund as both a Board Director and a former Dinner Chairman. The group then went onto the historic floor of the NYSE to witness the ringing of the opening bell for the day’s trading activities. After presentations by Dublin Young Leader Darren Ryan, from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and Amy Selco of PeacePlayers International, the group headed up to the US headquarters of UBS for lunch, which was kicked off by Young Leader Patron, CEO of UBS Group Americas, and Board Director, Robert McCann.

“2012 is going to present a unique set of challenges in our homeland and around the world, and the efforts of the Young Leaders to come together, and find new ways to help the Irish community persevere and prosper have never been more critical.”
– Bob McCann

Following the speech, Young Leaders broke into critical thinking sessions, to discuss the steps to building a true global network. After an exhaustive session, the group headed to the home of Consul General of Ireland in New York, Noel Kilkenny, for a cocktail reception with The American Ireland Fund Chairman, Loretta Brennan Glucksman; and Norman Houston, Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau. The evening concluded with dinner at Bayard’s at India House with an acoustic performance by Larry Kirwan of Black 47.

Day three featured a two-session business brunch sponsored by Board Director John Duffy at the exclusive CORE Club with a presentation by fellow Board Director John Fitzpatrick. John’s speech was followed by breakout sessions to discuss how the Young Leaders would operate from a global standpoint, going forward. Following the session, the Young Leaders enjoyed dinner at  Soho House, with a round table discussion hosted by Bloomberg’s Margaret Brennan and featuring Sean Love of The Ireland Fund’s supported project “Fighting Words”; New York Congressman Joe Crowley; Aidan Connolly of The Irish Arts Center in New York; New York Times bestselling author, Colum McCann, and NY Young Leader entrepreneur, Shane Naughton. The discussion revolved around the Irish identity, Philanthropy and the future image of “brand Ireland.”

Day four began with a visit to the remarkable Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City. The cold day was a reminder to the group of those that came before them and how the Young Leaders and future generations can continue to give back to Ireland in honor of their heritage. The Summit completed with a casual brunch session at the Dubliner, where the Young Leaders downloaded the positive outcomes of the weekend, and agreed to immediately put in place a quarterly conference call that will not only continue the conversation, but strengthen the global network that was launched in New York. This will lead to the next task which is setting up a global advisory structure with a key Young Leader volunteer serving in each market. The group also agreed to gather again in County Cork at The Ireland Funds Conference in late June and to have round two of the Global Young Leaders Summit next year.

The Summit closed with the key announcement that the Young Leaders pledged to raise over $1 million for The Ireland Funds Promising Ireland Campaign. The Campaign is The Ireland Funds’ $100 million fundraising initiative to assist charitable organizations in Ireland meet the challenge of an increased demand for their services at a time of major funding reductions.  President and CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds, Kieran McLoughlin said, “The announcement demonstrates amazing generosity from people in the early stages of their professional careers. Their commitment to the future of the diaspora and also to developing philanthropy in Ireland is tremendous.”