Independence Day Lunch
There was a standing ovation and sustained applause at the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland Independence Day Lunch 2017, with six hundred members of the Ireland US business community attending the event at the Clayton Hotel, in Dublin on Tuesday.
Welcoming the assembled guests, James O’Connor, President of the American Chamber, said “traditionally in the US, July 4th is a day marked by fireworks, parades and pageantry.” He added it was a date marked in history by the US Declaration of Independence. His address focused on the opportunities for Ireland in the digital economy and the need for young people to be ready ‘for jobs that haven’t been invented yet’.
Acting Ambassador of the United States to Ireland Reece Smyth, also addressed the lunch, and said the business community embodies the “dynamic nature” of the US-Ireland relationship. He said a standout feature of the relationship is that it is not a one-way street: “There is a growing pipeline of Irish companies investing and creating jobs in the United States complementing the US companies operating here.”
Pennsylvania born Irish-American philanthropist, Loretta Brennan Glucksman, was honoured with the second Kennedy-Lemass medal for her contribution to the US-Ireland economic relationship and received a standing ovation. She left all attending with a simple powerful message: “we’re all muddling through this fabulous world, but when we muddle together, things work out so much better.”
Government to make Ireland a CSR Centre of Excellence
The Chamber welcomes the Irish Government’s second National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility. Alongside many of our members, the Chamber contributed to the report during the consultation phase. The plan articulates a vision for Ireland to be a Centre of Excellence for responsible and sustainable business practices.
At the launch event, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said the Irish Government needs to deliver a clear message of encouragement to put CSR at the core of business strategy. She said: “businesses who communicate openly and transparently about their practices, who tell their story and recognise their impacts on society, foster a culture of trust with their workforce and their customers.”
For many companies CSR is no longer an optional ‘add-on’, but is becoming a necessary part of mainstream operations. Speaking about a new CSR platform soon to be launched by the American Chamber, Programmes Director Miriam O’Keeffe said many of the CSR programmes initiated in Ireland by the larger established American companies have been adapted for other European countries: “Our members contribute over 600,000 volunteers hours to 7,300 community projects each year. It is important we highlight and celebrate this. Furthermore, our members have also shown leadership in this space. Ireland is on the leading edge of CSR innovation. We are effectively a laboratory for new ideas.”
Data Summit: Ireland and the world of total interconnectivity
Delegates from the world of business, politics, academia and data came together in Dublin for the Government hosted Data Summit this week. The two day event featured participation from a number of Chamber members and included debate on a huge range of issues from digital privacy, the GDPR to machine learning and AI.
The Summit included a Chamber sponsored session on the transatlantic digital economy with Wall St economist Joseph Quinlan. Mr. Quinlan described the digital economy between the two continents as a 'sleeping giant' and spoke about the pressing need for regulators to drive new international standards for companies and individuals alike.
He was joined by Leo Clancy, IDA Ireland who talked about Ireland's ability to be agile and responsive within the digital sector and Shay Walsh, BT Ireland who described the connectivity needed to future proof investment. The session was moderated by Mark Little, who summed up by calling the US-EU relationship 'a story of interdependence'.