David McWilliams: Artists and entrepreneurs are the key to our recovery
Published 17/03/2010 | 05:00
On St Patrick's Day two years ago, while nudging my way up a crammed Fifth Avenue, the idea of the Farmleigh Global Irish Forum came to me. I'd thought about it before and I had seen how other countries cultivated relationships with their global tribes -- particularly the Jewish tribe and Israel -- but it was only after seeing the unique outpouring of Irish America on March 17 that I knew we should do this. We should tap into the power of the tribe and see where it takes us.
Like many initiatives, the real power of something like Farmleigh can never be dictated in advance. There is an element of chaos in putting people together who don't know each other and are bonded by something as fluid as having an "interest" in Ireland and allowing the conversations and ideas to flow.
But Ireland has never been short of ideas, if anything we have loads of ideas and not enough people who can execute them. The hardest part about ideas is getting them to fulfil their potential. This is what any entrepreneur will tell you. It is also what any artist or writer will tell you. It's easy to have an idea for a book, the hard part is having the discipline to write it.