Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Outside The Box in Ireland: World Social Marketing Conference, Dublin, April 2011
Just got back from speaking about behavioural economics, social marketing and car dependency at the World Social Marketing Conference in Dublin. So how are things in a bailed-out state? Truthfully, it didn’t seem much different from any other European capital. Maybe it was the sunshine (climate change hits Ireland?) Or the crowds in the shops. Or the drinkers rammed in Temple Bar on Saturday night. But there didn’t seem to be much in the way of protests. There wasn’t even much street art. Which was all a bit surprising. Conversations indicate that people think that things are “not as bad as the 1980s recession," but there’s a long way to go before this one is over. Joseph Stiglitz, under an article in The Irish Times headed “ECB-IMF deal is a noose that will strangle economic recovery,” went on to say that “what the ECB and IMF have forced on Ireland is fundamentally corrupt and doomed to failure.” Even more trenchant, an article by David McWilliams in the Irish Independent concludes, that, as a result of the banks deleveraging to the tune of € 500m a week, growth will collapse - “we are in a cul de sac and only truly radical thinking will save us.” Probably not the kind of thinking being undertaken by Patrick Bartholomew "Bertie" Ahern, An Taoiseach (aka “An Tree Shock”) of Ireland from 26 June 1997 to 7 May 2008 - and now featuring on many a Dublin wall and lamppost.