A new podcast series about the people and priorities behind Irish business and the global climate that impacts it. Get behind-the-scenes access to what's top of mind for Ireland's business leaders, thought leaders, and the people working hard to reboot and reimagine a better Ireland. Catering to organisations large and small, Ibec Voices offers relevant policy discussions and on the ground insights from across the Irish economy.

Brought to you by Ireland's largest and most influential business lobby group.

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In this episode of Ibec Voices we are taking you inside Aras an Uachtarain, the residence of the President of Ireland, to hear a very special address delivered by Ibec CEO, Danny McCoy.

As President of the Statistical & Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, Danny McCoy delivered the keynote address to mark 175 years of SSISI. Entitled “Sustainable Development: ‘Still’ The Opportunity for Irish Economic Policymakers”, his address covers topical matters including:

  • The challenge of reducing emissions by 50 percent in this decade;
  • The difficulties in holding a purely ecocentric or technocentric view of the world;
  • The manner in which we must deal with the environmental agenda.

The paper can be read in full here.

In this episode of Ibec Voices we look at the social enterprise sector in Ireland, with a particular focus on the measurement of impact. We explore the challenges businesses in this sector face, the supports available, and also examine the National Social Enterprise Policy 2019-2022. 

Join our panel for a discussion on the importance of social enterprises in our communities, mainstreaming social enterprise entrepreneurship, and how Ibec is working to support inclusion in employment. 

You will hear expert insights on these issues from: 

  • Laura Dennehy, Enactus Country Lead
  • Faith Savage, Anytime of the Month
  • Meadhbh Costello, Ibec Social Policy Executive

Celebrating Ireland's greatest mathematician

Listen to the latest episode of Ibec Voices where we discuss upcoming Hamilton Day celebrations and the fascinating story of William Rowan Hamilton, with expert insights from: 

  • Danny McCoy, CEO Ibec;
  • Dr Mary Canning, Royal Irish Academy, President;
  • Professor Caroline Series, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick.

Human Rights: What Irish businesses need to know

This episode of Ibec Voices will focus on the changing landscape for businesses in terms of their human rights obligations, both domestically and internationally.

This includes a discussion between Jim Clarken, CEO, Oxfam Ireland, and Kara McGann, Head of Social Policy, Ibec, on how the dynamic between the private sector and NGOs is evolving.

This conversation, moderated by Siobhan Masterson, Head of Corporate Affairs, Ibec, reflects on how the private sector is increasingly working with NGOs like Oxfam, who deliver a wide range of supports to businesses to help meet their human rights obligations.

We also hear from Caoimhe Buckley, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Fyffes, who shares her insights about the development and rollout of Fyffes’s comprehensive sustainability strategy.

HSBC and Wells Fargo on Sustainable Finance

In this episode of Ibec Voices, we are focusing on the topic of sustainable finance. It will delve in to the following questions:

  • What is sustainable finance?
  • Why has it risen so high on the priority list of business leaders?
  • What does it mean, in practical terms, for businesses large and small?

You will hear expert insights on these issues from two business leaders who are heavily involved in the area; Alan Duffy, CEO and Head of Banking, HSBC Ireland, and Fiona Gallagher, CEO, Wells Fargo Bank International. 

Making Ireland a success in tackling climate change

This episode offers insights on the upcoming climate action and low carbon legislation and the action plan that is going to support Ireland’s transition to net zero and achieve a climate neutral economy by no later than 2050.

Our guests on this episode of Ibec Voices are CEO of Ibec Danny McCoy and Marie Donnelly, the Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council. The Council is the body the Government has appointed to develop the policies to meet the major regulatory changes set out of the Climate Action Bill which is likely to become legislation in July. Marie Donnelly is also a former Director General of the European Commission with responsibility for Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Innovation.

This conversation looks at what this legislation means for the private sector and how practically it is going to be operated and implemented. The episode is compulsory listening for anyone who needs to understand the significant and wide-ranging implications of the Government’s Climate Action Plan. 

The Future of Work and the Workplace

With the lifting of Covid-related restrictions comes a renewed focus on the future of work and the workplace. How and where we will work in a post-Covid world is an issue that is currently top of mind for many employers and employees alike, and it is the topic of discussion in this episode of Ibec Voices.

Our guests are:

  • Professor Alma McCarthy, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics and Professor of Public Sector Management at the National University of Ireland, Galway.
  • Audrey O’Mahony , Managing Director for Talent & Organisation, Financial Services for Accenture in Ireland

And the conversation is chaired by Director of Employer Relations at Ibec, Maeve McElwee.

The discussion covers:

  • Managing hybrid workplaces
  • Multigenerational workplaces
  • The right to disconnect
  • Performance management
  • Expectations and challenges about the return to office
  • Upskilling senior leaders and people managers to thrive in the workplace of tomorrow.

Business leadership on sustainability, with Paul Polman

This episode of Ibec Voices focuses on insights from thought leader Paul Polman, a former CEO of Unilever who went on to co-found Imagine, a social venture aimed at accelerating business leadership to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Paul addressed the 2021 Ibec Business Leaders Conference where he spoke about reimagining business models, a sustainable, inclusive economic recovery from the Covid crisis, and the unique opportunity for business to lead on this agenda.

He believes that while business leadership has a lot to do to address the many challenges that the world now faces, we have never been better equipped with so many tools to address these challenges and achieve great things.


Why Trade Agreements Matter: Ratifying CETA and the Shopify Story


Ireland’s government has a very important decision to make. CETA, a trade agreement between Canada and the EU, is currently awaiting ratification from the Oireachtas, and the clock is ticking. Many other EU member States have signed the deal, and the longer Ireland waits, the more negative the consequences.

Multilateralism has never been more important for the Irish economy and business model, particularly as the country faces the twin threats of Brexit and Covid. In this episode of Ibec Voices, Ibec CEO Danny McCoy outlines the significant economic and societal benefits that trade deals, such as CETA, can deliver; and he makes a strong case for why the Irish Government must ratify this deal as soon as possible.

We also hear from John Riordan, Director of Customer Support and Chair of the Board at e-commerce platform Shopify International, a Canadian-based multinational with a substantial presence in Ireland. John outlines the Shopify story in Ireland, the unique business and cultural links between Ireland and Canada, and how CETA has been advancing the cause of connected business between Ireland and Canada since 2017. He also explains the importance of sustainability to Shopify’s current and future business strategy.


Leading through Lockdown, with Kari Daniels, Tesco Ireland

Tesco is Ireland’s largest private sector employer, with 13,000 employees across the country. Kari Daniels has led the company since September 2018. However, as most CEOs will attest, the style of leadership required for the role has evolved rapidly in recent months.

In this episode of Ibec Voices, Kari Daniels talks to Ibec’s Siobhan Masterson about leading Ireland’s largest private sector employer through a pandemic, balancing the twin roles of CEO and Mother to 13 and 11 year old boys, and Tesco Ireland’s future.

We also hear from Arnold Dillon, Director of Retail Ireland, about the retail sector’s current challenges, priorities, and asks of government.

Understanding ‘Zero Covid’ and why it could work

Covid strategies have two phases - the suppression and the release.  

In the context of where Ireland and much of the northern hemisphere finds itself ten months into this pandemic, this episode of Ibec Voices examines Ireland’s strategy to date in its fight against Covid-19. Ireland’s National Covid Strategy proposes release through national levels 5 to 1 on activities and sectoral reopenings. The Zero Covid strategy is more zonal in release, advocating for reopening by areas that are green zones in conjunction with a robust test track and trace system.

We take a look at an alternative strategy to crush the virus and restore greater social and economic activity while we await mass vaccination programmes to take effect.

Our guest is Yaneer Bar-Yam, President of the New England Systems Institute. Yaneer’s work has concerned itself with global pandemics for over 15 years including contributing to the response protocols which successfully stopped the outbreak of Ebola in Africa in 2014.

Yaneer is an MIT-trained physicist and complexity scientist and he has been following Ireland’s experience with the Covid pandemic and the response by Government and its stakeholders. He is also Founder of the endcoronavirus.org network. 

To access the full catalogue of Ibec Voices episodes, subscribe to the series wherever you get your podcasts.

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