Skip to main content


Peace and Beyond

Peaceandbeyond News Template

Belfast Met are hosting over 100 international delegates in e3 campus on Thursday (12th April) as part of the British Council Peace and Beyond conference.

Time: 13.00 - 14:00

Location: Belfast Met e3 Campus

Host & Event Chair: Damian Duffy
Director of Development
Belfast Metropolitan College

WIP Intern: All


Education, Economic Development and Employability

The E3 Campus is located on the site of a ‘Peace Wall’ in West Belfast. During this working lunch, we will explore the vital importance of education, economic development and employability as drivers to build peace and develop opportunity for all within our society.

Running Order

13.00:   Delegates arrive on buses.
Are directed into main area and are provided with buffet lunch. 

13.20: Welcome & Remarks 
Damian Duffy – Director of Development, Belfast Metropolitan College
‘Sharing our educational experience globally’
Damian will refer to exhibition area with Belfast Interface Project and Hydebank Young Offenders College

13.30: Remarks
Dr Joanne Stuart OBE – Director of Development, Catalyst Inc 
‘Building Our Knowledge Economy’
The creation of a Science Park in Northern Ireland was founded in the Belfast/ Good Friday Agreement. In 2016, the NI Science Park based in Belfast (and with sites in Derry-Londonderry and Ballymena) was renamed ‘Catalyst Inc’ – the next generation science park. Catalyst Inc is an independent, not-for-profit organisation on a mission to build a community of innovators so powerful its people can change the world.

13.40: Exhibition Space - Education, Economic Development and Employability 
An opportunity for delegates to informally engage with 2 organisations using innovation to create opportunities though education leading to economic development and employment.
Joe Donnelly, Belfast Interface Project
‘Sense Over Sectarianism’
The ‘Sense over Sectarianism’ initiative works with young people from a number of interface areas across Belfast in partnership with local radio station Cool FM. Belfast Interface Project will also showcase their Virtual Reality program ‘Reality Changes Perception’ including innovative virtual reality software looking at change and amelioration of interface barriers across the city.
Hydebank Young Offenders College
‘Education: the route to opportunity’
Graduates from the Young Offenders College will be in attendance with the Governor to discuss how education is creating opportunities for them post-release from custody. 

14.30: Delegates depart on buses for Windsor Park

Damian Duffy
Director of Development
Belfast Metropolitan College

With an academic background in business and economics, Damian’s early career focussed on development and delivery of training and employability contracts in the Midlands and London, working with TECs. Damian subsequently spent a number of years on the management of international development and TVET reform projects, working across Central and Eastern Europe on regional economic development programmes for the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development, the European Commission and Swedish International Development. Having previously worked as a special adviser on the EU Commission OPENCities programme with British Council, Damian’s work here was focussed around the development of approaches and toolkits to support integration of migrant communities.

Damian currently leads business development and training activities across Belfast Met and is a Further Education Sector representative on the Department of Finance Committee in Northern Ireland tasked with the design of European Union Structural Funds Programmes 2014-2020. A member of the Board of the Northern Ireland Centre for Competitiveness and CBIEducation and Skills Committee, and of Project Steering Committee and Project Monitoring Committee for European Union PEACE IV programme in Northern Ireland, Damian also acts as Lead Adviser for Northern Ireland Prison Service on the design of new outsourced solution to provide Learning, Skills and Employability solutions for offenders in criminal justice system across three prison sites.

Joe O'Donnell
Strategic Director
Belfast Interface Project

Joe is the Strategic Director with Belfast Interface Project, having previously been employed as Director with the Short Strand Partnership. He has a wide range of experience in senior positions throughout local social regeneration organisations in Belfast. He has also worked across a range of perspectives including community development, regeneration and peacebuilding. In his various employment positions Joe has also been involved in attracting significant investment to interface areas through both capital and revenue projects.

Richard Taylor
Hydebank Wood College

Richard is a career prison officer and has worked with Northern Ireland Prison Service for the past 30 years.

In February 2014, he was appointed Deputy Governor and latterly Governor in Charge of Hydebank Wood, which became the first secure College for male and female students within the UK. The College is noted for its innovative approach in providing opportunities for students to deal effectively with their offending behaviour through individual and personal learning plans, and giving them skills that will help them to return to their communities and contribute positively to our society.

Richard holds a Master’s Degree from Ulster University Ulster in HR Management and in 2014 returned from the U.S.A. having completed a Professional Fellows Programme with the U.S. State Department focusing on Governance and the Rule of Law, working with the correction system in Boston and Washington DC. He continues to work closely with the US State Department and Correction Services sharing best practice and identifying workable solutions to Prison Reform.

< view all news items