The NPP Annual Conference Transfor(u)m2012 took place on 14th-15th November in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The event attracted approximately 150 participants from all 9 programme partner countries. The aim of the conference was to present a vision of a vibrant programme area, in transformation.
The event started with a reception on 14th November at The Playhouse, where the participants were welcomed by Mayor Kevin Campbell. Violinist Ruby Colley gave a musical performance with an electric violin and loop-station, recording and playing back to her own sound. After the reception, participants could choose from a range of evening activities.
The main conference day started with a morning plenary session at the City Hotel moderated by Ms Sarah Travers from BBC Northern Ireland. The welcome address was given by Junior Minister Jennifer McCann, Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, Northern Ireland. She highlighted Northern Ireland's strong participation in the NPP, with participation in 26 project partnerships benefitting from over £3million (€4million). The Junior Minister said: “Improving participation in EU programmes, such as the Northern Periphery Programme, has been a key action in the Executive’s response to the European Commission’s Barroso Taskforce, increasing our engagement across Europe. This Programme has a strong tradition of implementing projects which affect people’s daily lives. I am greatly encouraged by our level of involvement and success. I look forward to new opportunities being explored as a direct result of this conference.”
Other speakers in the morning session included author Carlo Gébler, who gave a very honest and entertaining personal account of life in the periphery, living in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Dr. Irene McMaster from the European Policies Research Centre in Scotland gave an evaluator's perspective of how the programme has developed through the years and how it is well-positioned for what is coming next. Ms. Fausta Corda from the European Commission explained what changes are expected in the new programme period for European Territorial Cooperation and how this might affect the NPP.
After a lunchbreak, participants could choose between drop-in sessions at different venues, including a FabLab at The Nerve Centre, a digital fabrication workshop which allows anyone to make practically anything, using among other things a 3D printer. Participants could also visit an exhibition and market place at The Playhouse, where projects and young creative entrepreneurs from the programme area showcased their products and services.
The conference closed with a session in the theatre of The Playhouse, where NPP funded projects Rural Youth Entrepreneurship (Northern Irish led) and Creative Edge (Irish led) presented their vision for the future.
In addition, a group of 26 young people attended the conference, brought by the NPP projects NoCry2, RYE and CINERGY. The NoCry2 project was responsible for connecting the young people prior to and during the event, to jointly work on a presentation of the young people's vision for the future. In the closing session, they presented their visions using an animation, short film and live performance of a song, written especially for the occasion. By many participants, this was considered to be the highlight of the conference.
Evaluation Form Click here to take the survey
Some people have already given their reactions to the conference, but we would really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to fill in our evaluation form. It is completely anonymous.
We are in the process of collecting pictures, presentations, videos and other materials. They will be made available on the NPP website and the conference website www.npptransforum2012.eu.
Please like/follow us on the conference Facebook or Twitter page to be kept up-to-date about new materials becoming available. You are also welcome to share your impressions and pictures from the event on these platforms.
The NPP Secretariat team would like to thank everyone for making the conference a fantastic experience!
Junior Minister Jennifer McCann (centre left) with speakers and conference organisers