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Civic Initiative

In 2023 Emma founded the Civic Initiative; a new participatory structure for citizen-led dialogue in Northern Ireland and wider border areas. The Initiative brings together a wide-range of civic society organisations to work collaboratively in examining, and supporting, peace, reconciliation and well being.

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Speaking of the role of the Civic Initiative, Emma said, “Peace has not been felt evenly across Northern Ireland, with many areas remaining disadvantaged and marginalised. The 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement presents us with an opportunity to critically analyse and support the advancement of peace, reconciliation, and well-being. Communities across Northern Ireland have never lacked ideas, but we are concerned at the lack of structure and framework necessary to harness those ideas – the Civic Initiative aims to provide such a structure with an innovative approach to ensuring voice on priority issues as we look toward the next 25 years.”

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The project is funded by the International Fund for Ireland and has four key stages;


  • Regional forums and workshops across Northern Ireland and border counties

  • An open call for submissions from experts and wider civic society

  • A People’s Forum of 100 randomly selected Northern Ireland residents

  • A report with citizen-led recommendations on key areas

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