CEO Breakfast Forum: Who has responsibility for leading Northern Ireland?

Business leaders from NI’s top companies attended an exclusive event in Belfast this morning to discuss the Responsibility of Leadership in a digital era and the impact of uncertainty

SENIOR business leaders from across Northern Ireland gathered at an exclusive breakfast event in Belfast City Centre this morning, organised by Business in the Community in partnership with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), to explore how leadership is evolving in our ever-changing world, and how business can embrace change in a responsible and sustainable manner.

The annual event, supported by Ulster Bank, focused on the Responsibility of Leadership in a Digital Age. Hosted by Tara Mills and featuring a line-up of high profile speakers, the event encouraged business leaders to think about the impact that new technology is having on business, and the importance of strong and responsible leadership in times of change and uncertainty.

Managing Director of Business in the Community, Kieran Harding explains: “We live in a world that is constantly changing due to the impact of new technologies, and we face a complex range of uncertainties here in Northern Ireland. There is a changing paradigm of local and global politics and, with the present instability of NI government and the uncertainty of Brexit, responsible CEOs want to understand and take action to ensure Northern Ireland is a great place in which to live, work and do business.

Leaders need to understand and embrace change, in order to lead people successfully. Our annual CEO Breakfast Forum provides a valuable platform for Northern Ireland’s business leaders to come together to discuss challenging societal issues and share ideas. This morning was about inspiring and challenging our leaders to demonstrate effective leadership when it is lacking elsewhere.”

Duncan Tait, Senior Executive, Vice President and Head of America, Middle East, India and Africa for Fujitsu gave a keynote address exploring the impact of new technology and how business leaders can embrace change. He said:

Digital technologies are moving into the heart of everything we do, changing the way people work, live and how they innovate. As a business leader, it is important to understand the changes. If we think of automation as a way to aid our work, not replace us, we’ll be much more likely to see a positive impact on society, understand the future of work and begin to look at how we support people through this transformative period in our history.

The challenge for business is not to ignore or deny the impacts of technology, but to collaborate to ensure humans remain at the heart of productive and decent work. At Fujitsu, it is part of our DNA to think digitally, but every business, no matter what its size or sector, must endeavour to keep pace with this brave new world. Embracing change – be that digital or otherwise, is essential to surviving, and thriving.

Every business has its part to play. If your business would like support to find out how it can become more responsible, please visit