Leaders from across the world who have made an impact will return to the city which has made an impact on them — Belfast — for the fourth international Homecoming from 28-30 November.
Scheduled to coincide with the pioneering Belfast Basketball Classic which will see eight US college teams play in Belfast, the Homecoming will showcase the investment and partnership opportunities in the fast-changing city.
Sponsors of the 2018 gathering are led by Ulster Bank, Belfast Harbour, Deloitte, Philadelphia-headquartered tech company MRP, business services company Concentrix which has just opened a new multi-million pound headquarters in Belfast and Belfast City Council.
“We want to welcome home not only those who can trace their roots to Belfast but also those around the globe — but most particularly in Irish America — who have been inspired by Belfast’s journey towards peace and prosperity,” says Belfast International Homecoming Host Howard Hastings — whose family-owned hospitality business has just opened a new 300-bed hotel in the heart of Belfast. “The Homecoming is a chance for our global guests to see the potential we have to achieve even more as we embrace both change and diversity in a spirit of mutual tolerance and respect.”
Against a challenging background, Belfast has forged a reputation over recent years as a forward-focused tech hub founded on excellent universities and a tourism hot-spot — eight new hotels opened in the city this year alone. Transformed by the peace process, the city now eyes an ambitious 20-year Belfast Agenda designed to further cement its standing as a leading European city.
Says Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey: “Our people are bursting with confidence and determination born from a desire to build a reconciled and united city which can be a beacon to the world.”
Among the highlights of the Homecoming will be a legal symposium for jurists from the Irish and Scots-Irish diaspora, a conference on the city’s next steps, visits to the city’s leading businesses and a gala dinner with presentation of the Belfast Ambassador Medal to those who have promoted Belfast globally.