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Convergence 2016

Full Schedule

THURSDAY 13th OCTOBER - 20.00 - 21.30 - WeCreate, Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Tipperary - Donation 
CITIZEN ENGAGED, COMMUNITY LED TRANSITIONS

Exploring  possibilities for greater engagement and participation in local action on climate change and community wellbeing.

Citizen and community-led initiatives are at the forefront of developing new and innovative approaches to sustainable living. Cloughjordan Ecovillage is a testbed for cooperative approaches to food, energy, housing and social innovation. It has been recognised as one of Europe’s most successful “anticipatory experiences” in modelling the transition to a low-carbon society.

The session will highlight many of the initiatives in the Ecovillage that are replicable anywhere, and kick start the Convergence conversations on how we accelerate the transformation needed at this time.

This event is the Irish launch of the European Day of Sustainable Communities (EDSC), which will take place for the first time on the 23rd of September 2017. A number of European projects including GROW, a citizen observatory on soil and Schools for Resilience, a place based learning programme for local resilience will also be introduced.

For further information or to secure a place contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SATURDAY 15th OCTOBER - 11.00 - 16.00 - Comhlámh Offices - 14 Parliament St. Dublin 2
SCHOOLS FOR RESILIENCE: A WORKSHOP FOR IRISH-BASED SECOND LEVEL & YOUTH EDUCATORS

This seminar will introduce a new approach in Environmental Education, Development Education and Education for Sustainable Development for schools & youth groups using a Place Based Learning methodology in the context of climate adaptation and community sustainability and resilience.

Schools for Resilience (SfR) is a European funded project, developing a fresh approach in environmental education. The flexible SfR module is competency based and fosters initiative, co-operation, a sense of place, entrepreneurship and creativity around adaptation to challenges such as climate change. The aim of this seminar is to introduce educators to practical skills & teaching methodologies from SfR to adapt to their unique contexts for example as a short course or Transition Year program in their school or youth group.

THIS IS A FREE EVENT THAT INCLUDES A LIGHT LUNCH. BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL

TO RESERVE A PLACE E-MAIL This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SATURDAY 15th OCTOBER - 19.30 - 21.00 - DUBLIN FOOD CO-OP, 12 NEWMARKET, DUBLIN 8  
CO-HOUSING AND COMMUNITY LAND TRUSTS

A MEET-UP FOR PEOPLE PROGRESSING A COOPERATIVE & COMMUNITY APPROACH TO HOUSING

This is an informal gathering of people working on different co-housing projects or progressing Community Land Trusts.  The objective is to get to know and learn from each other, share our experience, and to have conversations on how we develop better synergies between initiatives at different stages of development. 

Booking is not necessary, whoever shows up are the right people to show up. Donations welcome.

TUESDAY 18th OCTOBER -- 19.30 - 22.00 -  Free Event  - FAB LAB LIMERICK, RUTLAND STREET, LIMERICK CITY
A CONVERSATION CAFE FOR COMMUNITY CATALYSTS IN LIMERICK

Hear about inspiring community led projects from other places.

Find out how you can you get involved community transition projects in Limerick

Learn to host a Conversation Cafe in your own community.

Meet other people in your area that are catalysing change.

This is a capacity building, story sharing and networking evening event for community champions, activists, engaged artists, makers and local organisations getting involved make their places more sustainable.  

TO BOOK A PLACE CONTACT SINEAD Mc DONNELL at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This event is being hosted by Cultivate and is supported by the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund, which is funded by Limerick City & County Council and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment 

WEDNESDAY 19th OCTOBER -  19.30 - 22.00 - Free Event - St. John's Parish Centre, Tralee, Kerry
A CONVERSATION CAFE FOR COMMUNITY CATALYSTS IN COUNTY KERRY

Poster PDF

HOW DO WE NAVIGATE THE TRANSITION TO A RESILIENT AND LOW CARBON KERRY?

This is a capacity building, story sharing and networking evening event for community champions, activists, engaged artists and local organisations getting involved in making their places more sustainable. 

TO BOOK A PLACE CONTACT TRANSITION KERRY

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Niamh @ 086 7247066

This event is being hosted by Cultivate and Transition Kerry, and is supported by the Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund, which is funded by Kerry County Council and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.  


THURSDAY 20th OCTOBER 13.00-16.00 - The Chamber, Letterkenny Public Services Centre, Donegal
FOOD ON THE FRINGE - CREATING SUSTAINABLE FOOD COMMUNITIES

WHAT ROLE DO COMMUNITY GARDENS PLAY IN TIMES OF TRANSITION

The event is hosted by Donegal Community Garden Network, in association with Community Gardens Ireland, and MCd by Gareth Austin, the resident gardener from BBC Radio Foyle.

This event will discuss how we create resilient sustainable food communities. Speakers include; Fergal Smith, the professional surfer turned community farmer from Moy Hill in Clare;  Joanne Butler from Donegal Community Garden Network on the new network and how we will be launching in spring 2017: Perry Share from the Department of Humanities at Sligo IT  Rita Wild from 'Boxa' who works with local Farmers to distribute organic produce; and James Mc Crudden the National Chairman of Country Markets Ltd.

Booking contact Joanne at 086 1789971 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

THURSDAY 20th OCTOBER  - 19.30 - 21.30  Portershed, Eyre Square, Galway
ACCELERATING THE TRANSITION TO A LOW CARBON, HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE GALWAY

Poster PDF

With Galway’s recent success in achieving the 2020 European Capital of Culture, as well as the prestigious European Green Leaf award for Sustainable City in 2017, and the European Region of Gastronomy in 2018, this event will highlight the many new opportunities for us to work in partnership across all sectors of the City and County in setting a new vision for a more equitable, healthy and sustainable future for the region.

Post Carbon Galway is a recently established cross-sector project set up to accelerate local pathways to a low carbon Galway. This evening event and the seminar the following day aims to explore synergies between initiatives such as the WHO Healthy Cities, Galway’s Tourism and Cultural strategies, the new LECP, the Local  Community Development Committee (LCDC) plans and the activities of the the Public Participation Network. Can we work collaboratively in meeting ambitious targets towards a sustainable, equitable, creative and resilient Galway City and County?

For more information and booking contact;

Project Coordinator Martina Finn - 087 2201972
E-mail - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and for more information visit www.postcarbongalway.ie / www.collaborativewaysforward.com / www.thirdspacegalway.ie
Location: http://www.portershed.com/


FRIDAY, 21st OCTOBER - 10.00 - 17.00 Siobhan McKenna Lecture Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, NUIG
GALWAY - MAKING THE TRANSITION TO A HEALTHY, LOW CARBON, CREATIVE CITY

Poster PDF

This years main Convergence session in Galway will provide an opportunity for policy makers, civil society organisations, researchers, community practitioners and Galway citizens, to come together to maximise the potential of Galway to be a world city at the forefront of the cultural transformation towards sustainability and wellbeing.

The event will maximise synergy between plans for the 2020 European Capital of Culture, the EU Green Leaf Award, the EU Region of Gastronomy, the WHO Healthy Cities initiative and the many other local benefit, community led and citizen engaged initiatives across the city and county. It aims to provide a forum for networking among the key local, national and international stakeholders, dissemination of latest research and an opportunity to showcase and discuss latest actions and policy developments.

Galway has a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of world cities, in leading not only in the fields of arts and culture but in the green transition to a low carbon future, becoming Ireland's first Co2 neutral capital. This conference will provide a forum to showcase and discuss latest actions from Galway in leading the transition to Ireland's first Carbon Neutral, Sustainable City. 

Recognising how vital it is that cities and towns continue to learn from and inspire one another to create solutions to environmental challenges, Convergence 2016 aims to provide a valuable platform for  bringing together the key players and stakeholders locally, nationally and internationally involved in making carbon neutrality a reality.

For more information and booking contact;

Project Coordinator Martina Finn - 087 2201972

Email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Mon. Oct. 24th  -Fri. Oct. 28th Galway 2020 Community Hub, Unit 15 The Cornstore, Galway.
GALWAY SUSTAINABLE LIVING FESTIVAL

Poster PDF

You are invited to participate in a week long series of talks, films, workshops, exhibitions showcasing local campaigns and thematic talks on food sovereignty, transport plans, community energy, community responses to the refugee crisis and local campaigns to end Direct Provision, greening the city, community resilience, health and wellbeing, and creative arts practices. The festival will identify and celebrate the many sustainability projects and identify possibilities to build on Galway's potential for a more resilient, sustainable and equitable future.

Galway's Sustainable Living Festival will champion existing community responses, actions and collaborations while forging new partnerships and the sharing of  tools and practices. It will be an opportunity to educate and inspire citizens and visitors about green energy, cooperative action, and healthy living. During this week we aim to facilitate citizens to reduce their carbon footprint and make Galway one of the greenest, smartest, healthiest places to live.

These events aim to explore the potential of Galway to lead the way in transitioning to Ireland's first Carbon Neutral, Sustainable City, and planning a sustainable future together with their citizens.

For more information contact Project Coordinator Martina Finn on 087 2201972 or email - postcarbongalway@ gmail.com or visit www.postcarbongalway.ie / www.collaborativewaysforward.com / www.thirdspacegalway.ie

SATURDAY 22nd OCTOBER - 10.00 - 17.00 - WeCreate, Cloughjordan Ecovillage - €20 (includes lunch)
RISE UP: THE POWER OF THE ARTS TO INSPIRE CHANGE

Poster PDF

What is the role of the artist and cultural creatives in times of transition?

A one day symposium in Cloughjordan, the birthplace of the poet and patriot Thomas MacDonagh, on the role of the artist and culture creatives in times of transition. Reflecting on the role of the artist in the rising of 1916, this event will explore the power of the arts and creativity to challenge injustice, individualism, and consumerism now.

What is the response of the artistic and creative community to the vexing problems of climate change, social justice and an unsustainable culture?

How can the arts change our sense of what is possible and engage society on climate change action?

Can the the arts help convey the strength, optimism, and urgency we need to move to a fair and resilient future?

"The poet is on the side of undeceiving the world,” he said. “It means being vigilant in the public realm. But you can go further still and say that poetry tries to help you to be a truer, purer, wholer being.”  Seamus Heaney

RISE UP is hosted by Cultivate in partnership with Cloughjordan Arts, with support from Tipperary County Council through the 1916 Commemoration Scheme. For full details see below, to book a place contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rise UP Schedule

10.00 - Introductions - Who is in the field and a short tour of the Ecovillage

11.00 - Opening - A conversation on transition

11.30 - Creating Rebellion: Artistic Consciousness in 1916

A discussion led by Dr. Caoilfhionn Ní Bheacháin, cultural historian and Lecturer in Communications at the University of Limerick and Dr. Angus Mitchell, historian and cultural critic, who has published extensively on the intellectual context of 1916.

12.15 - Setting the scene  - ‘I’, ‘we’ ‘world’

Three short scene setting presentations from three different perspectives by artists Dave Rock, Aideen Quirke and Muireann de Barra.

13.00 - Lunch

14.00 - Cafe Conversation - ‘What is the role of the artists and culture creatives in times of transition?”

15.30 - Harvest

16.00 - Reflections from Conor McGrady our key-note listener and facilitated discussion.

17.45 - Next steps and close

Speaker Bios

Dr. Caoilfhionn Ní Bheacháin, cultural historian and Lecturer in Communications at UL, has worked on the gothic aspects of post-revolutionary Irish culture. She has a particular interest in material culture and memory, in the activities of women in the new state, and in theatre as a force for radical change.

Dr. Angus Mitchell, historian and cultural critic, has published extensively on the intellectual context of 1916. He is currently working on a monograph exploring intellectual and artistic networks in the decades immediately prior to and after 1916.

Dave Rock is a spoken word artist and storyteller, and a teacher-coach of conscious speaking and creativity. Through co-creative gatherings, touring homes, rituals, and co-creating the stories and poetry of other people and places, Dave tries to find ways to express what is fully human, natural and beautiful in everything that is. His work seeks to find new ways of collectively giving witness and telling stories that help us come home to what matters most.

Aideen Quirke, is a multidisciplinary artist originally from Two-Mile-Borris, Co. Tipperary and Artistic Director of Sample-Studios, Cork City. Sample-Studios is a non-profit, artist-led organisation which was established in 2011 to support both emerging and established artists by providing affordable work facilities. Sample-Studios supports and promote contemporary cultural creatives while endeavouring to sustain and develop local, regional and international initiatives and promote research and community outreach projects.

Muireann de Barra is an independent documentary-maker from Dublin and lives in Limerick City, where she teaches Media Production in Limerick College of Further Education. Her documentary work has focused on global social justice issues including water rights in Bolivia and women's empowerment in Palestine.  She has been involved in organising 'The Limerick Spring Festival of Politics and Ideas', which celebrates the role of the artist and creative catalysts by engaging audiences with social justice/political issues through film, spoken word and creative expression.

Conor McGrady is the dean of Academic Affairs at the Burren School of Art. Connor is an artist from N. Ireland whose work examines the relationship between ideology, individual and collective psychology, and the politics of spatial control.

OCTOBER 25th 2016 I 13.30 - 17.00 I WOOD QUAY VENUE, DUBLIN 8
SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES: ACHIEVING  SUSTAINABLE  DEVELOPMENT GOAL 11

This event is invite only to ensure we can achieve a balanced participation across different sectors. If you are interested in attending please email…  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Or Register your interest here

In September of 2015, at the United Nations in New York, 193 countries, including Ireland adopted “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” and signed up to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They mark a significant departure from the Millennium Development Goals that preceded them, in terms of their universal application, recognition of their interconnected and integrated nature, as well as the commitment embedded in these Goals to leave no one behind. The Goals will ensure that by 2030 the world will have taken huge strides to end poverty, eliminate inequality, tackle climate change and stop environmental degradation.

Achieving this  Sustainable Development Goals as well as reaching the ambitious climate targets will require a fundamental shift in our values, behaviour patterns and societal structures. This process is already underway. Thousands of researchers, policy makers and communities across Ireland and Europe are developing, implementing and engaging with innovative approaches to achieving this societal transformation.

What is Ireland and Dublin doing to progress Sustainable Development Goal 11?

What can we do to accelerate the transition towards a low carbon, resilient and fair society?

Draft Agenda

13.15 - Networking for Sustainable Cities

14.00 - Opening - Context and objective of the session

Wellbeing and making the transition to sustainable cities and communities.

Welcome by Michael Ewing of the Environmental Partnership.
Introduction by Davie Philip of Cultivate & Chris Chapman who are facilitating the session.

14.15 - Ali Grehan - Dublin City Architect
Dublin’s path towards a Sustainable City and SDG11.

14.30 - Peadar Kirby -  Professor Emeritus of International Politics and Public Policy

A Community Approach to Making the Transition

14.45 - Networking break - Reflecting on the goal

15.10 - Short scene setting presentations from a community and citizen engaged perspective.

Each of the following speakers will give a brief presentation on what they think the key things we need to do in that area are, give some examples, and outline some of the barriers to achieving SDG 11.

Built Environment - Pat Barry,  Irish Green Building Council

Energy - Kate Ruddock, Friends of the Earth

Mobility - Dr. Damien Ó Tuama,  Cyclist.ie  and An Taisce

Waste - Bernadette Connolly,  Cork Environmental Forum

Food - Dee Sewell, Community Gardens Ireland network.

Housing - Geoff Corcoran, Co-operative Housing Ireland

15.45 - Facilitated conversation

How do we accelerate the transition to sustainable cities and communities?

16.30 - Harvest and feedback

16.45 - Reflection by the Keynote Listener
Shane Colgan
, Resource Efficiency Unit at the EPA

16.55 - Close

Speaker Biographies

Ali Grehan is the Dublin City Architect, she has held a variety of roles spanning private practice in Dublin, London and Bilbao, and in the Public Sector; where her particular focus has been on leading large-scale urban regeneration, housing and infrastructure projects. Through her engagement with networks of city stakeholders, she articulates a broad urban agenda including the development of design and architecture to enrich the public life of the city. She also plays a leadership role in developing policy and strategy in relation to the civic realm, housing and the development of social, community and cultural infrastructure.

Peadar Kirby is Professor Emeritus of International Politics and Public Policy at the University of Limerick from where he retired in 2012. Before joining UL in 2007, he was Associate Professor in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University. He is a former journalist with The Irish Times and, from 1984-86, was associate editor of Noticias Aliadas in Lima, Peru. Peadar Kirby now lives in Ireland’s only ecovillage in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary and is currently writing a book on the political economy of climate change. 

Pat Barry is the CEO of the Irish Green Building Council which he co-founded in 2010. He is an Architect with over 20 years of experience in Ireland, Europe and South America, a Masters in Environmental design of buildings from University of Cardiff and is a qualified Passive House and DGNB consultant.

Kate Ruddock is policy and campaigns manager for Friends of the Earth and is involved with the local energy group in Terenure.

Dr. Damien Ó Tuama is the National Cycling Coordinator with Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network and An Taisce - The National Trust for Ireland. He is also the Vice-President of the European Cyclists’ Federation which seeks to influence international and national institutions in Europe so as to recognise the value of cycling and incorporate it in all relevant policies.

Bernadette Connolly is the Development Coordinator of Cork Environmental Forum (CEF). Her current position involves promoting Circular Economy initiatives such as Boomerang Enterprises, which was set-up to recover, recycle or reuse the materials contained in mattresses and bed bases.

Dee Sewell founded Greenside Up in 2009, a Carlow based social enterprise that helps people to grow their own vegetables with an emphasis on growing community through food. Dee is a founding member and Chairperson of the Community Gardens Ireland network.

Geoff Corcoran is the Director of Development at Co-operative Housing Ireland the national body representing, promoting and developing the co-operative housing movement in Ireland.

Shane Colgan is the Manager of the Resource Efficiency Unit at the Environmental Protection Agency

Chris Chapman is a leading facilitator of complex, multi-stakeholder processes with a long track record of working in the sustainability area helping people and organisations shift from silos to increasingly whole system approaches.  Chris works both as a coach / mentor for people with responsibility for large strategic change processes and as a host of both high profile and quiet 'behind the scenes' events.  Chris is currently leading the facilitation of a series of events with the Irish Green Building Council to develop Ireland's National Buildings Renovation Strategy.

Davie Philip is a facilitator and trainer and manages the Community Resilience Programme at Cultivate. For the last 20 years he has organised events and learning programmes across Ireland promoting sustainability.  He was a founding member Sustainable Projects Ireland the company behind the ecovillage project in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary where he is now based. 

Michael Ewing is the Coordinator of the Environmental Pillar which was established in 2009. Michael works to engage the government and other social partnerships with the environmental sector on policy matters at national, regional, and local levels. Michael is also the Coordinator of the Irish Environmental Network, an umbrella network that promotes the well-being, protection and enhancement of the environment.

This dynamic afternoon event, which is part of the CONVERGENCE Sustainable Living Festival, will feature presentations, facilitated conversations and a panel discussion on how we can progress the Sustainable Development Goal on communities and cities. 

Supported by Dublin City Council, Be Green and the Environmental Pillar

TUESDAY OCTOBER 25th 2016 I 19.00 - 21.00 I WOOD QUAY VENUE, DUBLIN 8 I €10
CONVERGENCE CONVERSATIONS: CELEBRATING WHAT MAKES OUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES FLOURISH

Local Energy, Well being, Resilience, Community Food, Co-Housing, Sustainable Livelihoods, Local Beer and a lot more.

Conversations and inspiring stories from some of Ireland’s leading community change makers that are increasing the wellbeing and resilience of our local areas.. Using an innovative format this event will be conversational, convivial and collaborative, as well as being a wonderful networking opportunity. Hosted by Davie Philip ( Cultivate) and Chris Chapman (Change Exploratory) this event will weave together inspiration, entertainment and connection.

For further information and to book contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Supported by Dublin City Council and Carlow Brewing Company 

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 26th 2016 I 14.00 - 17.00 I WE CREATE WORKSPACE, CLOUGHJORDAN ECOVILLAGE  I €10
ENERGY CITIZEN: ACCELERATING THE TRANSITION TO COMMUNITY POWER

An afternoon conversation on the importance of engaged citizens and community ownership in the transition to renewable energy.  Short presentations and discussions will be held in the Enterprise Centre of Ireland’s leading low carbon community project.

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 26th 2016 I 19.30 - 21.00 I WE CREATE WORKSPACE, CLOUGHJORDAN ECOVILLAGE  I Donation
TRANSITIONING TO A LOW-ENERGY FUTURE: THE ROLE OF COMMUNITIES

Former Minister for Energy in the last government, Alex White, speaks about the process of drawing up the ‘White Paper on Ireland’s Transition to a Low-Carbon Energy Future 2015-2030’ with a particular focus on the role of local communities. This will open a discussion on the next steps to advance the network of energy communities and avail the opportunities opened by the White Paper. Facilitated by Peadar Kirby of Cloughjordan Ecovillage who will draw on the ecovillage’s experiences in modelling the transition.

FRIDAY OCTOBER 28th 2016 I 14.00 - 17.00 I WE CREATE WORKSPACE, CLOUGHJORDAN ECOVILLAGE
BLOCKCHAIN & SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES: POTENTIAL & PITFALLS

This one day workshop, co-organised by NUI Galway School of Law, FEASTA, and Cultivate, in partnership with Cloughjordan Ecovillage, and funded by the Irish Research Council., aims to explore the possible future applications of blockchain technology in the development and coherence of sustainable communities.

What exactly is the likely nature of blockchain disruption? Will it be isolated in the #fintech community or will it reach into the “real” economy? How does the trustless mindset behind cryptocurrencies map on to the essentially trustful aspirations of sustainable communities? Will explicit transparent contract conditions assist community development and coherence or act as a barrier? How can we build bridges and meaningful relationships between the tech and sustainability communities? Will the emergence of new institutional structures have a deep effect on society? This workshop seeks to explore all of these questions, and more.

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