Monday 24th – Friday 28th: ECOHub All week @ Galway 2020 Community hub, the corn store.

As part of Convergence 2016, the ‘ECOHub ’ Galway’s pop up Sustainable Living Centre aims to host a week long series of events, films, workshops, exhibitions thematic talks, skill share and DIT, ‘Do it Together’ Hackaton and innovation labs.

We believe 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 revolution and transition to a low carbon future.
This year’s festival aims to provide a forum to showcase and discuss latest actions from and for Galway, in leading the way to becoming Ireland’s first Sustainable City.

To promote a vibrant, thriving and sustainable culture and community, Galway’s pop up ECOhub offers a local platform to address the need for communities to come together to share ideas, knowledge, skills and solidarity, in meeting current day environmental challenges; and to offer a place to cocreate educational, creative opportunities and community forums to learn from and inspire one another.

Convergence 2016 reflects the recognition of the need for an urgent and deep cultural shift towards more equitable and sustainable ways of life. Creative, Active Citizenship and community-led initiatives are at the forefront of developing and testing new and innovative approaches to sustainable living. We believe Now is the time to kick-start a citizen-engaged, all sectoral transition in Galway, in creating a more equitable and sustainable future. Join us this week at the ECOHub for Convergence 2016.

Workshop descriptions:
Some of the Ongoing Week Long campaigns, exhibitions, films and information in the Commons Reading Room; include
Save Merlin Park WILDFLOWER Meadows; Cultural Rights Charter
FOOD Sovereignty Proclamation; People’s Community Energy Charter; Anti Fracking Bill 2016; Public Transport Solutions For Galway; Plant Share and Swop; DIT – Do It Together October is National #repair #reuse month


Arts, ECOLOGY, and Sustainability Practices;
Artist Sean Taylor leads a discussion together with local artists on the real possibilities of a sustainable arts practice, one which doesn’t compromise the future of the planet.
Sean Taylor is an Artist and Lecturer in the MA Social Practice and the Creative Environment, MASPACE, at Limerick School of Art & Design, Limerick Institute of Technology. He has worked in Glasgow as a community artist, and was also a Director of the Glasgow Sculpture Studios. He established the experimental performance art group STEM and was a founder member of The Real Art Project. And more recently he collaborates as part of the Art & Science collaboration Softday, with computer scientist Mikael Fernström. The collaboration engages with issues relating to natural cycles in time, climate change and its global effects. As a collaborative team they use their arts practice to explore relations to and understandings of nature, expressed through sonifications and multimedia artworks and performances. Between 2011 and 2013, Softday collaborated with a number of Irish beekeepers, scientist and the monks of Glenstal Abbey, creating Amhrán na mBeach (Song of the Bees) about the life of honey bees and current threats such as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). And mores recently established LUBS – Limerick Urban Beekeeper cooperative. Softday is currently part of a Culture Ireland and Create projecttour in Chicago, Re)Public, as part of I am Ireland 2016, this is an exhibition which engages with key issues, reflecting the complexity of 21st century Ireland and the dynamic and diverse arena of collaborative arts.

The MASPACE programme offers students a strong theoretical and critical grounding in the growing area of social practice, equiping students with appropriate research skills on the roles they will play within communities/ situations/spaces. Social Practice is located in the overlap of art, society and politics. It has been described as art activism, critical art, socially engaged art, social practice art, activism, political art, participatory, dialogical or collaborative art. MA SPACE addresses topics such as; Space and Place, Food Politics, Gender Politics, Ecology, Climate Change, environmental politics, Science and Art, Civil Rights, Globalization and Economics, Health, Trans-Global Movement, Labour and Land Politics.

‘Where’s the Justice? – Exploring Environmental Justice in Ireland’
4-5.30pm Mon Oct 24th

Responding Positively to the Challenge of Climate Change and the Environmental & Economic Crises We Face… by Catalyst Collective
Facilitators; Bridget Kelly is a community development worker in Galway Traveller Movement. Her current areas of work are accommodation and education. She is the Chairperson of the National Traveller Women’s Forum. Her areas of interest include gender issues and women’s rights.
Jacinta Fay is a community development worker with Galway Traveller Movement and a trainer with the Catalyst Collective, a popular education collective. She previously worked with Friends of the Earth Liberia and Friends of the Earth International on indigenous land rights and food sovereignty. Her areas of interest include environmental justice, feminism, reproductive rights, intersectional movement building and popular education as a tool for social change.

Galway City Community Network Transport Linkage Group Mon Oct 24th 6.30-7.30pm

The GCCN is a network of community, voluntary and environmental organisations active in Galway City and is the main link through which the local authority connects with the community, voluntary and environmental sectors. Its aim is to co-ordinate and support the representation of the community, voluntary and environmental sectors in Galway City.
Galway City Community Network is the Public Participation Network in Galway city and is the mechanism for the selection of representatives of the community, voluntary and environmental sectors on a range of bodies and committees. GCCN is represented on:
The Galway City Local Community Development Committee
Strategic Policy Committees;
Galway Joint Policing Committee;
Galway City & County Childcare Committee;
Galway City Partnership; and the Western Drugs Task Force

GREENING Galway Monday Oct 24th 7.30-9pm

Environmental Activist Brendan Speedie Smith opens a conversation with members from other activist groups such as CVG and Save Merlin Wildflower Meadows, around the current actions and campaigns to protect, nurture and develop Galway’s natural green spaces.

Speedie will open the evening with an introduction to Terrylands transformative cultural heritage project, rewilding, biodiversity, and tree planting project, that has turned Terryland Forest Park into a unique urban forest and outdoor classroom in the heart of Galway city, but which is currently being threatened by a proposal to develop and put a road through it.

The Terryland Forest Park Alliance was established in early 2000 as a “People’s Park” where all sectors of society would work together to develop a unique urban forest in the heart of Galway city. Since that time there has been over 100,000 trees planted in this area, alongside a major biodiversity, rewilding and flower planting project in partnership with Conservation Volunteers Galway. Friends of Merlin Woods Campaign have over the last number of years championed the importance of this Wild and natural amenity for the many residents and visitors to the area.

These woodlands and environmental organisations and activities achieves their objectives of becoming a native tree forestry, a wildlife sanctuary, a location for arts events, a facility for the utilisation of traditional rural skills/crafts such as drystone-walling, coppicing and organic gardening, an outdoor classroom for schools, an outdoor research laboratory for third level colleges, a recreational amenity and the hub for the development of a network of city-wide ecological corridors and pedestrian/cycling greenways. Working together with local community and environmental organisations they are making the vision of a “Green Galway” into a reality, but they need our support.

Many other talks, walks and workshops are planned for the week including;

Bernadette Divilly – Contemplative Dance workshop
Be Beo – Mindful Movements and Qi Gong with Brenda Flannery

An Taisce Green Schools and Gardens and An Taisce Coastal Clean Ups

Schools are recognized as not only places of formal education, but also as critical settings to foster health, development and overall well-being of pupils and their families.School gardens can be developed ned as cultivated areas around or near schools, maintained (at least partly) and used by pupils and teachers in different manners.Comprehensive models of action are currently being promoted, whereby schools can develop multiple-win situations and positive outcomes in learning performance, food security, nutrition, rural development, local economy and lifestyle practices and habits.

With the growing interest in food, food systems and nutrition, school gardens are now also being recognized as a platform for learning about these topics, and for enabling children (and their families and communities) to tackle the national obesity crisis and build healthy food-related practices, behaviors and attitudes.

Dr Vincent Carragher, Research Fellow in Characterising and Catalysing Sustainable Resource and Energy Transition in Communities, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin.
Vincent Carragher is a Community Facilitation & Sustainable Energy Transition Expert. His work focuses on fostering sustainability, resilience and behaviour change with and for communities. He has significant training and experience in Resource Management, Energy Management and Carbon Management for and with communities, schools and SMEs. Vincent is a specialist in facilitating relevant actors to measure their resource consumption and then to reinterpret it and develop solutions to lower it.

DIT – Do it Together – October is National #repair #reuse month, so trying to reaquaint yourself with how to change a zip for your youngests school skirt? Come along and use our communal sowing machine…
Cost of skirt €30 cost of new zip €1.05, landfill 0 You: huge satisfaction
Sweden are now offering tax breaks to people in repair or recycle businesses, that’s a great start!

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