Reflections on Collaborative Convergence 2015

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Dear Friends,

We wish to express our gratitude to all who participated in exploring Collaborative Ways Forward in recent months. We deeply appreciate you taking the time to share your stories of the work that you are doing in Galway and beyond and your commitment to Collaborative practices and a more sustainable, inclusive  politics and culture.

To follow up on the ‘Emerging Futures’ event, we offer here some brief reflections.

During the inquiry into individual and collective needs we recognised the familiar calls for action to acquire some shared spaces in the city. This is an ongoing issue and one of the tougher challenges we all face. It is clear that there is a desire to take that particular conversation further and we encourage those of you with a passion to pursue this to get in touch.

We also recognised that there is a wealth of knowledge and experience locally that holds great potential for shared learning. Many of the needs expressed on the day could be met through sharing of existing skills and know how. This in itself is fertile ground perhaps for the creation of some kind of skills and knowledge sharing network again if any of you are interested in taking this further get in touch.

A number of follow up events and gatherings were also proposed. Participants suggested a ‘Pecha Kucha’ with short presentations as a way to learn about what people are doing. Others suggested a Community ‘Hackathon’ and ‘Innovation camp’ to share creative solutions to the challenges we face. Less formal gatherings such as a Potluck meal or even just a pub meet up could be easily organised. How about a get together over the upcoming holidays to share stories and achievements of 2015 and ambitions for 2016?

If you felt inspired by Emerging Futures and would like to see more gatherings like this happen in Galway we would really love to hear from you. – collaborativewaysforward @ gmail.com

Many thanks and best wishes from everyone of us at Collaborative Ways Forward

If you are interested in seeing some of the images from the notes that were taken on the day see

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8Xm_5V-GWHnQzVCcjIzR3IyVXc&usp=sharing

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Convergence ‘Sustainable Living’ Festival comes to Galway Friday 30th

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Convergence the longest running Sustainable Living Festival in Ireland is coming to Galway this Friday October 30th. Recognising the need for an urgent and deep cultural shifts towards more equitable and sustainable ways of life. Across the country there is a growing interest in cooperative and social enterprise, renewable energy, co-housing, local food and the emerging collaborative economy. Join us for a day of inspiring stories, a participatory ideas workshop and a harvest dinner celebrating local food and culture. The days events welcome participation from everyone in Galway committed to creating a more sustainable future. We invite diverse perspectives and contributions from young people, students, grassroots  activists, environmentalists,  artists, cultural workers, SME’s, local institutions,  government and community groups.
Events take place at the Galway 2020 space in the Cornstore Middle Street
Everyone is welcome and admission is free of charge.

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‘Emerging Futures’ – A Cultural Vision for Galway
From 11am to 5pm – Emerging Futures’ is a participatory ideas workshop facilitated by Kevin Flanagan, Martina Finn and Davie Philip, where members of the public are invited to join in dialogue asking the question – ‘How can a cooperative and participatory approach support the transition to a more equitable and sustainable way of  life?’.

In the morning guest speakers will share insights and inspiration from successful local community and cultural projects such as Galway City Community Network, Community Workers Coop, GCCN, An Meitheal Rothar, One World Centre, G126. After lunch there will be dialogue and debate using ‘World Cafe’ to explore what actions we as a community can take.

Schedule

11.00 – Introduction

11.20 – Check in –  Appreciating who is in the room and what they do.

11.40 – Stories from collaborative projects. What can we learn?

12.30 – Identifying common patterns and needs

13.00 – Lunch

14.00 – World Cafe Discussion

16.00 – Break

16.15 – Actions and Next steps

17.00 – Closing of Emerging Futures

17:30 – Music from Donal while we prepare for the Co-operative Salon

18:00 – 21:00 Co-operative Salon –  A Halloween Harvest Feast

“Co-operative Salon –  A Halloween Harvest Feast”

From 6pm – 9pm – The Halloween Harvest Feast is a convivial and family friendly gathering to celebrate Galway’s local food and culture, showcasing culinary produce from local farms and community gardens, cooked by some of Galway’s finest artisan establishments.

Also artist Seoidin O’Sullivan’s installation, ‘Seating System’ and Commons Library will be exhibited in the Galway 2020 space throughout the day. This is part of an ongoing participatory art project on the commons by Third Space. http://www.seoidinosullivan.com/#/lumen/

The events are part of the nationwide Cooperative Convergence 2015 organised by Cultivate, and co-hosted in partnership with Collaborative Ways Forward, Transition Galway, Third Space, Galway City Community Network, Galway 2020, Galway City Partnership, Sheridans Cheesemongers.

For information see –  https://collaborativewaysforward.com/
Email – collaborativewaysforward@gmail.com
http://www.cultivate.ie/convergence-2015/1253-convergence-2015

Cooperative Convergence (Galway) October 20th and 30th 2015


As part of the nationwide Cooperative Convergence 2015 organised by Cultivate, we are co-hosting events with Cultivate, Galway City Partnership, Galway City Community Network, Transition Galway, Galway 2020. Speakers are being finalised for the event but some speakers and groups are listed below.

Tuesday October 20th   –

‘Beyond Grants’ – Financing Social Enterprise and Co-operatives

Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway – 10am to 1pm   

Galway City Partnership in association with Collaborative Ways and Galway Transition, are hosting this workshop to help local enterprise, co-operatives and communities consider more sustainable financing models and approaches to raise capital.  More details to be announced see http://gcp.ie/  or contact Margaret Leahy at margaret@gcp.ie for more information.

Tuesday October 20th   –

‘Transformative Power’ – Community Energy and Cooperative Successes

Galway – Venue: Kitchen Cafe in Galway City Museum – 7.30- 9.30pm

Empowering community conversations inspired by co-operative stories from Dara Molloy, of the Aran Islands Energy Co Operative, Eimhin David Callahan (Birr 2020 and founder of the Birr Community Growery), Eithne Verling, Director City Museum and Coordinator of Galway’s Cultural Strategy 2025, Prof Terrence McDonough, Galway City Community Network/ Founder of MA Advocacy and Activism, NUIG, Kevin Flanagan, CWF, Chair, Ann Lyons, CKI NUIG, and Mark Boyle, Founder An Teach Saor, amongst others.

Organised by Transition Galway,  Collaborative Ways and Third Space Galway  for more details contact collaborativewaysforward@gmail.com.

Friday October 30th  

‘Emerging Futures’ – A Cultural Vision for Galway

Galway 2020 Community Hub, Unit 15 The Cornstore, Middle Street, Galway – 11.00am- 5.00pm

Conversations, films, art, food and drinks with a focus on collaboration, culture and civil society networks. How can Galway embrace participatory co-operative politics and approaches in developing and supporting strategies going forward.  Throughout the day we aim to create a space from which to  explore the existing structures of participation and cooperation and actively produce new ones,  presenting artist Seoidin O’Sullivan’s Commons installation, ‘Seating System’ as a central public platform and interactive site from which to experience and explore, as part of an ongoing participatory art project by Third Space. http://www.seoidinosullivan.com/#/lumen/ Participants include Kevin Flanagan, Collaborative Ways and P2P, Bernadette Divilly, Dance Artist and Third Space member, Davie Philip, Cultivate and Co Housing advocate Eco Village Cloughjordan, Eithne Verling, CEO City Museum, Jamie Gorman, Community Workers Cooperative, Martina Finn, Third Space and others.

Friday October 30th  

A Co-operative Salon –  A community harvest dinner and social.

Galway 2020 Community Hub, Unit 15 The Cornstore, Middle Street, Galway –  6.00 – 9.00pm  

A harvest dinner showcasing Galway’s culinary produce from local farms and community gardens and cooked by some of Galway’s finest artisan establishments. This event will be a convivial opportunity to network and celebrate Galway’s local food, co-operative and community culture.

The purpose of this platform is to open a participatory space which allows us to share and discuss ideas and initiatives concerning the future of the Commons and the Cooperative Economy and we invite everybody to present their own work on reclaiming, protecting or creating the commons and cooperatives throughout the day long event.

For further information contact collaborativewaysforward@gmail.com

‘Coop Culture’ Culture Night

Friday September 18th Venue: Woodquay Time: 6-9pm

Seoidin O Sullivan Seating image‘Coop Culture’ is a participatory art and cultural event to experience, explore and celebrate themes on the Commons and our Cooperative Cultural Heritage. Everyone is Welcome to share his/her visions, ideas and cooperative and commons-related practices, as the starting point of a mobilization to reclaim, protect and re-create the commons and our cooperative culture.

The purpose of this event is to open a participatory space which allows us to share and discuss ideas and initiatives concerning the future of the Commons and the Cooperative Economy and we invite everybody to present your initiatives for reclaiming, protecting or creating the commons and cooperatives on the night.

Using artist Seoidin O Sullivan’s ‘Seating System’ to act as a central public platform and interactive site for this performative and           d­­iscursive event and ‘create a space for commoning, creating a space of empowerment and possibility’, we aim to bring together both arts and non arts groups, and to manifest and test the site in its potential for participation and engagement. http://www.seoidinosullivan.com/#/lumen/

The evening will host various CWF and Third Space members and artists including Bernadette Divilly, Amantine Dahan, Betsy Carreyette, Martina Finn, Thom Stewart, and Transition Galway members Kieran Cunnane and Caoimhin O Maolalligh and others.

The on street public event will be followed by an after party at Foley’s Hop House in Woodquay… our generous Sponsors of the event. http://www.foleyshophouse.com/

This event is hosted by Third Space Galway and Collaborative Ways Forward as part of their participatory arts programme, to develop creative activity and opportunity in a public context, enabling citizens to participate in and become co-creators of their cultures and communities, whilst meeting current social, environmental and economic challenges. The aim of ‘Coop Cultures’ is to actively explore and celebrate the intersection of the arts and cultural ecologies of the city in a creative space of assembly and exchange, fostering a belief that through creative and critical engagement and opportunity people are inspired and enabled to become active co-creators of their culture and society.

Collaborative Ways Forward is a transdisciplinary arts, ecology and commons platform and initiative by members of Third Space, Martina Finn, Transition Galway, Kieran Cunnane and Caoimhin O Maolalligh, An Ait Eile. Tom Stewart and the P2P Foundation, Kevin Flanagan to explore and act on the potentials of the cooperative and solidarity economy in Galway by bringing together Galway’s creative communities, activists, artists, cooperative-oriented groups and local support organisations, to make connections, present alternatives to the current system and identify possibilities for creative collaborations and collective action through Co-operatives and the Commons. Third Space, is an artist led research participatory and discursive platform that promotes the vital role of art and culture in the creation of place and community life and co-founder the Collaborative Ways Forward (CWF) Initiative.

agri-Cultural Inventions Culture Night

Friday 18th September Venue: Artfarm, Cloonkeen, Newbridge, Co. Galway Time: 2-4pm

Edward Healy, Silage WrapSilage wrap by Edward Healy

Farmers’ contributions to culture are often overlooked, yet they have plenty of knowledge, skills and creativity that they use to find solutions to everyday problems, as well as creating new ideas. This event offers farmers and the local community the opportunity to hear from farmers Edward Healy and Bernard Conroy, who are turning their inventions and creative ideas into businesses, how they are going about it, and the ups and downs on the way. Everyone is welcome to participate, contribute their own stories and ask any questions.

This FREE event will be facilitated by Trish O’Flynn, Third Space member and Phd Candidate of the Open University,  researching Irish farmers’ inventions.

Artist and Artfarm owner Sheila Flanagan will also give a general introduction on art in the rural context in County Galway and creative art practices using found and recycled materials.

This event is curated by Martina Finn, on behalf of Third Space Galway and Collaborative Ways Forward as part of their participatory arts programme to develop creative activity and opportunity in the Galway rural context, enabling citizens to participate in and become co-creators of their cultures and communities, whilst meeting current social, environmental and economic challenges.