Brief report on proceedings:
The event drew an online audience of over 120.
The event started with gentle guitar music of Paddy Flamenco (Paddy Anderson). Davie Philip ( a member of Hub steering group) introduced proceedings with a poem from fellow Cloughjordan resident, poet Mel White
(see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMS6VDB5Yys ).
Mel’s inspiring poem was followed by a presentation from Seán Ó Conláin, also a member of the Hub steering group, on the work done to arrive at this point. He invited everyone to join the journey to create an effective alliance in Ireland on this crucial notion of a different kind of economy. He referred to the work of NESC and the government response, namely, to create a set of national indicators, but suggested that what we need is a transformative action programme, which we can co-create.
Our first guest, Katherine Trebeck, Strategic Advocacy Advisor for WEAll, commented that she was pleased to see so many friends from across the globe, who would be able to support the new Hub. While catch and repair might be offered as a solution, as an economist she argues that we need a new model of the economy – but what should it look like? The ethos of WEAll is all around collaboration. Hubs represent conversations at a local level which can lead to a global vision.
Katherine was followed by Jennifer Wallace, Director of Carnegie UK, who presented their concept of how we can contribute to collective wellbeing.
Then there were two brief reflections, both from other members of the hub steering group: first, Peter Doran of Queens University Belfast. He made reference to Michael D (the Irish President) as a role model for solidarity within Ireland and Europe. He reminds us of the notion of reconciling the economy with climate justice and the principle of listening to local conversations.
Colette Bennett of Social Justice Ireland commented that we should listen to Katherine Trebeck’s observation that we must continue to ask questions, behave like three year-olds. This underpins the idea of a deliberative democracy; and understanding what community wellbeing really means. But we must avoid ‘wellbeing washing’. The key for her, was creating a transformation task-force.
Next Roisin Markham of the Irish Doughnut Economy Network (IDEN) introduced our special guest speaker, Kate Raworth. She gave an inspiring talk, based on the following slide deck:
Of special interest was how Kate applied the Doughnut concept to current issues in the island of Ireland
Davie Philip sought two quick reflections on Kate’s presentation: firstly, from Charlie Fisher of Development Trusts, Northern Ireland and then from Caroline Whyte of FEASTA (another member of the Hub steering group). They provided a rich commentary which can be accessed on the recording of the proceedings.
Davie invited Mark Garavan of FEASTA and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology to provide closing remarks. Mark said, in summary:
‘ A recurring idea in all of the contributions was the posing of the question ‘how’, not why, we must move to a new ‘well-being’-centred system? We start with questions, not answers. Therefore, a key barrier to the transition that we need is imagination, as Katherine said. While we need limits to growth we need no limits to thought.
Kate’s doughnut is a visual representation of new modes of representing our social and ecological breakdown points.