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Our People

Ben Whelan

Ben WhelanBen Whelan is a founder and the Managing Director of Sustainable Ireland Cooperative Society Ltd. which initiated the Cultivate Centre in Temple Bar. He was the lead promoter and instigator behind the Greenhouse Centre in Dublin. Ben has developed and overseen Cultivate's programmes and activities over its 12 years of operation. He has taught and published in many areas of sustainability including permaculture, bioregionalism and local economics. He holds a BA from Trinity College Dublin in Theology and Ancient History and an MA in Liberal Arts from Naropa College, Colorado.

Ben is a founding member of North Tipperary Green Enterprise Park and a current board member, a founding member of the Environmental and Sustainable Construction Association (Éasca) and current board member, a Director of Re-Dress (the Better Fashion Initiative), on the governance committee member for the Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development in Ireland. Previously he has worked as the Coordinator for the Asset Development group at the Cloughjordan Ecovillage and in the development of the overall Strategic and Land Plan for the Eco-Village.

Davie Philip

davie philipDavie Philip currently manages the Community Resilience Programme that developed out of the Community Powerdown Programme in 2010.

Davie was a founding member of both FEASTA: the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability and Sustainable Projects Ireland Ltd the company behind the ecovillage project in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary where he now lives.  In 2000 he set up the Sustainable Ireland Cooperative with Ben Whelan which trades as Cultivate.  With Cultivate he organises networking and learning events including the annual Convergence sustainable living festival and the Global Green area of the Electric Picnic, Ireland’s largest music and culture festival.

Davie conceived and directed the 'Powerdown Show', a 10 part TV series on how communities can do more for themselves and recently wrote and directed a new short film on resilient communities called ‘Surfing the Waves of Change.’

Davie is a catalyst for the Transition Movement both in Ireland and internationally. From 2009 to 2011 he sat on the board of SEAI, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, and currently is a board member of Grow It Yourself Ireland. He chairs the Cloughjordan Community Farm and is active in the education and research working group at Cloughjordan Ecovillage.

Philippa Robinson

Philippa RobinsonPhilippa Robinson has worked as part of the Cultivate team since 2005, primarily as a project coordinator, taking care of the company's day to day book keeping and overseeing budgets. A very capable venue manager she played a key role in the running of both of Cultivates' Dublin Centres - Temple Bar and St. Andrew Street. Hiring out the space and hosting many large events and festivals. Prior to her work with Cultivate, Philippa had established a career as a programme coordinator and researcher in television production, including 5 years at BBC Bristol.

Devyn Olson-Sawyer

DevynDevyn Olson-Sawyer has been working in the sustainability area for over 10 years, beginning with a career in publishing, moving to architecture, engineering, and construction field, and then into training and working with businesses wanting to add sustainability to their company focus. Devyn currently researches and writes programmes in various aspects of the Green Economy, and manages training programmes, including the recent nationwide Green Works programme on Sustainability in the Green Economy.

Aaron Bailey

Aaron BaileyAaron joined the Cultivate team on an internship in early 2015 after finding a facilitation course was being offered right where he wasn't looking - in his own community after returning from a stint of traveling. Aaron has supported many facets of the Cultivate work program over the years and is now foucused on bringing them all together with the community-fouced festival 'Elements of Change'. Alongside Philippa, he co-coordinates the Permauculture Design Course, and, loving the social side of Cultivate, often works with Davie designing and facitating regular courses and events.

Living a diverse lifestyle in the Ecovillage, Aaron's other livelihoods include teaching the Youth Mindfulness programme to primary school students and co-coaching the Cloughjordan Li Ching Wu kung fu/kickboxing club.

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