Convergence 2018

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Convergence SDG


25th May - 9th June 2018
Full schedule below or see the Festival PDF

Two landmark conferences took place in 2015, setting a global agenda to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and greenhouse gas emission targets.
Localising this transformative agenda and empowering citizens and communities to work together towards a more sustainable future will be critical in achieving these goals.
Convergence 18 focuses on how community-led approaches might help to meet our climate targets and implement the SDGs.
Since its beginning in 2000 the Convergence Festival has brought people and ideas together and featured some of the most inspiring sustainability thinkers and doers both from Ireland and abroad. This series of events raises public awareness, facilitates dialogue and engages citizens in a just transition to a resilient, low carbon and healthy society.

Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?
Join the conversation convergence[at}cultivate[dot]ie

Inspired by the Talanoa Dialogues: Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue. The purpose of Talanoa is to share stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good. The process of Talanoa involves the sharing of ideas, skills and experience through storytelling and discussion.
Ahead of the COP24, the climate conference taking place in Poland in November, the United Nations has initiated the Talanoa Dialogues to give everyone a voice in the climate conversation. 
In the spirit of Talanoa all Convergence events are designed to be participatory, solutions oriented and promote collaboration. The facilitated conversations will engage local stakeholders and are structured around the three questions of the Talanoa dialogue process: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?

See the Festival PDF for full schedule or click on any event below for details:
-The Soil Salon - Exploring Life on Land
-Feeding Ourselves: Rural Revitalisation through a Cooperative Approach to Farming and Food
-Farm Flicks - Farming in Crisis
-Our Soil - The Community Gardens Ireland Gathering
-Briefing on the new EU Organic Regulation
-Restoring Biological Diversity, Strengthening our Resilience
-The Platform Cooperative Salon
-Stories and Conversations on Platform Cooperatives
-Stories and Conversations for a Sustainable Ireland
-ECOlearn - An Ecovillage Experience
-Stories and Conversations for a Healthy and Resilient Monaghan
-Stories and Conversations on a Community-Led Approach to Sustainable Tourism
-The Resilience Lab: Facilitating Dialogue for a Healthy and Sustainable Ireland
-Housing Ourselves: A Cooperative Approach to Regenerating, Redesigning and Reimagining Housing

 Friday 25th May
19.30 - 21.00 - WeCreate Workspace, Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Tipperary
The Soil Salon - Exploring Life on Land
Event PDF
Examining Sustainable Development Goal 15 'Life on Land' on the 25th anniversary of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Using a participative and engaging format Cultivate will host this evening workshop to highlight Sustainable Development Goal 15 and promote a sustainable use of our ecosystems and ways to preserve biodiversity. A keynote presentation on soil and citizen science will be given by Greek ecologist, author, olive grower and social entrepreneur Pavlos Georgiadis. This will be followed by a conversation on how people can play a part in reversing land degradation and halting biodiversity loss.
This is a free event held as part of Biodiversity Week.
Register with eventbrite. Invite friends to the facebook event.

Saturday 26th May
10.00 - 17.00 - WeCreate Workspace, Cloughjordan Ecovillage
Feeding Ourselves: Rural Revitalisation through a Cooperative Approach to Farming and Food.
Full-schedule PDF
This is the annual coming together of small farmers, community food advocates and anyone with an interest in good food, good farming and rural revitalisation.
This year’s focus is on community supported agriculture, cooperation, regenerative agriculture, citizen science, better agri-food policies and other people and planet friendly practices such as social farming and high nature value farming. Full details here. To book, see NOTS.

Farming in Crises

Saturday 26th May 
€5 - 20.30 - 21.30 - WeCreate Workspace, Cloughjordan Ecovillage
Farm Flicks - Farming in Crisis?
A journey across the crisis-stricken country of the European south, uncovering the stories of young farmers and the prospects for revamping the economy through sustainable rural development. The film uses the case of Greece in order to touch urgent global challenges like food security, the environment and the future of our food, using a feel-good approach on both its aesthetics and narrative. The film will be introduced by the director Pavlos Georgiadis.

Sunday 27th May 
10.00 - 15.30 - WeCreate Workspace in Cloughjordan Ecovillage
Our Soil - The Community Gardens Ireland Gathering
The day will be packed with information and inspiration to help you progress with your own projects. With CG Ireland stories, networking sessions, an introduction and tour of the RED Gardens - the research gardens in the Ecovillage, and a special workshop on Soil and Citizen Science with Pavlos Georgiadis. This session will Introduce GROW PLACE a new project being rolled out by CG Ireland. Pavlos is an Greek organic olive grower, coordinates a hemp co-operative, and has a background in ethnobiology.
Join us at the CG Ireland annual gathering. You will go home with a wealth of new knowledge, skills, friends and collaborators to help you launch into an exciting new gardening year.
For full details and to book a place see

Sunday 27th May
12.30 - 15.30 - WeCreate Workspace in Cloughjordan Ecovillage
Briefing on the new EU Organic Regulation
This event is for farmers and growers. Hannes Lorenzen will introduce the core changes to the EU's Organic regulation, the passage of which he facilitated in the European Institutions in 2017. Seeds, soil, group certification and other key areas will be discussed. Hannes Lorenzen is senior adviser to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament. There he led the recent organic regulation changes. He is co-founder of Genetic Resources Action International, co-president and board member of the European Rural Development Network Forum Synergies. He is also co-founder and chairperson of PREPARE, the "Partnership for Rural Europe" network for Central and Eastern European Member States. He is a co-founder and president of ARC2020 (formerly a platform of 160 organisations to campaign on CAP reform, now an independent agri-food and rural policy NGO) and the board of Directors of Forum Synergies and IATP (Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy).

Sunday 27th May
15.00 / 16.00 - Cloughjordan, Tipperary
Restoring biological diversity, strengthening our resilience
A talk with Pádraic Fogarty author of Whittled Away on the Community Amphitheatre
Event PDF
Tour leaving from Sheelagh na Gig at 15.00 - Talk on the Community Amphitheatre at 16.00
A tour of the ecovillage will be followed by a talk on the new community amphitheatre with Pádraic Fogarty author of 'Whittled Away: Ireland's Vanishing Nature’. A public conversation with Pádraic on how communities can play a part in restoring biological diversity and strengthening resilience will follow the talk. This event organised by Sustainable Projects Ireland and Cloughjordan Arts will explore the Convention on Biological Diversity and encourage actions by communities, which lead to the regeneration of nature.
This is a free event held as part of the National Biodiversity Week supported by IEN and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Included in the 2018 Cloughjordan Biodiversity Week Festival

Tuesday 29th May
18.00 - 19.00 - Creative Zone - UCC Library, Cork
The Platform Cooperative Salon
An introduction to the emerging field of open or platform co-operatives, something we believe could make the sharing or collaborative economy fair for people and planet.
Platform co-ops involve a shared set of tools and processes to allow people and cooperatives to work together as an ecosystem of stakeholders. Many are digital, such as the blockchain-based, community-owned streaming service Resonate, which is incorporated in Ireland (IPS) and based in Berlin. Another model is the sMart platform co-op based in Belgium. 85,000 people are members of this co-op, which operates in nine countries. SMart describes itself as a cooperative dedicated to the needs of all freelancers. Without creating their own legal structure, freelancers can work within our legally secured framework, stay autonomous, focus on their core activity and on the customer relationships, while accessing the best social protection possible.
Michel Bauwens a P2P and commons pioneer and who is currently working with the SMart Platform will introduce the concept of Platform Cooperatives in this Salon. He will be joined by other cooperative platform advocates from Ireland and abroad.
This event is organised by UCC Centre for Cooperative Studies, Cultivate and the P2P Foundation.
Free to attend but register on Eventbrite. Invite friends to the Facebook event.

Tuesday 29th May
19.30 - 21.00 - Creative Zone - UCC Library, Cork 
Stories and Conversations on Platform Cooperatives
This follow on event from the Platform Cooperative Salon will feature a number of short stories from emerging platform projects and a facilitated conversation on what we can do to enable more of these initiatives.
This event is organised by UCC Centre for Cooperative Studies, Cultivate and the P2P Foundation.
Free to attend but register on Eventbrite. Invite friends to the Facebook event.

Thursday 31st May 
13.30 - 16.30 - WeCreate Workspace in Cloughjordan Ecovillage
Stories and Conversations for a Sustainable Ireland
Event PDF
This afternoon event aims to highlight community-led initiatives, social enterprises, climate actions and wellbeing projects that address the Sustainable Development Goals. A scene-setting presentation framing local action in SDGs will be followed by a number of speakers outlining their own stories. A cafe conversation will be facilitated allowing all participants to share their ideas and to explore what actions are needed to enable more awareness of the SDGs and more local initiatives addressing them.
Free to attend but register on Eventbrite. Invite friends to the Facebook event.

Saturday 2nd June
11.00 - 16.30 - WeCreate Workspace in Cloughjordan Ecovillage
ECOlearn - An Ecovillage Experience
Event PDF
The Ecovillage is located in the heart of Cloughjordan, a small rural town in Co. Tipperary. It is a vibrant, sustainable neighbourhood currently home to 100 adults and 35 children living in 55 low-energy homes with a renewable energy heating system, edible landscapes, community gardens, and allotments.
Among the ecosystem of organisations based in Cloughjordan Ecovillage are Cloughjordan Community Farm, one of Ireland’s most developed Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) projects, and Cloughjordan Community Arts, which operates an amphitheatre within the ecovillage. Cloughjordan Co-Housing is planning a co-housing development within the ecovillage offering low-cost and low-energy homes with shared services and Django’s Ecohostel provides accomodation. The WeCreate green enterprise centre which incorporates a fab lab and co-working space is home to Cultivate. Riot Rye Bakehouse and Bread School offers delicious wood fired, sourdough bread and very popular courses on real bread. The RED Gardens are These enterprises cooperate to enhance their businesses and model a form of resilient economic and social regeneration.
While the ecovillage has faced many major challenges, both internal and external, it has been able to use these to learn the skills of building resilience. As we face the uncertain years and decades ahead, the lessons offered by the ecovillage are going to become ever more significant throughout the wider society.
Places are limited, to book or for further information contact learning[at]thevillage[dot]ie.
Cost: €30 with €5 reduction if you travel by train.

Tuesday 5th June 
20.00 - 22.00 - Market House, Monaghan
Stories and Conversations for a Healthy and Resilient Monaghan
This evening event is organised by Transition Monaghan and Cultivate with support from Make Ireland Sustainable for All and the Irish Environmental Network. The dynamic workshop will be opened with a presentation from Cultivate's Davie Philip, framing local initiative in climate action and the global Sustainable Development Goals. A number of stories from local initiatives addressing the global goals will be heard. These will be followed by a facilitated conversations to find common ground, and inspire increased engagement in community-led initiatives, enabling the transition to a low-carbon and resilient economy.
If you are working or active in a community project or social enterprise, attending this event will be of benefit.
This session is free of charge, for further information and booking contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This event has been produced in association with Make Ireland Sustainable for All and the IEN, with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this workshop are the sole responsibility of Transition Monaghan and Cultivate and can under no circumstances be taken as reflecting the position of the European Union. Make Ireland Sustainable for All is part of the EU–funded project ‘Make Europe Sustainable For All’, a three-year project aiming to raise awareness and encourage action to be taken on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Thursday 7th June 
19.30 - 21.30 - WeCreate Workspace in Cloughjordan Ecovillage
Stories and Conversations on a Community-Led Approach to Sustainable Tourism
Event PDF
What happens when communities develop tourism initiatives from a local level? How can these projects support rural regeneration, local employment and regenerate the natural environment? How can this connect with tourism initiatives such as Ireland’s Hidden Heartland? This evening event aims to highlight community-led tourism initiatives. Following a number of speakers sharing stories, there will be a cafe conversation allowing participants to share their ideas and explore how to increase their impact.
Free to attend but register on Eventbrite. Invite friends to the Facebook event.

Friday 8th June
11.00 - 16.00 - WeCreate Workspace in Cloughjordan Ecovillage
The Resilience Lab: Facilitating Dialogue for a Healthy and Sustainable Ireland
Event PDF
A Learning Journey to Cloughjordan Ecovillage supported by the EPA as part of the Government's National Climate Dialogue. Effective dialogue will be critical in order to make the shift towards a low-carbon economy and support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This event will bring together a diverse group of community leaders and researchers with representatives from civil society organisations, local authorities, state agencies and Government, with the purpose of learning from one another and sharing experiences in civic engagement and dialogue.
The session will include a tour of Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Ireland’s leading sustainable community project,  an opportunity to share perspectives on civic engagement from different perspectives, Transitioning to a Post-Carbon Society - A Briefing By Peadar Kirby, a local lunch from the rich ecosystem of food producers based in Cloughjordan, a briefing on ‘Three Horizons’ a new futures-oriented approach to facilitating dialogue as well as for creating useful and robust action plans.
Three Horizons is a framework for dialogue that encourages a conversation between people with different perspectives, about the challenges in the present, our aspirations for the future and the kinds of innovation we might need in order to address both at the same time.
This is an invite-only session, to express interest send an email to convergence[at}cultivate[dot]ie

Lunch places no confimed, apologies no more lunches available.

Saturday 9th June
10.00 - 16.30 - WeCreate Workspace in Cloughjordan Ecovillage
Housing Ourselves: A cooperative approach to regenerating, redesigning and reimagining housing.
Full-schedule PDF
Exploring new models of housing, smaller homes and more liveable neighbourhoods for healthier and more sustainable local communities. Cultivate is hosting this conference for people interested and/or involved in cooperative housing, co-living projects, community land trusts, community
development, planning, green building and social finance.
Our aim is to make a community-led approach to housing a reality.
This event is being held in partnership with Cloughjordan Co-Housing and Cloughjordan Ecovillage.
Full details here.


An interactive installation, illustrating the efforts being made across Ireland, is being developed to feature in Convergence. This will go on to be showcased in the Global Green at the Electric Picnic and then at future events and Convergence festivals.
If you are involved in, or know of a community-led or for-community-beneft initiative that addresses the Sustainable Development Goals, please fill out this form and help us illustrate the stories of how we're coming together for a healthier, happier and more sustainable future.

Cultivate has hosted the Convergence Festival every year since 2000. As the name suggests our objective is to bring people and ideas together. Since its beginnings, Convergence has featured some of the most inspiring thinkers and doers both from Ireland and abroad, and championed the changes needed to create a sustainable economy, society and environment.

Originally Convergence was hosted in Temple Bar, Dublin, however in recent years we have expanded the festival to include events held across the country. This series of workshops and conferences sets out to inspire a community-led approach to sustainability, societal transitions and the transformation of our localities.