IDEA AGM & Conference 2018
Wednesday, 06 June, Blackhall Place, Arran Quay, Dublin 7
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The DEEEP Seminar “Development Education: Responding to the Crisis?” took place in Dublin last month, bringing together over 100 development education practitioners and policy makers from across Europe to consider the role and response of development education in this time of global financial crisis. Co-hosted by Dóchas and IDEA, the seminar focused on ways in which development education can foster community resilience as well as questioning whether we are doing enough to encourage and support citizens to take action for change.
This was a unique opportunity for sharing and learning from the experiences of development education colleagues and activists within Europe, as each are challenged in their individual countries to bridge the gap between local and global issues, as well as considering ways in which we can collaborate and advocate for a better world for all.
So what were the highlights?
The Minister of State for Trade and Development, Mr Joe Costello delivered an opening address and acknowledged that development education is part and parcel of what we should all be involved in at every level, especially during this the European Year of Citizens. He highlighted the rights and responsibilities we hold as citizens and commented on the increasingly interconnected world in which we live and the need for citizens to understand what is happening in their own communities, as well as across the world. Development education is a key tool to achieve this and is recognised within the Irish Government’s new International Development Policy ‘One World: One Future’.
The theme of global citizenship was further developed by Nessa Ní Chasaide, of the Debt and Development Coalition, who introduced and chaired the plenary session, quoting an Aboriginal Activist who said that “If you have come to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine then let us work together”. Nessa spoke of the need to link learning to collective action and highlighted the centrality of the theme of resilience to development education practice.
The immediacy of the global crisis was brought home to us by Cathleen O’Neill, of Kilbarrack CDP, who commented on the devestating impact that government cuts are having on her local community in Dublin 5 [View presentation here]. Cathleen spoke with passion, conviction and a real sense of determination that she (and her community) would not roll over in the face of the crisis and dedicated her input to Audre Lorde, Civil Rights Activist and Poet, who spoke about “that piece of each of us which refuses to be silent”. Her speech lifted the room and received a standing ovation, setting the tone for the day ahead.
The exhibition ‘Books of Grievance and Hope’, which draws itsinspiration from the story of the Lists of Grievances gathered at the beginning of the French Revolution,created a powerful visual that complemented Cathleen’s input. The books represent the hopes and dreams of a broad spectrum of people and ages and speak to the desire for a more equal and just society, based on strong systems of accountability.
Micha Narberhaus, reflected on the global situation from a macro level and highlighted the need for civil society organisations to challenge, rather than reinforce, dominant institutional and societal paradigms [View Presentation here]. Micha’s input reminded me of the need to constantly re-evaluate our situation, to seek multiple perspectives and to critically reflect on the role we are playing in engaging broader civil society in a conversation on the type of values and society that we want.
Dr. Momodou Sallah, from De Montfort University, delivered an inspiring presentation reminding us that re-imagining another world is possible. He spoke of the role that development education can play in building resilience, by provoking consciousness and allowing people to expand their minds, thereby facilitating people to imagine an alternative reality to the one that they are currently faced with and take action.
In different ways the speakers each pointed to the need to enhance global understanding of structural inequalities and to provide people across the global and communal spectrum with alternative paradigms and outlets for real change. Developing new systemic solutions and strategies that will allow the seeds of a new economy to flourish are critical to realising an alternative vision for the world we want. Underlying the various speakers’ inputs was a sense that by coming together as global rather than local citizens, we can be stronger.
There was a great buzz in the room as the World Café session got underway, ably facilitated by Alan Hayes, who encouraged everyone to intermingle between ‘questions’, providing a rich cross-fertilisation of ideas. As many participants have been experiencing the impact of the crisis at a very personal level in their home countries the discussions were lively and reflected the depth of feeling in the room about the need for change, for making local – global links, and for engaging citizens in a debate about our collective future.
This enthusiasm carried through to the afternoon workshops and was rounded off by an input by Hans Zomer of Dóchas at the end of the day, encouraging participants to get involved in the global conversation on ‘The World We Want’, highlighting this as a critical opportunity to influence the post-2015 development framework. Tobias Troll of DEEEP also noted the opportunity that the global crisis presents, to reframe the conversation and propose alternative allocations of resources, building on the momentum that is building across Europe for change.
The uplifting song of the Discovery Gospel Choir ended the day on a high note, leaving participants feeling energised and perhaps more ‘resilient’ for the journey ahead.
“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” Steve Maraboli
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Development Education: where we’ve been; where we need to go: This blog was written by Colm Regan to stimulate discussion at an IDEA Conversation Circle in Dublin, 04 May 2016
Learning about the ‘Co’ in Ecovillage!:
Youth are the Agents of Change: Rebecca Amet,Young Global advocate with Challenging the Crisis, on the UN Youth Delegate Programme Launch
Closing Time on the “Double Irish”: Opinion piece on the OECD's recent announcement about global tax regulation
The Challenge of Learning for a Post-Carbon Future: David Hicks, freelance educator and visiting Professor at Bath Spa University addresses this question in the guest blog below. articles and teaching resources.
What to Learn NOW: How to Make Schools more caring, inclusive places: Dr Gerry Jeffers, lecturer in the education department in NUI Maynooth responds to our question: what should we be learning now to create the future we want?
Together We Stand; Together We Learn: Last weekend, Joe Costello TD revealed in an interview with the Sunday Business Post that Ireland will not meet its 0.7% of GNP target
Citizens of the World? Building global justice perspectives in challenging times: The 2013 IDEA Annual Conference focused on the theme of “Global Citizenship” and considered how we can harness the energy of new social movements.
Development Education - Responding to the Global Crisis?: The DEEEP Seminar “Development Education: Responding to the Crisis?” took place in Dublin bringing together over 100 development education practitioners
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Concern: Volunteer & Networking Event: Thursday, 05 April, 6.00 to 8.00
LYCS: Globalisation & Inequality Training: Tuesday, 27 March 2018
WWGS: Annual Grant Application Workshop: 28 March, 2.00-4.00pm in the WWGS Parkgate Street offices, Dublin 8
WWGS: Annual Grant Call: Deadline for application is 09 May
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LYCS Zero Waste Educator Training: 10.00am-4.30pm, 20 & 21 March
CinC & DDCI: Demysitfying Tax Justice: 14 March, 6.00-9.00pm, St Columb's Park House, Derry
Carraig Dúlra: Designing Solutions Workshop: 07 & 21 March & 07-08 April
LYCS: Sustainable Cookery Course: 5 week course, Mondays, 10.00am-12.30am, 26 February - 26 March
LYCS: Global Active Citizenship through Music: Thursday, 22 February, 10.00am-4.30pm
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CGE: Call for Book Reviewer: Deadline for application is Friday, 23 March
CGE: Development Education and Human Rights Seminar: Friday, 9 February, 10.30am – 12.30pm
DDCI: The New Global Debt Crisis: Wednesday 31 January, 6.30pm
WWGS: GRANTS & OPERATIONS ADMINISTRATOR: Deadline for application is 5.00pm, 31 January.
Goal: DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION COORDINATOR – MATERNITY COVER: Deadline is open but role due to be filled by February