What We Do

IDEA Annual Conference 2017

Global Citizenship in a Time of Isolationism

In 2015 we celebrated the global multilateral process to create the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Accord, but since then the international context has changed significantly. To reflect this, the IDEA conference 2017 will explore how Development Educators can, through their work and in partnership with others, strengthen global citizenship in a time of growing isolationism, protectionism, and xenophobia around the world. 

Moderator: Dil Wickremasinghe, Journalist and Activist

Dil Wickremasinghe is a social justice and mental health broadcaster and journalist with Newstalk 106-108 and presents her weekly award winning programme “Global Village” every Saturday 7-9 pm. In addition Dil is also a regular contributor on RTE, TV3 and print media. She is also an activist and campaigns for equal rights and has served voluntarily on the boards of numerous NGOs. She is a passionate Mental Health Ambassador for One in Four, Suicide or Survive and See Change and shares her story of recovery to break down stigma around mental health. Dil is a social entrepreneur and set up Diversity & Equality Works in 2006 and since then they have provided equality training in the Irish workplace. In 2011 Dil co-founded the mental health support service Insight Matters with her partner Anne Marie Toole.  Dil is an occasional stand-up comedian and in 2012 she made her debut in Irish theatre in See Change production of Box of Frogs with Mary McEvoy and John Moynes. This year she was honoured with the Frederick Douglas Award as part of the Lord Mayor’s Awards for her outstanding contribution to Dublin civic life.

Keynote speaker: Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Author of Guantánamo Diary

Mohamedou Ould Slahi is a Mauritanian citizen who was detained at Guantánamo Bay detention camp without charge from 2002 until his release on October 17, 2016. As a young man he moved to Germany having won a scholarship and went on to study studied Electro-Engineering at Gerhard-Mercator-Universität Duisburg. Following his education, he lived and worked in Germany and Canada. Between 2000-2002 he was arrested and detained on several occasions and subjected to extraordinary rendition to Jordan and Afghanistan. He was accused by the U.S. Government of being part of al Qaeda and transferred to Guantánamo Bay detention camp in August 2002. He wrote a memoir while imprisoned in 2005, which the U.S. government declassified in 2012 with numerous redactions. The memoir was published as Guantánamo Diary in January 2015 and became an international bestseller. Mohamedou is the first detainee to publish a memoir while imprisoned.  Back in Mauritania he is working on a number of writing projects, and planning to continue to write and publish in the coming years.

Performance: Pete Mullineaux, Poet, Dramatist and Songwriter

Pete Mullineaux is a poet whose work has been published internationally, as far afield as France, Spain, USA, India and Japan. He has published four collections, most recently How to Bake a Planet (Salmon Poetry 2016) which contains numerous poems that link the personal to the global, looking at themes such as climate change, war, our relationship to the planet and our fellow species and broad explorations around connection and disconnection in a challenging and rapidly changing world. He works extensively in Development Education, exploring global issues through poetry and drama. He often uses his own poetry as an introduction to global issues when working in educational contexts. www.petemullineauxwriter.com

The Panel

Panellist: Ruadhán Mac Cormaic, Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Irish Times

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic is Foreign Affairs Correspondent with the Irish Times. He was the newspaper's Legal Affairs Correspondent from 2013 to 2015 and before that was the publication’s Paris Correspondent. From Dublin, he was educated at Trinity College Dublin and Cambridge University. His first book, ‘The Supreme Court’ was published in September 2016 and tells the inside story of an institution that has shaped Ireland.

Panellist: Shaun O'Boyle, Science Communicator & Co-Chair of March for Science Ireland

Dr Shaun O'Boyle is a scientist and producer, who makes documentaries, develops public engagement initiatives, and works with researchers to improve their communication skills. He is also Co-Chair of March for Science, Ireland. Shaun has a PhD in Developmental Biology from NUI, Galway and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at UCD. He works as a science adviser for television (RTE, BBC, and TV3). He is a co-founder at Maurice and Shaun, producing documentaries and audio stories for Newstalk, Science Gallery, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, LGBT History Month and Festival of Curiosity. Shaun produces events that connect audiences with science in new ways.

Panellist: Suzanne Keatinge, CEO, Dóchas

Suzanne Keatinge is an experienced international development practitioner and senior manager, with over fifteen years’ experience in the sector. Before becoming CEO of Dóchas in February 2016, she held the position of Head of Programmes with Plan International Ireland. Prior to that, Suzanne spent ten years with Trócaire, serving as Regional Manager for Asia, with a focus on governance, gender and humanitarian programming in Myanmar, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, India and Pakistan. She also previously worked for the United Nations in Iran and Somalia. She holds a Master’s Degree in African Politics from SOAS University of London and a Master’s Degree in History from Cambridge University.

Panellist: Valerie Duffy, Development Education & UN Youth Delegate Programme Coordinator, National Youth Council of Ireland

Valerie Duffy is the co-ordinator of the National Youth Council of Ireland’s Development Education and UN Youth Delegate Programme. She has worked in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Euro-Mediterranean region, and Zambia. Valerie holds a Masters in Sociology and areas of interest to her include Development Education, gender, human rights, HIV and AIDS, youth, community, and education. She is a strong supporter of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role civil society – particularly young people - has in bringing about positive change for a peaceful planet.


Compassion in Education – A Development Education Framework for cultivating Global Citizenship, led by Caroline Murphy, Children in Crossfire. This interactive workshop will help participants explore what a compassionate approach to Development Education looks like and why it is important. It will provide participants with practical tools to use in their own settings that cultivate courage, compassion and creativity for a fair and sustainable world.

The Power of Storytelling – How to shape and share powerful stories, led by Bobby McCormack, Development Perspectives. Storytelling is a powerful way of engaging people but does Development Education utilise its potential? This workshop will explore how to shape and share stories that will help you and your organisation reach and touch people with your message, hopes and experiences.

Leave No One Behind – Exploring what this fundamental idea behind the SDGs really means, led by Pierre Klein, ATD Ireland. This workshop invites you to discuss the "Leave No One Behind promise" of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and tackle how to "walk the talk" in a creative way.

IDEA Members’ Consultation, led by Alasdhair Collins, DP Evaluation. This workshop is one element of an ongoing consultation process with members to review IDEA’s current programme of work and provide input into planning for the next strategic partnership with Irish Aid for the period 2018-2020.


We organise training, seminars & meetings to build capacity in the following areas:


IDEA works to connect its membership and also to connect Development Education to wider audiences.