Ireland News

Reflections and images from the WEAll Ireland event “The Art of the Wellbeing Economy”

Published on February 12, 2024

On December 15th, 2023, the Wellbeing Economy Ireland Hub hosted ‘The Art of the Wellbeing Economy’ – a creative and inspiring gathering with a multifaceted agenda. We were delighted to welcome the members of the WEAll Global Amp Team and representatives of the Carnegie UK Trust among our participants. We’ve greatly appreciated the support of both of these organisations.

The event served as a platform to introduce WEAll Ireland to a wider audience, extending an invitation to like-minded individuals and organisations to join the alliance. It launched the Culture Creatives ‘Call to Action’, a pioneering project aimed at shifting the narrative around the economy on the island of Ireland, highlighting the transformative power of art and culture. It was also a celebration of the progress made so far in the project, offering an intriguing sample of the artistic contributions from the ‘Cultural Creatives’ Community of Practice.

Above all, it extended a warm and inclusive invitation for all participants to join the ‘Culture Creatives’ Community of Practice, emphasising its collaborative spirit, celebration of diversity and shared commitment to catalysing positive change.

It kicked off with a network weaving exercise facilitated by Davie Philip (Cultivate/WEAll Ireland Hub) and Chris Chapman (ReSource/ Burren College of Art), with graphic recording by Helen O’Keeffe and Claire Coughlan (Creativity and Change, MTU Crawford College of Art & Design) supported by Mark Mavambu (Sauti Studios), setting the tone for fruitful connections and collaboration.

It was followed by an opportunity for attendees to engage in cross-sectoral conversations over a light lunch, with the aim of fostering connections among individuals from different organisations and backgrounds.

After an introduction to WEAll Ireland Hub and its work by Seán Ó Conláin and Caroline Whyte (Feasta/WEAll Ireland Hub), we had artistic contributions by Community of Practice members Cáit Ni Riain (Traditional Irish Singer and Musician) and Mel White (award-winning spoken word artist).

Marina Gattás, WEAll Global’s Culture and Public Policy Lead, introduced the principles of WEAll and the role of culture in shifting narratives.

Annie Fletcher, Director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and Peadar Kirby, Professor Emeritus of International Politics, provided unique perspectives on the role of artists and the Irish language in the context of an urgent need for creative responses and an ecological transition away from dependency on economic growth. You can view Annie Fletcher’s short video here.

Dr. Peter Doran, from QUB and the WEAll Ireland Hub, introduced the ‘Call to Action’ that resonated deeply with the audience, sparking reflections that were captured with Menti.

Ecological storyteller and filmmaker Donal Ó Céilleachair’s thought-provoking new film ‘Seeding the Future’ was then screened.

SEEDING THE FUTURE from Anú Pictures on Vimeo.

Throughout the day, music and song by Aidan Roberts and Israh Castro elevated spirits, and small group discussions over coffee and tea kept the conversations flowing. The event concluded with reflections from notable figures like Larry O’Connell (National Economic and Social Council), Anja Murray (Wild Embrace), and Michael Weatherhead (WEAll Global), followed by a heartfelt thank you and closing remarks led by Caroline Whyte and Seán Ó Conlaín.

To close, Cáit Ni Riain led a rendition of the song ‘Cill Chais’. Overall this event was a heartening reminder for us of the power of art and culture in imagining a wellbeing economy and fostering collaboration for a better world.

The graphic harvest from the event: click to enlarge

The graphic harvest from the event: click to enlarge

You can sign up to the mailing list for the Cultural Creatives Community of Practice here, and to the general Ireland Hub mailing list here.

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