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Conference breaks all rules!

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Eoin Kennedy, organiser of Congregation, wearing virtual reality glasses at the launch of the three-day technology festival in Cong Village.

It’s so unlike any other conference that an event being staged in the surrounds of Ashford Castle in November is officially known as an ‘un-conference’ – because it’s free to the point where they’ll even look after your kids!

The third annual CongRegation Digital Technology Un-conference takes place in Cong on Saturday, November 28 – and such is its unique nature that speakers have to actually audition to earn their ticket!

The event, which began in 2013, has attracted over 100 Irish and international speakers to discuss, debate and share insights into how work and personal life and society is being impacted by digital technology.

But it has also broken the traditional conference format, which sees speakers earning their ticket with a published submission on www.congregation.ie and presentations taking place in huddles of ten people in social venues throughout Cong village.

And this year the organisers have pushed the boundaries further by providing childcare for participating speakers to make the event family friendly.

The conference has also grown to include an evening of Augmented and Virtual Reality demonstrations and talks in Ashford Castle on Friday, November 27, and sporting activities in Cong Woods on Sunday, November 29.

The event will use a variety of venues in the village including coffee shops, exhibition spaces, restaurants and bars.

The range of topics to date from over 70 speakers ranges from how wearable technology impacts on health, the potential and issues surrounding drones, the future of content, cybercrime, power of data to how social media can be used for social good. Submissions will be accepted until the end of October.

Organiser Eoin Kennedy said that the aim of CongRegation was to revolutionise the way people communicate, connect and share information at events.

“But it is also to show that a small West of Ireland village can host a sustainable international technology event in the winter without the need for big infrastructure,” he said.

“We are delighted that Mayo.ie has come on board, which helps us to expand the event and the offering.  We are very conscious that weekends are precious times for families and organizing childcare can be difficult so this year we have supervised workshop activities for families so speakers are free to take their minds for guilt free gallop.

“We have also expanded to a weekend of activities including a Friday evening display of innovative technology in Ashford Castle to social events on Sunday,” he added.

There is no charge to attend Congregation.  Instead attendees produce a 600 written blog post, a three-minute video post or five-minute audio post which is posted in advance on www.congregation.ie.

The submissions are then presented in groups of ten people called Huddles will gather at each of seven venues, with two to three people speaking at each until everyone has presented their thoughts and ideas.

These groups rotate four times during the day to different venues to ensure attendees all connect with each other.

Any interested in participating is encouraged to send in a one liner on their suggested topic area to Eoin@congregation.ie

 

Connacht Tribune

Over half of west’s adults have no will

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Almost six out of every ten people in the west do not have a will – and that’s in line with the national average of 59%.

And according to the Royal London’s “Let’s Talk About Death” survey, one-third of the population say they’ve been meaning to, but just haven’t gotten around to it.

The survey was undertaken as part of a campaign launched by Royal London, which aims to tackle the taboo surrounding death to encourage a vital dialogue on bereavement, to help people enjoy the time they have with those they love and to honour those lost.

Padraic Benson, Royal London’s Broker Consultant for Galway, acknowledged that it was understandable why many people are reluctant to discuss the topic of death and dying.

But he added: “this survey indicates that it’s hampering the necessary provisions to be made. While men appear to be slightly more prepared than their female counterparts, with 48% saying they have a will compared with just 34% of women, it still leaves over half the population unprepared.”

But the pandemic has helped to focus the minds of many, he said.

“Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 254,870 recorded cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, with 10,511 confirmed cases in Galway alone.  And when asked, 55% of people surveyed said Covid-19 had made them realise how important it is to have a will in place,” he revealed.

“While the survey results do show that most people have a sense of when they should make a will, it seems the majority aren’t following through with the necessary actions. Many people have the best of intentions, with 34% saying they’ve been meaning to get around to it. Others believe they are too young (25%) and many more, 23%, have just never thought about it.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Council has no cash for tourism sector dig-out

Declan Tierney

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Cllr Evelyn Parsons

Hopes of a post-Covid helping hand for tourism interests in East Galway has been dashed by the local authority which said that any such leg-up could only be part of the budgetary process for later in the year.

The matter was raised by Cllr Evelyn Parsons at a recent meeting of Ballinasloe Municipal Council when she said that the east of the county needed to reap the economic benefits from the lifting of restrictions.

Cllr Parsons asked that a presentation be made to area Council members with a specific focus on works to develop, enhance and stimulate tourism growth for the area.

The independent councillor proposed that Director of Services Alan Farrell outline details of the various outdoor spaces and potential business opportunities to allow for the successful reopening of businesses, outdoor dining, drinking, retail, hospitality and outdoor entertainment as soon as possible.

Cllr Parsons also wants Director of Services Liam Hanrahan to consider short term and immediate measures with regards to sanitary and public needs should as portaloos, bins, benches, Covid-19 signage as well as outdoor power points.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Transport key to success for west

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Ibec’s Helen Leahy....recommendations.

A world-class transport infrastructure is critical to the west achieving its economic potential, according to the umbrella group for the Irish business sector.

Ibec has again reiterated its shopping list for the West region, which it outlined in its recent NDP submission.

It wants to see the state step up to progress a host of key road projects – including the N6 Galway City Ring Road, and the Atlantic Economic Corridor from Galway northwards by completing the M17 Tuam to Sligo and N15 Sligo to Letterkenny.

It has also called for the implementation of the Galway Transport Strategy to deliver vital public transport across metropolitan Galway – and investment in future Port of Galway developments and expansion, including the facilitation of offshore renewable energy projects.

And in more general terms, across the region, Ibec has called for an increase capital investment in the further and higher education sector and establish a Technological University in the region, and the acceleration of the roll-out of the National Broadband Plan and ensure a supportive regulatory environment for the successful roll-out of 5G.

The body also wants to see town centres revitalized, to ensure their future viability and underpin recovery across the region.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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