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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

July spending steady but teenagers still splash out

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Jilly Clarkin...less shopping and more socialising.

Increased spending among teenagers was the only upward curve in July as overall debit and credit card spending fell marginally last month, according to Bank of Ireland.

Their analysis of debit and credit card spending in July recorded a one per cent total monthly fall, as a mixed picture emerged across business sectors.

While other age groups mainly decreased their July spending, teenagers are clearly enjoying their summer holidays with a major spending increase of 17 per cent for the month – a trend which was also reflected in June.

There was a two per cent uptick in social spending throughout July, whilst spending in pubs (+4%), restaurants (+3%) and in fast-food outlets (+1%) all recorded positive figures – having all posted negative spending stats in June.

The improved July weather also saw a spending hike in cinemas of just five per cent, a stark drop from June’s cinema spending rise of 25 per cent.

Overall spending in the retail sector was down three per cent in total, with outlay on clothing (-10%) and groceries (-1%) both dropping, but spending on petrol rose by five per cent as forecourt fuel prices levelled off somewhat nationwide.

Consumers were also evidently not keen to forego their sweet treats in July, with spending in bakeries also rising by five per cent.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Galway man spots gap in the market with his wood-fired pizza ovens

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Tuam's Pat Daly (right) chats to a customer about his wood fired ovens

The recent fine weather has certainly whetted the appetite for outdoor cooking – but one Tuam businessman has taken alfresco dining to a different level.

That saw Pat Daly inundated with inquiries at the annual Tullamore Show last weekend about his range of outdoor wood-fired ovens that are particularly suited to cooking pizzas but can also knock out some tasty meat dishes as well.

It is a significant departure for the long-established electrical retailer in Tuam – but it is one that he has put some considerable research into.

Last week Pat and his wife Eimear accepted a container load of the woodfire brick ovens of all sizes from Portugal where they are built and he has now established a showroom for the public to view at first hand.

While his main interest remains in Daly Electrical in Tuam, he believes that there is a growing passion for outdoor cooking in this country while the popularity of pizzas has skyrocketed.

“It’s an exciting challenge,” admits Pat Daly who said that he was surprised by the reaction that he received at the Tullamore Show.

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

Former Manchester United star joins forces with Galway tech company

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New alliance...Rachel Kavanagh, CMO Clubforce; Garry Stannett, CEO Rio Ferdinand Foundation, and Noel Murray, CEO, Clubforce.

A Galway enterprise that started out as a pet project to establish a fundraising tool for Irish Diaspora to send money to their GAA clubs back home has now teamed up with an English football legend – to drive inclusivity in sport.

Clubforce, founded by Warren Healy in Carna back in 2009, has joined forced with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, a youth and community development charity which works in the heart of the UK’s most disadvantaged communities.

The Rio Ferdinand Foundation was set up in 2012 by the former professional footballer, following issues of inequality he experienced in his own life.

It is now working in communities across Ireland and the UK, with regional hubs in Belfast, Manchester, and London – supporting more than 10,000 youths, helping them to realise their potential.

Foundation Founder, former Manchester United and England centre-half Rio Ferdinand, said he was ‘delighted to collaborate with a community-focused software company developing technology to promote sports participation and make sport accessible to all’.

“We are on the same journey,” he said.

Clubforce CMO Rachel Kavanagh said they had huge admiration for the work done by the Rio Ferdinand Foundation – particularly for girls.

“I’m especially excited to hear about programs such as GoGirl, building the confidence of young women and girls to achieve their potential. We’re looking forward to contributing to the efforts made by the Foundation to drive inclusion and sports participation across genders in both geographies,” she said.

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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