Convergence starts tonight with aim of transforming Galway to low-carbon society

Paving the way to Galway’s transformation to a more equitable, resilient and low-carbon society, Convergence, the longest running Sustainable Living Festival in Ireland, is coming to Galway for the second time from October 20-28. Recognising that citizens, communities and many people across all sectors are engaged in developing new approaches to sustainable living, Convergence 2016 invites everyone committed to creating a greener, more resilient and low carbon future to participate.

The festival opens in Galway today Thursday October 20, with the launch of the new Post Carbon Galway initiative, a recently established cross-sectoral project set up to accelerate local pathways to a greener, smarter, healthier and low carbon alway. The event runs in the Portershed, Eyre Square, from 7.30pm to 9.30 pm and aims to bring together members from all sectors working to promote sustainable living, climate action, environmental protection and sustainable development in Galway City and County.

On Friday October 21 the Siobhan McKenna Lecture Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway will host the main Convergence session in Galway: ‘Making the Transition to a Healthy, Low Carbon, Sustainable, Creative City’.

This is a unique opportunity for local and national policy makers, state agencies, civil society organisations, researchers, community practitioners and Galway citizens, to come together to share in the practices and maximise the potential for Galway to be at the forefront in the cultural transformation towards sustainability and wellbeing.

Galway’s recent success in achieving the 2020 European Capital of Culture, as well as the prestigious European Green Leaf award for Sustainable City in 2017, and the European Region of Gastronomy in 2018, highlight the many new opportunities to work in partnership across all sectors of the City and County towards a transition to a low carbon future. This year’s festival aims to provide a forum to showcase and discuss latest actions from Galway, in leading the way to becoming Ireland’s first Sustainable City.

The pop up ‘EcoHub’ Galway’s Sustainable Living Centre will be taking place the following week, from the 24th - 28th of October, in the Galway 2020 Community Hub, The Cornstore. The need for communities in meeting current day challenges, to have new educational opportunities, creative platforms and forums to learn from and inspire one another and to promote a vibrant, thriving and sustainable culture, this year’s Galway’s Sustainable Living Festival makes the case for an Eco Centre for Galway. This will be a week-long series of events, films, environmental arts, workshops, exhibitions and thematic talks.

Wed October 26 in The Loft at 7 Bridge St. from 9 to 11pm sees local group Transition Galway running “Sustainable Stories”, an exciting evening of short, snappy presentations from a wide range of different local environmental groups who are all working to make Galway a more resilient and sustainable place.

The National Convergence Festival reflects the recognition of the need for an urgent and deep cultural shift towards more equitable and sustainable ways of life. Citizen and community-led initiatives are at the forefront of developing and testing new and innovative approaches to sustainable living. Now is the time to kick-start a citizen-engaged, cross-sectoral transition.

Full details of the local festival events is at www.collaborativewaysforward.com

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