#cong 16 unconference day report

“The Future”. UnConference. Cong Village

While the childrens workshop was in full swing in the Crossroad Centre,  the series of talks and conversations kicked off at 10.30 until 4.30 in 8 different venues in Cong Village.

Themed around ‘The Future’, each attendee had produced a 600 word article of their vision, thoughts or perspective on what lies ahead for whatever area they wished to focus on. This was the basis of talks on the day and are all available to see in the submissions page.

During the day each of submissions which were presented in coffee shops, book stores, bars, restaurants and craft stores were guided by a chair person who ensured three presentations at each huddle and moderated the following discussion.

Photo 2 Puddleducks

The mixed background of attendees and the range of topic areas reflected the challenge of looking into the future. Far reaching presentations into Artificial Intelligence, rise of automation, future transport were combined with individual thoughts on how we will work and play in the future. Although the depth and quality of information sharing on the day was extremely stimulating the real magic happened in the Q&A and subsequent conversations. 

Photo 4 Pat Cohans

Capped at 10 minutes the presentations acted as a catalyst for conversation and gave people a better understanding of the presenter. As the day evolved and barriers were slowing broken down, perspectives on the future moved from disparate opinions to more personal and universal themes. Although there was plenty of conversation about flying cars to embedded chips the final exercise of distilling thoughts, perspectives and concepts to create a better future proved difficult. The final session revealed peoples fear about the future, the uncertainty about the here and now and thinking started to focus on what type world do we want and what actually matters.

Congregation Quiet Cailin Huddle

One group debated at length about what a better future means and what actually makes people happy, rationalizing that a sense of community was what made people happiest. The truth is that the future not alone fundamentally questions what is possible but also what we want and need as a race. It also has deep psychological repercussions as many of us grasp with dealing with the next step and unable, fear of cannot see the point in looking beyond.

Finishing up at 4.30pm the group were treated to a one for everyone in the audience with a free copy of Chris Brogans book ‘The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth’ supplied by Eoin Kennedy and Paul O’Mahony.

Following the annual photo at Cong Cross the conversations continued on at a conference dinner in Pat Cohan’s and Ryan’s Hotel. The group finally convened at Danaghers Hotel where one of the attendees, Sean McGrath, guided everyone through a bodhrán workshop. Sean patiently explained the difference between ‘rashers and sausages’ and ‘black and decker’ as 50 people finally started to build rhythm together.

Bodhran workshop
CongRegation © Eoin Kennedy 2017 eoin at congregation dot ie