Purpose, Poetry and Music

This year we will have seven workshops on Saturday, during and after the unconference.  The first is Digital Embroidery by Richard Millwood on Friday evening.  This is followed Wayfinding by Barre Fitzpatrick at lunch time on Saturday.  The next three take place at 4pm (we are cutting the last huddle to 30 mins).  Andy Green will run a workshop on ‘Fake Purpose’, Roisin Markham will bring us ‘Inside the Donut’ while Stephen Howell will write a report on the day using Artificial Intelligence software.  At 7.30pm Anne Tannam will MC the Poetry Open Mic, followed by learning to play the boomwhacker from 8-9pm.

Friday 25th | Digital Embroidery @8pm | Danagher’s Hotel

Turtlestitching – programming embroidery


Participants will have the opportunity to learn how simple it can be to produce a valued artefact with a few lines of programming code, written, as is the modern idiom, using jigsaw programming. Complete beginners will be up and running in only a few minutes. Richard will explain how this activity has a rich legacy of art and computing going back to the 1950s ()”

About Richard Millwoood

I am an educational designer, having made everything from apps to universities. I am now finding fulfilment with families in rural places all over Ireland, trying to encourage an interest in creative computing. The job is as a Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin tied to an SFI ‘Discover’ project – OurKidsCode –  to design and develop workshops which encourage parents to see computing as a fulfilling choice for their children’s future.

Saturday 26th | Wayfinding @1pm | Ryan’s Hotel

Wayfinding: Navigating life and finding purpose and meaning.


Dante’s Divine Comedy: the classic expression of midlife crisis: ‘in the middle of my life I awoke in a dark wood, utterly lost’.  Wilde De Profundis: his wonderful testimony of shame, humility, and love.  Ursula LeGuin’s Collection Bag Story of Stories: a creative re-imagining of human storytelling.  Non-verbal approaches to story: what if language gets in the way?  The hippocampus and spatial memory.  Walking as a primary wayfinding experience: my inyourstride practice over 10 years.

Workshop Process

  • Intro to Wayfinding

  • Intro to Imaging

  • Reflective questions about Purpose

  • Imaging Purpose

  • Gallery of images

About Barre Fitzpatrick explains the kind of work I do.  My background includes 10 years studying and teaching philosophy, 10 years studying and teaching Psychosynthesis, 25 years working as a coach and facilitator with organisations and individuals.  Radio work on RTE1: The Living Word (2017-20).  Developed Wayfinding during Covid while walking with my clients, and exploring how they navigate important life events, decisions, relationships.

Saturday 26th | Fake Purpose @4-5pm | Lydons’s Hotel

Fake Purpose: turbocharge your authentic Purpose.


In a highly engaging, inspiring and inter-active workshop, Andy Green, a co-founder of the Dublin Conversations, will enable you to discover what is Fake Purpose, how to spot it, and how to manage your responses when confronted with it.

Discover how Fake Purpose can manifest itself from the more obvious immoral activity or lying through to spin, and what’s called dark Nudge and Dark Sludge.

Learn about different levels of competency when it comes to doing Fake Purpose.

Only by understanding how purpose can be manipulated, exploited for misuse can we ensure the idea of purpose is resilient, robust and sustainable.

You will come away being more:

  • Mindful and alert to purpose, purposefulness, authenticity and inauthenticity in yourself and others
  • Understanding the different dimensions to purpose and malpractice – and how to respond to, and manage more effectively
  • Prescriptive in how you deal with inauthenticity, fake purpose and purposewash

A session to inspire greater confidence, self-belief and sagacity to turbocharge your authentic Purpose.

About Andy Green

Andy is a founder of the Dublin Conversations with the goal of transforming and calling for a radically new approach to purpose. He converts the humble conversation into purposeful conversations – an engine for shaping a more purposeful, post-pandemic world – from the bottom up. Andy makes an inspiring call to action – plus provides the easy-to-do first steps – to enable anyone go forward with greater confidence, capability, and purpose.

He provides pioneering practical tools to guard against ‘Purposewash’ – where people, brands and leaders mislead or exploit through insincere claims about being ‘purpose-driven’.

Andy Green lives and breathes transformative communications, generating creativity, storytelling and social capital – even harnessing your pessimism! He breaks down barriers to transformational change to enable your people and your teams to make the most of their potential and their situations, to understand customers and human behaviour better and to use personality and authenticity to build better customer relationships.

Saturday 26th | AI Writing @4-5pm | Ryan’s Hotel

The Robot Wrote my Report: AI content writing and image generation.


Artificial Intelligence has evolved  to the point where it can compose sentences that may be indistinguishable from human word smithing.  In this workshop Stephen Howell will demonstrate how with a few inputs and direction a full report can be generated.  He will also show how images and illustration can be created with minimal human contact.  Stephen will also explore some other uses of the technology and the related debates.

Workshop Process

  • Group conversation about what they learned about purpose?
  • Input in to AI engine

About Stephen Howell

Stephen Howell is the Academic Program Manager for Microsoft Ireland. Stephen is a passionate advocate of CoderDojo and Computational Thinking both in and outside the classroom. He developed Kinect 2 Scratch and is a PhD candidate in SMARTLab, UCD on Computational Thinking education with kinaesthetic learning. Before joining Microsoft he was a software engineer and Computing lecturer on software development education and games based learning. He is dad of 4, a dedicated geek, an Aspie & ADHD dad, and a Breaker of Things.

Saturday 26th | Step into the Doughnut @4-5pm | Danaghers’s Hotel

Step into the Doughnut : 60-minute fun, interactive and accessible workshop.


Step into the Doughnut 60min interactive, fun, accessible workshop

The Irish Doughnut Economics Network recently hosted this workshop at their Movement Lab in October as part of the IMMA Earth Rising Eco-Art Festival. Roisin thought that Congregation would be an excellent opportunity to share the embodied approach with you all.

This activity is for anyone – both those new to the ideas of Doughnut Economics and those who know it well.

We’ve found that it works really well because it gets people out of their heads (if that’s their tendency, and where concepts often reside), and to really experience the concepts through what they care about, connecting it with their lives, their communities and the natural world in an interactive and experiential way.

Workshop process

– We will begin with creating an outer and inner boundary as a group

– You are invited to consider 3 questions. The first question gets to the heart of the matter, reflecting on it while walking through the doughnut you are invited partner with someone and to have a conversation. The third question beautifully framed is about gratitude and privilege. The third question is about the gift we bring to our communities – our purpose.

– we end the workshop reflecting on our conversations

An opportunity to connect with each other and the doughnut. Making it very real and tangible + fun.

About Roisin Markham

Roisin Markham is a systems expert and design thinking pioneer. An innovator, founder, and future-thinker, she has worked for more than twenty years helping clients align process to purpose by drawing a path from strategy to sustainable action.

A generous skills-sharer and ideas connector, Róisín is a visiting lecturer on design thinking and rapid prototyping at NUI Galway, and on digital facilitation practice at NCAD.

Located in rural Wexford, Roisin works as a designer with eBay.

She is the founder and network steward of the Irish Doughnut Economic Network. A founding member of RASDA a group responding to anticipated systemic disruption. A volunteer with Wexford Environmental Network and Climate Action Wexford.

Roisin is a cultural thinker living with the question – How do we create a future worth living into?

Saturday 26th | Poetry Open Mic @7.30pm

2018 saw the introduction of a poetry open mic session led by Paul O’Mahony and featured a new book of poems by John Davitt and others.  This year we are again offer the chance for rapid fire glimpses of the poetic side of CongRegation.

Anne Tannam will take over the mantle as MC this year and will be calling on those who wish to recite their own or others poetic words.

You can always decide on the day if you are inspired.

Saturday 26th | Music Workshop @8pm

This year the chosen musical instrument is the Boomwhacker.  Perfect for the percussionists amongst us.