#cong17 Press Release | Launch

Congregation organiser Eoin Kennedy seeing the light build idea for this years Innovation theme

Inventor of Baileys Keynotes at Congregation as Mayo Tourist Village Turned into Innovation Centre

  • 5th Annual Congregation unconference taking place Nov 24th-26th 2017
  • Final call for speakers as festival reaches 90% capacity
  • Free children’s STEM workshops
  • Adult music and art workshops
  • Post event mountain hikes
  • Mayo.ie, Bank of Ireland, MKC and Blacknight to sponsor #cong16

(23.10.16) The quite tourist village of Cong will be turned into a buzzing centre of Innovation as 100 experts converge on the town for a three day unconference.  Taking place from Friday Nov 24th to 26th the event will see all attendees present their views and thinking on Innovation from the Curse of Innovation, untold consequences of innovation to Innovation and Faith.

Congregation kicks off with an evening of personal ‘Innovation Stories’ in Ashford Castle on Friday 24th from the inventor of Bailey, David Gluckman (which has sold over 1.25 billion bottles), Tom Murphy the founder of boards.ie (community of over 300,000 Irish people), Niamh Bushell CEO TechIreland (and ex start up commissioner), Alessandro Prest, CTO, LogoGrab (augmented visual search) and Gerry Duffy, global speaker who ran 32 marathons in 32 days.  Following the evening of talks the attendees will be treated to an Art Pub Crawl where they will learn to draw in a fun workshop.

The following day 80 speakers will converge on Cong Village where each of them will present their ideas on Innovation in small huddles spread through the village in cafes, galleries, bars and restaurants.  

While the adults will be reenergizing their minds in Cong Village, their children will be experiencing science and rocket making workshops in the Crossroads Community Centre.

The day of ‘unconferencing’ on Saturday will finish off with a Blues Harmonic workshop where over the course of 2 hours, attendees will learn to play basic Chicago Blues harmonica and collaborate to write the lyrics of "Leaving Congregation Blues".

In order to secure a ticket each attendee produces a 600 word article on their topic which is published on the Congregation website (www.congregation.ie).

Commenting organiser Eoin Kennedy said “This year’s Congregation has attracted people from a very diverse range of backgrounds from academics, psychologists, business owners, teachers and nurses to farmers with an equally varied spectrum of perspectives on innovation.  Although many speakers fly in for the event it is designed to be accessible and inclusive day of sharing, discussing, connecting and reenergizing.  Attendees propose a topic, research it and produce a paper and in essence pay with their insights.  Rather than the normal conference format of one speaker presenting to many people, we break the sessions into group of 12 people in multiple venues that randomly rotate and change 4 times during the day.  This format replicates real world roundtable coffee chats where some of the best conversations and ideas are born.”

There is no charge to attend Congregation and submissions will be considered until the end of 20th November.  In particular the organisers are looking for contributions in Innovation in Art, Music and Living with special consideration given to younger participants.

Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to send in a one liner/synopsis on their suggested topic area to Eoin@congregation.ie or submit a full article via the website http://www.congregation.ie/submit-paper.html

The free eBooks from 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 are available as a download on http://www.congregation.ie/ebook-download.html

The event is proudly sponsored by Mayo.ie (www.Mayo.ie), Bank of Ireland, MKC Communications (www.mkc.ie) and Blacknight https://www.blacknight.com.

About Congregation.ie

Congregation takes place in Cong, which is a small village in Co Mayo and home to The Quiet Man and Ashford Castle.  Throughout the day coffee shops, bars and restaurants will be alive with people sharing stories and insights into innovation.  Each session will last one hour, with two in the morning and two in the afternoon.  A free ticket is delivered to attendees once they produce their submission paper and teas/coffee/lunch will be provided during the day.

As each attendee is also a speaker so everyone who goes is a stakeholder and central to the event.  Special breaks are built into the day to facilitate social interaction along with special art and music workshops planned for the Friday and Saturday evening.  This the 5th year of the event.


Eoin Kennedy,



+353 86 8339540

CongRegation © Eoin Kennedy 2017 eoin at congregation dot ie