Society 3.0 as a Wire Strung Harp #23 #cong20


A reflection on and challenge to Society 3.0 through the lens of Ireland’s treatment of mothers and babies for over 200 years.

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Society is not a number, it is a creation.
  2. We can create better
  3. Accelerated change needs parallel reflection to let society heal, restore and root..

About Celia Keenaghan

I’m a sociologist committed to inspiring people to work better together so we can create a society that is fun, fair and fantastic! I do this through Mentoring, Facilitation and Training.
I write, sing, dance, play the accordion and the early Irish harp and enjoy a dip in the sea.

Contacting Celia Keenaghan:

You can connect with Celia  via email.

By Celia Keenaghan.

Society is not a number. It is a form, a collective, a creation. It is measured in our survival, our ability to collaborate, to be in community, to thrive.

In August 2020 I visited the memorial site for the 796 babies who died and were irreverently buried in a mother and baby home in Tuam. I went there to connect with the spirit of a family member and to the spirit of his mother and all connected to the pain of injustice experienced by the thousands of women and children cast aside by Irish society. I played a tune that is suggested by Bunting in 1797 to be the first tune taught on the harp, Molly Bhan. Some of the lyrics: ‘”Pretty Molly you have been brought to shame, the doctors tell me you have had a baby, You left the child in Patrick’ s graveyard, with a street flag as a headstone…. “.

Over 200 years after that tune was documented, I took part in an online rally A protest to put pressure on the government to ensure survivors have access to records from the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes. Mary Coughlan brought us right to the heart and legacy of the injustices with a powerful rendition of Magdalen Laundry (written by Johnny Mulhern) …”Sunday afternoon while the Lord’s at rest/ It’s off to the prom watch the waves roll by/ We’re chewing on our toffees, hear the seagulls squawk/ There go the Maggies the children talk/ Through our faces they stare at the Magdalen Laundry/ In our eyes see the glare of the Magdalen Laundry”.

Society 1.0, agricultural, industrial and informational developments, society was filled with inequalities fueled by moral and patriarchal judgement, society 2.0 greater developments in knowledge and a more globalized world, still society filled with inequalities fueled by moral and patriarchal judgement. Society 3.0 – innovation, creativity and accelerating change – an opportunity for healing, inclusion and equality.

What if the society we create has the purity of a wire strung harp, steeped in the history, losses, accolades and battles of its existence? What if it has as resilient an identity, offers a range of tunes from a place of harmony, where discordant sounds have an important place, where a thread can be travelled through time and space connecting ancestors to activists, ancestral wisdom to technological advances, personal insights and awareness to collective leadership and positive circulation of power?

What if we are truly brave, where instead of concealing and burying our children we show them bravery is about being able to reveal your self alone and in congregation, It’s how you bring that self into relationship with others, it’s how we manage the collective self – society.

What if to balance the accelerated growth in so many areas, we create a society that slows down, that rests in awareness, that settles from turbulence, that allows the ignition of spring and the flames of summer to rest in the harvest of autumn, to connect, become rooted, to know the power of the earth on which we stand in solidarity, in security, in solidity, in true, honest, replenished, society.

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