Summary of #cong18 Ideas Submissions

Almost 100 submissions were published this year in the run up to #cong18 on Nov 24th under the meta theme of ‘Ideas’ and due to the diversity of insights grouping them into common sub theme is a challenge.  Some submissions were specific from tips on remembering ideas to more psychology led analysis of what constitutes an idea.  Attendees were given a blank canvas on which to map out their unique perspective which was a difficult task as it involved distilling and focusing their thoughts on a broad and complex area.  Many people reported spending long journeys pondering their thoughts before committing to paper.  The process of  writing these thoughts down takes discipline but also deeply embeds the learning.

Grouping submissions in to common sub themes is also a very subjective process especially as many submissions cover multi arenas in a short space but they loosely gravitate and cluster around the following areas:

  • Ideation: Process/joy of coming of up with ideas
  • Implementation: The difficulty of ideas and what happens next
  • Psychology: Insights in to the thought process and what ideas actually are
  • Business: The commercial perspective of ideas from patents to copyrights
  • Society: The impact of ideas on how we live and our survival
  • Education: Learning from children to reimagining the education system


Kick off this year Alan Costello articulated the learnings from recording an idea every day in The Power of One Learning Per Day.   Karl Thomas supplemented this with his insights of a year of Ideation in Reflections On the Last Year of Ideation proposing that if you ‘lack’ creativity, get good at communication and collaboration.

Richard Millwood reflected on how taking a contrary approach can uncover new thinking in Being Contrary.

Sabine McKenna gave some granular tips for remembering ideas from writing them down and creating memory hooks in Ideas and How to Hold on to Them.

Carol Passemard in Ideas and the Eagle  proposed that often ideas arise through “need or problem solving” whether it was the need to change, make money or because something is broken.

The complexity of simple ideas  by Mags Almond spoke to how a simple change can harness the insights of all especially in groups.

Dealing with the tricky arena of AI and Ideas Victor Del Rosal gives a pragmatic view in The future of innovative ideas  where he sums up as “Coming up with innovative ideas, aka the game of innovation, will surely remain for a long, long time one of humanity’s favourite endeavours. The question is, to what extent will AI also play the game?”

Claude Warren is a proponent of following a logical progression of understanding about the nature of things to build idea with a natural link to machine learning and a mix of humour in Brain Storming, Machine Learning, Humor and the Origin of Ideas

John Davitt’s Rewilding Ideas shares his learnings from from swapping urban living, international keynotes and software development for a hillside & sheep farming deep in deepest Mayo

In his second submission Want bigger ideas? Ask bigger questions! Alan O’Rouke explains that the ideas you generate are constrained and shaped by the questions you ask.

In an interesting storytelling narrative Conor O’Brien points to the wisdom of leaving space for ideas and how extreme can be positive in Bring Out Your Ideas and Move Them On

Jeffrey Gormly delivered some insights by an artist for unfolding the creative process from finding a rhythm, making space using intuition in Creativity wants to flow

In an era of google and AI Cyril Moloney points out that ideas will be a precious commodity that we need to invest in now to avoid disruption along with where ideas come from in Is it time to Brainstorm with Google?

Through a video submission and a selection of Ideas quotes Paul O’Mahony in I have no idea  looks at how ideas happen reminding us that before our idea were our feelings.

Asking if Are All Ideas Instinctive? Romain Couture explores the conflict between reason and instinct.

Shirley Coyle questions if school is killing creativity and recommends making learning fun and encourage curiosity in Ideas – Nurturing Creativity

Zanya Dahl believes that the greater the mind’s exposure to experiences and different sources of knowledge, the more opportunity for interesting connections to form and the greater the propensity of ideas in No idea is a bad idea

You don’t have to be an ideas person but find others who bring out your creativity is the message from Pamela O’Brien in Ideas and where to find them

Emphasing the importance of ideas Tom Murphy advocates that if we didn’t have good ideas we would have been done away by evolution in Evolving Ideas.

Maryrose Lyons proposes that Average people talk about people, great people talk about people’s ideas but extraordinary people talk about ideas in Average? Great? Or Extraordinary?

Revealing how he blends old school writing ideas in moleskins before calling them out and using voice transcription and AI for surfacing the best ideas Bernie Goldback also proposes sharing your ideas through immersive experiences in While Talking to Myself in My Attic.

Gillian Berry tells us that Translating ideas into meaningful contributions is a challenge worth taking in Necessity is the mother of invention- A 360 reflection while also advocating self belief and freeing yourself from constraints.

Using his years of running Maker Workshops, Chris Reina suggests we should  embrace our Maker spirit and share with others in We’re All Makers and Learners!

Derval Cunningham shares the essential elements for the generation of ideas covering a Quiet Mind, Space, Time and Connection in No idea what an idea is? 

Encouraging people not to give up on ideas Aoife Keady shares that the best ideas develop when you see a future for them or more importantly when you cannot see a future without them in I Cannot Sleep At Night Until I Have At Least Tried My Best To Bring An Idea To Life! 

Stan Kuznetsov encourages kids to generate ideas, read more books, stay away from modern media and take time offline in The Idea of Unblemished Mind.

Adding to voice of encouraging ideation in children Sinèad Curran advocates allowing children to be in control of themselves and being mindful of how we use negative and positive reinforcement in At what age should we be allowed to have our own ideas?

Listening to those reoccurring ideas is important – they push you to do things outside your comfort zone and drive you to do things you wouldn’t normally do. Unshakable ideas happen for a reason and are a sign you need to act on them says John Reilly in Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Emphasising the role of fun in ideation Richard Curry tell us about the How to cook ideas in the furnace of craic!

Gavin Duffy tells us the best way to generate ideas is to bring people together to form a neural network of idea generation machines! in The Neural Networks of Cafe’s and Bar’s

Using a poetic form, Alan Tyrrell narrates that ideation is not easy but that’s what makes ideation so addictive and that they need harsh treatment as well as support in Ideas have legs….an ode to Cong

Gar Mac Críosta in a poem tells us that in ideation we should looks for the gaps, explore the edges, explore and share in  Disciples of Curiosity


In addition to documenting our internal survival instinct Paddy Delaney also advocated that for ideas to become actual Idea they required some form of action in Beware Your Lizard Instinct. Simon Cocking advocated reading books for ideas and taking time away from the screen.  Eileen Forestal in Ideas – 10 a penny …. or are they worth their weight in gold ? spoke about spreading ideas.

Reflecting on the managing constantly ideation Ailish Irvine in “This time next year Rodney” advocated  you win some, you lose some.

Cutting straight to the chase Alastair McDermott delivers some hard truths but solid recommendations to evaluating and giving ideas the best chance of survival Your Great Business Idea Is Completely Worthless

Using a lifetime of experience Paul Passemard  in Champion or Underperformer  suggests using an established structure of Independent peer reviews or a critical friend to keep ideas and projects track,

Alan O’Rourke in Cat Herding For Poets  encourages us not to fall in love with our idea and to find a partner who will go “Oh oh” to add some realism.

With a focus on execution Michelle Gallen takes the unusual route of rewording a poem in Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Idea.

Noreen Henry advises being being the thinker and the doer in Ideas Won’t Put Food on the Table!

In Ode to a Cracked Pot Idea  Joan Mulvihill encourages us to  be generous with our talents and share our ideas.

Geoff Gibbons shares his start up experience with execution in Wonderful Dreams stating ‘The execution of your idea should equal to or exceed the dream that inspired you’

Failing to think straight by Bernard Joyce tell us we can further develop our creativity in developing out ideas by giving ourselves the permission to fail intelligently when we try out new ideas.

Mark Usher in We Must Make Great Ideas Safe to Follow tells us that our ability to thrive depends on our capacity to find the courage necessary to follow our greatest ideas.

John Tierney shares his experience of ideation noting that sustainable idea development needs funding and a team in What Is.

In I Have a Cunning Plan Niall McCormack digs into his life time experiences and advises asking for feedback and to keep learning which he cements in quoting the proverb ‘When arguing with a fool, first make sure that the other person isn’t doing the exact same thing.’

In Ideas are Deceitful, Gold-Digging Parasites Damian Costello  advises caution in the mindless pursue of ideas and to take a realistic perspective stating that smart entrepreneurs treat ideas like commodities

Barry Murphy presents another contrarian view that Ideas are over-rated, perhaps at the cost of those who actually go ahead and do stuff in  Nappies and Lobster Pots

Harnessing his experience of moving ideas forward Brendan Hughes in Another Great Idea! What Next? recommends checking that your idea is better, easier, faster or cheaper for people, using the data that is available (no need to be the expert), creating prototyes and surrounding yourself with ambitious problem-solvers

Getting team buy-in, timing, testing, prototyping, evaluation, end-user validation and at the very minimum an objective, critical discussion with the right people are all critical factors in enabling ideas to move forward according to Anne Wilson in What is a Good Idea?

In Ideas: Growth and Execution  Emer Flannery tell us that execution is better than procrastination EVERY SINGLE TIME

Aileen Howell questions the barriers to ideas becoming reality in  Where do ideas come from and where do they go?

Using the learning of hackathons Stephen Howell explains that teams and execution trumps ideas alone in Idea or Execution

Sharing the experiences of implementing the ideas from Scaling Up by Verne Harnish John Horkan tells us how his company has made ideas become reality in Ideas are not Enough!

Emphasing the pressure and lack of resources Helena Deane tells us that difficult situations test our tenacity and make for better problem-solution analysis in Necessity is the Mother.

Using his own recent experience in his business Paul Killoran explains that when the stakes are high, implementing ideas can be difficult and your gut instinct can count for a lot in Ideas of Burst No Pressure.


Asking and answering the hard questions of Where does the word idea come from? What does the word idea mean? What does it mean to have an idea?  Anne Tannam in Fresh into Ideas covers deep thought processes.

With a focus on resilience and listening to your inner voice Thérèse Kinahan advocates Trust Yourself – You Can Do It

With deep insight psychometric testing Celia Keenaghan in Imagining Ideas and Finding Flow guides us to that finding your flow is finding your path of least resistance and your path to greatest impact.

Lee Tunney Ware tells us we have the power to make the changes we want if we would only change our mindset in Ideas | Where do they come from?

Dermot Casey encourages us to change our thinking of Ideas as things when we should think of them more as a process in The Trouble with Ideas. Some thoughts on the nature(s) of ideas

Using the theory of Charles Horton Cooley and the concept of the Looking Glass Self Jane Leonard explains how your idea of who you are is not just a biological state but is the result of our interactions with others in The Idea of You and Me.

We need to connect to and express our emotions to change the limits of our language and our world and challenge specific ideas of manhood which distorts and limits our ability to act in the world says Dermot Casey in a second #cong18 submission in Killing John Wayne.

Contentment with your ideas and what you have achieved is the biggest challenge of all says Brendan Reddin in Ideas are the true food for life, challenge them, embrace them, pursue them


Geraldine O’Brien takes the stance of keeping a customer focus in They are my customers and so I walk in their paw prints or building client relationships

Colum Joyce articulates some new thinking on how Innovators can get better returns from their Intellectual Property with new thinking in Ideas: Mind the Gap.

In An Explosion of Ideas in Exponential Times Russell Buckley finishes with the scary prospect of ‘You have 4 minutes to take action before you drown’

In Ideas for Sale Alec Taylor probes the “successful handover” of one of our ideas to someone else and the role of legacy in a lifetime of ideas.

Gillian Godsil shares her ideas journey to finding blockchain that has ignited her passion in There is nothing more powerful than a person who found their IDEA

In My Business Partner Is 57 and doesn’t understand me Seanie Walsh suggests that the power of ideas, is not in what you say but what you’re listening to before revealing that validating his thoughts through an adult in the room taught him that there was as much value in mapping trajectory to discovering an idea was totally useless and moving on.

Sean Brady promotes new ideas and thinking in Travel Should be for Holidays not Business

By using the available online tools Declan Mungovan articulated how Ideas can be quickly developed, deployed and easily scaled up providing a competitive advantage in Ideas: The Final Frontier in a Cloud Based World 

Ginger Aarons shares her 20 years of developing ideas in the tourism industry and investigates what happens when you’re idea is no longer THE ‘new idea’ in It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Using the story of  legendary Norwegian artic explorer, Fritjof Nansen Morgan McKeagney explains that the value of an idea is the action and the stories it inspires and that few ideas survive their impact with the world intact; and once they get into the wild, that’s when the fun begins in Into the Wild: Adventures beyond Ideas

Using the story of the electric car Billy Kennedy narrates the negative role of big business in Why Good Ideas Die


Clare Dillion in Technology Evangelism – the discipline of spreading good ideas in a digital world explains the three main competencies in evangelism – craft the message, spread it engage and support communities.

Brian MacIntyre shares a lifetime in the media and the symbiotic relationship between Stories and ideas in The Story Behind Big Ideas advising that if you’re looking for that next big idea, figure out what the world needs fixing.

Storytelling helps us to capture attention Rose Barrett tells us in I Have an Idea, Tell Me a Story 

A sustained focus on communication at every stage of the Ideation process to build belief, clarity and ultimately implementation is needed says Barry MacDevitt in Communicating Ideas – a process not an event


Joy Redmond adds realism to the mental health debate in It’s time for Some Real Suicide Ideation and advocated more honest debate.

Frank Walsh grabbles with the difficult but real notion that all ideas come at a cost – generally to our planet in Ideas: Killing the planet since the year dot?

Ideas are being stifled by the straitjacket of consumerism and the market and as a result, really big ideas are in short supply suggest Billy MacInnes in Where’s the big idea?

Rural Communities need a vision that’s strongly held says Tracy Keogh in Spreading Ideas where she articulates the impact that remote working could have.

Without ideas, we have nothing maintains Padraig McKeon in Ideas – the building blocks of civilisation where he also shares that  the formation of ideas can’t be stopped and they support people, organisations and governments, formally and informally

Mary Carty asks what would possibilities could we create if we revaluated old ideas and broke away from old frameworks in Ideas that Bind. What possibilities could we create?

In Dear Fellow Inmates Caoimhe O’Rourke uses a poem to share new ideas on openness and dialogue on mental health.


In Opening the door to creativity  Eva Action ask how does our education system fosters ideas encouraging the breaking of the mould, tapping into talent and learning to fail again/fail better.

Terrence O’Brien believes the joy had been completely sucked out of learning in our schools and that the assessment process is deeply flawed in Why Students Say No to the Teachbot 3000 – and Why Second Level Education is Out of Ideas

The theme for #cong19 is ‘Community’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *