“Sustainable Island Economies: Connecting Locally and Globally”

Virtual Island Summit – Ireland’s Virtual Hub Event

Wednesday 2nd September, 10am to 12pm on Zoom

How can we innovate and connect to help make our island economies more sustainable in a post-Covid World? That’s the key question being asked at a free Irish webinar on Wednesday 2nd September from 10am to 12pm.

The webinar is Ireland’s Virtual Hub event for the 2nd global Virtual Island Summit (VIS), which runs from 7th to 13th September online, involving over 100 island communities.

“Ireland is an island economy with over a dozen populated offshore islands,” says Dr Noirín Burke, of the National Aquarium of Ireland and Irish Ocean Literacy Network, who’s a VIS Ambassador to Ireland. “Islanders work hard to maintain their economies, stay connected and create a sustainable future, something that has been extra challenging this year with Covid-19” says Dr Burke.

Her fellow VIS Ambassador, ex BBC and Irish Times journalist, Trish Hegarty of Inis Communications, says this free online event will explore how islands connect “to each other, to the mainland and to other islands across Europe and the world.”

The event is being run by the two VIS Ambassadors in collaboration with Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann, which represents offshore islanders.

Trish says the participants will get to hear from islanders working in enterprise, economic and community development and other experts working with island communities in areas like energy, sustainability, technology and connectivity.  “We’ll also have Q&A’s and breakout sessions, so everyone gets a chance to dicsuss how we can connect better in the future, both locally and globally.”

Rhoda Twombly of Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann says her members are more than used to connecting online because of their physical distance and separation from the mainland. “But in this time of social distancing and such an uncertain future, it’s more important than ever to strengthen our national and global connections to learn from each other’s experiences.”

Contributors to the event include Forbes Top 30 under 30 innovator, James Ellsmoor, the founder of VIS; offshore islanders Rhoda Twombly and John Walsh of Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann (Irish Islands Federation) and the European Small Islands Federation ESIN; Cathy Ní Ghóill, Manager of Comharchumann Forbartha Arann, Máirtín Ó Méalóid, manager of Cape Clear Island Cooperative, Vice Chair of Comhdháil Oileáin na hÉireann; UCC researcher Dr. Sarah Robinson, who’s working with island communities on Bere, Sherkin and Cape Clear as they establish community radio; Simon Cocking, Chief Editor of Irish Tech News; Brendan Smith, Education and Public Engagement Officer at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics; and Aine Ryan, an award-winning journalist based in Westport, County Mayo, interested in rural issues & peripheral communities.

 Attendance is free but registration is essential to take part. Click here to register.

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