It's summer solstice time in Ireland (brightest days of the year, yippee!) and I thought it was time for a little update to my contacts. So here goes - a few of the main things that have been keeping me busy and out of trouble:
- Getting married: Last month, myself and the beautiful Susan Quirke literally 'tied the knot' in a traditional Irish hand-fasting ceremony. It was an incredible day with friends and family and we then jetted off for a sunny-honey-moon in Barcelona. The week before we were honoured to be asked to light the ceremonial Bealtaine fire at the Hill of Uisneach, which was a powerful start to our wedding celebrations. I have a few pics up on my Facebook page.
- California here we come: I'm honored to have been awarded a Fulbright TechImpact Award that provides a scholarship to do research into digital democracy and people powered campaigning at the pioneering Citizen Engagement Lab in Berkeley. Susan and I will be based in the San Francisco Bay Area during July, August and September. I'll also be attending the Netroots Nation summit in Detroit and hopefully visiting other cities too.
- Speaking, consultancy and campaigns: I'm grateful to be doing lots of social change talks and workshops as well as providing communications consultancy, coaching and campaign support to lots of great people, orgs and companies in Ireland and internationally. I'm also continuing to write when I find the time.
- Media: I've been continuing to make regular contributions to national newspapers and radio shows including the below articles:
Manning up to create a safer fairer world for women (Irish Independent) http://bit.ly/UBJJ6i
A victory for people power in Ireland (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/1lkXw6m
Our small towns have big potential, let's harness it (Irish Independent) http://bit.ly/1pv9thw
- Homelessness research: I'm working with Ashoka Ireland to research solutions to help end Ireland's homelessness crisis.
- Helping establish Uplift which is a new people powered campaigning organisation that will launch later this year. Currently in office set-up mode and Siobhán O'Donoghue has just started as Director. Fundraiser events in the pipeline for London and San Francisco. Let me know if you want to support.
- Talking about hitching for hope: I spoke about my hitching adventure at the We Need To Talk About Ireland Trailblaze event in the Mansion House, Dublin on St. Patrick's night. This event was streamed online on RTÉ Player and on the WashingtonPost.com website and watched by tens of thousands. My 4 minute talk is here http://youtu.be/x0mtOf8eGmg
- President's London visit: In April I was part of President Higgins' historic state where I was helping out at the UK-Ireland youth event on behalf of Gaisce – The President’s Award.
- Mentoring: I've been providing free space, support and guidance to a network of young change-makers, who continue to impress and energise me with their vision, energy and ideas. Likewise, being on the board of the incredible Soar Foundation continues to inspire.
Thanking you for your support along the way and I hope to cross paths before long, either in person or online.
I'll sign off with this Nelson Mandela quote which I always find motivating if I ever need a kick in the ass:
'There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.'
Until next time, solstice blessings to you!
Not on my list for occasional email updates?