Looking back on 2013 I realise that, professionally, it has been one of my most interesting and diverse years yet: two major Climate Gathering events, half a dozen new clients for my public policy consultancy, lots of writing and even a few speaking engagements. Policy topics covered include climate, water, waste and resource efficiency, as well as technology, copyright, privacy, taxation, citizenship and government. Certainly worthy of a short blog post.
The Climate Gathering
This time last year my only thought was of making the first Climate Gathering a success. We set out to demonstrate that Ireland could be a suitable location for creative conversations on the deeper aspects of the climate challenge, and in this we succeeded beyond our expectations. In February we brought a diverse international group of climate experts, politicians, scientists, investors, artists and others to Ballyvaughan to consider what are the political, social and cultural obstacles to climate change, and how they can be overcome. The conversation was intense, creative and challenging, and included some serious international players.
In June we followed up with the Dublin Climate Gathering, bringing the technology world together with climate experts and others to map out a path to a low-carbon digital future. In both of these events I was privileged to work with some great colleagues, particularly Eamon Ryan who put all his energy and personal credibility into convening exceptional groups of people.
In 2014 several projects started at the Climate Gathering will start to go public and the next major Climate Gathering event will take place towards the end of the year.
As a policy adviser I’ve worked with some great clients, old and new, in both the corporate and NGO sectors. On the corporate side I worked with the public affairs team in Coca-Cola Hellenic on resource recovery and sustainability, with Google on copyright, privacy and other issues, and with Treacy Consulting on an exciting eco-innovation project in the construction sector. For NGOs, I helped The Wheel develop a project on citizenship, carrying out a feasibility study and writing a funding proposal that helped them secure multi-annual funding from the Carnegie UK Trust.
I was delighted to be invited by the Institute of International and European Affairs to be an expert contributor to their Environment Nexus project. I contributed a series of articles on climate and water policy, as well as a policy brief on water resource efficiency, and this little video I scripted and narrated:
I was invited to Brussels by Green European Foundation to speak about creating “green jobs” and the associated political narratives, at a seminar on the social consequences of the economic crisis. I also gave guest lectures to politics and public policy students in the University of Limerick and University College Dublin, covering the role of special advisers in government and discussing my own experience of how policy is made in practice.
During 2014 I’m looking forward to working with new and existing clients on more exciting projects, rolling out a major national conversation on citizenship with The Wheel, and taking the Climate Gathering to its next stage of development. Please get in touch if you want to know more about any of the above or if there’s any public policy issue I can help you with.
Happy New Year!