#CONGversation with @topgold

I always feel better for talking with Bernie Goldbach. Or next best thing, listening to his voice on podcast. Bernie Goldbach, teaches creative media for business in the Limerick Institute of Technology. We spoke a length last Sunday evening, rain lashing outside had no dulling effect on Bernie’s golden tones. I loved his questions, and the graceful editing (even deftly weaving in the supposed “out takes”) which makes all his subjects sound their best.

The podcast is here – it is 20 minutes, and Bernie has provided a useful Table of Contents so the listener can fast track past any the ‘meh’ bits. Very neat, Bernie!

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We touched on many things, but the taper to this CONGversation was Bernie’s quest to speak to as many #CONG18 folk as possible. CongRegation is an unconference gathering, brainchild of organiser Eoin Kennedy, which takes place over a weekend in Cong, co Mayo, Ireland, each November – details here. This year the theme was IDEAS. Next year is COMMUNITY.

This year, I chaired four “huddles” over the day. There are eight concurrent huddles running over the the day in various village venues. In each session ten people from all walks of life in Ireland formed a circle (around a table upstairs in Cohan’s Bar in my case). Three of them at random told their story or outlined their ideas, and we debated and discussed. This unconference format makes for a very diffused mix – each person hears a dozen stories over the day, including their own, each person spends time in circle with up to forty others. This makes for a potent sharing of perspectives.

And Then There Is The Social Element. This year the physics of electronics and semi-Con(g)ductors, a poetry slam, ukelele jamming, and forest foraging were among the ateliers on offer. It is a sure fire six million dollar bet that every attendee left Cong on Sunday a whole lot richer than when they arrived on Friday.

And last word must go to the loveliest Sunday brunch surprise, a priceless gem hidden in Cong -finest cake I’ve ever tasted … another reason to have already booked Cong for next year …

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