Summer School 2023 – Reflection on Day 2

Image on the Left – some reflections on people, books, films, media that have influenced participants.

Reflection on Day 2 of Praxis Summer School 2023, which took place on 1st June 2023.

by Edel Whelton, Chemistry Department UCC

Day 2 was another day of learning, sometimes challenging, always stimulating, participatory and fun.  We began with an activity about the ways in which we ourselves have taken action for change.  We worked together to think about what went well and where the challenges were.  It was interesting to hear the different experiences on so many different ‘change’ spaces which participants had been involved with and how much we can learn from one another.  Some were working on environmental issues, others in the field of refugee support, homelessness and many other issues at home and abroad.  We heard for instance about a Movement by the people in Bantry Bay against the mechanically harvesting of Kelp.  The Holdfast Campaign held an investigation into the harvesting of Kelp by Bio-Atlantis in Tralee.  Huge community action stopped this occurring.  This grassroot movement showed how Kelp is our rainforest and changed things going forward for investigation teams into licenses going forward.  Hearing of the work of others was inspiring in itself.

Image on right: Presentation by Laura Power of WorldWise Global School.

We were then joined by Laura Power who took us through an interesting icebreaker where we identified books, films, people, media or personal experiences which have influenced us in our global citizenship journeys.  We have been influenced by so many entities!  Some examples:

TV and Radio: BBC World Service; News programmes; Books: Palaces for the People by Eric Klinenberg; Social media: Predict Ireland; Film: The Swimmers; Braveheart; Writers: Aja Barber; Energies, People and Personal Experiences; Lecturers at UCC; Research.

Later Laura brought us through different approaches to Global Citizenship e.g. the solidarity approach, charity approaches, soft and critical approaches.

In the afternoon we continued with exploration of ‘active citizenship’, this time by working in small groups and examining examples of social change such at the Conarky hairdressers who promoted and sold contraception in New Guinea or the Live Aid Concert (Band Aid).

Freelance Journalist, influencer and business woman Jo-Linehan joined us on Zoom.

Jo Linehan 

The incredible range and quality of speakers and facilitators continued in the late afternoon.

Jo gave a wonderful introduction to sustainable fashion, food waste, sustainability writing, sustainable development, and climate change.

Joe ha an online shop called Gaff where she sells upcycled furniture, she finds at flea markets or sells for people who can upload their photos for free to the site.

750,000 second hand items preloved or second hand.

Gertrude and some of the participants asked here some interesting questions.

Talk about sustainability and how you followed this path from Journalism?

Jo wanted to give more time to journalism in relation to climate change, sustainability with cosmetic products, fashion and highlight the food crisis.

Who is the audience?  

An impressive following!

Sunday Times Audience: Mid-age, working, interested.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Younger, Tik Toc not a paper easy to access to younger generation.

Joes’ followers on Instagram:10,000


Tik Toc: 5,000

50,000 followers all together.

She focuses on a passion she has regarding above items and her knowledge about it and her opinions and shares this on her social media. Jo says people love opinions on topics of this nature.

What advice would you have for potential influencers?

    • Express yourself on social media.
    • Pick a topic you are passionate and knowledgeable about.
    • Do not care what people think about you.
    • Be non-judgemental.
    • Research misinformation
    • Audience is what matters and there are “Horses for Courses”

What kind of content?

  • A few months ago she upcycled old shoes from river island and made a story (People loved it).
  • Sustainability in the fashion industry rewear and upcycle clothes and shoes.
  • Clean beauty is also a topic: Animal friendly, free from nasties, sustainable, environmentally friendly.
  • (biodegradable)

Final points

30 wares for clothes and avoid impulse buying.

Another great day at Summer School 2023!