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Portlaoise leads way with Climate Action Course
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Portlaoise leads way with Climate Action Course

Pioneering course puts Portlaoise ahead of curve to remedy climate crisis

Participants from a wide range of organisations and businesses are celebrating the successful completion of a pioneering course aimed at equipping communities with the skills needed to tackle climate change challenges. The Ireland’s Knowledge Centre for Carbon, Climate, and Community Action (IKC3), in partnership with Laois County Council, has conducted a pilot course titled Systems Innovation for Sustainable Enterprises and Communities (SISEC) focussing on the Portlaoise Low Carbon Town Project.

Certificate time at County Hall, Portlaoise for the Systems Innovation for Sustainable Enterprise and Communities (SISEC) Summit. Picture: Alf Harvey, No Reproduction Fee.

The course, delivered over a period of three months, focused on empowering local participants as challenge owners with the skills and knowledge necessary to address sustainability challenges within their communities. Participants engaged actively and collaboratively, applying systems thinking to tackle issues surrounding climate change on a local scale.

Edel Heeran, Suzanne Dempsey, LCC; Ann Marie Maher, Quentin Crowley, TCD and Mohamad Badr Watfa at County Hall, Portlaoise for the Systems Innovation for Sustainable Enterprise and Communities (SISEC) Summit. Picture: Alf Harvey, No Reproduction Fee.

One of the highlights of the Summit held on the final day of the course was the awarding of certificates of participation along with unique Brat Bhride scarves, handcrafted by the Portarlington Arts Collective from upcycled materials decorated with wool. These tokens not only symbolise the participants’ achievement but also reflect the ethos of sustainability and community involvement that underpins this course.

Quentin Crowley TCD; Dan Bergin, Liam Ramsbottom, Pamela Quirke, Storm Powell, Karen Moore and Suzanne Dempsey LCC at County Hall, Portlaoise for the Systems Innovation for Sustainable Enterprise and Communities (SISEC) Summit. Picture: Alf Harvey, No Reproduction Fee.

Suzanne Dempsey, Climate Action Coordinator at Laois County Council, commented, “This course has been instrumental in fostering a deeper understanding of climate resilience among participants. It has empowered them with practical skills to address sustainability challenges in the Portlaoise Low Carbon Town and within their own organisations.”

Quentin Crowley TCD; Subhash Chandra TCD; Robbie Quinn, Caroline Lydon, Sandra Redden, Evan Weatherup, Suzanne Dempsey and Michael Buckley at County Hall, Portlaoise for the Systems Innovation for Sustainable Enterprise and Communities (SISEC) Summit. Picture: Alf Harvey, No Reproduction Fee.

Dr Quentin Crowley, Associate Professor, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin and IKC3 lead in Climate Innovation and Experiential Learning, expressed enthusiasm about the pilot stating that “It was a great pleasure to collaborate with Laois County Council over the past few months. Together, we created and delivered a really great community-based education programme. Rather than students coming to us in Trinity College Dublin, we travelled to the Portlaoise community for in-person workshops, and we delivered online classes. Participants shared their knowledge and learned useful techniques to develop their own project ideas for the Portlaoise Low Carbon Town project.”

Subhash Chandra TCD; Tarik Abou Hajar, Michèle Castiaux, Bernie Foran, Majella Bannon, Laura Dunne, Liam O’Neill and Quentin Crowley TCD at County Hall, Portlaoise for the Systems Innovation for Sustainable Enterprise and Communities (SISEC) Summit. Picture: Alf Harvey, No Reproduction Fee.

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Karen Moore LCC; Subhash Chandra TCD; Niall Kavanagh, Nick Anton, Emma O’Connor, Mark Clancy, Ray Harte and Quentin Crowley TCD at County Hall, Portlaoise for the Systems Innovation for Sustainable Enterprise and Communities (SISEC) Summit. Picture: Alf Harvey, No Reproduction Fee.

For details of Portlaoise Low Carbon Town Project see below.

For details of IKC3, Ireland’s Knowledge Centre for Carbon, Climate, and Community Action click here.