From: anncjames@hotmail.comTo: garryol@hotmail.comSubject: RE: HAI ConferenceDate: Wed, 2 Jan 2013 09:58:29 +0000 Hi Garry Glad to hear form you.  I think the idea was perhaps more than just the anniversary celebration but an alternative gathering of humanists, in the West, which could become an annual event. It was spurred on by your Croagh Patrick suggestion, and I expect Kevin has explained the discussion we had about that. It would be for yourselves to decide the theme and so on. For me (and this is just my own wish!) I'd like to see a more member/participant led event, less speaker-focused, a chance to relax, discuss, walk, take in the scenery, enjoy each others' company; let creativity, progress and bonding come from that. We'll get back to you with more specifics on support but certainly promotion of the event would be tops. Your group could consider things and see what support you'd need - it depends a lot on what's planned. The Carlingford event is self-supporting financially, and does make some profit, which goes back into the general kitty of the organising groups (HAI and Humani). Most costs are paid out at/after the event so we don't pay until it happens. Of course, if there was likely to be a loss we could know in advance what those costs might be and appropriate arrangements could be made. The dinner in Carlingford is based on how many attend to it balances itself out. That's a starting point anyway! We can get back  once there's an idea of what HW would like to see. I would be happy to offer any information based on our experience but I'm sure there are others there who have been/are great organisers. We are short of an organiser for Carlingford, just to mention it...! Very best wishes for 2013 Ann From: garryol@hotmail.comTo: anncjames@hotmail.comSubject: HAI ConferenceDate: Tue, 1 Jan 2013 08:50:52 +0000 Hi Ann,            A Happy New Year to you and many of them.At last Sundays meeting Kevin Sheehan reported that HAI would like Humanists West to organise a conference in Galway to celebrate 20 years of HAI.I have agreed to explore the idea in conjunction with others.I would like if you would indicate what you have in mind and what support the HAI would give to such an event. Kind Regards, Garry

Kevin Sheehan

Wed, 09/01/2013 - 8:56pm


From Peter Ferguson Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2013 11:53:33 +0000Subject: ConferenceFrom: petertferguson@gmail.comTo: garryol@hotmail.comGarry, I think we first need to figure out whether or not we are indeed going to be using the event as an official celebration for the HAI's 20th anniversary, because they would be two very different events. Personally I would love to see the HAI host the anniversary here, and aside from personal bias there are some good reasons why they should have it here: NUIG facilities would be at their disposal for free. Galway has one of the highest percentages of non-religious people in the State.  Galway is relativity central so it guarantees nobody has to travel the whole length of Ireland, and with the new motorway it is less than a two hour drive from Dublin. Galway has a high student population and is an popular city for weekend getaways in general. I do like the idea of it being a member led conference but that wouldn't be prudent for an official event as the 20th anniversary as would not attract much media attention. We should endeavor to attract a couple of high profile speakers, the bigger name, then obviously the greater media coverage. I think it should be a 2-3 event, possibly held on a bank holiday so nobody is rushing back home on the Sunday. Friday - informal meet and greet in the evening, in a casual location with finger food and maybe some drinks. Saturday - workshops in the morning/afternoon culminating one or two lectures, ending with our keynote speaker. After which there is a dinner/supper Sunday - this could either be a some more workshops, but personally I think this is where we could have some member led events. As for a theme, I think that would depend on our speaker, but a good theme which most speakers would be able to talk about would be education. This would also be relevant if we are to hold the conference in the university. It is also one of the biggest obstacle to secularism in Ireland as it will take decades to wrestle the schools the Church. I think involving Atheist Ireland would be a good idea, but as invitees rather than joint-hosts. It should remain a HAI led event. I would also invite as many other non-religious organisations as we could. Feel free to paste this over to the Humanists West website, and I keep on eye on the site for further comments. Regards,Peter


Fri, 11/01/2013 - 3:13pm


Keynote speaker etc Guys,
I would suggest that our keynote speaker should be someone who is not a politician but still would have name-recognition amongst the general public. To what extent this is possible and not looking for the impossible is left as an exercise for the reader...
I think we should also aim to bring the conference into the wider world using social media etc but one thing that strikes me is that in order to reach as wide a range of people as possible we should be putting the biggest part of the conference on Youtube. The last talk Peter's people hosted was being recorded and we should be doing something similar for the conference.


Peter Ferguson

Sat, 12/01/2013 - 2:30pm

Keynote speaker Agreed, the first thing we need to do is clarify the details of the events, especially if is going to be the 20th anniversary celebration or not. Then we need to decide on a budget, and how much we are willing to pay for travel costs for a keynote speaker. As soon as that is decided then we can formulate a short list of potential speakers. But none of that can be done until we know what the conference will actually consist of.


Sat, 19/01/2013 - 5:54pm

new Comments on Proposed

Comments on Proposed Conference to be organised by Humanists West in Galway during 2013.    Date 18.1.2013.
If we are to have a conference in 2013 we must make it a success.
Success will be determined by the impact it will have on the public, which will be measured by attendance, media exposure and possibly by the adoption of a policy in some sphere or other.
I don’t like the idea of a social event on its own as Ann James has suggested, but I am all for social activity in association with an event of import.
To make an impact we need the attendance of a National Figure and an associated theme.
For example a theme in the educational field could be associated with Ruari Quinn, a rights issue with Alan Shatter or Ivana Bacik and so forth.
I think the selection of a theme and speaker needs the help and approval of the HAI Board.
My suggested theme is School Patronage in Ireland.
This would be an opportunity for National figures to make a statement in this regard.
It could be an opportunity to hear Government Policy in this area.
It could be a Forum for a Gov. Minister to set an agenda.
Other organisations such as Atheist Ireland could be invited to participate.
Ideally the conference could lead to an agreed position on the subject by non religious groups and an associated strategy.
Such an outcome would be a great success and it in turn could lead on to a membership drive based on an invitation to support a clear policy that I believe there is wide support for.
I fully support PJ’s suggestion in relation to Youtube but the content must be of substance.


    Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.


    January 2013