Agenda: The Wheel's Annual Conference - 14 May 2015


The conference will feature highly engaging and thought provoking speakers, who will help inform and stimulate your own thinking about the many challenges facing your organisation, as well as the sector at large.


08.15 - 9.00REGISTRATION

09.00 - 11.00

Session 1


Welcome & introduction

Keynote Address: Ann Phelan TD, Minister of State at the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Marine, and Transport, Tourism and Sport with Special Responsibility for Rural Economic Development (implementation of the CEDRA Report) and rural transport

Exploring the roles of community and voluntary organisations

Chair: David McCullagh, RTÉ Primetime

What roles are community, voluntary and charitable organisations playing in Ireland today? We need to fully understand the roles played by community and voluntary organisations in advocacy and service provision, how this sustains communities and active citizenship in Ireland and how all of this is funded.  

Setting the scene
- Ivan Cooper, Director of Advocacy at The Whee

Do charities sustain inequality in Ireland?
- Niall Crowley, Independent Equality and Diversity Expert

Is the way we think about charity wrong?
- Simon Scriver, Head of Fundraising at One in Four
Is it about rights, not charity?
- Suzy Byrne, Disability Rights Campaigner 
Is the problem that we don’t give enough?
- Deirdre Mortell, CEO at Social Innovation Fund Ireland
Q&A and Panel Discussion  
Where should the emphasis be?  Responding to need? Advocating for change?
11.00 - 11.30COFFEE BREAK

Session 2

11.30- 13.00

Sustaining Confidence

Chair: David McCullagh, RTÉ Primetime

Now that we have a charity regulator, and an increasing number of organisations are subscribing to the Governance Codes and the Fundraising Codes, is it time to ask ourselves: how can we best maintain the confidence of the public and other stakeholders?

Setting the scene: the issues & evidence
– Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel
Reflections on recent events
– Barry Dempsey, CEO of  the Irish Heart Foundation
How the sector is helping itself
Kathleen O' Meara, Head of Advocacy and Communications at the Irish Cancer Society
Demonstrating transparency 
- Richard Dixon, Director of Public Affairs at Concern Worldwide
Advancing regulation
– Úna Ní Dhubhghaill, CEO of the Charities Regulatory Authority 
Table Exercise

13.00  - 13.05


13.05  - 14.15



Session 3

14.15- 15.15

Valuing relationships

Commissioning: We need to understand the value of the community and voluntary approach

Chair: Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel 

With big changes proposed for the way the services of community and voluntary organisations are funded (through commissioning), we need to understand the full social and economic value of the community and volunteer-led approach. What could be lost if this approach is not accommodated in moves towards more competitive approaches to public procurement?

Setting the scene - Funding and Commissioning 
- Ivan Cooper, Director of Advocacy at The Wheel
A view from the frontline 
- Anna Lee, Community Development and Anti-poverty Expert
Table Exercise:
  • Q1 – What added value (social and economic) do community and voluntary groups offer?
  • Q2 – What can we do to ensure that this value is recognised by policymakers and funders?
15.15 – 15.35COFFEE  BREAK

Session 4

Rethinking Citizenship and Community for 2016 - a special session of The People’s Conversation

Chair: Dr Fergus O'Ferrall, Chair of the People's Conversation

With the centenary of 1916 approaching fast, it's important to look at what we have achieved, understand our citizenship, and renew our vision for Ireland.
Citizenship is not just about a passport or voting: it's about what we expect and what is expected of us, our rights and responsibilities to each other. It’s fundamentally about what we understand community to be, and how we care for one another. This discussion will explore the dimensions that a coherent vision for Ireland will need to accommodate.
A distinguished panel of contributors will share their thoughts about citizenship and the Ireland they would like to live in. Delegates will be encouraged to join in the discussion and interact with panellists. The output will be fed into The People’s Conversation process, and will shape an emergent vision for citizenship for 21st century Ireland.
Introduction and setting the scene: Dr Fergus O'Ferrall, Chair of the People's Conversation

Panel Discussion 

  • Danny McCoy, Director General of IBEC
  • Dr Rhona Mahony, Master of National Maternity Hospital Holles St.
  • David Begg, Director of  TASC
  • Tara Buckley, Director General at RGDATA, Retail Trade Association
  • Dr Fergus O'Ferrall, Chair of the People's Conversation

Q & A

16.45– 16.55


- Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel



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