‘We Need to Talk – Hosting Conversations on Climate Change and Unsustainability’ – Comhlámh’s IVCO 2022 Think Piece

Comhlámh is delighted to share a new think piece ‘We Need to Talk – Hosting Conversations on Climate Change and Unsustainability’.

This think piece, was prepared by our colleagues Chris O’Connell and Sive Bresnihan, for IVCO 2022 ‘A New Era for Volunteering for Development’, Forum’s global annual conference for International Volunteering Cooperation Organisations (IVCO) which is taking place in Saly, Senegal from 16-19 October 2022.

The think piece draws on conversations we have been having as an organisation with roots in international development and volunteering.

The piece considers the intertwined notions of ‘development’, ‘progress’ and ‘modernity’, the rootedness of these notions in colonialism and coloniality and the ongoing role that they play in perpetuating inequality and unsustainability.

The piece also shares glimpses of conversations that we have been having internally over the past while. Indeed, in our efforts to engage with ‘ecological sustainability’ – a core organisational value – we have been learning that exploring this topic requires more than conversations among colleagues and feel-good actions. Rather it requires a depth approach, including the hosting of affective responses (uncertainty, defensiveness, discomfort) and methods which encourage honesty and responsibility.

We hope that others will find the piece useful and, as a team, welcome responses and feedback.

This piece was a part of the IVCO 2022 Think Piece Series published in the weeks leading to the conference. You can read it below.