Irish Speakers Taking an Active Role in Generating a Greener Future

Written by Ellen Curtin August, 2023

June 2023 was the hottest June on record. From wildfires on the continent to floods in Ireland, these increasingly frequent extreme weather conditions are a cause of great concern. It is time for the global community to take ownership of climate and environmental issues in order to protect and secure a greener future for our planet. A superficial pivot in government strategy is no longer a satisfactory stopgap. What we need is a fundamental shift in how everyday people treat the planet and the steps we can take to preserve it.

Irish Speakers Taking an Active Role in Generating a Greener Future

Gaelchultúr believes that culture plays an inherent role in this paradigm shift. The heritage, traditions and culture of the country, with the Irish-speaking community at its heart, are powerful resources that encourage meaning, innovation and sustainability. It is with this belief that the pioneering professional diploma ‘Sustainable Ventures – Purpose, Strategy and Leadership’ was developed, in 2022.

'Irish language speakers are profoundly adept in swimming against the current in a bid to preserve culture, heritage and communit community', explains Dr Finbarr Bradley as he gives a background to the decision made to develop and run this professional diploma though the medium of Irish. 'There is an energy and passion to be felt among Irish speakers that is rarely found among other groups in our society. It is only because of people full of energy and full of heart that the world can truly change and that is the ultimate goal of this course'.

A number of decision-makers, central to the Irish-language community, have completed the diploma, since its launch last year. Representatives from the Irish Language Committee of the Oireachtas, Gael-Linn, Ealaíon na Gaeltachta, and Údarás na Gaeltachta were among the 15 students from around the world who participated in the course to-date.

‘It’s incredible to see such a massive demand for this professional diploma, not just for the course itself but for the future of the language, with influential figures in the sector cementing their commitment to generating a greener future for their community, through Irish’, explains Darren Ó Rodaigh, Chief Executive Officer at Gaelchultúr.

The course is developed and delivered by the author and professor, Dr Finbarr Bradley. Dr Bradley has years of experience in creating innovative and cutting-edge courses at universities all over the world, including University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Maynooth University, and the University of Michigan.

Although Dr Bradley is very familiar with running professional courses like this in English, this is the first time ever he has presented such a programme through the medium of Irish. It was a strategic decision made by Bradley to offer this course in Irish, recognising the entrepreneurial spirit and abundance of creative-thinkers in the Irish language community. The course also aims to facilitate a fundamental conversation on the central role of culture and identity in creating value for shareholders - and there is no doubt that the Irish language is at the core of Irish culture and identity.

Indeed, the Irish-speaking community is adept to swimming against the current, but it’s this same community that’s responsible for making waves round the world.

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