Technology Design Research Champion
Andreas Almqvist grew up in Sweden and is now a PhD student at NUI Galway in the School of Computer Science. Andreas is interested in what we want to sustain when we say “sustainability”. Aspirations for sustainability often looks at humans and others as functions to optimize in ecosystems. These aspirations can be valuable, especially if they do not neglect emotional and spiritual connections. In emotional and spiritual connections with nature, technology is often seen as an alienating force. Andreas thinks that there are other possibilities for technology. He suspects we have not seen many of these other possibilities because many digital technologies are designed with capital-driven, top-down, imperialist, colonialist, rationalist, or human-exceptionalist goals in mind. By designing digital technology together with human and more-than-human inhabitants in the places we live in, Andreas explores how we might nurture our emotional and spiritual connection with the rest of nature. In this activity, Andreas emphasises our lived and felt bodily experiences as part of the places we live in. Our motivations and abilities to explore such connections is something Andreas thinks might be valuable to sustain and nurture in “sustainability”.
The Health Advocate
Aisling is the Healthy Galway City Coordinator and is responsible for coordinating community-led projects and initiatives that aim to improve the health and wellbeing of those living in Galway city.
Much of this work is in association with the Galway Sports Partnership, Galway City Council and local NGOs such as Friends of Merlin Woods and the Terryland Forest Park Alliance. Many of the initiatives that Aisling is involved in compliment and promote the same aims of Galway National Park City.
As Healthy Galway City coordinator, Aisling is involved in the coordination and implementation of targeted initiatives in the areas of healthy eating, physical activity, mental health, sexual health, tobacco free and alcohol harm prevention and reduction, with a particular focus on disadvantaged communities and those at risk of health inequalities.
Healthy Galway City is part of the World Health Organization (WHO) ‘Healthy Cities’ Programme. Supported by Galway City Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), Healthy Galway City is based on engagement, collaboration and the creation of long-term innovative partnerships.
Aisling completed a BA and a MSC in Psychology in the National University of Ireland, Galway. She has worked for over a decade alongside marginalised communities in Ireland and in the UK.