The 13th PASCAL International Conference was held over the recent June Bank Holiday weekend in University of Glasgow, Scotland, in blazingly wonderful weather. A team of 7 delegates represented the Learning Limerick group successfully at the conference, contributing both Paper and Showcase presentations. The Learning Limerick members taking part came from the Limerick City and County Council, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB), PAUL Partnership and Limerick Integration Working Group.

The title of the Conference ‘Learning Cities 2040: Global, Local, Connected, Sustainable, Healthy & Resilient’ focused on the future directions for Learning Cities at a time of considerable challenge and opportunity for cities, with significant development in the role and contribution of Learning Cities. The conference provided the team from Limerick with an excellent opportunity to share ideas and experience with their international partners. One important form of new partnership idea discussed was the linking the complementary initiatives of the Learning City with that of the Smart City, to build innovative, sustainable cities.

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Yvonne Lane, Pat Dowling, Eimear Brophy, Anna Rooney, Trisha Rainsford, Mary Hamilton and John Morris promoting the Limerick 2020 Bid at the International Learning Cities Conference in Glasgow.

The team from Limerick was led by the Deputy Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council, Pat Dowling, who introduced Learning Limerick’s Showcase presentation by Yvonne Lane and Anna Rooney.  This presentation highlighted the work of the group, including the Limerick Lifelong Leaning Festival which has grown since 2011 to be a hugely popular annual weeklong event of enjoyable, fun learning activities in Limerick. The Showcase presentation also demonstrated how the group is collaborating with the Limerick 2020 team on our common goal of promoting Limerick at international level as a learning and cultural region of excellence. The Learning Limerick team is backing Limerick to become the European Capital of Culture 2020. Indeed one of goals of actively participating in this international conference is to apply and hopefully be successful in achieving the Learning City Award 2017 from the UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning!

Mary Hamilton, who was part of the Limerick City of Learning group since its inception in 2002, delivered a paper at the conference that profiled Limerick: – From Learning City to Learning Region: Connection challenges’. Mary’s case study explored how these connections have played a vital role in our journey towards becoming a “learning city-region” at a time of great change.  It also provided best practice examples of these connections in Limerick mapping them to UNESCO’s Key Features of Learning Cities.

Speaking at the conference, Pat Dowling, Deputy Chief Executive said: – ‘The Limerick City and County Council continues to be committed to supporting the Learning Limerick group and is delighted that the goal of Limerick becoming a City and County Region of Learning – a region full of opportunities is being realised in what promises to be a hugely exciting time for Limerick!’

For further information about this successful event, contact Yvonne Lane, Learning Limerick. T: 061 419388; Email: ylane@paulpartnership.ie