Project Us

Who we are

Concern Worldwide, Grow HQ, Ruth Hegerty of Egg & Chicken Food Products

What We Did

Project Us was invited to host a world café conversation to introduce and encourage Irish chefs to make sustainable choices in their kitchens and restaurants.

How We Did It

Project Us is a five-year, Irish Aid initiative to engage the Irish public with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We want to engage local community groups with global issues and how those issues will affect them at local level.

Project Us hosts coffee conversations all over the island of Ireland, generating discussing and an exchange of ideas on how Ireland can contribute to a more sustainable world for all by 2030. World Cafés are a simple and flexible format – less debating and arguing, and more about engaging and listening.

The themes of nationwide discussions are recorded by Concern Worldwide and the University of Limerick for a report that will be submitted to the Irish government in 2020 on the country’s progress in reaching all 17 Global Goals.

In August 2019, it was announced that GROW HQ, the headquarters of the GIY movement, had been chosen to be the Irish action hub for The Chef’s Manifesto, an international initiative bringing chefs together to help implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030. While it involves seventeen goals related to food, a stronger focus is placed on ending world hunger.

The Chef’s Manifesto is an action plan based on the idea that chefs can be powerful advocates for a better food future, inspiring people to make changes in their kitchens and communities. Some of The Chef’s Manifesto thematic areas are the use of ingredients grown with respect for the earth and the oceans, the protection of biodiversity and improved animal welfare, the celebration of local and seasonal food or the education on food safety and healthy diets. Understanding the value of natural resources and reducing waste is also at the core of this movement.

Did We Succeed?

Levels of knowledge of the SDGs and willingness to take action significantly improved following the workshop. This was captured using digital post event surveys.  

One of the participants in attendance was impressed with the multi-dimensional benefits of the world café model. Project Us is invited to host a workshop in Waterford Institute of Technology in April 2020 to support students attending the Department of Languages, Tourism & Hospitality, School of Humanities. 

Reflecting on previous events, we felt it would be beneficial for all to have a food products and consultant co-facilitate this session.

Project Us coordinator, Jessica Maguire participated in IDEA’s 2-day train-the-trainer workshop on Design Thinking for Solving Global Challenges. She now applies one of the ideation tools at the end of the all the world cafés to support participants in taking tangible actions. This has proven to be very effective.

  • For more and for updates on the initiative: Project Us