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Imagining Futures

Visual has developed the Imagining Futures programme to raise awareness of environmental and sustainable development issues.



magining Futures is funded by the Carlow Local Enterprise Office. 


We are building a broad network of intercultural community members of all ages who are interested in making their local area a more sustainable place to live. Engagement opportunities such as workshops, events and other activities will be delivered by Visual in 2020 to contribute to current knowledge exchange of biodiversity and sustainable practices.


Imagining Futures fosters collaboration among the Arts, Anthropology, Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics to contribute to current and future knowledge exchange of biodiversity and sustainable practices. The aim of providing diverse perspectives is to inspire people as they take the opportunity to consider and explore ideas that could transform how they have previously thought about their everyday environments.

Arts, Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEAM)

The Imagining Futures programme encourages STEAM education as access points for guiding young people in inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. A cross-curricular approach is used for developing projects with schools.


A wide array of artistic approaches designed to open up diverse perspectives in relation to biodiversity and sustainable practices is at the heart of the Imagining Futures programme. Even in complex environments, art has the power to open new perspectives, to transform communication or the communication of complex ideas. Such as how an artist can communicate complex scientific facts into embodied artistic experiences. 


We promote creativity and artistic practices as a means to explore and make issues public. We are encouraging local, national, international engagement in our activities to raise an awareness of environmental and sustainable development issues. As a cultural institution Visual regularly hosts and supports discussions and projects that consider social change, sustainability and environmental challenges for example The Bees Needs 2019.

The Bees Needs

Visual successfully developed and delivered a number of school-based creative workshops within the Bees Needs project in 2019.

The project is still very much alive within communities in Carlow through 9 bee’s hotels. In addition, to the extensive exchange of knowledge that took place amongst young people. 1080 children engaged with the project within 9 local schools in Carlow. It increased young people's knowledge of bees, bee’s needs and biodiversity. Bees Needs achieved this through collaboration with a local artist and the Carlow Beekeepers Association in Carlow.

Wooden bee sanctuaries were installed, along with pollinator plants within school grounds. Young people grew the plants used within the project. A greater awareness of environmental and sustainable development issues was achieved through collaboration. Bees Needs was funded through the Town & Village Renewal Scheme in County Carlow, administered by the Carlow Local Enterprise Office / Carlow County Council.

Imagining Futures 2020

Imagining Futures is guided by the question of what biodiversity and sustainable practices mean for our lives. Our coronavirus update details how we are currently closed but access to art and creativity is more important than ever, so check here regularly to stay connected for updates on how we have adapted our Imagining Futures programme. We will update this page with new engagement opportunities soon!  

✉ Contact Us @ 


jharvey { at }



A selection of inspiring organisations, publications and research projects in relation to an awareness of environmental and sustainable development issues:


17 Sustainable Development Goals for People, for Planet.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet & improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.

Read more The Sustainable Development Agenda



Trócaire have resources available in 2020 that address a number of Sustainable Development Goals, with reference to the five Ps: People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnership. Link

World’s Largest Lesson

World’s Largest Lesson reaches 8 million children a year & has reached over 130 countries in the world. Focused on bringing the Global Goals to children all over the world. They provide excellent resources which they encourage people to use in education.Link

Town & Village Renewal Scheme

Towns and villages are at the heart rural communities in Ireland. We believe they play an important role in revitalising rural Ireland. Since 2016, the Irish Government has invested almost €53 million in more than 670 projects in towns and villages across Ireland under the Town & Village Renewal Scheme. This scheme aims to promote rural & community development and to support vibrant, inclusive & sustainable communities throughout Ireland. The Scheme can also help communities contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy.  Link

World's Largest Lesson


Towards a sustainable Europe by 2030

How is the concept of Sustainable development rooted in European policies? Did you know that Europe has put in place some of the world's highest environmental standards and ambitious climate policies? 'Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs'  Link

The European Green Deal

What is the European Green Deal? A fact sheet published in 2019 on how the European Green Deal is about improving the well-being of people. Making Europe climate-neutral and protecting our natural habitat will be good for people, planet and economy. Link

Circular Economy Action Plan-The European Green Deal

What is the Circular Economy? How does it relate to Sustainability? This factsheet, published in March 2020 explores how the Circular Economy Action Plan presents new initiatives along the entire life cycle of products in order to modernise and transform our economy while protecting the environment. It is driven by the ambition to make sustainable products that last and to enable our citizens to take full part in the circular economy and benefit from the positive change that it brings about.

From Farm to Fork - The European Green Deal

What is the Farm to Fork Strategy ? Link to the European Commision 

EU 2030 Climate Target Plan Public Consultation 

Between March & June 2020 all citizens & organisations in Europe are invited to contribute to this consultation. This consulation is part of the European Green deal which aims to make Europe the world's first climate-neutral continent. You can contribute through this Link

EU 2030 climate & energy framework

The 2030 climate & energy framework has been published by the European Comission and includes the EU wide targets & policy objectives for between 2021 to 2030. 
For example key targets for 2030 include:
At least 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels)
At least 32% share for renewable energy
At least 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency

Biodiversity - The European Green Deal

This European Commision 2019 factsheet introduces aims in relation to Biodiversity & The European Green Deal.

A Clean Planet for all

A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy published by the European Commission (2018)

County Carlow Environmental network

County Carlow Environmental Network (CCEN) aims is to enhance the physical and social environment of County Carlow. They work to raise awareness of environmental issues, provide leadership and practical action under the Environmental Network themes to minimise the environmental impact of Carlow and its envrions. While assisting in sustainable development in County Carlow. CCEN also contribute to the general improvement, enrichment and development of the environment in County Carlow and the promotion of an atmosphere of good neighbourliness and active citizenship across the wider Carlow community. Read Link

Carlow Beekeepers Association

Carlow Beekeepers Association our aim is to promote beekeeping in the community and provide support for local beekeepers. Link

Carlow Community Garden

Carlow community garden encourages the ethos of a community garden such as sharing both the work and the harvest. Link

Drummin Bog Project Carlow

Drummin Bog is a site of considerable significance and the last remaining example of a raised bog in the South East of Ireland.  Link

EnviroCORE Carlow

EnviroCORE at ITCarlow research innovative environmental technologies and biotechnologies with a view towards enhancing the economic and social development in an environmentally friendly manner.Their areas of expertise includes Environmental Remediation (Soil and Water), Ecology and Biodiversity, Natural Resources, Environmentally Friendly Biomass Production and Biomass Transformation into Biofuels (Bioethanol and Biogas) and the Development of Environmental Monitoring Sensors, Biosensors and Biomarkers.  Link

Carlow & Sustainable Development Goals

Carlow County Council Link

Documenting Ireland's Wildlife - Carlow

Would you like to contribute findings to the National Bio Diversity Centre for Carlow County? Read more here

Citizen Science Ireland

Citizen Science is research carried out by members of the public who volunteer to collect scientific data. This research often focuses on monitoring biodiversity, invasive species and climate.If you would like to become involved in some initiatives  Link 

All-Ireland Pollinator Plan

The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is about all of us, from farmers to local authorities, to schools, gardeners and businesses, coming together to try to create an Ireland where pollinators can survive and thrive. Link

The Environmental Protection Agency Ireland

The Environmental Protection Agency is an independent public body established under the Environmental Protection Agency Act. Link

Environmental Protection Agency interactive Maps

The Environmental Protection Agency interactive Maps

Sustainable Soils Alliance

A partnership of farming organisations, businesses, NGOs, applied science and academia working together to restore our soils to health within one generation.  Link

Butterflies of ireland

National Biodiversity Data Centre Ireland

The National Biodiversity Data Centre in Ireland is a national centre for the collection, collation, management, analysis and dissemination of data on Ireland’s biological diversity.  Link

Irelands Species Profiles 

The National Biodiversity Data Centre provides an accessible way to research & learn more about the profiles of species in Ireland.  Link

Ireland's Citizen Science Portal 

The National Biodiversity Data Centre in Ireland provides the opportunity for you to contribute to Citizen Science. Link

Biodiversity Maps

Biodiversity Maps is a national portal that compiles biodiversity data from multiple sources Link

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment Ireland

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment is responsible for the delivery of policies and programmes in a number of areas and must ensure that all of its policies are in line with EU and global obligations.

The Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland

The Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland is responsible for advancing the development of renewable sources of energy, managing programmes aimed at raising awareness and providing information & more


Cultivate is a practical sustainability organisation focused on active education

Climate Action Plan to Tackle Climate Breakdown Ireland

This Climate Action Plan recognises that Ireland must significantly step up its commitments to tackle climate disruption.

Farm-2-Fork 2030

Farm-2-Fork 2030: A Truly Green Farming, Food and Rural Vision for Ireland by Stuart Meikle for arc2020

Regenerative Farming Ireland

Regenerative Farming Ireland aims to support knowledge transfer, the exchange of ideas between farmers and innovation and experimentation that is farmer-led and practitioner pocused. Link

Regenerative Farming Ireland Farm2fork2030

Regenerative Farming Ireland Farm2fork2030

So just what is biodiversity?

So just what is biodiversity? from farm to fork to farmer 2020


COFORD is the National Council for Forest Research and Development 

The Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units (ICARUS)

ICARUS is part of the Department of Geography at Maynooth University. Working in the area of climate change providing integrated climate system research, solutions, data and advice to the scientific community, policy makers and for the benefit of society both nationally and internationally. 

Recent publications include

Caesar,L., Rahmstorf,S.and Feulner,G.(2019)'On the relationship between Atlantic meridional overturning circulation slowdown and global surface warming'.(2020) Environ.Res.Lett.15 024003. Link

Düsterhus, A. (2020) 'Seasonal statistical–dynamical prediction of the North Atlantic Oscillation by probabilistic post-processing and its evaluation'.(2020) Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, 27, 121-131, 

Grainger,S., Ochoa-Tocachi,B.F., Antiporta,J., Dewulf,A.and Buytaert,W.(2020) 'Tailoring Infographics on water resources through iterative, user-center design: A case study in the Peruvian Andes'. Water Resources Research, 56 e2019WR026694. Link

McCarthy, G.D., Jackson,L.C, Cunningham, S.A., Holliday, N.P., Smeed, D.A. and Stevens, D.P. (2020) ' Effects of climate change on the Atlantic Heat Conveyor relevant to the UK'. Science Review 2020,190-207.

The Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization, is developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

The Just Transition Mechanism - The European Green Deal

The Just Transition Mechanism: Making Sure No One is Left Behind was published Jan 2020 Aiming to support the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient activities, creating new jobs in the green economy, investing in public and sustainable transport, providing technical assistance, investing in renewable energy sources, improving digital connectivity, providing affordable loans to local public authorities, improving energy infrastructure, district heating and transportation networks. Read more here:

European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens (DigComp)

What is DigComp? We live in a digital society and it is essential that everyone is ‘digitally competent’ to access the new opportunities to learn, work, create and engage in a society which is shaped by digital technology. The European Commission has developed DigComp: the European Digital Competence Framework as a reference framework to explain what it means to be ‘digitally competent’.  Link 


Atlas of the Human Planet

Did you know that over three-quarters of the world’s population now live in urban areas, according to the JRC’s new Atlas of the Human Planet? The Atlas of the Human Planet was published in 2020 by the Joint Research Centre (European Commission). This atlas provides us with an opportunity to explore the concentration of the population, geographical distribution, migration for settlement purposes, population density, remote sensing & urbanisation within the world today. Link 



EU research & Climate change

The EU funds advanced research initiatives in a number of specific areas. Aiming to better understand what is happening in our environment. Current research is being undertaken to assess the current state of our oceans, atmosphere, and ecosystems. Also earth system modelling allows scientists and policy makers to see in to the future, delivering actionable climate information over longer time scales. These are some of the projects that you can read more about.

QCWA – Assessment of Climatic change and impacts on the Quantity and quality of Water

AMAZALERT – Raising the alert about critical feedbacks between climate and long-term land use change in the Amazon

ArcRisk – Arctic Health Risks: Impacts on health in the Arctic and Europe owing to climate-induced changes in contaminant cycling

ATP – Arctic Tipping Points

CARBOCHANGE - Changes in carbon uptake and emissions by oceans in a changing climate

CCTAME – Climate Change - Terrestrial Adaptation and Mitigation in Europe

CLARIS LPB – A Europe-South America Network for Climate Change Assessment and Impact Studies in the La Plata Basin

CLEAR – Climate change, Environmental contaminants and Reproductive health

CLIMSAVE – Climate change integrated assessment methodology for cross-sectoral adaptation and vulnerability in Europe

CLIMATE FOR CULTURE – Damage risk assessment, macroeconomic impact and mitigation strategies for sustainable preservation of culteral heritage in the times of climate change

CLIMATECOST – Full Costs of Climate Change

ECLAIRE – Effects of Climate Change on Air Pollution Impacts and Response Strategies for European Ecosystems

EPOCA – European Project on Ocean Acidification

EUPORIAS – EUropean Provision Of Regional Impact Assessment on a Seasonal-to-decadal timescale

EUTRACE – European Trans-disciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering

FoResTTrac – Forect ecosystem genomics 

FUME – Forest fires under climate, social and economic changes in Europe, the Mediterranean and other fireaffected areas of the world

GHG EUROPE – Greenhouse gas management in European land use systems

PAST4FUTURE– Climate change - Learning from the past climate

RESPONSES – European responses to climate change: deep emissions reductions and mainstreaming of mitigation and adaptation

Safe Land – Living with landslide risk in Europe: Assessment, effects of global change, and risk management strategies

SPECS – Seasonal-to-decadal climate Prediction for the improvement of European Climate Services SustainableRIO – Sustainable development reflexive inputs to world organisation

TRANSPHORM – Transport related Air Pollution and Health impacts - Integrated Methodologies for Assessing Particulate Matter