The Cost of Participating

I’ve been invited to attend a policy design workshop in Dublin. Excellent initiative for shared visioning and policy framework building. This is my initial reply. Anyone identify? I’d love your comments and suggestions on this!

“I’d love to attend and know that a rural transition voice engaged in public participation is important and will benefit the discussion. That said I’m a single parent on job seekers allowance so I can no longer afford to finance my participation. I try to attend events on my weekends off.

I would need the costs of childcare and travel reimbursed. Possibly accommodation if I’m stuck. Is there a budget for expenses?

Ironically enough I’ve a policy discussion group tomorrow in Ennis on the national women’s policy consultation. This is an issue I will be strongly advocating for. We need an inclusion fund factored into all policy and visioning events. Too many women are unable to give their valuable input due to financial constraints. Family first but that leaves us unavailable to design the environment our children become adults into. ”

Theresa O’Donohoe

January 2017


4 thoughts on “The Cost of Participating

  1. Hi T,
    You say nothing about the organisers of the event or whether it is a commercial venture. Maybe everyone involved is a volunteer?
    But assuming someone is making money out of it, I think you should be less apologetic and more insistent. Ask to whom you will send your send your expenses claim.
    This is a perfect example of why we need Basic Income as a right. You could then earn more if you wanted/needed to and the inclusion fund idea should still apply.
    The campaign against high fees for critical climate and energy-related events (and others) should be stepped up. Has anyone the time to start a database where we catalogue them with a view to name & shaming them?
    There should be a very low ‘concession’ rate for those on low/no income or benefits at all of these events.
    Phil.

    1. Hi Phil.
      It’s Seai event and they may have a budget for expenses so all is not lost.
      A portfolio of energy and climate events would be good as would basic income.
      How to administer and inclusion fund is the dilemma. Back to the drawing board. T

  2. Same thing I was writing about last week, right? Regarding the Chora Connection Conference. It is all too academic and elitist, and not at all inclusive. They think they know everybody who knows everything. But they miss out on the doers, the enthusiasts so dedicated they invest everything in the movement and projects. Heart, head, hands, souls, blood, sweat and tears. Not just the head and half hearted… They mean well, but stays in the silos.
    I was cheeky enough to tell them and to ask for a ticket. I got one. Hope you do too!
    Like Filipa wrote, it is time the people with the money starts coming to US for projects and knowledge, and not us having to ask for their money.
    Love
    Tanja

    1. Exactly Tanja. I’ve been fighting this for a few years now. There are some interesting posts on this blog whistleblowing on the exclusive back door policy, prohibitively expensive events. It’s disgusting how policy is formed from conversations at these events. The good word of the industry sits well for government who want the silver bullet solution.
      Keep on battling 😄
      T X

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