12th March

Creative Brain 101

Speakers from academia, education, neuroscience, research, creative and cultural sectors discuss why creativity is a key skill now and critical into the future for driving innovation and better ways of living. Topics include; ‘Why Creativity is The Skill of this Century’ and ‘Creating the Potential for Creativity to Flourish’.

The video below which was first broadcast on St Patricks Festival TV as a ‘taster’ of the day.


Creative Brain Week An Introduction

Introduction by Brian Lawlor and Ian Robertson (Global Brain Health Institute), Mani Ramaswami (Ramaswami Lab Trinity), Eve Patten (Trinity Long Room Hub), Nicholas Johnson (School of Creative Arts, Trinity).

Please see below for video of the session.  Please note, as the session was recorded live the audio quality is uneven.



Professor Brian Lawlor (MD, FRCPI, FRCPsych, FTCD (Hon), DABPN) is Conolly Norman Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin, and Deputy Executive Director of the Global Brain Health Institute. He is a geriatric psychiatrist with an interest in dementia, late-life depression, loneliness and brain health. Brian has worked for over 30 years on developing services and delivering care to people with dementia. His research interests range from early detection and prevention to evaluating new treatments for dementia.



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Ian is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin and was the founding Director of Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, as well as Dean of Research of Trinity College, from 2004–2007. Ian is Co-Director of GBHI.


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Dr Mani Ramaswami is Professor of Neurogenetics at Trinity College Dublin and Director of Trinity College Institute of Neurosciences (TCIN) His research interests include nervous system, neural networks, computational neuroscience, molecular neuroscience. Mani serves as an editorial member and reviewer of several international reputed journals. He has authored of many research articles/books related to nervous system, neural networks, computational neuroscience, molecular neuroscience.



Eve Patten took over as Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub in July 2020, having served as Deputy Director to Jane Ohlmeyer throughout 2019-20. A Professor in the School of English and a Fellow of Trinity, Eve has previously served as Head of the School of English and Director of the Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre. A scholar in nineteenth and twentieth-century British and Irish literature, she has lectured and written widely in this field: recently, she is editor of Irish Literature in Transition, 1940-1980 (Cambridge University Press, 2020), and author of Ireland, Revolution, and the English Modernist Imagination, forthcoming from Oxford University Press in July 2022. Eve has been a frequent contributor to the Irish Times, RTÉ and the BBC, and is series editor for Liverpool University Press’s Studies in Irish Literature. She has also served on various boards for the Irish Arts Council, the Irish Research Council and the Royal Irish Academy, and was a member of the inaugural committee of the Trinity Long Room Hub. As Director, she remains a keen advocate for Arts and Humanities research both within Trinity and across the Long Room Hub’s national and international networks.



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Nicholas Johnson is Associate Professor of Drama at Trinity College Dublin, where he directs the Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies and convenes the interdisciplinary Creative Arts Practice research theme. His books include Beckett’s Voices / Voicing Beckett (Brill, 2021), Influencing Beckett / Beckett Influencing (L’Harmattan, 2020), Experimental Beckett (Cambridge UP, 2020) and Bertolt Brecht’s David Fragments (1919–1921): An Interdisciplinary Study (Bloomsbury, 2020). He co-edited the “Performance Issue” (23.1, 2014) and the “Pedagogy Issue” (29.1, 2020) of the Journal of Beckett Studies (Edinburgh UP). Directing credits include Virtual Play (2017–19) and world premieres of The David Fragments (2017), Enemy of the Stars(2015), and No’s Knife (Lincoln Center, 2015). He works as dramaturg with Pan Pan, OT Platform, and Dead Centre and facilitates theatre workshops internationally. He was elected a Fellow of Trinity College in 2021.


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Why Creativity is The Skill of this Century

Maureen Kennelly (Arts Council of Ireland) and Dr Ciarán Seoighe, (Science Foundation Ireland) in discussion with Ian Robertson (Global Brain Health Institute).

Please see below for video of the session.  Please note, as the session was recorded live the audio quality is uneven.



Artificial Intelligence digital concept abstract brains inside light bulb


Maureen Kennelly was director of Poetry Ireland from 2013 until she commenced her role as Director of the Arts Council in April 2020.

She was previously director of Kilkenny Arts Festival, artistic director of the Mermaid Arts Centre, general manager with Fishamble Theatre Company, and she also worked with Druid Theatre Company, the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, The Arts Council and the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.   On a freelance basis, she worked with a wide range of organisations including Theatre Forum, Sing Ireland, the Performance Corporation and Age & Opportunity.  She was Primary Curator with the Mountains to Sea DLR Book Festival and Programme Director with the Cúirt International Festival of Literature.


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Dr Ciarán Seoighe joined Science Foundation Ireland as Deputy Director General in January 2018. He leads SFI’s Strategy and Transformation Directorate which is responsible for Organisational Strategy, Corporate Communications and SFI’s International team.

Ciarán holds a BA (Mod) in Natural Science and PhD in Quantum Physics from Trinity College Dublin. He joined Science Foundation Ireland after nearly two decades in management consulting with Accenture. In his time with Accenture, in both Ireland and South Africa, Ciarán has worked with some of the world’s largest and most successful organisations. He has a wealth of experience across a variety of sectors executing large-scale transformation, business re-engineering, strategic and change initiatives.



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Ian is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin and was the founding Director of Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, as well as Dean of Research of Trinity College, from 2004–2007. Ian is Co-Director of GBHI.


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Samata Session

Samata Sessions is an international collective of musicians, artists, dancers, puppeteers and community groups that started last year during the pandemic.  So far, we have had artists join us from India, Kenya, Zambia, Scotland, Jordan, Nigeria and Ireland.

We have been organising online gigs and showcases, writing music together, and generally looking for ways to collaborate and bring people together through creative projects.

Amongst the groups participating are:

– Tinderbox Collective in Edinburgh, Scotland

– Jagriti in Delhi, India.

– Project Elimu in Nairobi, Kenya

With Sinead White from Ireland

For rights reasons, this session was not recorded.

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From grass-roots youth work to award-winning music productions, Tinderbox is building a vibrant and eclectic community of young musicians and artists in Scotland. We have a number of programmes that cross over with each other and come together wherever possible. They are open to children and young people aged 10 – 25, from complete beginners to young professionals and all levels in between.


Community, arts and education organisation in Kathputli Colony in Delhi, India. Kathputli Colony is a community that is home to 2000 artists, puppeteers, musicians and street performers.


Community organisation championing after-school activities for children living in Kibera and other informal settlements in Kenya. Our programmes are for young people and by young people. The programmes are innovative, inclusive, and use participatory art-based methods.



Creating the Potential for Creativity to Flourish?

The directors of third level creative institutions, creative organisations and local authorities   alongside those from commercial creative industries, business innovation and healthcare discuss whether you ‘create’ creativity, or just create the circumstances in which creative people flourish? 

2.00 – 2.45pm Deborah Kelleher (Royal Irish Academy of Music), Iseult Byrne (Dublin City Council Culture Company), Jack Nissan (Tinderbox Collective).

Please see below for video of the session.  Please note, as the session was recorded live the audio quality is uneven.


3.15 – 4.00pm  JP Donnelly (WPP), Lorna Ross (Vhi Health & Wellbeing), Leonard Hobbs (Trinity Research and  Innovation).

Please see below for video of the session.  As the session was recorded live the audio quality is uneven.  We are putting captions on the videos at the moment and they will be posted here as they are finalised.


RIAM production of Kin Arthur Photograph credit Mark Stedman


Appointed Director of the RIAM in October 2010, Deborah Kelleher has played an integral role in the strategic development of the institution’s international profile, outreach, and academic courses.

Milestone achievements include the introduction of specialised undergraduate degrees in composition and vocal studies; RIAM Podium, the Centre for Performing Ensembles, which trains musicians for orchestras and large ensembles; and the founding of Ireland’s first Historical Performance Department with foundation partners The Irish Baroque Orchestra.

In 2013, the RIAM became an associate college of Trinity College, the University of Dublin, and Deborah led this significant transition. Since her appointment the numbers of students entering RIAM’s third level programmes has grown threefold. The large junior school of the RIAM has refreshed its curricula with the introduction of an additional support for the especially motivated pre-college musician, called The RIAM Young Scholar Programme.

The RIAM has also forged significant performance partnerships with many of the world’s most prestigious music conservatoires including the Juilliard School, New York, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Liszt Academy, Hungary.

Deborah has also overseen a significant increase in professional development courses for the 7,000 private music teachers throughout the country who enter students for RIAM’s Local Centre Examination System, under the auspices of the RIAM Teaching and Learning Network. This initiative is part of a wider strategy to make the RIAM a resource for musicians all over Ireland from amateur to professional level, through online and distance learning, performance opportunities and more.

In 2016 Deborah was elected Vice-President of the European Association of Conservatoires, an umbrella group for over 300 conservatoires in Europe and beyond.


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Following the success of the Dublin’s 2015 European Culture capital bid and the Culture Connects initiative which followed it, Dublin City Council created the Dublin City Council Culture Company (incorporated as CLG ) and appointed Iseult Byrne as its CEO to continue to build on that work A Project Director and Producer with over 25 years experience in development and implementation of cultural projects, in recent years Iseult Byrne has specialised in start-up projects that aim to make a difference to cultural audiences. She leads the teams at Dublin City Council Culture Company who run cultural initiatives and cultural buildings across the city with, and for, the people of Dublin to embed cultural experiences and increase cultural participation throughout Dublin.

Jack is the founder and director of the Tinderbox Collective, a collective of young people, musicians, artists and youth workers based in Edinburgh, Scotland.  He is interested in creative and collaborative ways of bringing people together, and his work has a focus on creative education and supporting children and young people to build their confidence and explore what they have to say through music and the arts.

Jack is also a board member of Scotland’s Music Education Partnership Group (MEPG) and a co-founder of Hidden Door – a festival that supports new and emerging artists, musicians, theatre makers, film makers and poets in Scotland. In 2012/13, he took part in a programme called International Creative Entrepreneurs which led to an ongoing project called Journey of a Thousand Wings, bringing together artists and community groups in different countries.  He is an Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity.



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JP Donnelly is Country Manager and Chairman of WPP in Ireland, Ireland’s largest communications group employing 450 people across multiple marketing, communications and creative disciplines, and leading agency brands such as Mindshare, Mediacom, Wavemaker, Ogilvy, Wilson Hartnell, Wunderman Thompson and VMLY&R.  JP was CEO of Ogilvy Group for 20 years and before that was Managing Director of Dimension Marketing for 5 years.

JP is also Chairman of a number of other international and local companies – Prominate Global, Wines Direct, Alexandra Oral Care and

He is also currently a board director for ISPCC.  His previous Directorships included the Smurfit Business School, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Royal Victoria Eye & Ear Hospital and was Chairman of the Marketing Institute of Ireland.  He is currently undertaking a Diploma in Executive Coaching.


Leonard graduated from University College Cork in 1986 with a 1st class honours degree in Electrical Engineering and was awarded the title of ‘graduate of the year’ by the college. He completed a Masters degree at the NMRC (now called Tyndall), at UCC in 1988.

He has over 30 years of experience in the ICT sector, mostly with Intel, where he established Intel’s largest overseas silicon research university program.

Leonard is currently the Director of Research and Innovation at Trinity College Dublin where he owns thedefinition and implementation of the research, innovation and enterprise strategy for the University spanning research programs development, contract management, technology transfer, entrepreneurship,  enterprise partnership liaison, campus company development and the early activation of the Trinity East campus.




Lorna’s design career spans 30 years, with stops in the world of fashion, wearable technology, robotics, HCI, and most recently, health care. Designing for the future human, she is known for her ability to anticipate shifts in the social, cultural and economic context for design. Recognised internationally as a veteran of design for human/ machine compatibility, she pioneered research into wearable technology and intelligent textiles working with the US military and MIT in the 90’s.

In 2001, she identified the theme of health as an emerging arena for design when she founded and led the Human Wellbeing Group at the MIT Media Lab. Her vision was to employ human centred design principles to address the biggest challenges facing the healthcare industry.

In 2009 she moved to the Mayo Clinic where she ran the design studio in the Centre for Innovation for eight years leading the digital transformation of the clinical practice. In 2017 she returned to her native Ireland to take up the Group Director position at the Fjord design studio inside Accenture’s global R&D centre The Dock.

While with Accenture, she founded and led the Human Insights Lab in collaboration with Trinity College, addressing the philosophical, anthropological and historic context of tech adoption. In 2019 she returned to healthcare with Vhi Health & Wellness Group as their Chief innovation Officer where she leads out on clinical service transformation and digital health strategy for Vhi .

2.30 - 4.30pm

The Library of People

A one-to-one conversation with experts by education and/or experience.  

Curated by Michael Foley (Trinity PPI Ignite Office).

Due to the nature of the events, recording the sessions was not possible.


Spill the beans already


Michael Foley is the Programme Manager for Trinity’s PPI Ignite Office, promoting public and patient involvement in health-related research. The PPI Ignite Office is based in the Trinity Centre for Ageing and Intellectual Disability (TCAID).

Prior to this role, he has worked as a Research & Development Officer in TCAID and a Research Module Coordinator on the Masters in Mediation and Conflict Intervention in the Edward M Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention in Maynooth University.

He has worked as a Senior Manager for the NGO Age & Opportunity and has run the National Disability Authority’s Research Library. He also has many years of experience in freelance copywriting, editing, research and facilitation work.

With an MSc in Applied Social Research, Michael has a particular interest in research translation and impact, with a particular focus on how public policy, the NGO sector and the research sector interact.



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4.00 - 5.00pm

“Brain FM - tune in to movement” - Dance Workshops for Neurodiverse groups

BrainFM is an educational tool that uses dance to learn about the brain. It utilises a novel approach alternating multisensory didactic learning with embodied co-creative experience to support understanding of neuroscience. As a result, BrainFM serves as a vehicle to stimulate community engagement while simultaneously reinforcing the concept into action.

As part of Brain Awareness Week, we offered four BrainFM events (two on-line and two in-person) to spread awareness about the modifiable risk factors for dementia, specifically physical activity, social connection, and hearing, in a diverse intergenerational population in Ireland and around the world. The main theme was conveyed through an exploration of how these three modifiable risk factors can impact activity and connectivity in the brain culminating as a creative story through dance. In so doing, we simultaneously reinforced the science while building community engagement in a fun and interactive way. The programme was therefore not only key to empowering individuals to be active and informed agents in their own brain health but is also an advocate for the alliance between arts and science as a powerful tool for expanding brain health literacy.

Sessions were as follows:

Sat 12th March – 4.00-5.00 pm (In-person) at the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College Dublin – for professionals in culture sector, health care and researchers

Sun 13th March – 3.00-4.00pm (Online) 13 March event: 3.00-4.00pm (Online) for people living with dementia and carers – by invitation only. If you are a care partner or if you serve communities of people living with dementia and would like your community to be invited to the event, please email us on BrainFM.TuneIn (at)

Mon 14th March – 10.00-11.00am 14 March event: 10.00-11.00am (Online) for primary schools by invitation only – teachers were requested to register for this event as 1 ticket per class or class group.  If you are a primary school teacher and would like your class to be invited for this BrainFM event, please email us on BrainFM.TuneIn (at)

Wed 16th March – 6.00- 7.00pm (In-person) at Unit 18 – open to the community

Due to the nature of the events we did not record these sessions.

12 March BrainFM - Eventbrite Header


Dr. Anusha Mohan is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience and School of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin. She is also a trained classical Bharathanatyam and Bollywood dancer. In addition to studying phantom auditory perception using experimental psychology, neuromodulation and neuroimaging, Anusha is immensely passionate about the performing arts which enables her to resonate and collaborate with both artists and scientists. Her diverse and multicultural experience through her national and international travels as both a performing artiste and researcher shapes her persona and inspires her ongoing work of marrying the two seemingly different worlds. She is one of the lead organisers of the International Tinnitus Research Initiative Foundation’s dissertation and communication wing, which strives to take tinnitus research and clinical practices to the public. She is also the co-developer of BrainFM – an education and awareness tool aimed at making complex concepts about the brain accessible through dance while also building community. These tie together with her vision to leverage the arts as a medium to both comprehend and communicate the working of the brain.

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Magda Kaczmarska is a dancer, researcher and creative aging teaching artist based in New York City. Magda received her MFA in Dance Performance & Choreography and her BS in Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics from the University of Arizona. Magda has dedicated her career to utilizing the vehicle of dance and movement to amplify and support creative community. Her multidisciplinary work leverages a dual background in neuropharmacology and dance to build bridges and empower individuals and communities to be active agents in their creativity and brain health. Through all her work, she seeks to foster safe, creative and inclusive spaces for discovery, agency and meaning. She believes all of us possess the ability to harness our creative expression to support building meaningful and healthy communities around us.

Magda leads and develops programs which foster creative community for intergenerational groups of all abilities. Her program, Every Body Moves, supports brain health for older adults through physical activity, social connection and creative expression. She developed Stories in the Moment, which combines dance, creative movement and storytelling, to amplify the creative voices of people living with dementia across the globe. Along with Dr. Anusha Mohan, from Trinity College Dublin, she leads brainFM, a co-creative educational tool that unites dance and storytelling to learn about the brain.

Devoted to building evidence base, while expanding public and professional education in best practices in creative aging practice globally, Magda balances her work in intergenerational community-based teaching with engagement in advocacy in several sectors. She mentors future leaders in the creative and health sector through a regular partnership at the Fordham Ailey School of Dance in New York City and the Arts in Medicine Fellowship in Lagos, Nigeria.

She serves as a representative to the UN with Generations United and is on the executive committee of the UN NGO Committee on Ageing. She serves on the Dance and Disability Taskforce at the National Dance Education Organization, to support access, equity and inclusion in the dance education community, for which she received the Executive Director Award in 2021. As an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute, Magda builds collaborations around the globe to design and expand access to creative aging programs that support brain health across the lifespan.


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