“Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.”
This quote is often attributed to Goethe but it appears to be really credited to Basil King, a Canadian clergyman. As I chatted with today’s guest, Mary Kerrigan, this quote came to mind. To make a big change, you have to be bold. You have to start somewhere and when you start, “mighty forces” will come to your aid. In Mary’s case, she starts with a conversation.
And today we’re going to learn from Mary how conversation leads to transformation.
Mary Kerrigan is a Conversation Architect. Based in Ireland, she helps leaders, and their teams, in communities, organizations, and industry design and structure powerful conversations that change people, places, and public spaces.
Mary has a background in conservation and architecture. As an advisor to Northern Ireland’s Ministerial Advisory Group for 10 years, for architecture and the built environment, she gained a great deal of insight into the impact of planning when it comes to climate change and reducing carbon footprints. This was something she observed as a young girl driving around beautiful coastal Ireland, and though she didn’t know it at the time, she shares the story with us today as it set in play much of her future.
She received a Getty Scholarship in 2018 in support of her research project: A Place Well Mended – Generating Communities Full of Life and Love.
She was a key driver in a project called Heritage Streets Alive, where she designed and led a public input process that transformed three historic but declining streets in Ireland.
She also helped create an empowering new context that made possible the creation of Derry’s Peace Bridge – shifting the context from resistance to possibility. The consequent emergent spatial transformation there connects one war-torn community with another, also transforming mindsets. By its third birthday, 3 million people had crossed a footbridge that many said would never happen – against all odds.
We talk about:
- Doing big things and rewriting the self-doubt story
- A process for public input that involves conversation leading to transformation
- Built heritage – what it means to progress and preserve
So with that, let’s listen in and gear up for what’s next.
Where to find Mary and other links:
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