Trust back at Imagine Festival
The Trust is the principal sponsor of the Imagine! Belfast Festival.

Trust back at Imagine Festival

11 February 2016

As part of our Creative Space for Civic Thinking theme, we are proud and excited to be sponsoring the Imagine Festival for a second year. The festival is running 14th - 20th March and will host a brilliant range of talks, seminars, outdoor events, quizzes, film screenings and much, much more. There’s something for everyone spread right across Belfast.

As the principal sponsor, the Trust will be co-hosting a wide range of events with our partners and some of the groups and organisations we’ve been working with on our work in civic activism and open government.

What is the State of Democracy in Northern Ireland?

This talk will look at how we can achieve a more deliberative democracy for Northern Ireland and how to improve the relationship between civil society and decision-makers.

The event, co-hosted by Involve and the Building Change Trust, will introduce and explore the use of a deliberative systems approach to examining the state of Northern Irish democracy, and the role of civil society within it.

Not in my Back Yard!

This event aims to explore the different perspectives amongst communities about wind energy production in rural areas, as well as facilitate a discussion around how decisions about wind turbines are made and how the relationship between these communities and decision makers can be better.

The event is part of a Rural Community Network project supported by Building Change Trust and will consist of a short video presentation telling the story of individuals in three rural communities that have been affected, followed by a Café-style discussion where participants will discuss the complexities of the issues involved and think about the compromises they may have to make in the future as we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and generate a greater proportion of our energy from renewable sources.

Open Government for the Common Good

Are you frustrated at the way NI is governed? Would you like to see more transparency, accountability and citizen engagement? If the answer is yes, then this is the event for you.

The NI Open Government Network was established in 2014 with support from the Building Change Trust and aims to engage citizens and civil society organisations in campaigning for more open government in NI, using the international Open Government Partnership as a vehicle.

This event will be a whistle-stop tour of some of the key issues under the open government umbrella with a key note address from the highly esteemed Dr Michael Harris (founder of Guerrilla Policy and the Guerrilla Wire website), a panel discussion and lightning talks from experts in open data, access to information, anti-corruption, public accountability and civic participation.


The stories we tell each other about our new local councils will influence how we think about local government, our hopes & expectations and whether/how we decide to relate to our council.

What if we started from a different beginning: that our new council delivers important services that matter to our neighbourhoods; that they are the first point of contact for many people engaging in local politics; and that they have increased powers as a result of local government reform and carry a significant civic leadership role.

And why don’t we begin with bins – for many people the one service that everyone gets from their council. This event will use bins both as a prop and a metaphor in a live street performance to trigger interest and curiosity among passers-by about what living well together means for them. This event is part of a Corrymeela project supported by Building Change Trust.

How would you spend your Council’s Money?

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a process of democratic decision-making, in which ordinary people decide how to allocate part of a public budget. Done well, PB gives citizens real decision making power over how public money is spent.

This half day interactive event will aim to energise and stimulate the audience and identify community preferences for council spending. In addition to awakening citizens to possibilities for civic engagement in local decision making and budgeting, the session will also help raise awareness and capacity amongst council officials and elected representatives around this important civic participation tool. Following the event meetings will be held with relevant council officials to explore the potential for a participatory budgeting pilot.

Fact or Fiction? – A Northern Ireland myth debunking quiz.

Join us for a table quiz to learn how separate fact from fiction in Northern Ireland!

We’ve all seen it – the incredible ‘news story’ gone viral on Facebook and Twitter, purporting some otherwise unreported atrocity. But who proves it as untrue? And how?

In the pre-Internet era, researchers would scan microfilmed newspapers, review audio and video tapes, check the film negatives. Thanks to Photoshop and instant social media publishing, anyone can initiate their own propaganda with a tap of a button. But online tools also enable anyone to interrogate, and determine rumour from truth.

Come and learn what digital fact checking is all about, and how easy and fun it is to discover where some of these whoppers come from! This event is delivered by FactCheckNI – Northern Ireland’s first independent fact-checking platform, supported by Building Change Trust.

Telling the Story of Welfare Reform

Are you worried about the changes to the benefits system and what it will mean for you and your family? Want to tell your story and hear other people’s experiences and fears?

Come along to Advice NI’s interactive event which will be challenging myths and misconceptions around benefit claimants whilst helping you to have more influence, a louder voice and be better informed.

Full details of all our events can be found on the Imagine website.

Leave A Comment

*All Comments are moderated before being added to the site.
Comments should be no more than 1000 characters

There are currently no comments for this article, use the form above to comment.