Community Philosophy Facilitator Training Course

A two-day non-residential training workshop led by Graeme Tiffany in partnership with Maynooth University Co Kildare, Ireland, 18-19th July, 2017Young People’s Event: 20th July, hosted by Youth Work Ireland in Collaboration with Philosophy Ireland.

What is Community Philosophy?

Community Philosophy is a growing movement in which voluntary groups in civil society engage in philosophical thinking and action. It is practiced in community settings, by those involved in youth and community work and community activism, staff and volunteers in museums and galleries, participants in Philosophy in Pubs groups, Housing Association tenants, and older people supported by agencies working with the elderly. The people using it are from a wide range of backgrounds; they work in charities, not-for-profits, social enterprises, 3rd sector organisations and statutory agencies concerned to promote public engagement and user participation.

Community Philosophy creates space and makes time for thinking critically about the world in which we live. It informs social action. Facilitators are a resource and catalyst; they provide the expertise and support that enables local people to join, form and sustain self-determining, thinking communities and ensure a democratic approach to decision-making. ‘Consultation’, ‘engagement’, ‘user involvement’, ‘participation’ and ‘empowerment’ are made real; substance is brought to ‘co-production’, ‘co-creation’, and ‘co-curation’. Community Philosophy is a practical tool for the promotion of community and cultural life.

Community Philosophy has already helped many individuals and communities develop their thinking skills and dispositions. It brings people together, it gives them a chance to access practical, transformative philosophy, develop thoughtful, purposeful voices, and take pleasure in these activities. Its strength lies in being ‘context-appreciative’; it starts from where people are and helps them generate and think about questions they decide are important. It is caring; it helps people discuss sensitive and controversial issues and address conflict. It encourages individuals to feel comfortable in raising concerns in an open and respectful environment. Increasingly, it is being used as a form of participatory research and as an approach useful to understanding the dynamics of communities and organisations.

Why now?
In recent years Ireland has increasingly embraced the value of philosophy in society, from its acknowledgement by President Michael D. Higgins as enabling citizens “to discriminate between truthful language and illusory rhetoric”, to the creation of Philosophy Ireland which aims to raise awareness about the educational significance of philosophy, both as a history of ideas and as a method of inquiry. All ages and all sections of the community are getting involved.

What can I expect to achieve by attending this 2-day programme?

  • Participants will develop a familiarity with Community Philosophy and its various uses.
  • Participants will develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and resources necessary to develop Community Philosophy in the settings in which they work.

For further details and programme outline, please click here>> 

To read more about Community Philosophy, please click here>> 

To learn more about Philosophy Ireland, please click here>>

Course Tutor: Graeme Tiffany is an independent education consultant with a background in informal and community education and community development, particularly in disadvantaged and diverse urban areas. Graeme pioneered Community Philosophy: he developed and managed the ‘Thinking Village Project’, a 3 year inter-generational initiative funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which was the first ever substantive and long-term use of Community Philosophy in the UK. Subsequently, he worked with the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and SAPERE to research and create a Community Philosophy Facilitator Training programme. Follow his activities and read his blog at:

Venue: Renehan Hall, Maynooth University.

Travel:  Renehan Hall is easily accessible by train and bus from Dublin City Centre

Cost:   for the two-day course is E180; concessions are available.           

Please note the course is not residential; you will need to make your own accommodation arrangements.

Bookings can be made by clicking here>>  

Young People’s Event: ‘Youth meets Philosophy Ireland’

Thursday the 20th July at Youth Work Ireland National Offices, 10am - 1pm
This event is for those interested in exploring how young people can become more engaged with Philosophy Ireland.

Bookings can be made by clicking here>>