"No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings" - William Blake
ReSource at Burren College

ReSource at the Burren College of Art (BCA) is a centre dedicated to the belief that everyone has the capacity to be creative in everything they do.  It is an invitation to individuals and groups whether they be leaders, artists or participants in systems to retreat, reflect, replenish, reboot and reimagine new ways of being and of working with uncertainty – something that is particularly required in current times.


The centre builds on BCA’s commitment to the elements of time, space and inspiration, on the power of the Burren landscape and the work of the college’s Centre for Universal Creativity.

What We Do

ReSource works in two main ways:

  • Firstly we convene individuals, organisations and representatives of systems to go to the source of their most intractable challenges and identify the opportunities with most potential.
  • In a second phase we offer support to leaders as they progress their resulting initiatives, inviting them to reconnect and return to source in person and through virtual supports.

What We've Done So Far

Examples of recent ReSource projects include the Climate Gathering, and the Creative Education Symposium from which the BEACONS initiative was launched.  The very first intimations of ReSource were in the Burren Climate Gathering in 2013 which birthed a series of Climate Conversations in Dublin allowing  ICTU, Ibec, the churches and the Greens to work in a safe respectful space and featured the memorable line from Tommy Tiernan at its conclusion in the Abbey Theatre: “We are nature ….. the thing we are trying to fix is ourselves.”


Another precursor was the creative gathering Tionól Cruthaitheach imagining a new future for the Irish language.  The outworking of this gathering continues to unfold through positioning the challenge of language conservation within a wider context of holistic development of Irish language communities.

Who We Are

Chris Chapman

Chris is a leading creative facilitator of large and small events, both in Ireland and internationally, who has worked widely across the public sector in Ireland.

Chris has a particular strength in working with diverse complex systems and so-called ‘wicked’ problems, helping people to gain fresh perspectives and to find positive engaging ways forward.

Chris is a leading member of the global community of practice The Art of Hosting and has an MSc in Change Agent Skills and Strategies from the University of Surrey Business School, focussing on the interface between personal, organisational and societal change.


Martin Hawkes
Martin Hawkes

Martin Hawkes, a founding trustee of the Burren College of Art, has been the lead researcher for the Symposium conducting interviews with leading figures and practitioners across the field of education.  While his background is in the public service, commercial banking and entrepreneurship his chairing of a second level school for the past 25 years has given him a deep interest in the area of education.  More recently he has co-presented a programme entitled ‘creative difference’ for cohorts of post-graduate students from NUI Galway which has opened his thinking to the nature of creativity.   Concern with climate and other evidence of profound systemic change has led to his recognizing the need for a shift in the nature of education to match the demands of a future which will be radically different from the past.

Mary Hawkes-Greene – President of Burren College of Art

Mary’s career in education has ranged from teaching in Italy, France and Israel, to designing programmes for inner city Dublin communities, to working with government agencies on education policy for itinerant Irish traveller children. Central to all of these has been her commitment to the arts in education and firsthand experience of the educational value of living in diverse cultures. These beliefs were actualised in setting up the Burren College of Art in 1994, providing an alternative model of art education for an international audience in an inspirational setting. A subsequent exploration of creativity and business extended Mary’s commitment to the concept of universal creativity and to broadening the remit of the Burren College of Art.

Ali Warner

Ali is an arts facilitator, workshop leader, singer and host. She draws on her strengths in arts practice and hosting to convene gatherings that have energy and aliveness, and help to bring about the evolution of individuals and groups.

She has experience in a wide range of contexts, from large public and private sector organisations to community groups and arts ensembles, where she leads experiential whole-system leadership programmes and large-group events which can include visual harvesting as an additional contribution to the learning & engagement process.

As a core practice, she also has an ongoing inquiry into the voice and how it can be expressed in its many forms, allowing it to more fully enrich our individual and community lives together.


What's Important To Us

Hosting audacious conversations that ask questions that make our hearts beat faster.

Generating actions that enable both better and more effective systems and happier human beings.

Investing in diverse relationships that both build our resilience and our capacity to create change.

Bringing together the energetic qualities of the arts with the warmth and care of deeply-held hosting practices.

Facilitating the positive transformations that are possible at this time.

Having fun in the process.

Who We Can Help

Our processes are ideally suited to getting to the core of complex challenges and opportunities.  This applies equally to large systems such as education, climate and health as to the issues confronting business, professions, NGO’s and the arts sectors.


Please contact us at resource@burrencollege.ie if you would like an initial discussion.


Top photo by Stefan Gessert on Unsplash.