The first Pandemic of the digitised age plainly communicated that people only live well if concerned with the living well of each other. People connect through the practices of creativity.
CBW The Knowledge, Conclusion, Dominic Campbell


Trinity College Dublin 

Global Brain Health Institute, Jameel Arts & Health Lab, World Health Organization

Creative Ireland,  the Atlantic Institute, Harry Hartford, Trinity alumnus and President, Causeway Capital Management LLC

Creative Brain Week – Knowledge Making

Creative Brain Week is an annual exploration of how brain science and creativity connect to seed new ideas in social development, culture, wellbeing, and physical, mental and brain health across the life cycle and across society. Speakers, exhibitions and workshops introduce innovation at the intersection of arts and brain science.

Creative Brain Week connects brain science with creativity and sharing their exciting collisions seeding new ideas in society, culture, and health. This newly published book, Creative Brain Week – Knowledge Making, brings ideas from Creative Brain Week into print.

In the book, you will find the words of artists, health professionals, neuroscientists, and others as they wrestle to understand how the brain works and how this knowledge can be applied.

Dominic Campbell and Bea Kelleher’s hope in sharing Creative Brain Week’s journey into the unknown is that it brings you novel insights and seeds fresh ideas. It is a book,  like the annual gathering, sets out to inspire action.

About Creative Brain Week – Knowledge Making

The first Creative Brain Week brought together 120 speakers to articulate a broad landscape of concerns, and took place as the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic stuttered towards “a new normal” with “build back better” popular topic of public conversation.

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In the background to the second was the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, a pair of agreements in April 1998 that ended most of the violent ethno-nationalist conflict on the Island of Ireland which had taken place predominately in Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom.

Perhaps it was these two significant moments that encouraged reflection at CBW23 on the nature of care systems, their behaviour and relevance in the long term.

If we inherit the dreams of our grandparents made real as institutions and their behaviours, or codified as culture, how do we recognise when the issues they dreamt of addressing have changed? How can we then build our own dreams?

In a connected world how do ideas travel? How is care made? Can we tread carefully between knowledge that is biological or imperial or cultural? Is creativity as culture a way to propagate care alongside formal health care systems? Can it increase the care within them?

We wondered if conflict, as a root cause for ill health, applied at individual as well as systemic level, might this apply for all the wide diversity of our online and in the room audience? It lead to the themes of CBW23 of “Conflict. Imagination. Joy”

Therefore the second programme began from the specifics of research in Ireland indicating that conflict from decades before continues to have an impact on the Brain Health and physical health of the people of Northern Ireland (Ciaran Mulholland).

We were able to reach out to experts in creative intervention able to show how over decades, arts, craft, and creative practices had had multiple benefits. Programmes that have endured long enough for youth involved to have grown and now set the agenda for the concerns of contemporary art practice (Rachel Clarke Hughes and Derry Playhouse)

With access to global expertise we were able to ask if and how this impact on individual neurology, on people’s Brain Health, applied in other conflict and post conflict zones. (Agustín Ibáñez).

In this publication from those foundations we broaden the focus. Inviting you to consider how attitude affects the mind, and the role that hope plays in healthcare. We look at the creation of health and care systems that begin not in bio-medical or acute systems but in the cultural realm. We touch on the role of creative practice for the earliest stages of brain development and the final stages of life. We look at how creative practices benefit brain health when life takes an unexpected turn or we are born in circumstances that are not conducive to health.

An invitation to explore

We invite you to download a copy of Creative Brain Week – Knowledge Making. It is available in four languages.

Click to access the English edition

Click to access the Irish edition     

Click to access the Spanish edition

Click to access the Portuguese edition


Join the conversation

Creative Brain Week will continue to nurture and to challenge, to host and gently provoke. The 2024 Creative Brain Week takes place from Monday 4th March to Thursday 7th March in Trinity College Dublin.

Click to visit the Creative Brain Week website