We were fortunate to be invited to the launch of Young Social Innovator’s launch of their new 3 year partnership with Irish banking giant Ulster Bank. It was a great chance for us to rub shoulders with some of the greatest minds in social innovation and business. The event took place in the CHQ Building on George’s Quays and was excellently set up. The Conference included speeches from An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, Baroness Thornton of the Young Foundation, Paul Stanley, interim CEO of Ulster Bank and Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, co-founder of Young Social Innovators on the importance of embracing a culture of social innovation across communities.
Through the new relationship, Ulster Bank will provide financial support to YSI and its participants, ensuring that social innovation in Ireland continues to be fostered from a young age. A record breaking 444 innovation projects have been entered into this year’s Young Social Innovators of the Year Awards by over 6,500 students nationwide, an increase of 8% from 2015. Across its programmes, YSI is currently accessed by approximately one in ten students throughout Ireland whilst it works to grow its interest and activities in Northern Ireland, Canada and Zambia.
Addressing guests at the event, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD said: “There has never been a greater focus on innovation as an important driver of economic progress. Social innovation also has an important role to play in shaping the future of Ireland to be a country that is not only economically prosperous but that is a more inclusive and fairer society to live in. By engaging our young people in programmes such as Young Social Innovators we are not only creating more caring and engaged citizens but those with the skills to tackle the very serious issues facing us at local, national and global levels. I would like to see all young people in Ireland given the opportunity to participate.”
Commenting on the partnership, Paul Stanley, interim CEO of Ulster Bank said: “Ulster Bank is proud to be embarking on this new partnership with YSI, an organisation that over the last 15 years has shown that the future of our society can be shaped through questioning the status quo and education. We share a goal with YSI to enable growth through innovation, whether it is support for our business customers or for the communities where we live and work, in what matters to them.”
CEO of Greener Globe, Jack Dooley, got the opportunity to participate in a panel Q&A session which gave him the opportunity to showcase the great work Greener Globe has been doing. The business got lots of great publicity and met lots of great people to help them progress their development even further.