Young Social Innovators launches national Speak Out Tour in the Mansion House, Dublin
Some 6,000 young people will speak out across Ireland on local, national and international issues as part of the Young Social Innovators Speak Out Tour 2019.
Running throughout March, each regional Speak Out event will be attended by hundreds of teenagers, who will be given the opportunity to make a two-minute presentation on their solutions to challenges such as health, poverty, climate change and diversity.
Now in its 17th year, Young Social Innovators seeks to strengthen civic society by giving teenagers a platform to articulate their ideas, insights, passions and expertise. It challenges young people to creatively tackle social issues affecting them, their communities and wider society and to develop innovations that focus on the betterment of society and improve the lives of others.
In a fitting tribute to the first sitting of the Dail, which took place in the Mansion House in Dublin in January 1919, 800 teenagers will gather in the Round Room of the Mansion House today to set out their aspirations for the kind of Ireland they want to live in – a vision they are trying to bring to reality through the social innovation projects on which they are working.
At today’s event, second-level students from schools in Dublin and Meath will outline their innovative ideas on a range of social issues. Topics include:
- Mercy Secondary School, Inchicore, Dublin 8: Give Mercy to Inchicore – Community regeneration in Inchicore.
- Lusk Community College, Co Dublin: Mind Your Mind – the creation of a wellbeing journal for young people.
- Eureka Secondary School, Kells, Co Meath: Never Home Alone – combatting elderly isolation and fear of loneliness.
- The Donahies Community School, Dublin 13: Not Just Another Brick in the Wall – Gender stereotyping.
Against the backdrop of Dáil100 and the upcoming local and European elections, this year Young Social Innovators is also calling on young people to ‘make your voice heard’ at a political level through a #TellYourTD campaign.
Co-founder and CEO of Young Social Innovators, Rachel Collier said: “One hundred years ago, the first Dáil sat in the Mansion House and began discussions on the formation of a democratic republic: members outlined their vision, one that put the common good, and most particularly the well-being of our children and young people, first.
“At today’s launch of the Young Social Innovators Speak Out Tour, we have 800 of these young citizens of Ireland who are not just setting out ideas but are actively engaged in designing solutions to address issues that affect us.”
She added: “In commemoration of the centenary of the first Dail, a key theme for Young Social Innovators in 2019 is participatory democracy. As a platform for youth voice in Ireland, we feel it is important that young people experience democracy in a real way and that young people feel that the political system is one that works for them on the issues they care about.
“We see many countries, not too far away, that are suffering from a democratic deficit; where the population feel disengaged and disconnected from local and national decision making. Our ability to engage citizens in meaningful ways is a necessary prerequisite for a healthy cohesive society, one that is fit to address the changes we know are necessary to achieve wellbeing, equality and environmental sustainability here and globally.”