A social innovation process designed to tackle some of Ireland’s key challenges was launched this week by Ashoka Ireland, which is headed up by Paul O’Hara, originally from Castlebar, Co Mayo. The first platform of its kind in the world, Change Nation will commence in Dublin between March 22 and 24 and will be attended by 50 of the world’s leading social innovators who have conceived and implemented proven solutions in the areas of education, healthcare, the environment, economic development, inclusion, and civic participation.
He will be joined over the course of the three-day platform by Irish entrepreneurs and changemakers, including Mary Robinson, Dermot Desmond, Caroline Casey, and Mark Little, who are working to accelerate and launch these proven solutions.
Change Nation is hosted by Ashoka Ireland in partnership with the business and citizen sectors, Government, and media. Ashoka is the world’s association of more than 3,000 social entrepreneurs.
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, who launched the initiative this week, stated: “I applaud initiatives like Change Nation which bring together the talents and ideas of some of our brightest and best to find solutions to challenges facing our nation. By working together, Ireland can not only emerge from its problems, but emerge stronger and better. Social innovation is especially valuable because it can create radical new alliances between communities, Government, and business to address fundamental social and economic challenges."
Paul O’Hara added: “The solutions to many of Ireland’s problems already exist at home and across the world. By connecting proven solutions with local talent and finance from across sectors, this process will launch and accelerate new innovations in Ireland - creating employment, mobilising citizens as changemakers, strengthening management of natural resources, cultivating empathy in children, and transforming the way young people grow up, improving physical and mental wellbeing, integrating excluded populations, building necessary alliances between business and social sectors and the infrastructure for social innovation to flourish.
“We’re inviting everyone to discover these solutions at www.changenation.org and hope that people will get involved in the solutions they are passionate about or choose to create their own. Ireland needs more changemakers and everyone has a role to play.”