623 students take part in Young Social Innovators Speak Out in Castletroy Park Hotel

Here are students from Scoil Mhuire Íde, Limerick arriving to speak out about issues they care about. Photo by Aileen O’Hagan.

623 students have taken part in the Young Social Innovators Speak Out that took place in the Castletroy Park Hotel as part of the 2018 YSI Speak Out Tour which will visit 8 counties throughout February and March.

The Speak Out Tour, supported by Ulster Bank, is part of the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland Awards which challenge young people to think differently and come up with ways to tackle social issues affecting them and their communities.

Across the country, 7,000 students, making up a total of almost 400 teams, are participating in the YSI programme. Of these teams, 30 will be shortlisted to compete for the national title of Young Social Innovators of the Year on the 8th of May 2018 in Croke Park, Dublin.

Social innovations address human need such as homelessness, poverty, exclusion, racism and immigration – issues high on the social and political agenda in Ireland and across the world today. The Speak Out Tour gives these young people the opportunity to advocate around such issues and demonstrate show how they are coming up with responses and solutions to real life issues.

The format of the event is a two minute presentation by teams on stage to an audience of their peers, invited guests and a YSI Panel. The teams that presented at the Speak Out in Limerick spoke
on a wide range of issues including sexual consent, mental health, farm safety, loneliness,homelessness and water safety.

CEO of Young Social Innovators, Rachel Collier said: “Marketeers, advertisers and insight companies are committing huge resources to analysing the preferences and behavioural patterns of
young people so they can plan campaigns for future products and technologies. They are the first generation born to be digital, and that’s why there is a massive urge to understand what makes them

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“We need a pipeline of leaders, innovators and change-makers, and we all must adapt to make the space for this” Ms. Collier said.

Commenting on 2018 Speak Out Tour Gerry Mallon, CEO of Ulster Bank, YSI’s Official Awards Partner, said: “The YSI Speak Out Tour gives young people a voice on issues that they care about, empowering them in a profound and tangible way.

For the past three years, in supporting YSI, Ulster Bank has become so acutely aware of what the next generation has to offer us. What’s
clear from the YSI Speak Outs is that young people want to roll up their sleeves and make a real difference. It’s been a privilege for us to give voice to this generation.” Mr. Mallon concluded.

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