In Ireland, Change Nation was officially launched by An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny and a buzzing community of excited supporters and young people.
Change Nation is inviting creative solutions to address social challenges on the Emerald Isle.
Paul O’Hara, Ashoka Europe director and founder of Change Nation explained, “What Change Nation aims to do is bring 50 of the world’s top social innovators to Ireland to work on a selection of our biggest challenges. We want to create demand and strategy for as many of the innovations as we can.
“Key stakeholders are mapped and matched for 500 meetings at Change Nation to get real commitment and implementation."
The launch, in a classic Georgian building overlooking St. Stephen’s Green, featured a panel discussion with O'Hara along with Ireland's first Ashoka Fellow and Kanchi founder Caroline Casey, Storyful founder and former RTE presenter Mark Little, Skillspage CEO Ian McDonald, and co-creator John Concannon.
Caroline Casey, whose organization Kanchi is a global movement to reframe disability, described Change Nation as "a collective mass of 50 systems-changers, change execs and partners that can change our nation and then the world." The launch also featured 30 Change Nation Change Executives, a group of top young leaders who are volunteering their time to help make sure that Change Nation’s 50 proven solutions can really have impact in Ireland.
The 30 Change Executives are matched to innovators in environment, health, civic participation, inclusion, education, and economic development; they provide market research and support to make sure that commitments made during the three-day conference are implemented after the excitement has died down. They help ensure that Change Nation is not just an event, but the beginning of a concrete strategy to address some of Ireland’s bigger problems—and a step towards an “Everyone a Changemaker”® world.
Check out a snapshot of the launch: