There is much talk these days about a lack of leadership in many areas of society in Ireland. I would like to take this opportunity to share an example of inspirational leadership.
Young Social Innovators (YSI) is an organisation whose mission is to develop young people as social innovators. Their model is not dissimilar to the Young Scientists Exhibition in that it involves secondary school students developing and presenting projects, however in this case, these projects relate to social issues (e.g. bullying, green issues, integration challenges in schools etc). YSI has existed for 10 years and at this point:
- 30,000 students have completed YSI projects
- 5,178 students are currently developing projects for the academic year 2010/11
- 48% of schools who have transition year are signed up to the programme.
To enable this, YSI train 200 educators/ teachers in social innovation education every year.
This growth shows the level of commitment from the educational community in Ireland. This commitment is the result of the belief that these projects are resulting in the significant positive development of those who participate.
These students are our leaders of the future, and I believe that this programme can genuinely have an impact on the fabric of Irish society. This is a credit to all those involved within YSI and throughout the educational system.
For more information see their web-site: Young Social Innovators
Pictured above are John O Shea, Patron of Young Social Innovators, Manchester and Ireland star, with Sr Stanislaus and Rachel Collier, Co-founders of YSI and students from Portmarnock Community School, call all second level schools to sign up to Young Social Innovators for this years programme!