Off Grid represent Ireland at SAGE World Cup in San Francisco

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

The SAGE World Cup is an international competition for young global innovators and entrepreneurs. Some 22 countries participate every year, each having a national coordinator who is responsible for selections from their own country. Young Social Innovators has been the Irish National Coordinating Body for SAGE World Cup since 2014. 

This year, Off Grid from St. Fintan's High School in Sutton, Dublin 13, have been selected to represent Ireland in the competition and will travel to San Francisco this August to compete.

Off Grid presenting their project at the South Dublin Speak Out in March 2018

Off Grid's initial aim was to improve their school's energy efficiency by installing a solar panel system onto the school's roof. They quickly realised it wouldn't be easy, as a school, to access funding for the solar panel system, and so they expanded their aims to include campaigning for change at policy level in Ireland. Setting an example for positive, community-led action for the environment, Off Grid hope to change government and public attitudes towards Ireland’s provision of sustainable energy.

Applying what they have learned through their own journey and with the aim of helping others, the Off Grid movement they are building will allow other schools and groups to access funding for rsolar power. Cooperating with Ministers, Oireachtas members, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and their school and local community, they want to lead the charge in inspiring community-led action for environmental protection.

To help extend the benefits of renewable energy to other groups, they created a Sustainable Energy Community (SEC), a network for other schools and community buildings to join and gain access to renewable energy grants as well as professional mentoring and guidance from SEC officials and the Off Grid Team.

We hope to share our experiences and assist others in more easily navigating the challenges and difficulties that we faced when we underwent our original project.

YSI would like to wish the Off Grid team the very best of luck in San Francisco and are looking forward to reporting on their experience at SAGE later this summer.