Students from Portmarnock Community School Young Social Innovators of the Year 2016

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6,000 young people attended the Awards in Dublin.


10th May 2016,

Students from Portmarnock Community School, Co. Dublin have been named Young Social Innovators of the Year 2016 at YSI’s annual awards ceremony, opened by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, at Citywest Hotel and Convention Centre in Dublin, today for their project ‘Global Citizens Mapping the Future’. The Young Social Innovators of the Year 2016 aimed to inspire greater global citizenship and create global citizens who will pursue humanitarian mapping. 454 youth-led social innovation projects were created by young people all over Ireland as part of the Young Social Innovators initiative, which is supported by Ulster Bank, with 60 selected to go forward for the prestigious title and awards.

The Young Social Innovators of the Year 2016 Awards, now in its 15th year, is the biggest celebration of social innovation in Ireland and one of the largest youth events in the country. Over 6,500 students have been involved throughout the year, advocating for, and actively creating positive change in their communities through social innovation projects, with 6,000 students attending the Awards and Showcase event today.  As well as the overall award, 23 other schools from across the country were named as category winners. The categories included:

A full list of the award winners is included in the notes below.

Speaking at the event today in Citywest, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said; “I am delighted to be here today to open this fantastic event for the young social innovators of Ireland. The energy and creativity here today is astounding and I commend each and every one of you who participated in Young Social Innovators this year. Educating and collaborating to enrich society is what this initiative is all about and I firmly believe that the projects here today are doing just that, enriching our society and bringing communities that are more diverse than ever, even closer together. Congratulations to all involved.”

Accepting the overall title award of Young Social Innovators of the year, the winning team said, “We are honoured and absolutely delighted to be awarded the title of Young Social Innovators of the Year. We chose the subject title global citizenship because it’s something that is close to all of our hearts and an issue we’re passionate about. Being involved in this initiative has been such a rewarding experience and it has really shown us the value we can create within our community and in wider society to make it a better place for everyone. To have national recognition for our project is fantastic for us and our school, especially given the high-standard of projects this year. We’ll continue to advocate for these issues and hopefully achieve an even greater impact with this project.”

When choosing the overall title award the judging panel looked for a project that excelled in innovative thinking and social impact as well as recognising a team that has the passion and support to continue to further develop their social innovation.

Co-founder of YSI, Sr Stan said; “If we use the ingenuity of young people, we will be better able to meet the challenges of today. Ireland has been missing out on one of our greatest resources, the innovative thinking, the passion and energy of young people. YSI is building this generations capacity from a young age, to understand their ability to make change and to create a fairer world. We are amazed each year by the ideas and innovative projects presented to YSI by such talented and passionate young people. They bring to reality the type of society we can aspire to.”

Speaking about the Young Social Innovators 2016 Awards and Showcase, co-founder and CEO of Young Social Innovators, Rachel Collier said: “YSI brings innovation and entrepreneurial skills to the heart of Irish education because it believes these skills are central to creating a more equal, fairer society. The Young Social Innovators of the Year 2016 Awards showcases the power of young people and offers them a unique opportunity to advance positive social change. Young people who are empowered and confident to make change about things that really matter to them, will continue to use and hone these skills in later life.  This experience boosts their ability to deal with uncertainty and change, a hallmark of today’s world. YSI prepares young people for life and work and has both social and commercial value. We want young people to become innovators in their own lives and to be resourceful in creating positive change and solutions in the world around them. The standard of projects this year was truly exceptional. We are grateful to Ulster Bank and all our partners for their support and look forward to increasing our reach and impact into the future.”

Paul Stanley, Interim CEO of Ulster Bank said; “At Ulster Bank we are committed to investing in programmes that engage and support communities, programmes that make a difference and that go to heart of the communities they touch. The calibre of creativity and ideas we have seen throughout Young Social Innovators this year is extremely impressive. All of the projects were of an exceptional standard and we want to congratulate not only the winners today, but all of the students who were involved and the teachers that supported them in this fantastic initiative throughout the year. We are proud to support Young Social Innovators and to support the young people involved, who aspire to create the type of society that they wish to see for themselves and future generations.”

The Young Social Innovators of the Year 2016 Awards and Showcase is also a fun day for all with opportunities for attendees to showcase their innovations, get involved in indoor and outdoor activities such as the YSI Communities of Excellence (COE) Zone, the Ulster Bank Hub, Silent Disco, Creating a Better World Exhibition, the YSI Cinema, Hip Hop Workshops, a YSI Diary Room, Game Zones, Actavo Safety Zone and the YSI Poster Gallery.


List of Winners