Activate FAQs

Activate FAQs
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If your question is not answered below, please call us on 01 645 8030 or email us at and we will be happy to help.

Getting Started

Activate, our Social Innovation Action Programme at Senior Cycle, is designed for teams of young people aged 15 - 18 years. Teams must be facilitated by a YSI Guide (a teacher, educator or adult mentor.).

YSI Guides sign up to the programme on behalf of a student team, either on the YSI website or by phone to (01) 645 8030.

A YSI Guide is the facilitator for a student team(s). Often a teacher, the YSI Guide is the adult mentor who guides young people through the programme activities and supports their innovation journey, looking after the communications with YSI throughout the programme. A certified YSI Guide is someone who has completed the requisite YSI training and who experience facilitating a team to programme completion.

Training is highly recommended particularly for first-time educators. Those who attend two training workshops in a year are eligible for certification as a YSI Guide. The training modules are designed to provide teachers with a grounding in social innovation education, approaches and methodologies to be used to guide their team through the programme and ensure they get the most from the experience. Attendance is also welcomed for more experienced YSI Guides as there is a focus on sharing learning and practice during the training events. 

Yes, the cost for this programme is €15 per student.

YSI Guides are provided with a full suite of online resources and activities as well as training events during the year. The YSI Learning and Practice Team is also on hand to offer support at any time and can be contacted at

Find Out More.

Ideally, the Senior Action Programme would be done over the course of an academic year (September through May). If you have a timetabling query, contact our Education team at

This programme can be facilitated as a stand-alone subject as part of the Transition Year curriculum of Leaving Cert Applied. It can also be facilitated as a module or an extension for subjects including but not limited to:
- Information Technology
- English
- Business Studies
- Politics & Society
- Drama 
- Art

It is aligned with the Key Skills and indicators of Wellbeing and with Learning Outcomes for Transition Year and Leaving Cert Applied. 

YSI recommends teams  are no fewer than 5 and no larger than 25. In some cases, this might rise to 30 members.

Yes, schools and centres can collaborate on an action project. Let us know when you sign up who you plan to work with so we can correctly record the team’s information.

Yes, YSI encourages this. Teams may work on an international or global issue for their action project or indeed work with a team or organisation in another region. Many local issues have a global impact or dimension.

Programme Completion

To complete the programme, a team must undertake a social innovation project; submit a written report online and also present a Speak Out. The criteria for each will be communicated to teachers when signed up.

A project report is a series of questions completed online by teams to capture the inspiration for and the actions undertaken as part of their project. It is evaluated by independent evaluators with feedback provided online to teams. Teams are asked to include photographic information also on their work for our Evaluators to view.

The report questions for each project team can be found in the teacher login area of the YSI website. Once programme fees are paid, the report will appear.

Yes, you may submit your report in Irish and/or present a Speak Out in Irish. We ask that you notify YSI in advance if you intend to do so.

A YSI Speak Out is a type of short and creative presentation of a teams social innovation. Teams are asked to think about the audience they are communicating with and develop an impactful way to relate their issue and idea to them. Teams can be creative but must communicate their ideas clearly in 2 minutes. 

A YSI Speak Out event is a coming together to programme participants regionally to present their Speak Out and to listen to others. YSI organises the regional events as the YSI Speak Out Tour which is usually help in  March. YSI invited guests and a YSI panel, who watch and listen to the presentations and give feedback to teams. This feedback is is included with the report feedback at the end of the programme.

Find out more.

All teams participating in the Senior Action Programme are invited to participate in a Speak Out. In order to complete the programme and receive certification, teams must present at a Speak Out.

In special circumstances, a team can submit a video Speak Out. We ask that you notify YSI in advance if you intend to do so.

Guides will be notified by email when YSI Speak Out event booking is open. The invitation will be visible on your teacher dashboard and must be accepted online.

The Speak Out invite will only be available after the programme fees have been paid. If you cannot see your invitation, check with a member of the YSI team if your fees are still outstanding.

If you are unable to attend, the YSI team will try its best to accommodate you at another event. However, we cannot guarantee a space at another event. Contact the YSI office by phone on (01) 645 8030 or email at to request the change as early as possible.

In special circumstances, a team can submit a video Speak Out. We ask that you notify YSI in advance if you intend to do so.

Yes, teams who submit a written report and attend a YSI Speak Out event will receive feedback. The reports are evaluated by a team of independent evaluators and the Speak Outs are scored by the panellists at the events. This feedback is available online in late April. The date each year will be issued to Guides in advance.

Each team which successfully completes the programme, i.e. submits a report and attends a Speak Out event,  will be eligible for certification. After feedback is released in late April, the certificate will be available for download in the teacher login area of the YSI website.

Optional Elements for Senior Teams

The YSI Den is an optional initiative for YSI teams in the Senior Action Programme. Teams can apply to be considered to pitch to a panel of dragons for support to increase the impact of and their project.

Guides will be notified when applications are open and all YSI teams are invited to apply. Shortlisted teams are invited to pitch for money, means or mentoring, to support or develop an idea, product or enterprise.

The availability of the YSI Den is subject to funds being raised from companies or philanthropy to support the YSI Social Innovation Fund and teams each year.

Find out more.

#YSIweek is a national campaign that invites all teams participating in YSI to celebrate and promote their initiatives, both locally and online. During the week, teams are encouraged to host events locally and raise awareness for their social innovations, and share their stories on social media, tagging YSI so that we can in turn share and amplify their voice.

The Young Social Innovator Awards takes place in May each year and celebrates and recognises excellence in youth-led social innovation. Winning teams are invited to attend an awards ceremony.

Find out more.

Shortlisting for the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland Awards takes place after the reports have been evaluated.. The shortlist will comprise a range of issues, types of innovation and geographic spread.

Shortlisted teams will be invited to pitch online in April. Winning teams will be invited to the Awards ceremony taking place in May.

The shortlist for the Awards is released with teams’ feedback in April. Guides will be sent an email notifying them that the feedback is available in the teacher login area of the website.

Young Social Innovators Schools of Excellence Awards

Your question not answered? Contact a member of our team on 01 645 8030 or email us at and we'll be happy to help.