Roger Warnock appointed new CEO of Young Social Innovators

Roger Warnock appointed new CEO of Young Social Innovators
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Roger Warnock appointed new CEO of Young Social Innovators

Roger Warnock has been appointed as the new CEO of Young Social Innovators (YSI), the not-for-profit that empowers young people to create innovative solutions to social challenges. The appointment was announced today (20.12.2022) by the Board of Young Social Innovators. Mr. Warnock will take up the role from outgoing CEO Rachel Collier in early January.

Mr. Warnock has over 20 years’ experience in social enterprise and social innovation and has a wide range of experience in the public, private and not for profit sectors.  A native of Belfast, his early career was shaped by working with a social enterprise based  in Northern Ireland, and working voluntarily helping young people set up social enterprises through the Prince's Trust business start-up programmes.

In 2013 took a secondment within the Department for the Economy where he wrote a social innovation strategy for Northern Ireland, ‘Harnessing the Power of Social innovation to Drive the Northern Ireland Economy’. This was later used by the Young Foundation, an internationally renowned social innovation think tank to set up operations in Northern Ireland. Roger led the Young Foundation team in Ireland on their signature AmplifyNI programme accelerating over 45 social enterprises and social innovations between 2016 and 2018. He was also responsible for partnering with Belfast City Council on their innovative social innovation programme (2017-2018) and Credit Suisse designing the successful Amplify Youth programme (2018) that supported young social innovators in London, Dublin, and Belfast.

In 2016 Roger was listed as one of the UK's top 50 New Radicals by Nesta and the Observer (2016). In addition, he was a Clore Social Leader Fellow (2016), a Churchill Fellow for social innovation and entrepreneurship in young people (2013), Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a British Council Hammamet Fellow speaking on social innovation and tech4good at the 2018 and 2019 Hammamet conferences in North Africa.

Mr. Warnock will leave his role as Founder and Managing Director of the Zano Collective to take up the post with Young Social Innovators.

Announcing his appointment, Chair of the Board of Young Social Innovators, Gerry Fitzpatrick said: “Roger brings over 20 years’ experience in social innovation and entrepreneurship and in creating transformative change through his roles providing effective leadership, innovative programme design, and start-up support, as well as in advisory capacities within the non-profit, public and private sectors.

“He has also worked with and alongside international organisations creating entrepreneurial teams, scaling new initiatives, developing new strategies and facilitating co-creation of solutions in local communities with young people. We are looking forward to seeing where his expertise and leadership will bring Young Social Innovators.”

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Warnock said, “I am delighted to take up the role of CEO of Young Social Innovators. YSI is an organisation that I’ve long admired and found very inspirational over its 21-year history. I’m particularly excited to join the organisation when we are back hosting in-person events and can’t wait to experience the energy of young people delivering their social innovation projects and solutions for a better future.”

 He continued, “I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor Rachel Collier, who has been an incredible champion for young people  over the last 21 years. Her legacy as a remarkable leader and trailblazer in the youth social innovation space in Ireland and beyond is remarkable. I’m looking forward to working with the passionate and talented YSI team, Board and stakeholders for this new chapter of YSI.”

I am delighted to take up the role of CEO of Young Social Innovators. YSI is an organisation that I’ve long admired and found very inspirational over its 21-year history.

Outgoing CEO Rachel Collier

Speaking about outgoing CEO and Co-founder of YSI, Rachel Collier, Gerry Fitzpatrick said: “The Board of Young Social Innovators pay tribute to the incredible work of Rachel Collier who is stepping down as CEO after 21 years. Rachel has had an unquantifiable impact on the lives of so many young people, and in turn on Irish society through developing innovation programmes that put social values at their core and fostering empathy and a passion for social justice in thousands of young people. She leaves behind an amazing legacy at Young Social Innovators.

Also commenting today was outgoing CEO of Young Social Innovators, who said: “It has been my honour and privilege to co-found and serve as CEO of Young Social Innovators for 21 years. I am remarkably proud of all that has been achieved here by the Young Social Innovators team, young people, educators, partners and volunteers and the growing engagement and recognition of young people in social innovation in Ireland today.

“I am delighted to welcome Roger as the new CEO and I look forward to watching the organisation continue to flourish, adapt and grow under his leadership. Roger is a passionate social innovator and entrepreneur who believes in the potential of young people to create a fairer, more equal world. I have no doubt that he will successfully lead Young Social Innovators towards achieving its vision of inspiring, empowering and equipping Ireland's young people to change the world for good.”