Ashoka Ireland Quarterly - Summer 2015

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A ROUND TABLE WITH ASHOKA FELLOW SISTER CYRIL MOONEY

We had the pleasure of welcoming Ashoka Fellow & education innovator Sister Cyril Mooney to our office for a round table lunch. The lunch was attended by key education influencers, Ashoka Ireland Fellows and Changemaker Schools.

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We would mix the richest with the poorest […] and teach them how to share. The well-off children’s mindset would be, “I’m not going to condescend and lend my laptop to her. I’m going to share.” To build up a strong nation you have to learn how to share.

Sister Cyril has been living and working in Kolkata, India since 1956, where she has emerged as a nationwide leader in bringing quality education to urban and rural poor children. She received an Ashoka Fellowship in 1990 (making her the first Irish-born Ashoka Fellow!) and was awarded the Padma Shri, the Indian government’s highest honour for civilians, in 2007.

Read Joe Humphreys’s article in the Irish Times to find out more about her long career as an education innovator!

 

ANNUAL ASHOKA FELLOW & ASN SUMMER RETREAT

We held our annual summer retreat for Fellows & ASN Members in beautiful Burrishoole, Newport, County Mayo on the weekend of May 29th. Three days were filled with group discussions, well-being activities such as yoga and walking, one-on-one mentoring sessions, and music & poetry in the evenings.

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The group of over 35 attendees included Fellows, ASN Members, key advisors and the Ashoka Ireland team. We are very grateful to ASN Member Denis Tinsley for hosting the retreat in his beautiful home again this year.

View more highlights from the retreat below!

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VIDEO: IRISH CHANGEMAKER SCHOOLS GATHERING

What does changemaking education mean to you? On April 21st, students, teachers and principals from Ireland’s first five Ashoka Changemaker Schools met in Francis St. CBS in Dublin.

“In a circle, everyone is equal.”

Students from all five Changemaker Schools presented on their school’s commitment to promoting values such as empathy, creativity, teamwork and leadership. Group discussions with pupils were also led by special guests Alternative Miss Ireland Sinéad Burke (aka Minnie Mélange) and Chief Commissioner of Human Rights Emily Logan.

Check out the video below created by the wonderful team at Francis St. CBS!

 

FEATURED FELLOW: BRENDAN DUNFORD, BURREN LIFE & BURREN BEO

Ashoka Fellow Dr. Brendan Dunford is a co-founder of the Burrenbeo Trust, a multidimensional resource supporting the sustainable management and use of one of the most unique landscapes in Ireland, and Burren Life, a programme helping farmers make additional income through conservation. Covering over 720 square kilometres of rural countryside in County Clare, the Burren landscape boasts Ireland’s highest density of archaeological sites and is home to over 70% of all of Ireland’s native flowers, as well as a rare blend of Arctic, Alpine and Mediterranean wildflower varieties.

Burren Life’s Farming for Conservation Programme allows farmers to lead in the development and delivery of critical conservation actions on their farms, creating financial incentives for the delivery of public goods such as biodiversity, clean water, access paths and grazing habitats. There are currently 160 farmers participating in this scheme covering 35,000 acres of land in the Burren region, with plans to expand across the entire Burren and to other regions in Ireland and Europe in the next few years.

The Ashoka Ireland team had the pleasure of visiting Fellow Brendan Dunford on site at the Burren, Co. Clare in July!

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SUMMER UPDATES FROM BURRENBEO & BURREN LIFE:

MSc in Biodiversity & Land Use Planning: A unique, two year part-time course in NUI Galway has been designed specifically for professionals who wish to incorporate expertise in biodiversity and associated legislative requirements within current or future positions. Applications: www.pac.ie/nuigalway

A Special Mention in the European Awards: The Burrenbeo Trust received a ‘Special Mention of the Jury’ in the category of Education, Training and Awareness-Raising as part of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage in July.

— Upcoming Events: Guided ‘Walk With a Difference’ for wheelchair users (Wednesday 26th August) and Sensory Walk for the visually impaired (Saturday 29th August) — and look out for the annual Winterage Festival including Winterage School on Sustainable Farming, taking place from Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th of October!

— Prince Charles’s visit to the Burren: On 20th May, noted conservationist HRH Prince Charles fulfilled a life-long desire to visit the Burren, in order to gain a better understanding of the Burren’s history, farming, traditions, its huge trove of documented and undocumented archaeology. During his visit, Dr. Dunford introduced the Prince to some of the extraordinary botanical, geological and archaeological features of the Burren.

See photos of Prince Charles’s tour below and visit the BurrenLife’s press kit for more coverage!

 

ASN & FELLOW 'MEETING OF MINDS' IN AMSTERDAM - SEPTEMBER 18TH

Ashoka Northern Europe is hosting a ‘Meeting of Minds’ event in Amsterdam on September 18th. A programme of inspiring talks and networking sessions will allow ASN Members & Fellows from across Europe to meet and build new relationships. The day will end with this group attending the Homeless World Cup finals, which is taking place on the historic Museumplein in Amsterdam.

Ashoka (UK) Fellow Mel Young co-founded the Homeless World Cup Foundation as a network of national charities who run year-round street soccer leagues for players experiencing homelessness and poverty. Today, the organisation touches the lives of over 100,000 homeless each year in 74 participating countries, and counts Irish actor Colin Farrell among its celebrity ambassadors.

Find out more about the tournament on the HWC website.

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MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS, SUMMER 2015

CEO Of The World’s First MOOC Provides Hope To Former Prisoners Through Education — An interview with Ashoka Fellow Mike Feerick in Forbes (July)

Change leaders: Dr Steve Collins, Valid International and Valid Nutrition — An interview with Ashoka Fellow Dr. Steve Collins in Business&Leadership (July)

Irish Loreto nun champions ‘inclusive schools’ in India — A profile on Sister Cyril Mooney in the Irish Times (July)

Behind The News: Sarah Bredin, Mental Health Advocate — An interview with MyMind client Sarah Bredin in the Irish Times (June)

How Ireland is Becoming a Leader in Social Entrepreneurship — A survey of the social entrepreneurship landscape in Ireland by online blog The Cultureist (June)

Selfie World Record Broken at TEDx event in Dublin — A spotlight on Ashoka Fellow Mairead Healy & FutureVoices TEDxYouthAtTheSpire Event (June)

‘How A Career In Tech Prepared One Social Entrepreneur To Shake Up The Mental Health Sector’ — A profile on Ashoka Fellow Krystian Fikert & MyMind (May)

Fields of magic on trip to the Burren — An article on HRH Prince Charles’s Burren trip in the Irish Times (May)

‘In pictures: Prince Charles and Camilla visit Ireland’ — A spotlight on HRH Prince Charles’s visit to the Burren, with a tour led by Ashoka Fellow Dr. Brendan Dunford (May)

 

WHAT'S AHEAD IN 2015

— ANNOUNCING OUR 14TH IRISH ASHOKA FELLOW

— PRESENTING OUR NEWEST MEDIA PARTNERSHIP

— WELCOMING 4 NEW ASHOKA CHANGEMAKER SCHOOLS IN IRELAND

— INTRODUCING OUR ANNUAL IMPACT REPORT

Look out for these exciting updates in the next AIQ, planned for October!

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WE'RE MOVING!

After nine wonderful years in the historic brown-brick building at 18 Eustace Street in Temple Bar, we are moving to a new home. We are delighted to announce that we will be joining the co-working hub inside Tribal Ventures on South William Street (just a few streets south of where we are now!)

We are grateful to the team at Tribal, including founder Conor Stanley who has been an ASN Member and supporter of Ashoka for several years, for making this possible.

Feel free to stop by and say hello after our move on 1st September!

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COMMUNICATING WITH YOU

This is the summer 2015 issue of the Ashoka Ireland quarterly newsletter. Feel free to share the link widely! Email Fiona at fkoch@ashoka.org with photos, videos and announcements to be featured in the next quarterly, planned for October.

Find out more about our work on our website, and find us on Facebook & Twitter!