studentvolunteer.ie Shortlisted for THINKTECH, €1 million Award Fund

The Campus Engage Steering Committee and Working Group members are delighted to announce that studentvolunteer.ie has been shortlisted for THINKTECH, a €1 million project to grow ideas for a better Ireland. Finalists will compete for access to an award fund of up to €750,000 in grants as well as support and mentoring to further develop their social innovation.

The initiative is run by Social Innovation Fund Ireland and funded by Google and Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government.

StudentVolunteer.ie is a brand new easy to use, one-stop-shop portal, connecting students with civil society organisations (CSOs) volunteering opportunities. It is an online mechanism to mobilise civically responsible graduates with an understanding of cause and effect of grand social challenges.

The tool offers student a platform to build a twenty ‘first century skill’ portfolio acquired through volunteering. It also offers higher education management extractable quantitative and qualitative data on social impact of volunteering at local, national, international level.

Kate Morris, Campus Engage “ We delighted to have made it to this stage of the THINKTECH Selection process. The team are currently at a pivotal stage in our work, and the THINKTECH programme would provide expert knowledge on functionality and business strategy to support successful expansion’”.

The finalists will take part in a development programme devised by Social Innovation Fund Ireland and supported by Google.org & the Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government, with the overall award recipients announced in December at an Awards ceremony at Google’s EMEA HQ in Dublin.

Studentvolunteer.ie has the potential to serve up 100,847 registered students across Ireland and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs): 8,000 Registered with Charities Regulator.

The process is being undertaken by Kate Morris (Campus Engage) and Lorraine Tansey (NUI Galway) on behalf of the wider team. StudentVolunteer.ie was built by Campus Engage’s Kate Morris and the Working Group Convenors Gabriella Hanrahan (UL), Joanna Ozarowska (DCU) and Lorraine Tansey (NUI Galway).  There is a team of contributors that impact on the growth, change and development of StudentVolunteer.ie including: IUA staff and interns, StudentVolunteer.ie Working Group Members and the Campus Engage Steering Group.

Minister Simon Coveney, T.D., said, “I am delighted to see such a wide range of impactful technology-driven solutions to the social issues we all want to see resolved in Ireland, and look forward to meeting the final Awardees.”

Director of Google.org, Jacquelline Fuller said: “These ideas are becoming a reality and addressing a wide range of social issues. For example they include a social network that is helping to combat cyberbullying, and projects that are providing new ways to access education for early school leavers and marginalised communities, as well as ways that technology can help to reduce the isolation of older people in Irish communities. We see great potential for these ideas to make a lasting impact and they also demonstrate Google’s view that technology has the power to make a real difference and create positive change in society.”

THINKTECH Finalists interviewers will include Elaine Coughlan, Managing Partner, Atlantic Bridge Partners; Rosheen McGuckian, CEO, NTR plc & SIFI Board member; Terence O’Rourke, Chairman, SIFI & Enterprise Ireland; Dr Paul Gilligan, CEO St Patrick’s University Hospital; Dalton Philips, SIFI Board member & Boston Consulting Group; Mark Adair of Mason Hayes & Curran; Anne Connolly, CEO Irish Smart Aging Exchange; Gilliane Quinn de Schonen, Founder Zumo; Bobbie Bergin, Director of Corporate Affairs, AIB; Andrew Dunckelman, Google.org; Brendan Whelan, CEO Social Finance Foundation; Faye Drouillard, and Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland.