Archive for October, 2010

Escapism – cycle anywhere in Ireland (while remaining in your home)

October 30, 2010

After attending the MiLKlabs (<–  brand new website) Arduino workshop last Tuesday, as outlined in the previous post, I was well intrigued by the hackable micro-controller and it's potential application in the control of virtual worlds (like the ones we build at Daynuv).

But it wasn't until I read Lette Moloney's update on 'Escapism' that my eyes were truly opened. Escapism is part of Lette's Final Year Project Thesis for her Masters of Science in Interactive Media at The University of Limerick. It's a stationary bike that hooks up to a computer, which is attached to a screen and allows you to pedal through anywhere in the world that Google Streetview is available. And of course Streetview for Ireland was recently launched, mapping an incredible 80,000km of the country with panoramic 360 degree imagery.

I love the fact that Lette's project was originally developed for Milford hospice who were interested in "enabling residents and visiting patients with a sense of escapism in the physiotherapy room, as the room itself has no ground level windows leaving the current palliative and elderly users feeling trapped in their environment as well as their illness." This kind of use chimes with the aims of Daynuv to build virtual worlds for physically and intellectually disabled users to allow them go places and experience things they might never have the opportunity to do in the 'real world'.

So let me say a big well done to Lette – Escapism is a wonderful achievement.

 

MiLKlabs kicks off with an Arduino workshop

October 27, 2010

Limerick's new creative space – MiLKlabs – kicked off proper last night with an Arduino workshop at University of Limerick (kindly hosted by Mikael Fernstrom in his lab). It was an informal introductory session with a broad overview from Trevor, a demonstration from Marty and a general discussion among the group about interesting project possibilities.

One reason I'm participating in MiLKlabs is to see what innovative ideas can emerge from a group of creative people, all coming from different backgrounds. Even last night it was evident how this can work in practice when there was a range of proposals for Arduino use which could well lead on to actual projects.

Milklabs-arduino3

Four years on Twitter today… I suppose I should mark it

October 23, 2010

Pat Phelan of Maxroam (congratulations to them on their four TechCrunch Europe Awards nominations) tweeted today that he’ll celebrate his 4th anniversary on Twitter next week, when I realized that today actually marks the start of my 5th year on the microblogging service.

I’m not sure why I feel that’s worth noting but perhaps because Twitter no doubt sucked a lot of energy out of this very blog. For a number of years I used to feel a pang of guilt if I didn’t make a daily entry to this journal but I finally gave in to the idea of microblogging for half-baked thoughts and ‘Eirepreneur’ for longer, more considered articles (not that I’ve written many of those either lately).

Anyway, I wish I had something profound to say about the small blue birdie that hasn’t already been said but luckily for me Bernie Goldbach, with impeccable timing, has just penned his own, similar, thoughts on Four Years of Twitter.

I’ll merely add that Twitter is my social network of choice, far and away more useful to me than Facebook or LinkedIn. I’ve lost count of the number of people I finally met in person having known them ‘virtually’ on Twitter for months or years prior to that. As I read somewhere recently ‘Facebook for the people you know, Twitter for the people you’d like to know’.

Arthur Guinness fund re-opens for applications, adds Challenge Grant

October 9, 2010

The Arthur Guinness Fund has re-opened for applications from social entrepreneurs around Ireland, with up to €1 million available to social entrepreneurs who have projects that are innovative, impactful and sustainable. 

Established as part of the Guinness 250 celebrations, the Arthur Guinness Fund pays tribute to Arthur Guinness and his philanthropic legacy. Guinness & Co. is working with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland to implement the fund.

A new dimension has been added to the Arthur Guinness Fund this year in the form of a ‘Challenge Grant’, which invites applications from start-up projects with grants of up to €25,000 per annum for two years. Applications from social entrepreneurs who are at a more advanced stage (ideally two to five years in existence) can also apply, with grants of up to €50,000 per annum for two years. In addition, all successful applicants will benefit from access to the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Alumni Network. 

Applicants are asked to register their project under one of six specific categories:  These are Technology and Social Media for Social Good, Skills for Life, Enriching the Environment, Social and Community Regeneration, Culture and Arts and Community Wellbeing.  A final open category is also available to projects that do not fit within any of the specific categories, but are still working towards sustainable social change in Ireland.

Be sure to spread the word to anyone you know who might have a great idea and is eligible to apply. You may like to consider adding this note to your website or emailing it to your client distribution list.
For more information and to apply to the fund, please visit http://www.guinness.com/en-ie/arthursday/apply2011.html

The closing date for applications is 10th November 2010.  If you have any questions email TheArthurGuinnessFundirel@diageo.com.

UL invites Irish High-Tech Professionals to share Opinion in Survey Study

October 8, 2010

An opinion survey for high-tech professionals in Ireland is being conducted by researchers of the University of Limerick. Sponsored by the Irish Social Science Platform (HEA and EU Development Funds) and UL. The survey is part of the project “Nomadic Work/Life in the Knowledge Economy”, and seeks to find ways to understand and improve the Knowledge Economy in Ireland.

The online survey is directed to professionals in computer, electronics, software, telecommunication, biopharma, media, top finance, management consulting, and other knowledge-based industries in Ireland and Irish professionals abroad. It registers their opinions and experiences in relation to work, lifestyle, technology, industry and society. 

The survey is anonymous and brief (10 minutes at most), and can be accessed at:

http://www.surveymk.com/s/irish-knowledge-economy-professionals

Survey will close on October 15, 2010.

Via Anthony D'Andrea

Any questions can be addressed to the survey coordinator Dr. Anthony D’Andrea:anthony.dandrea@ul.ie

€500,000 Awarded to 2010 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Winners

October 4, 2010

The 2010 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award Winners were announced at a reception in Dublin on Friday 1st October, where a call went out to the public and private sectors to step up to the plate to provide greater support for individuals who are developing new, big ideas to address a wide variety of social and environmental challenges we face in our country today and also to those individuals who are looking for funding support to show more business acumen. Among the attendance was guest-of-honour Tim Smit, CEO and Founder of the Eden Project, entrepreneur and businessman Denis O’Brien and Jim Barry, CEO, NTR plc. The NTR Foundation is the flagship sponsor of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s Awards programme. 

Since launching in 2005 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has made awards to 142 social entrepreneurs, directly investing over €3.47M into supporting these exceptional individuals. These in turn have directly helped over 170,000 people and indirectly helped another 300,000 people.

Three Awards were presented, two in the area of education and the other in the provision of support for families affected by addiction. 

Singer Frances Black set up The RISE Foundation in 2006 to assist families of addicts to understand the nature of the disease of addiction and the profound effects it has on relationships. The Foundation runs therapeutic and education programmes and seeks to tackle the stigma of having a loved one in addiction. 

 

After 40 years’ experience in the commercial sector, Dara Hogan set up Fledglings Early Years Education & Care having identified a significant shortage of early year’s education places in Tallaght West. Through a social franchise model Dara has set up 4 sites creating over 150 early years education places and 38 jobs and plans further expansion. 

 

The third award, the Bridge to College (B2C) programme, was created and developed by John Lawlor as he believes that the current education system in Ireland is failing to prepare students for a career in the smart economy.  The B2C programme seeks to deliver a dynamic learning experience for young people based on a new model of team-based workshops and technology mediated learning. 

 

Speaking at the presentation, Jim Barry, Chairman of the NTR Foundation, sponsors of the Awards said,“ Turning a new idea in to an effective and impactful social enterprise requires drive and ambition coupled with a strong business acumen.  Today’s award winners highlight that real social change, which benefits the wider community can be achieved when the principles of what makes good business sense are effectively applied to a winning idea.  Equally, supporting entrepreneurs who are passionate about social change can best be achieved with the support of both the public and private sector.”

 

Calling for greater support from both the public and private sectors, Denis O’Brien said social entrepreneurs are critical to developing the new thinking that is going to be required to address some of the entrenched social and environmental issues Ireland faces today.

 

 “An entrepreneur’s journey is not an easy one. As well as the excitement and energy that comes from growing a new idea are the challenges and frustrations that are an inevitable part of the journey. Added to that is the fact that social entrepreneurs, in contrast to their business cousins, are still not given the same recognition and prominence within society and are often faced with very challenging issues to deal with within the communities they serve. Both the public and private sectors need to step up to the plate and recognise the role that they can play in supporting social entrepreneurship” he said.

 

“Social Entrepreneurs have a responsibility too. They are passionate about social change, making a difference, however that passion must not get in the way of them having an effective business plan. They must be innovative in their thinking but entrepreneurial and business like about how they plan to deliver that social change. Lots of potentially great ideas come across my desk but most of them have no coherent business plan to support their delivery. Social entrepreneurs are no different, if they expect to get funding they need to be very professional in demonstrating how their particular idea for social change will succeed. Today’s three winners are great examples of that” he added. 

 

Building on that theme, guest of honour Tim Smit, CEO and Founder of the Eden Project in Cornwall said “I see social entrepreneurism as potentially one of the most important structural possibilities that has arisen in the history of capitalism. A lot of people feel there is a space for a new form of corporate structure that allows shareholders sit easily alongside stakeholders. The world is at a crossroads, we face enormous challenges and the question is can we rise to the challenge and change certain things to make our own lives and the world we live in more agreeable.”

€500,000 Awarded to 2010 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Winners

Sep 30 2010

 

The 2010 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award Winners were announced at a reception in Dublin on Friday 1st October, where a call went out to the public and private sectors to step up to the plate to provide greater support for individuals who are developing new, big ideas to address a wide variety of social and environmental challenges we face in our country today and also to those individuals who are looking for funding support to show more business acumen. Among the attendance was guest-of-honour Tim Smit, CEO and Founder of the Eden Project, entrepreneur and businessman Denis O’Brien and Jim Barry, CEO, NTR plc. The NTR Foundation is the flagship sponsor of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s Awards programme. 
 
Since launching in 2005 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has made awards to 142 social entrepreneurs, directly investing over €3.47M into supporting these exceptional individuals. These in turn have directly helped over 170,000 people and indirectly helped another 300,000 people.
 
Three Awards were presented, two in the area of education and the other in the provision of support for families affected by addiction. 
 
Singer Frances Black set up The RISE Foundation in 2006 to assist families of addicts to understand the nature of the disease of addiction and the profound effects it has on relationships. The Foundation runs therapeutic and education programmes and seeks to tackle the stigma of having a loved one in addiction. 
 
After 40 years’ experience in the commercial sector, Dara Hogan set up Fledglings Early Years Education & Care having identified a significant shortage of early year’s education places in Tallaght West. Through a social franchise model Dara has set up 4 sites creating over 150 early years education places and 38 jobs and plans further expansion. 
 
The third award, the Bridge to College (B2C) programme, was created and developed by John Lawlor as he believes that the current education system in Ireland is failing to prepare students for a career in the smart economy.  The B2C programme seeks to deliver a dynamic learning experience for young people based on a new model of team-based workshops and technology mediated learning. 
 
Speaking at the presentation, Jim Barry, Chairman of the NTR Foundation, sponsors of the Awards said,“ Turning a new idea in to an effective and impactful social enterprise requires drive and ambition coupled with a strong business acumen.  Today’s award winners highlight that real social change, which benefits the wider community can be achieved when the principles of what makes good business sense are effectively applied to a winning idea.  Equally, supporting entrepreneurs who are passionate about social change can best be achieved with the support of both the public and private sector.”
 
Calling for greater support from both the public and private sectors, Denis O’Brien said social entrepreneurs are critical to developing the new thinking that is going to be required to address some of the entrenched social and environmental issues Ireland faces today.
 
 “An entrepreneur’s journey is not an easy one. As well as the excitement and energy that comes from growing a new idea are the challenges and frustrations that are an inevitable part of the journey. Added to that is the fact that social entrepreneurs, in contrast to their business cousins, are still not given the same recognition and prominence within society and are often faced with very challenging issues to deal with within the communities they serve. Both the public and private sectors need to step up to the plate and recognise the role that they can play in supporting social entrepreneurship” he said.
 
“Social Entrepreneurs have a responsibility too. They are passionate about social change, making a difference, however that passion must not get in the way of them having an effective business plan. They must be innovative in their thinking but entrepreneurial and business like about how they plan to deliver that social change. Lots of potentially great ideas come across my desk but most of them have no coherent business plan to support their delivery. Social entrepreneurs are no different, if they expect to get funding they need to be very professional in demonstrating how their particular idea for social change will succeed. Today’s three winners are great examples of that” he added. 
 
Building on that theme, guest of honour Tim Smit, CEO and Founder of the Eden Project in Cornwall said “I see social entrepreneurism as potentially one of the most important structural possibilities that has arisen in the history of capitalism. A lot of people feel there is a space for a new form of corporate structure that allows shareholders sit easily alongside stakeholders. The world is at a crossroads, we face enormous challenges and the question is can we rise to the challenge and change certain things to make our own lives and the world we live in more agreeable.”

€500,000 Awarded to 2010 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Winners
Sep 30 2010
The 2010 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award Winners were announced at a reception in Dublin on Friday 1st October, where a call went out to the public and private sectors to step up to the plate to provide greater support for individuals who are developing new, big ideas to address a wide variety of social and environmental challenges we face in our country today and also to those individuals who are looking for funding support to show more business acumen. Among the attendance was guest-of-honour Tim Smit, CEO and Founder of the Eden Project, entrepreneur and businessman Denis O’Brien and Jim Barry, CEO, NTR plc. The NTR Foundation is the flagship sponsor of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s Awards programme. 
 
Since launching in 2005 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has made awards to 142 social entrepreneurs, directly investing over €3.47M into supporting these exceptional individuals. These in turn have directly helped over 170,000 people and indirectly helped another 300,000 people.
 
Three Awards were presented, two in the area of education and the other in the provision of support for families affected by addiction. 
 
Singer Frances Black set up The RISE Foundation in 2006 to assist families of addicts to understand the nature of the disease of addiction and the profound effects it has on relationships. The Foundation runs therapeutic and education programmes and seeks to tackle the stigma of having a loved one in addiction. 
 
After 40 years’ experience in the commercial sector, Dara Hogan set up Fledglings Early Years Education & Care having identified a significant shortage of early year’s education places in Tallaght West. Through a social franchise model Dara has set up 4 sites creating over 150 early years education places and 38 jobs and plans further expansion. 
 
The third award, the Bridge to College (B2C) programme, was created and developed by John Lawlor as he believes that the current education system in Ireland is failing to prepare students for a career in the smart economy.  The B2C programme seeks to deliver a dynamic learning experience for young people based on a new model of team-based workshops and technology mediated learning. 
 
Speaking at the presentation, Jim Barry, Chairman of the NTR Foundation, sponsors of the Awards said,“ Turning a new idea in to an effective and impactful social enterprise requires drive and ambition coupled with a strong business acumen.  Today’s award winners highlight that real social change, which benefits the wider community can be achieved when the principles of what makes good business sense are effectively applied to a winning idea.  Equally, supporting entrepreneurs who are passionate about social change can best be achieved with the support of both the public and private sector.”
 
Calling for greater support from both the public and private sectors, Denis O’Brien said social entrepreneurs are critical to developing the new thinking that is going to be required to address some of the entrenched social and environmental issues Ireland faces today.
 
 “An entrepreneur’s journey is not an easy one. As well as the excitement and energy that comes from growing a new idea are the challenges and frustrations that are an inevitable part of the journey. Added to that is the fact that social entrepreneurs, in contrast to their business cousins, are still not given the same recognition and prominence within society and are often faced with very challenging issues to deal with within the communities they serve. Both the public and private sectors need to step up to the plate and recognise the role that they can play in supporting social entrepreneurship” he said.
 
“Social Entrepreneurs have a responsibility too. They are passionate about social change, making a difference, however that passion must not get in the way of them having an effective business plan. They must be innovative in their thinking but entrepreneurial and business like about how they plan to deliver that social change. Lots of potentially great ideas come across my desk but most of them have no coherent business plan to support their delivery. Social entrepreneurs are no different, if they expect to get funding they need to be very professional in demonstrating how their particular idea for social change will succeed. Today’s three winners are great examples of that” he added. 
 
Building on that theme, guest of honour Tim Smit, CEO and Founder of the Eden Project in Cornwall said “I see social entrepreneurism as potentially one of the most important structural possibilities that has arisen in the history of capitalism. A lot of people feel there is a space for a new form of corporate structure that allows shareholders sit easily alongside stakeholders. The world is at a crossroads, we face enormous challenges and the question is can we rise to the challenge and change certain things to make our own lives and the world we live in more agreeable.”