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Festival of Learning

What is the role of entrepreneurial thinking in social service settings, and how can we enhance it?


If Innovation and entrepreneurial thinking can bring fresh perspectives to societies most challenging problems, how can we use it in public services? Innovation and entrepreneurship in public services is about building relationships, working across sector lines, leveraging resources while all the time having a focus on outcomes. Successful innovations use problem solving approaches, collaborate with stakeholders and service users, and grow by adapting and learning.   

This event will share thinking about the culture, skills and environment required for innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to thrive in public service settings. We’ll hear real life examples in Ireland and the US, which are using innovative approaches in services for children and young people.  

Event details

This event takes place online, on Monday November 9th , between 2 and 3pm.

Attendance is free, but booking is essential.

Tune in here

Moderator & Panel Contributors

Rowan Conway

The keynote for this event is Rowan Conway, Head of Mission Oriented Innovation Network at UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. Rowan’s recent work includes ‘Move fast and fix things’ and ‘How to think like the system and act like an entrepreneur’.

Panel contributors include Mary Walsh, Boston City ConnectsSinead Collopy from Clare Children and Young People’s Services Committee and David Studer, Limerick Children and Young People’s Services Committee.

This event will be moderated by Áine Kerr. Áine is a teacher turned journalist turned entrepreneur and is co-founder of a new start up called Kinzen. During the summer months, Áine presented the programme ‘Reignite’ on Radio 1 and has also presented ‘The Business’ on RTE. She is currently undertaking the Sulzberger Leadership Program at Columbia University.

Programme of Events

Championing prevention and early intervention in Government


Tuesday November 3rd

What can the government do to support prevention and early intervention? Join keynote speaker Dr Patrick McCarthy (former President, Annie E. Casey Foundation) and a panel including Conor Rowley (Assistant Secretary, DCYA) and Dr Aisling Gillen (Tusla), to hear about how the state has championed prevention and early intervention in Ireland.

Strengthening prevention in policy


Thursday November 5th

If prevention is better than cure, then how can we do more of it? In his keynote, Professor Paul Cairney (University of Stirling) will share findings from extensive interviews with policy makers in Scotland and the UK. We’ll hear from experienced policy makers in Estonia and Ireland.

What is the role of entrepreneurial thinking in social service settings, and how can we enhance it?

Rowan Conway

Monday November 9th

Entrepreneurs and innovators can bring creative thinking and new approaches to some of the biggest challenges in public services. Join keynote Rowan Conway (UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose) to hear about the public entrepreneur along with stories of innovative thinking from Ireland and the US.

Artificial Intelligence – all in for the future of our children

Alexa Hasse

Wednesday November 11th

There is increasing interest in Artificial Intelligence, but what does it mean for the wellbeing and lives of future children and young people in Ireland? Keynote contributor Alexa Hasse from the Berkman Klein Centre at Harvard University will unpack the jargon. A panel of speakers will consider the ethical questions, and we’ll hear practical examples of how AI can be used to improve outcomes for children and young people.