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President to formally open nationwide series of Being Young & Irish 2012 workshops

Date: Sat 1st Sep, 2012 | 15:34

This Saturday President Michael D. Higgins will formally open his series of nationwide Being Young and Irish 2012 workshops with an opening address at the Dublin workshop in D.I.T. Bolton Street.

100 young people aged between 17 and 26 will spend the day exploring and debating their vision for Ireland’s future.

The Dublin workshop is part of a wider consultation process by the President.  He wants to hear from any young person aged 17 to 26 in Ireland and worldwide who has a view on Ireland’s future. The closing date for submissions is 29 September 2012.

Throughout the day, through workshops and plenary voting sessions, young people will agree on their top 10 answers to the President’s questions: What is your vision for Ireland? What needs to happen to make your vision possible? What can you and other young people do to achieve this vision?

Working with professional facilitators, young people in groups of ten will discuss the characteristics of a healthy, well-functioning society, talk about other countries that have impressed them on their travels, look back at Ireland’s recent history and see how the negatives might be transformed into positives.

The day will conclude with an overview of the vision created and a mass moving debate.  All of the findings from the day and the subsequent regional workshops in Cork, Monaghan and Galway will be reviewed by the research team appointed by the President who will analyse this data along with young people’s online submissions

Being Young and Irish 2012 is first in a series of Presidency seminars which will take place throughout the term of President Higgins.   The President intends to use the findings of Being Young and Irish 2012 to inform his Presidency and later this year will hold a final major Being Young and Irish 2012 seminar in Áras an Uachtaráin where the ‘Take Charge of Change’ findings will be presented.

Young people can share their views in writing, audio, video or any format they choose via (Deadline 29 September 2012)

About Being Young and Irish 2012

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, is inviting young Irish people at home and worldwide to play an active part in shaping Ireland’s shared future.

Being Young and Irish, the consultation with Irish people aged 17 to 26, seeks to advance the national discourse on inclusion by harnessing the power of young people, enabling them to participate and be involved in that discourse. The ambition is to create a society which values every citizen in every generation.

The central goal is to engage young people as active and reflective citizens in contemporary Ireland, and to endorse them as one of the sources of wisdom in solving core social, political, economic and cultural issues confronting Ireland.  It is President Higgins’ hope that the Being Young and Irish consultation and seminar will:

·    Open up channels of participation for young people and involve them in the national discussion and debate about what kind of country we now have, what form of Republic we wish to create and how it can be achieved.

·    Identify, promote and celebrate original, youth-led sensitive and realisable solutions to our present conditions and proposals for a better society in the future.

·    Hear from young people and seek their views on the difficulties young people from diverse backgrounds are experiencing, as young and Irish people today.

What are the Presidency Seminars?
In his inaugural address on 11 November 2011 President Higgins announced his intention to hold a number of Presidency Seminars which would reflect and explore themes important to Ireland’s shared life yet separate and wider than the immediate events to which legislation is directed.

The first of President Higgins’ Presidency Seminars Being Young and Irish seeks to advance the national discourse on inclusion by harnessing the power of young people, enabling them to participate and be more involved in decision making.  Being Young and Irish aims to hear from young Irish people aged 17 to 26 at home and abroad.

Further seminars will take place throughout President Higgins’ seven year term and will encompass consideration of global issues, stressing the importance of the ethical connection between politics, economy, development and society.