Young Social Innovators “Open Call to Teenagers” for solutions to the challenges of COVID-19


Minister Canney welcomes Young Social Innovators “Open Call to Teenagers” for solutions to the challenges of COVID-19


Original Source: Press Release


Monday, 20 April 2020


Mr Seán Canney TD, the Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, has today (Monday, 20th April) welcomed an initiative by Young Social Innovators (YSI). It calls for young people across Ireland to put forward solutions on how to respond to the challenges of coronavirus in their communities.


The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live, work, learn, connect, communicate, travel and care for each other. YSI’s new research has found that 68% of young people in Ireland are optimistic that society will change for the better in the aftermath of coronavirus.  Young people have plenty of ideas about how to tackle these challenges in new and creative ways and need to be heard.



Minister Canney said:

“Young Social Innovators has come up with a fantastic idea in challenging teenagers to come up with creative ideas to the challenges faced during these difficult times.  The ‘Open Call for Teenagers’ gives them a platform for their voices to be heard, to find ways to tackle some of the problems that we as a community are facing now and into the future.  I would encourage teenagers to think about what is working for their community, what can be done better and how can we make a difference.”


The Young Social Innovators have launched an ‘Open Call to Teenagers’.  This initiative invites teenagers to create, explore and make a difference around the issues caused by the Coronavirus. The ‘Open Call’ is asking young people for their ideas on how to tackle the problems in their communities. Young Social Innovators believe that young people have a powerful role to play and their ideas and voices are important. The ‘Open Call’ will run from 20th April until 31st May and is open to young people aged between 13-19.


The ideas with the most potential to impact, as a result of the Coronavirus, will be given the opportunity to pitch to a digital panel of team leaders from across Government, NGOs and business, which will be hosted by Virgin Media.


It is important that we understand how young people are doing amidst such crisis and uncertainty. The level of awareness among young people, their interest in staying informed, their knowledge of Government guidelines, and their high levels of commitment to following them is encouraging.  However, while many young people are remaining positive, there are others who may not be managing as well and they should be encouraged to express how they are feeling, particularly around the many frustrations they may have.



Minister Canney stated:

“This initiative provides young people with an avenue to contribute and participate in the discussions around what kind of world we wish to live in after this crisis.  We need to listen to young people’s anxieties and provide them with a platform to express these while also considering potential solutions.”


For more information, visit:





The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office

076-1006843 / 087-1734633

[email protected]



Note to editors:


About Open Call to Teenagers to Teenagers #YSIOpenCall

YSI is launching an Open Call to Teenagers to explore, create and innovate around issues caused by Coronavirus. YSI believes that young people have a powerful role to play and that their voices and ideas are important as families and communities the world over face unprecedented change. The Open Call will run from April 20th until May 31st and will provide a digital platform for young people aged 13-19 to submit ideas in response to the challenges created by COVID-19. YSI strongly believes that engaging young people in this time of crisis and facilitating them to feel empowered is important.


See #YSIOpenCall for more information.


The Open Call to Teenagers is being supported by the Health Service Executive, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Virgin Media, Department of Rural and Community Development, the GAA, the National Youth Council of Ireland, the Childrens’ Rights Alliance, Gaisce, the Prince’s Trust, Spun Out and DCU Alpha Innovation Campus.


About Young Social Innovators (YSI):

Young Social Innovators is a non-profit organisation, grant funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development, that believes in the power of youth. Through its programmes, training and events, Young Social Innovators enables young people to grapple with difficult social issues, advocating reform and advancing change. Each year, circa 15,000 young people are supported to explore social issues that concern them and come up with a variety of responses to these.  In this way, Young Social Innovators builds social capital and helps young people create a fairer and more caring Ireland. YSI is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development, the Department of Education and Skills, The Tomar Trust, the Health Service Executive, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, the Dormant Accounts Fund, Irish Aid’s WorldWise Global Schools,, as well as the Crisis Pregnancy Programme and. Further support is received from Google, Dublin City Council, AbbVie Ltd, and the Smurfit Foundation.

The research for the YSI / Amárach ‘COVID-19 Youth ‘Check In’ Survey’ was conducted between Thursday, 2nd and Tuesday, 7th April 2020.  An online survey was created and distributed through a number of online and social media channels. Interviewing fieldwork took place during restrictions on movements beyond 2km and people were being asked to stay at home as much as possible.  The research sample size comprised 796 young people.


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