From Passion To Action Podcast

Welcome to the 'From Passion to Action' podcast series

'From Passion to Action' is DCU’s resource hub for social innovation and social entrepreneurship education.

Students are passionate about all kinds of social and/or environmental issues. This initiative aims to support educators in embedding social impact in their teaching, irrespective of discipline. In doing so, they can foster in their students the behaviour, skills, thinking and attitude in devising, testing and launching sustainable innovative solutions to social and environmental challenges.

Prof Deiric Ó Broin: The History & Landscape of Irish Social Enterprise 

In this episode, Dr Emer Ní Bhrádaigh talks to Prof Deiric Ó Broin. Deiric is Professor of Public Policy Practice at the School of Law and Government, DCU, and Chair of Pobal, a government organisation that supports communities and local agencies toward achieving social inclusion and development.

In this conversation, Deiric discusses the Irish social enterprise history and landscape, and explores the variety of meanings of social enterprise that exist, as well as the problems associated with this. The conversation also delves into examples of inspiring and well-established Irish social enterprises, policy development for social enterprise, and how community embeddedness and collectivity should be essential in social entrepreneurship education.

Dr Andrew Forde: Social Enterprise Policy

In this episode, Dr Emer Ní Bhradaigh talks to Dr Andrew Forde, Head of Rural Strategy and Social Enterprise at the Department of Rural and Community Development. Andrew is a graduate of DCU, having received his BSc in Computer Applications in 2004, and has years of experience working in the field of human rights law.

In this conversation, Andrew explains what exactly a social enterprise is and how it differs from a charity or a private business. The conversation also covers topics such as the National Social Enterprise Policy, the Irish social enterprise landscape and social enterprise in higher education, government support schemes for social enterprises, and the future challenges and opportunities for the social enterprise sector in Ireland.

Daniela Papi-Thornton: Social Entrepreneurship & Systems-led Leadership

In this episode, Míde Power talks to Daniela Papi-Thornton, an impact consultant, educator and author, whose work focuses on social entrepreneurship and systems-led leadership.

Daniela explains how social entrepreneurship education should go beyond solely teaching students how to set up a social business. This conversation covers relevant topics such as systems change, building upon existing solutions, lived experiences, and apprenticing with a problem. Daniela also discusses her report, Tackling Heropreneurship, as well as the Impact Gaps Canvas, the tool which she developed that can be used to better understand the landscape of an issue.

Liam Redmond: Social Entrepreneurship & LGBTQ+ Equality

In this episode, Donnchadh Kindlon talks to Liam Redmond. Liam is a graduate of DCU, (BA Gnó & Gaeilge, 2013). He is also the Co-founder (with Eve Kerton, BA in Communications, 2014) of Certified Proud, a social enterprise that strives towards LGBTQ+ equality throughout businesses and organisations in Ireland.

Liam reflects on the journey of setting up Certified Proud and how his personal experiences and passion for LGBTQ+ equality helped him develop the idea. The conversation also explores how networking is a critical aspect of social entrepreneurship, the importance of collaboration to bring about systemic change, and the role that higher education institutions and educators can play in championing and inspiring student social enterprise initiatives.

Dr Denise Crossan: Social Business Model Canvas as a Teaching Tool

In this episode, Dr Emer Ní Bhrádaigh talks to Dr Denise Crossan. A native of Derry, Denise works at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, as Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility. Denise is an experienced academic and educator, and focuses on teaching social innovation, social entrepreneurship, design thinking, and project and strategic management.

Denise discusses how she first engaged with social enterprise as a result of the Northern Ireland Peace Process, where she worked on community enterprise initiatives. She highlights various social enterprise organisations from both sides of the Atlantic and explains the different funding mechanisms and structures that are used by social enterprises. Denise also discusses various teaching techniques she uses in the classroom, such as systems thinking, the social business model canvas and design thinking.

Maggie Clune: Work Integration Social Enterprise for Inclusive Communities

In this episode, Dr Emer Ní Bhrádaigh talks to Maggie Clune, Training and Social Enterprise Manager at PACE, an organisation that supports the integration process of people with criminal convictions back into the community.

Maggie explains how PACE has created a number of work integration social enterprise ventures to give former prisoners the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and to find employment in the community. This conversation also explores Maggie’s move from the private sector to the third sector, talent management at PACE, and how Maggie’s experiences working on social enterprise at PACE has inspired her to embark on her PhD research on entrepreneurship and young people in the criminal justice system.

Dr Marie Taylor: Social Enterprise Education and Research for Sustainable Inclusive Development

In this episode, Míde Power talks to Dr Marie Taylor. Marie works as a Senior Project Officer at the Development Unit, Limerick Institute of Technology. Marie is an experienced researcher and educator in the field of social enterprise and rural development, and has worked on a variety of European projects focused on social enterprise development.

Marie discusses how her PhD in heritage tourism and community development sparked a personal interest in social enterprise. This conversation also covers the multidisciplinary potential of social enterprise and its relevance for different fields such as environmental action, and arts and culture. Marie delves into the various social enterprise research projects that she has worked on, such as EMwoSE (Women From Ethnic Minorities in Social Enterprise) and SocialB (Social Business Educational Ecosystem for Sustainability and Growth). 

Mick Kelly: Social Entrepreneurship and Climate Action

In this episode, Míde Power talks to Mick Kelly, Founder and CEO of Grow It Yourself (GIY). GIY is a social enterprise that supports people around the world to live healthier, happier and more sustainable lives by growing their own food.

Mick describes how the story of GIY began during one trip to the supermarket, after realising that the garlic he was about to buy had been imported from China. He highlights the importance of resilience for social innovation and entrepreneurship and discusses the role that GIY aims to play in addressing sustainability issues at a global scale.

John Murphy: Increasing Employment through Work Integration Social Enterprise

In this episode, Dr Emer Ní Bhrádaigh and Míde Power talk to John Murphy (MSc in Education and Training Management, 1999), Chief Executive of Speedpak Group, a social enterprise that operates commercial businesses and training courses to support long term unemployed people get back to work by providing real work experience.

John highlights how trading, training and transforming are at the heart of Speedpak Group.

The conversation explores the relationship between occupational therapy and Speedpak Group as a social enterprise. John explains how respect and choice is important for work integration social enterprises. John also discusses how the organisation’s partnerships have helped massively with running the social enterprise. Such partnerships include Mick Kelly and Grow It Yourself.

Ilana Gotz: Cooperative and Social Enterprise Research in a European Context

In this episode, Donnchadh Kindlon talks to Ilana Gotz, Project Manager at Euricse, the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, in Trento, Italy.

Originally from the USA, Ilana describes the American perspective of social enterprise and entrepreneurship and reflects on how it differs from the European perspective. Ilana also discusses the collaborative work carried out at Euricse, as well as their unique and interactive Masters in Management of Social Enterprises, which has been running for 26 years. The conversation explores multidisciplinarity, the key components for running a social enterprise, and how social entrepreneurship education can provide students with opportunities to effect social change in an inclusive and sustainable way.

Niall O’Kane: Creating Sustainable Rural Communities

In this episode, Dr Emer Ní Bhrádaigh talks to Niall O’Kane, Director of An Carn in Co. Derry, a community organisation that aims to regenerate the surrounding rural area using a social enterprise approach rooted in the Irish language.

In this conversation, Niall explains the opportunities and challenges associated with setting up and running the community association. He describes how community and sustainability are at the heart of the work at An Carn and highlights how their services and activities cater to a wide range of interests, from the creative arts, to the environment, to the Irish language. The conversation also covers the role that the social enterprise ventures in the local community have played in bringing local residents together and allowing local culture and heritage to flourish.

Mary Lawlor: Social Finance for Social Enterprise Development

In this episode, Dr Emer Ní Bhrádaigh talks to Mary Lawlor, CEO of Clann Credo, a community loan finance organisation that provides loans to community organisations, charities and social enterprises.

In this conversation, Mary provides insights into the role that Clann Credo plays in supporting social enterprise in Ireland through social finance. Mary also explores how Clann Credo defines ‘community’ and the types of communities that are supported by the organisation.

This conversation also highlights the cross disciplinary potential of social innovation in education and in practice, Mary’s involvement in county development partnerships, and in collaborating with the community. Mary also explains how passion is rooted in experience, an important ingredient for social enterprise.

Dr Lorraine Boran & Dr Louise Hopper: Embedding Social Innovation & Enterprise in Psychology

In this episode, Dr Emer Ní Bhrádaigh and Donnchadh Kindlon talk to Dr Lorraine Boran and Dr Louise Hopper. Lorraine and Louise both work in the School of Psychology at DCU and have collaborated with From Passion to Action to embed social innovation and social enterprise into their teaching.

This conversation explores the relevance of social innovation and entrepreneurship to psychology education, and the experiences that Lorraine and Louise have had working with the From Passion to Action project. Topics covered also include social enterprise and critical thinking skills, risk-taking and self-efficacy, and community engagement and transformative change.