The Donegal teenagers YSI project – ‘The Greenest Link’ aims to make the Local Link and local transport more accessible to different age groups.
Speaking at the event, Rowan Buchanan, Abbey Vocational School student explained: “It’s working on getting more people to take the Local Link and making it more accessible, making it their first choice of transport. We hope to get primary schools involved, do some workshops in our school and handout leaflets with the timetable to older generations.”
The Abbey Vocational School group had the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of the National Control Centre, the hub from which EirGrid manages Ireland’s electricity grid, and to provide the grid operator with their views on how they’d like to see Ireland’s energy system develop for the future.
As well as a series of thought-provoking workshops on issues including the Sustainable Development Goals, climate justice, biodiversity, and de-yyyygrowth, the students, who are all tackling climate related issues as part of their YSI participation, brainstormed about how to develop their own project ideas, alongside EirGrid staff.
EirGrid is the Climate Action and Energy partner to Young Social Innovators, a national organisation that engages thousands of young people annually in co-creating and developing innovative ideas to address social challenges.
Speaking about the Powering Up event, Michael Mahon, chief infrastructure officer, EirGrid, said: “We are proud to partner with Young Social Innovators on this pioneering event, in what is an inspiring coming together of young minds and EirGrid employees.
“As we work to transform the power system for future generations, it is only right that we listen to and involve young people. We gained new insights and perspectives from these young people, as we look to secure the transition to a low carbon future.”
Roger Warnock, CEO, Young Social Innovators said: “How we live and consume more sustainably is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges we are facing today, both locally and globally. Seeing young people actively engaging in important discussions and having their ideas and voices heard by those operating our national power grid is truly inspiring.
“Young people must be part of any discussions on how we as a country plan for a more sustainable future and today’s event could serve as a prototype for wider youth consultations on climate and sustainability related issues. We are extremely grateful to EirGrid for co-hosting today’s event and for the opportunities they have provided for these young people.”