We have a new citizen in Ireland. The one that believes they are part of Irelands future and have decided to behave as such. People are acting on their beliefs. They are forming alliances, expressing their views, and standing up for what they believe in more than ever before. Well, it’s more visible than ever before. We will march. We will tweet. We will follow. We will like. We will wear the t-shirt.
This new citizen is finding his own way to contribute to society. We see a huge uplift in volunteering. Women and young people are driving this trend. Two thirds of volunteer signups in 2012 were female and almost two thirds were under 35. We also saw a record number of female candidates running for the local elections. Women are voicing and acting on their beliefs more than ever before.
The idea of DIY activism, do it yourself seems to be taking hold. No longer the sole domain of the not for profit sector, many sectors and industries are dedicating time and resources to addressing societal issues. We see the tech and science communities participating in events like Hack4Good. People are trying to apply their professional skills to a greater purpose, to serve their society, to do good.
It’s not just about civic engagement, it’s about active engagement. We don’t just consume stuff, or watch stuff, we share it, change it, and participate in it. When we get a new phone, we fiddle with it until it works they way we want it to, so that it connects us to what we want to be connected with.
Citizen I is an active participant in the type of world they want to live in.
Entrepreneurship: There are now 200,000 small businesses in Ireland, with 13,000 new businesses being established each year.
Volunteering - 58% of registered volunteers in 2012 had never volunteered before (volunteer.ie).
Women in politics – 34% increase in female elected candidates since 2009 (womenforelection.ie).