Last week, I co-chaired an interesting conference in Croom, Co Limerick, organised by Carmel Fox and her team at Ballyhoura Development. It was all about social innovation and social enterprise – both terms are fairly new to me. In a nutshell, you could call them new solutions to social challenges which the State and the free market fail to provide. The bottom line for these social projects is that they improve quality of life in the communities with which they are associated.
I always get so much more out of these events when there is a show-and-tell element, and there was plenty of that here. It began with Elaine Butler, CEO of Croom Development, explaining what a voluntary committee was capable of achieving when it had strong leadership and the support of its community. The transformation of this small town is amazing and I will return to it later in the year.