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Ruairí McKiernan

Ruairí McKiernan is an Irish campaigner and consultant working on community powered projects for transformational change. His work includes writing, radio, TV, public speaking, and advisory work for numerous non profits and campaign groups in Ireland and internationally.

Originally from Cootehill in Co. Cavan, Ruairí studied Business Management in Scotland before working for various multinational companies in the U.S and Australia. Returning to Ireland he joined the North Western Health Board and got more involved in social justice and environmental issues before setting up the pioneering national youth organization where he was CEO from 2004 to 2011. In 2011 he was one of the organizers of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Ireland and in early 2012 was appointed by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, to the Council of State. He is on the boards of Gaisce -- The President’s Award, and The Soar Foundation and is a recipient of numerous awards including a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award, and a Net Visionary Award. Ruairí is undertaking a one month hitchhiking ‘listening tour’ around Ireland in July, finishing at the MacGill Summer School on July 30th. He likes travel, yoga, music, mountains, and pies.

He is on Twitter @ruairimckiernan and his website is

Entries by Ruairí McKiernan

10 Great Options If You Didn't Get the College Course You Wanted

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 6:43 PM

Didn't get that college place you wanted? Don't stress, you have options, lots of them. Now might not be the right time for college, and you may need more time to figure out what you want to do. You could also choose not to go to college at all. Whatever...

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There's a New World Superpower -- And 4 Other Things I Learned at Netroots Nation

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2014 | 7:35 AM

I had barely touched down in California when it was time to take off again. This time, to Detroit, to attend Netroots Nation, billed as the United States' biggest annual gathering of progressive activists, organizers and online social justice innovators.

My trip to the U.S from Ireland is...

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A Symbolic Victory for People Power in Ireland

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 7:14 PM

A small but hugely significant victory for people power was achieved in Ireland this month. After 19 nights of sleeping on the floor of the Paris Bakery in Dublin, a group of mostly young migrant workers succeeded in forcing political action that will help them recoup unpaid wages and make...

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Change Is Possible -- Remembering Internet Activist Aaron Swartz

(0) Comments | Posted January 13, 2014 | 6:19 PM

It is one year since the death of 26-year-old Aaron Swartz, the renowned computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist.

People all around the world are remembering Swartz, a man Internet founder Tim Berners-Lee called a wise elder of the web. A new film on...

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Ten Things I Learned From Hitch-hiking Around Ireland

(8) Comments | Posted January 12, 2014 | 12:33 PM

During July 2013 I hitch-hiked around Ireland, recording people's voices and visions for the country, on what I called the 'hitching for hope' listening tour. I dreamed up the idea as a way of informing my speech at the MacGill Summer School about citizen's views on democracy at what is...

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Irish Charities Need Our Support More Than Ever

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 11:57 AM

Irish charities are entering 2014 in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. According to Fundraising Ireland, donations to charities were down 40 percent over the Christmas period. The CEO of Bóthar says his organization received hate mail. St. Vincent De Paul, a port of last call for many in need,...

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Let Mandela Inspire Us to Live Our Lives for Justice

(4) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 11:07 AM

The outpouring of global love for Nelson Mandela shows that people everywhere crave courageous leadership and celebrate those who are prepared to break the rules to uplift humanity. Mandela remains a rare role model of substance in a world dominated by the pursuit of fame, wealth, fame and power. His...

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