Today sees the launch of Your Country Your Call – a global initiative that seeks to make a tangible impact on Ireland’s economic future.

Martin McAleese and me at the pre-launch of Your Country Your Call

Martin McAleese and me at the launch of Your Country Your Call

Your Country Your Call, the brainchild of Martin McAleese the president’s husband, is essentially a competition to come up with the next big thing that will positively impact on our country’s future. A website has been established to allow people from anywhere in the world to submit short proposals for things they believe could “game changing” for Ireland.

The proposals are not for new business initiatives, but for new country initiatives. When I think about the kinds of things that we could compare this with I’m thinking of the IFSC in Dublin, Airport Duty Free first implemented in Shannon, or indeed the proposed Global Cultural University which Dermot Desmond is currently exploring.

The carrot here for people to submit proposals is to be part of the story of Ireland – to be able to tell your grandchildren that you were a major part of what Ireland became in the early part of the new millenium. There is also a prize of €100,000 – no strings attached.

The two winning proposals will each receive funding of €500,000 and be supported by a range of experts from across relevant industries, coupled with assured legislative changes as required. The proposal winners are welcome to participate in the implementation of the proposal but they will not receive any other remuneration other than the first €100,000.

So that’s €100,000 to write a few words down on a piece of paper with some great ideas for Ireland. Not bad.

An exciting potential of this initiative is the possibilities of creating new synergies of innovative and thoughtful people collaborating to achieve something truly worthwhile for Ireland. We had talked here on this blog about the need for an innovation network in Ireland. This is what you were looking for. Sure there is a defined time-limit on this, but I am hopeful that something more permanent may emerge.

President Mary McAleese is the patron of this iniative:

This is going to be big so do join in to be part of something historic. Visit the Your Country Your Call website to find out more.