Paul O’Hara - Director, Ashoka Europe & Founder, Change Nation
Based in Dublin, Paul is a director of Ashoka in Europe, having established Ashoka in Ireland and Scandinavia, launching key programmes in support of social entrepreneurs. Paul is also the founder of Change Nation and the Localizer process. Born and raised in the beautiful West of Ireland, Paul studied Commerce at NUI Galway, Marketing at the Smurfit School of Business, University College Dublin, and spent the next five years working in various marketing and commercial roles at Unilever Bestfoods and Cadbury Schweppes. An entrepreneur since his teenage years, Paul founded an award winning social business called The Hope Concept in 2005. Paul has represented his county and province in several sports and other interests include travel, reading and cinema.
Serena Mizzoni - Co-Director, Ashoka Ireland
Serena joined Ashoka in 2012 as a Manager for Change Nation. In this role she created the Change Nation talent programme, recruiting and managing 30 Change Executives - young entrepreneurial professionals who are leading the introduction of international innovations in skills, job creation, health, inclusion and sustainability. She is now the Co-Director of Ashoka Ireland. A graduate with a Business Masters in Human Resource Management from DCU, Serena founded GenePool, a talent consultancy firm, in 2010.
Erin Fornoff - Venture Europe
Erin is Venture Integrator for Ashoka Europe, co-ordinating the search and selection of new Ashoka Fellows across Europe, as well as serving in a number of other roles for Change Nation and the organization. Before coming to Ireland, she served as a Field Organizer for Barack Obama's campaign in two states. Previously at Ashoka headquarters in Washington, DC, she organized Fellow collaborations on water, launching new initiatives in Africa, South America, and Asia, and helped launch a DVD project on the world's leading social entrepreneurs. A graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, she founded a community garden and won a social entrepreneur fellowship to start a civic education programme in local primary schools. In Dublin she is a spoken word poet and coordinates a roof-top garden project at a local shelter.
Conor Ward - Associate
A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Conor joined Ashoka in late 2010 to work on Marketing and Communications. Prior to this Conor was an intern at The Atlantic Philanthropies - one of Ireland’s largest philanthropic organisations and a leader in the field. He has also worked with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and interned with Ashoka Fellow Caroline Casey’s Kanchi. Conor is now guiding the implementation of Change Nation's Empathy solutions, while also managing Changemakers competitions in Ireland.
Sarah Bernstein - Associate
Sarah studied Sociology and French at Boston College, where she also dedicated time to promoting local and sustainable foods on campus with student organization RealFoodBC. Continuing to pursue her love of food, she completed an independent micro study of the open-air market system while studying abroad in Madagascar. She moved to Istanbul to live and work after university before joining Ashoka Ireland in advance of Change Nation. She now oversees Ashoka U's expansion into Ireland as well as Change Nation's Sustainability solutions.
Barry Flinn - Associate
Barry is a UCD graduate with an MSc in Development Studies and BA in Psychology. Following his studies he spent 7 months travelling from Cairo to Cape Town, before returning home to manage the summer program for his family’s business, Free-Range Kids. Based out of their family farm in Croom, Co. Limerick, the company runs various projects linking children to nature. Most recently he worked as a filmmaker on an arts-based integration project in Limerick City, before joining the Change Nation team to work on Communications and PR. He now manages the Change Nation Skills cluster and serves as co-ordinator for the Ashoka Support Network.
Rebecca Kilbane - Associate
Rebecca is a PPES (Philosophy, Political Science, Economics and Sociology) graduate from Trinity College Dublin and a One Young World ambassador. She previously volunteered on the TD Marriage Equality campaign in Ireland and with the St. Vincent de Paul Society's homework clubs. She previously worked as a youth strategist on the Mary Davis presidential campaign, and in 2008 took part in the World Challenge Expedition to Vietnam. She is now overseeing the Health cluster for Change Nation.
Kathryn O'Shea - Change Nation Manager (Sabbatical)
A native of Co. Donegal, Kathryn served as coordinator of the Ashoka Localizer Programme in Ireland working with leading social entrepreneurs from around the world to import their innovations to Ireland. A law graduate from NUI Galway, Kathryn previously worked with the Niall Mellon Township Trust, a charity housing initiative in South Africa and with the legal team of the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland. She is a graduate of the Washington Ireland Programme for Service and Leadership (2007) and twice volunteered in India with Suas Educational Development as part of their overseas programmmes. She was chairperson the Suas Society in NUI Galway 2006/2007 and received a special award from the Mayor of Galway and NUI Galway for volunteering and community service. She completed her Gaisce Gold medal award in 2009.
Learn more about our team of Change Executives, who are helping us to spread Change Nation's 50 Proven Solutions.
Caroline Casey, Kanchi
Caroline Casey is the Founder of Kanchi (formerly The Aisling Foundation) and the O2 Ability Awards and is also an international speaker and adventurer. A social entrepreneur, Caroline sits on the board for several government, business and not-for-profit organisations. Since setting up The Aisling Foundation in 2000, with the aim of enhancing the relationship between disability and society, Caroline has received several high profile awards in recognition of her work worldwide. She was the first Irish person to be appointed a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2006 and was awarded an honorary doctorate from NUI Ireland in the same year. In 2006 she also became the first Ashoka fellow from Ireland and the UK and received the Eisenhower Fellowship. In 2007, Caroline was invited back to the World Economic Forum in Davos, where she presented on a variety of issues relating to the area of disability. A former management consultant with Accenture, Caroline is visually impaired to the degree that she is registered as legally blind.
John Concannon, Fáilte Ireland
John is Director of Market Development for Failte Ireland, Ireland’s National Tourism Development Authority. He also serves as Chairman of COPE Galway, a non profit organization. John’s past positions include CEO of Ireland West Tourism, which merged with Failte Ireland. He was Marketing Manager and Brand Manager at Unilever, and served as Marketing Executive for Dunbarry Ireland. He was selected as “Marketer of the Year” in 2010 for his “Ireland: The Fun Starts Here” campaign. Educated at NUI Galway, he lives in the west of Ireland and has three children.
Bride Rosney, Mary Robinson Foundation on Climate Justice
Bride was the Director of Communications with the Irish national broadcaster RTÉ from 2001 to 2009, having previously worked as Special Advisor to Mary Robinson for an eight-year period, during her time as President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. With over twenty years experience in education at both second and third levels, she previously worked as a teacher, educational researcher and school principal. Bride is currently the Secretary of Mary Robinson Foundation on Climate Justice.
Tim Brosnan, Abbey Capital
Tim has supported development in sub-Saharan Africa since 2000. His early career was in Ireland’s Department of Finance, development banking and investment banking. Since the 1980s, he has been an entrepreneur and investor in international financial markets. He is non-executive Chair of Abbey Capital Ltd, a leading managed futures investment company, which he co-founded in 2000. Tim is also a member of the Ashoka Support Network.