Harry McCann
Still from ‘The power of STEM | Harry McCann | TEDxVIlniusED’. Image: TEDx Talks/YouTube

Harry McCann named among list of outstanding young people in the world

1 Sep 2017

Flying the flag for Ireland, Digital Youth Council founder Harry McCann has been recognised as one of the leading global voices for young people.

Harry McCann has been named one of the 10 Outstanding Young Persons of the World by Junior Chamber International (JCI), a non-profit, international, non-governmental organisation of young people aged between 18 and 40 years old.

According to JCI, those who make the list do so for their “exceptional service, creativity and the positive change they have created in their communities and the world”.

Speaking specifically about McCann, the JCI judging panel said: “His efforts have shown that young digital entrepreneurs have the ability to do more than just talk but, ultimately, build the future.”

Whittled down from 20 finalists

McCann spoke with Siliconrepublic.com: “I would like to thank JCI Ireland and Dublin for all their help and support over the last few months. I am delighted to be representing them for this award.

“It is an honour to be considered one of the 10 Outstanding Young Persons of the World for 2017, and I really do hope I can live up [to] the billing as a recipient.”

The selection process was left to both a public vote – of which 30,000 votes were cast – as well as a judging panel, which whittled down 20 finalists to the list of 10.

Having been nominated in the category of Business, Economic and/or Entrepreneurial Accomplishment, McCann’s establishment of the first Digital Youth Council in the world was a major factor in winning the award.

Since it was founded in 2014, the Digital Youth Council has brought together Ireland’s brightest minds in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to help encourage more young people to get involved.

It has expanded beyond Ireland’s borders, and now has bases in the UK and the Netherlands.

Last May, McCann drew national attention for his letter to the Irish Government calling on major changes to the Leaving Certificate programme, going so far as to partially blame it for contributing to poor mental health among young Irish people by not changing the learning-by-rote system in place.

Colm Gorey
By Colm Gorey

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic. He joined in January 2014 and covered AI, IoT, science and anything that will get us to Mars quicker. When not trying to get his hands on the latest gaming release, he can be found lost in a sea of Wikipedia articles on obscure historic battles and countries that don't exist any more, or watching classic Simpsons episodes far too many times to count.

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