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Harry mccann

Entrepreneur, Journalist & Public Speaker

THIS IS MY STORY

At just twenty-three years old, the Irish award-winning entrepreneur and journalist Harry McCann has established himself in the business and political world as not only a thought-leader but a powerful voice for youth across the globe.

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LISTEN TO ME SPEAK
Why Ireland is becoming a 'toxic environment' for young people
04:40

Why Ireland is becoming a 'toxic environment' for young people

An entrepreneur says he feels like he is being 'forced out' of Ireland because of a toxic environment for younger people. Harry McCann, who is 22, says Ireland is no longer a place for young people because of several factors - aside from the pandemic. In a tweet on Wednesday, he says: "Ireland no longer feels like a place of opportunity for young people. "There are too many unnecessary challenges. For the first time yesterday, I consciously considered the idea of spending my 20's elsewhere. "Like many people my age in Ireland, I feel like I am being forced out." He also describes the level of "disrespect" shown towards young people in Ireland in the last year as "disgraceful." He told Lunchtime Live young people have become an afterthought, and are waking up to this. "I think it's quite disgraceful, to be honest - it's just another example of young people being an afterthought for the Government in recent months. "We received a huge amount of criticism and backlash when COVID was quite high... and there was accusations that we were causing the spread. "And now there's a situation where we were told for months and months that we'd stay indoor, stay safe and keep the vulnerable safe while they get vaccinated. "And now they're saying 'These people are vaccinated, we're going to let them dine inside but we're going to make you work in environments where you're not vaccinated'. "It's just another example of how young people are an afterthought for Government time and again." He says this has been the case "on a number of occasions." "It's not a great place to live for people in their 20s or 30s, Ireland is becoming very toxic environment in the sense that rents are ever-increasing, we pay the highest college fees anywhere in Europe. "To get a job is difficult enough, but to get a decent paying job that can allow you to live a sustainable life here is very, very difficult."
MY STORY

Just months after his fifteenth birthday, Harry made headlines around the world when he started his first business, Kid Tech, to teach children how to code. This early success earned him the title of "Ireland's answer to Bill Gates" and gained him the support of international celebrities such as Stephen Fry.

Building on his early success, Harry combined his passion for STEM and his experience in the technology industry to establish the first Digital Youth Council (DYC) in the world. For six years, the youth council helped give young people a voice in STEM and Education. While under his leadership, the council formed partnerships with Accenture, Twitter, Facebook, and other industry leaders, including the Irish Government and European Commission. This innovative model, which Harry spent years developing, has since been replicated in the United Kingdom under the leadership of the Virgin Group.

Coinciding with his work as an entrepreneur, Harry has been an influential voice in youth affairs. As an advisor to both the European Union and the Irish Government, Harry has helped shape many important digital strategies and policies across Europe. He has received several awards in recognition of this work, including the JCI Outstanding Young Persons Award.

 

As a journalist, Harry has established himself as one of the most recognisable youth voices in the Irish media. He contributes to several national television and radio shows and regularly writes op-ed columns for the Irish Independent and thejournal.ie. As one of only twelve young journalists selected by the European Commission, Harry is also a member of the European Pool of Young Journalists. 

 

While also pursuing several business and journalistic interests, Harry achieved an upper second class honours degree in Digital Humanities and Information Technology at the University College Cork, where he was awarded a full scholarship for his work in entrepreneurship and innovation. Harry also recently completed a Master's in Political Communications at Dublin City University (DCU).

 
 
IN THE MEDIA
Keynote Speaker & MC

His storytelling, passion, humour and youthful desire to inspire have enabled Harry to travel the world speaking about what he loves.

As one of the most sought-after international youth speakers, Harry has spoken at over two-hundred events spanning ten countries and reaching over a quarter of a million attendees.

Harry uses his expertise and experience to engage audiences on a wide range of topics, such as education, youth, our digital society, communications, the future of work, European affairs, and youth policy.

A seasoned speaker and MC, Harry has played a key role in events for an extensive list of clients, including the European Commission, Vodafone, Twitter, and The City of Helsinki.

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