This week, Dublin City University welcomed the chief executives of four Digicel Foundations in the Caribbean to the university’s Glasnevin Campus. The CEOs, who lead foundations working to create social change in Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago and Papua New Guinea, were visiting DCU to access insights from leading DCU researchers on creativity and social enterprise, the latest developments in STEM education and the use of virtual reality technology in leadership development.
The visitors, who included Charmaine Daniels, CEO, Digicel Foundation Jamaica, Sophia Stransky, CEO, Digicel Foundation Haiti, Penny Gomez, CEO, Digicel Foundation Trinidad and Tobago and Serena Sasingian, CEO of Digicel Foundation Papua New Guinea, began their day with a virtual reality experience in the new Colm Delves Leadership Lab at DCU Business School. The lab, which is the first fully immersive mixed reality leadership lab in an Irish university, was recently created with support from Digicel in memory of DCU alumnus and former Digicel Group CEO, Colm Delves.
Following their introduction to the lab, the visiting chief executives enjoyed a talk from Assistant Professor in DCU Business School, Peter Robbins, focusing on creativity in our work and social enterprise. A former head of innovation excellence for GlaxoSmithKline, Prof Robbins is one of Ireland’s foremost experts in innovation and new product and service development. Later, Professor Deirdre Butler from DCU’s Institute of Education also spoke about her work using Lego and Minecraft to involve and engage young learners, and her research on increasing the confidence and competence of their teachers to use game-based learning and computational thinking in the design of learning activities.
The visit builds upon Digicel’s longstanding philanthropic partnership with DCU, which has seen it support a variety of projects at the university since 2014. This has included support for DCU’s Access Programme, which provides equal access to third level education for students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The company also hosts an annual Digicel Summer Internship Programme for DCU Access students, which has provided a life-changing internship in the Caribbean for 18 students since 2011. More recently, Digicel’s support also enabled the establishment of the Colm Delves Leadership Fund at DCU in 2021 which created not only the Colm Delves Leadership Lab, but also a new annual Colm Delves Memorial Scholarship to support postgraduate study in DCU Business School.
Speaking on the visit, Joe Quinsey, CEO of the DCU Educational Trust, said:
“It was a privilege to welcome the CEOs from four Digicel Foundations in the Caribbean to DCU today. Their mission and work to create a world where no one gets left behind resonates with DCU’s own mission to transform lives and societies. We were pleased to facilitate this visit which deepens our collaboration and which enabled us to share DCU’s cutting edge insights on innovation, creativity and technology, and to showcase the great work that is taking place here with the help of Digicel funding.”