Creating Our Future was a unique public-engagement activity on research, at a scale not previously undertaken in Ireland.

Dr Ciaran Seoighe,

Dr Ciaran Seoighe, Deputy Director General, Science Foundation Ireland. Picture Jason Clarke

The campaign invited the public to send in their ideas based on a flexible, open-ended question: Tell us your idea for what researchers in Ireland should explore to create a better future.

From Donegal to Kerry, people gathered in town squares, car parks, community centres, schools, higher education institutions, and companies to discuss how research can play a role in creating a better future for everyone.

This ‘national brainstorm’ brought those who would not normally participate in discussions on research into the conversation.

Dr Ciaran Seoighe’s article describes how Creating Our Future sought to identify the challenges and opportunities that the people of Ireland experience, and how it sparked a conversation across Ireland on how research can play a role in addressing those challenges and seizing those opportunities.

Over 18,000 submissions were received, analysed, and synthesised into 16 thematic areas.

The response showed that the people of Ireland want their voices to be heard and that they have confidence in the promise and potential of research to transform lives and create sustainable societies.