Fiona Descoteaux, CEO Innovate Communities

Fiona has 10 years’ senior executive experience in the non-profit, local development and social enterprise sectors in Ireland and the UK. A specialist in social innovation, Fiona has put her experience into launching Innovate Communities – an organisation that demonstrates the value of social innovation and design thinking to advance community development.

As CEO, she has a proven track record in building relationships for strategic and operational gain across a range of sectors: non-profit, private, statutory, academic, local and central government.

Fiona is skilled at developing engagement with target groups, successfully delivering programmes and accessing funding nationally and on a European platform, whilst adhering to corporate governance structures and best practice.

When she is not working, Fiona walks her cockapoo, Bella, rides her tractor lawnmower, and visits the odd spa. All are great stress relievers!

Contact Fiona:

Annabelle Conway, Social Innovation Manager

Annabelle is a skilled professional with extensive experience in the areas of innovation, change management, business development and human resources management.  Having worked across several sectors she has a comprehensive understanding of the many challenges involved in getting a business off the ground and the importance of creating new systems and processes for implementing innovations.

In addition to being involved in the strategic development of Innovate Communities, Annabelle manages the Social Innovation Hub.  She also uses her skills in partnership and collaboration to develop and implement social innovation programmes that help make positive changes in local communities. 

Annabelle believes in the power of social business and social investment to tackle society’s big issues and is passionate about empowering people and communities to achieve creative and transformative forms of impact.

A dedicated traveller, Annabelle is working her way around the world, continent by continent!

Contact Annabelle:

 Anne Orrock, Finance & Administration Manager

Anne has worked in local development for several years and has managed the finance function for numerous large projects as well as several programmes funded by Pobal, Solas, Department of Social Protection and City of Dublin Youth Service Board.

As the Finance and Administration Manager of Innovate Dublin, Anne has the opportunity to combine her love of numbers with her desire to support social causes and her precision and experience are an asset to the staff and the board.

Outside of work, Anne likes to spend time with family and visit ‘off the beaten track’ places in Donegal, which remind her of her homeland, bonny Scotland!

Contact Anne:

 Elaine McGauran, Community Project Manager

Elaine is an experienced HR expert across the Banking & Financial Services, Pharmaceutical and the Nonprofit sectors. Her managerial experience includes; Project Management, Corporate Social Responsibility, Learning and Development, Strategic HR Planning, Change Management and Talent Management.

Elaine has a lifelong interest in social inclusion and a commitment to the wider community. Elaine joins us as our Community Project Manager. She will be managing our exciting new innovative mentoring project - INSPIRE in partnership with LinkedIn. Elaine will have responsibility for the plan, design, implementation and scaling of INSPIRE. 

Elaine is a Chartered Member of CIPD and has a Masters in Management and Innovation in Social Enterprise from DCU.

Contact Elaine:   

Tom Doyle, Social Innovation Manager, The Liberties

Tom is our most recent addition to the Innovate Communities team. Prior to joining us he acted as an independent researcher and consultant in the area of institutional change with a particular interest in the link between individual growth and social innovation. His extensive experience includes a decade as part of the management team that established the Institute of Technology in Blanchardstown and prior to that over twenty years working as a technical consultant to a wide range of food enterprises, from multinationals to local artisan producers, to develop internationally accredited quality management systems. 

As social innovation manager for the Liberties Tom hopes to deploy this knowledge and experience in a way that will support individuals and groupings develop creative solutions to the complex issues facing communities at the moment. He strongly believes that, given the right conditions of connectedness, people in any community have the individual capacity, wisdom and entrepreneurial energy to arrive at these solutions.    

He is an avid follower of American politics and likes to read political biography’s. He is a member of the Dublin Toastmasters club where these ideas get an airing. He keeps fit by hillwalking and swimming, and lists the multiple completion of the Liffey Swim as one of his more important life achievements!

Contact Tom:   

Donagh Horgan, Researcher

Donagh has been working on spatial and social transformation over two decades, first as an architect and urban planner and later on service design projects. He has an established track record in facilitating participatory co-design with diverse communities to drive place-based social innovation and surmount societal challenges. Donagh is a creative facilitator adept at engagement and ideation, focused on improving the quality of life for citizens on projects in Ireland and around the world.  

As a researcher, he contributes primarily to the Erasmus+ funded FUTURE project, working with a set of European partners to develop a toolkit for community led regeneration. He has a strong interest in helping communities to build capacity for self-sustainability and resilience, and his academic work looks at social innovation in the built environment from an interdisciplinary perspective.

When he is not travelling to random places he is taking photos of concrete buildings, or being dragged about the place by his adopted greyhound!

Contact Donagh: 


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