Ruairí McKiernan is the founder of SpunOut.ie Youth Media organisation. SpunOut.ie has grown significantly since 2006 and now reaches over 1 million young people annually. In 2012 Ruairi was appointed to the council of State by President Michael D. Higgins.
Originally from Co. Cavan, Ruairí studied Management in Scotland before working for various multinational companies and NGOs in the U.K, U.S, Australia and Canada. Upon returning to Ireland, Ruairí worked with the North Western Health Board and the Foróige national youth organisation before establishing Community Creations from his Co. Donegal home in January 2004. He wanted to promote and facilitate positive social change.
Community Creations was founded in early 2004 as a social change organisation by Ruairí McKiernan and friends Keith Corcoran and Anna Lally. It aimed to promote positive social change in the community.
From this grew www.spunout.ie, an online youth health and citizenship initiative for Ireland. SpunOut.ie is a not-for-profit website created by young people for young people. It promotes general wellbeing and healthy living in order to prevent and positively intervene in harmful behaviour. Ruairi was CEO of this hugely successful website from 2004 to 2011.
As the flagship initiative of Community Creations, the award winning www.SpunOut.ie, provides information, support and advocacy opportunities to hundreds of thousands of young people throughout Ireland.
In 2011 Ruairí stepped down as CEO of SpunOut.ie to pursue new adventures. He is a regular national media contributor on health and social issues and has received a Global Young Social Entrepreneurs Scholarship (Malaysia, 2007) and a Boston College Youth Citizenship Programme Scholarship (Boston/Austin, 2010).
Spunout.ie is now based between Dublin and Galway where it employs 7 full-time and 3 part-time staff. SpunOut.ie awards have included a Health Service Achievement Award, a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award, an Eircom Golden Spider Award, an Irish Internet Association/Enterprise Ireland Net Visionary Award, a Digital Media Award and a JCI Ireland Award.
In early 2012 Ruairí was appointed by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, to the Council of State. He is on the board of Gaisce. During July 2013 Ruairí undertook a one month hitchhiking ‘listening tour’ around Ireland that took in 17 counties, countless conversations, 27 radio interviews and no shortage of learning and adventure. He is planning to write a book about the experience. He is also working on a new online platform for people powered change in Ireland.