Remembering RISE

As we (Ashleigh and Anne) walk in to Mount Carmel Secondary School not far from O’Connell Street in Dublin, we are feel at home. The teachers passing by say hello, we chat about our summers and wave to the principal as we sit in the staff room. We’re grateful and excited to be back in the school for another year of our RISE Programme.

As we head from one Transition Year class to the next, we meet Chloe and Sarah in the hallway. They both took part in both our Leadership and Mentoring Programmes last year and their faces light up when they see us. In a brief conversation they are quick to update us on the goals they made in last year’s mentoring sessions. Chloe has joined a local basketball team and Sarah has started writing a novel, a goal she has been working towards for a long time. It is amazing to see the two of them so excited about getting more involved in their communities whether through sport or extra academics.

We let them get on to class and then also run into Hannah who was one of our first mentees when we piloted the programme two years ago. She is now a sixth year and settling into her final year of school well.

It’s these conversations, smiles, and enthusiasm that make us see what a difference both the Leadership and Mentoring Programmes makes in the lives of Dublin teenagers. It’s these interactions that keep us going with our RISE programmes and why we can’t wait to share with you more stories of change when we finish this current programme before Christmas


Four Peaks Challenge Complete!

Slieve Donard, Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon…

Several pairs of socks

Lots of mist

Some very wet waterproofs

Snatches of sleep in the Yaris while in transit between climbs

Around 20 litres of water and energy drinks

One phenomenal driver, encourager and cake provider

All in less than 41 hours.

From a gloriously sunny start at the foot of Donard, our first summit started a pattern that would become familiar -mist and poor visibility at the top of every mountain we climbed!  At Ben Nevis the mist and rain certainly overcame some of our waterproofs as tired legs made it back to Emma and the waiting Yaris by torchlight at midnight. The next morning, after Emma had driven us through the night down to the Lake district, more fresh socks went into the damp boots from Scotland as we set off on another glorious morning. The mist descended as we scrambled up the scree face of Scaffel Pike and cleared again for some sunshine at the summit – and a much easier path down. Our final climb was Snowdon, again we started in glorious sunshine and reached a summit clouded in mist. The satisfaction of the Snowdon peak is slightly tempered by the train station 50m away! As darkness descended and head torches came back into use we arrived back to the car park, the trusty Yaris and Emma’s DIY celebratory four peaks cake!
Thank you to all who encouraged and sponsored our team of interpret climbers on our first ever Innovista Four Peaks Challenge. Thanks to the generosity of those who sponsored us we raised €2500 that will equip young leaders across Ireland with the skills and character to bring hope and change to their communities.

We had such a great time we are considering doing it all again next year – if you would be interested in joining us contact us at

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Four Peaks Challenge 2

4 Peaks, 4 Countries, 48 Hours..

4 Peaks
48 hours
1,232 miles to drive in the car
4,220 metres high to climb on foot
€1,800 to raise to help leaders change their communities

What a way to spend a weekend…

On 16-17 July, Andy, Niall and Sam will be climbing Slieve Donard (Northern Ireland), Ben Nevis (Scotland), Scafell Pike (England) and Snowdon (Wales) in less than 48 hours to raise some money for Innovista. We’ll be trying to catch sleep in the car, while our trusty driver Emma will race against the clock to catch a ferry, and drive through the night to transport us from mountain to mountain.

So please, dig deep and make a donation to make it worth our while!
You can give at or, if you live in the UK, gift aid your donation at 

Andy and Emma have taken part in Innovista’s Tempo leadership development programme. Sam started Innovista in Ireland seven years ago and ropes Niall (his brother-in-law) into a variety of crazy fundraising and adventure escapades.

We want to help Innovista train young leaders to make their communities better places. Because when leadership is bad, the whole of society does badly – whether that’s a business, charity, church or political party. But when leadership is good, the whole of society benefits. So if we can raise some money to make good leaders who want to make their communities better, then we can have a big impact – for young people in inner city Dublin, for young mums from tough backgrounds in the north, for teenagers who want to see good news stories in their towns (just some of the projects leaders trained by Innovista run in their local communities).

So go on: you don’t have to climb any peaks, but you can donate a few euro/pounds for this worthy cause.

Thank you!

four peaks

Four Peaks Challenge

Slieve Donard, Ben Nevis, Scaffel Pike and Snowdon. In 48 hours.
Now that is a challenge!

Probably the biggest one we have taken on as a fundraiser to date.

On 16-17 July Innovista Ireland and Innovista International are hoping to have a few five-person teams (four walkers and one driver) from across the UK and Ireland take on this challenge (and raise some money at the same time). We are looking for willing participants.

Would you be interested in taking up the challenge? (Click a response below or email

Read someone else’s experience of doing it here.

If you would like a less exhausting, more fun way of helping fundraise for Innovista, we will be entering a team in Runamuck again this year on 24 September.

Introducing… Karen

karen bio pic

We are delighted to have Karen Buttimer join our team! Here’s a little about who she is and what she’ll be doing with us at Innovista…

Where do you live and what brought you there?

I currently live in Belfast. I moved here, from Cork, in 2006 to take up a job with IFES Ireland, covering maternity leave for 7 months. I never left!

How did you first get involved with Innovista?

My first involvement with Innovista was attending Leading for Life in Berlin in 2007. I never imagined that I would someday be the one organising Leading for Life… if I had, I would probably have taken more notice of how things were run! I went back to Leading for Life in 2008 and 2009, and did Tempo in Belfast in 2011/12 (Ashleigh Harrison was also part of that Tempo group!).

What have you been doing until now?

After the maternity leave cover job ended I stayed on with IFES Ireland as their Communications Administrator. In 2010, I moved to work part-time with Latin Link. And in 2014, I started my role with Innovista, working 2 days a week, alongside the Latin Link job.

Until now my main role with Innovista has been as Project Manager for Leading for Life, where my love for organisation comes in useful! Recently I was given the opportunity to work an extra day a week with Innovista, which allows me to do more work with Innovista International on Leading for Life and other similar projects, but also allows me to give some time to Innovista Ireland.

What will you be doing with Innovista Ireland?

At the moment I’m helping out with three main areas:
– Finance
– Working on policies, procedures and systems we need to have in place
– Impact assessments for our training delivery

I also get to be part of the Innovista Ireland team, joining Sam, Ashleigh and Anne for team meetings in Dublin about once a month.

And finally, what has inspired you recently or is inspiring you currently?

Over the last few months I’ve had the privilege of chatting to some of the leaders who were at Leading for Life in Berlin in 2015. I have loved hearing their stories, what they learned at Leading for Life, and how they are putting that into practice where they are. Seeing one girl come back with a real desire to do something in her situation to engage with non-Christians and take steps to make that happen has been so encouraging. Hearing that others have changed how they think about their role, are delegating more, have asked for feedback from their team or are sharing what they learned is exciting – this makes a difference not just to the leaders we train but to their teams, ministries and those they seek to reach!

Come and join us at Leading for Life One Day Dublin in Dublin on 11 June – and meet Karen!

Be equipped to lead change in your community – Leading for Life One Day


LFL one day2You want to reach people. You want to see your community changed and church grow. You want to steward your influence and resources wisely.  We recognise leadership can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know what to do, to be sure that you’re doing the right things.

Leading for Life provides practical training for leaders who want to get better.

Insightful training and the time to apply it means that you will end the day ready and able to act.

Join with like-minded people for one day designed to help you and your team.


Leading for Life is designed for leaders, whether volunteer or staff, at all levels in churches and organisations

You will:

  • Gain inspiration and insight from experienced leaders
  • Be helped by purposeful connections with other leaders
  • Have time to process and apply your learning to your own team and ministry
  • Identify your next steps
  • Take action to lead better


Find out more at and book here




We Are Moving

Innovista Ireland is on the move.

The building we have shared office space in with Holy Trinity Church for five happy years in Rathmines was sold and we had to move out.

We are thankful to Holy Trinity for their friendship, partnership and generosity over the past few years.

Our new office is in the city centre close to one of the schools where we deliver our RISE leadership programme. We are looking forward to getting to know our new neighbours IBI, Tearfund Ireland and Christian Unions Ireland.

Our new address is:

Innovista Ireland
Ulysses House
22-24 Foley Street
Dublin 1

Come in and see us!