Irish social entrepreneur shortlisted to fly to space

BlueFire chief executive named in top 30 finalists of Rising Star programme

Irish social entrepreneur Keren Jackson has been shortlisted to fly to space as part of the Kruger Cowne Rising Star programme. Photo: Ieva Japertaite/Ieva Japertaite Photography

Irish social entrepreneur Keren Jackson has been shortlisted to fly to space as part of the Kruger Cowne Rising Star programme. Photo: Ieva Japertaite/Ieva Japertaite Photography

 

Irish social entrepreneur Keren Jackson has been shortlisted to fly to space as part of the Kruger Cowne Rising Star programme.

Ms Jackson, who is the chief executive of BlueFire, has made the list of top 30 finalists for the programme, which is run in partnership with XCOR Space Expeditions and Spaceship Earth Grants.

The winner of the competition will complete their spaceflight in 2018, on board the XCOR Lynx.

The flight will not only provide a life changing journey but the Lynx will also carry out scientific tests, contributing to research that brings the possibility of commercial space flight ever closer.

Ms Jackson said she was honoured to be named in the top 30 of applicants to the programme.

“It’s an opportunity not just for me but to share the fact so many young people are doing amazing things in Dublin. Young people are not just the leaders of tomorrow, they are the leaders of today too,” she said.

Ms Jackson runs the BlueFire Street Fest - an arts festival which is returning to Smithfield Square on September 19th, and is expected to attract more than 12,000 people.

This is the third year the event is taking place.

“The event is about making the most out of Dublin, it’s diversity and its space,” 22-year-old Ms Jackson said.

Last year BlueFire raised €8,000 through a Fundit campaign for the festival. It is hoping to raise €5,000 this year through the crowdfunding platform.

Of the 30 people shortlisted globally, three finalists will be selected to attend the One Young World Summit in Bangkok this November.

There, they will take to the stage in front of an audience of thousands of delegates and a panel of judges to deliver a 10-15 minute keynote on a topic of their choice.

The panel of judges, which includes Sir Bob Geldof, Fatima Bhutto and acclaimed astronaut Ron Garan, will then announce the winner.