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About Mike Feerick

"On a visit to New Delhi, India, in May 2016, Mike Feerick explained in an interview with a local journalist his motivations in starting up Alison and many of the fundamental concepts behind the free online learning platform".

Mike Feerick is the Founder and CEO of Alison. He is an internationally recognised and award winning social entrepreneur. Among his Awards are an Ashoka Fellowship 2010, the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa ICT in Education innovation Diploma Award 2010, an Arthur Guinness Social Fund Award Winner 2012, WISE Award, 2013, (Qatar Foundation). Mike was a runner up in the World Economic Forum Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2016.

First conceiving the idea that education and skills training could be made free online using a advertising / certification model in late 2005,
Mike changed the business model of a paid online learning business focused on IT Desktop training called Advance Learning,
into the free online learning platform Alison is today, launching the free learning platform in April 2007. In his early career, Mike had the good fortune of having as a friend and mentor, Chuck Feeney, an Irish-American business philanthropist who Mike credits as being a seminal source of inspiration in founding Alison and also in developing his passion for social entrepreneurship in the field of education. Mike also quotes the vision of a world of free education within the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26 “Education shall be free" as a personal source of motivation.

Mike is a frequent and popular international speaker on innovation in online education, workplace skills and related entrepreneurship. He travels the world each year, meeting Alison graduates, speaking at conferences, and being interviewed on TV, Radio and Press wherever he goes. To learn more about Mike or follow his travels, feel free to follow Mike on the following social media handles/platforms below:

Mike is the founder and Chairperson of Ireland Reaching Out, an Irish government-sponsored non-profit Irish Diaspora Initiative with the goal of reunifying 80 million people of Irish descent worldwide. He was also the founding Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the University of Limerick Business School, and is a Director Emeritus of the University of Limerick Foundation. Mike was previously the Chairperson of the Irish Support & Advice Service in London, UK, where he pioneered outreach programmes to assist marginalized elderly Irish immigrants in the UK. He also served on the Board of Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG/RCA) UK. Mike holds degrees from the University of Limerick (BBS 89) and an MBA from Harvard University (94). 

It is his passion and principle that education has the power to shake the world, and it should be made available to anyone, anywhere, without restrictions. This has laid the foundation for Alison to become the revolutionary online learning pioneer it is today.

View Mike's interview about his motivations behind Alison here.

To request an interview with Mike Feerick or make contact, please email [email protected]


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