Compassion Connects – The utilisation of the science of compassion, based on sensitivity to suffering, wisdom and the commitment to alleviate and prevent suffering.

Having worked across various roles in the UK, Shaun Adams came to Ireland in 2012 to specialise in helping the Diversity and Inclusion sector. Shaun worked for The Psychological Society of Ireland and Aspire Productions, as well as currently with The Irish Centre for Compassion Focused Therapy (ICCFT), before spotting a gap in the market to widen the reach of the science of compassion.

1. What’s your background before you became an entrepreneur?

I moved to Ireland in 2012, having worked in UK politics, and my experience included the role of Director of Operations with the Psychological Society of Ireland.  More recently, I was the Business Development Manager for Aspire Productions, a media production social enterprise working with adults with Autism.  

2. How did you get to launching Compassion Connects? Where did you see the gap in the market?

My time with Aspire Productions opened my eyes to all the potential and possibilities presented by neuro-diversity, and the wider spheres of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) and Sustainability.  I then moved on to the Irish Centre for Compassion Focused Therapy as a consultant, and realised that there was a huge opportunity to amplify the reach and effect of the science of compassion, in connection with the areas of EDI and Sustainability.  This is a real gap in this area and presents a wonderful opportunity for a consultancy service, with the science of compassion at its centre. 

3. The Diversity and Inclusion space is hugely competitive at the moment. What makes Compassion Connects stand out?

The utilisation of the science of compassion, based on sensitivity to suffering, wisdom and the commitment to alleviate and prevent suffering.

4. How have you built out your team? What advisors did you go to for advice?

I have a number of advisers from the world of Compassion, including Dr. Katie Baird (Founder of the ICCFT) and Prof. Gary O’Reilly (UCD & ICCFT).  They have been essential in terms of content, quality control and answering non-stop questions !

In addition I have worked with Sean Drew (artist, including with Aspire Productions) and Andrew Carroll (composer and music producer) to help produce a logo and interpretative piece of music.  The idea behind this was to embody some of the core concepts of compassion in a different and accessible way.

5. As a first-time entrepreneur what are you most optimistic about and what are your biggest fears about launching a business?

I am most optimistic about the genuine uniqueness and quality of the model behind the consultancy.

As a first time entrepreneur my biggest fears are in relation to building a client base and track record in terms of progressing quickly in a measured and thoughtful way.

6. How will you be launching? Why did you choose this time/date

The idea is to initially have a “soft launch” via a dedicated webpage ( and subsequent Linkedin posts and content in May/June 2022.  There will be follow up interviews and podcast appearances, including with the Corporate Governance Institute and Headstuff .  Once further targeted interest and engagement has been achieved, a more formal launch will occur later in 2022.

7. Where do you see the company growing in the future?

The consultancy portfolio in relation to the above is potentially huge and exciting (and a bit daunting!).  As soon as further specific interest from clients has been obtained, the consultancy offering will grow accordingly.  Also, further work with artists to make the concepts as accessible and engaging as possible is planned. 

8. How did the pandemic affect how you grew your idea?

The pandemic has, amongst other things, illustrated the need for compassion more than ever.  For example, the post-Covid hybrid world of work, for some, will present a range of opportunities and challenges.  One potential pitfall will be “micro-management” and hence the idea of reciprocal trust, underpinned by compassion, will be essential for all employees.

9. Are there any government grants that you will be looking to tap into?

Not at this time, but this may change as the business grows.  One potential idea for the future is for the consultancy to become a social enterprise, and hence there are a number of grants that it may be possible to avail of.

10. Are there any other businesses in Ireland in the diversity and inclusion sector in Ireland that you are a big fan of?

Specialisterne Ireland ( do great work in the field of neurodiversity.  They work with people with Autism, ADHD, Dyspraxia/DCD and similar challenges to provide career training and help to secure employment opportunities.

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Telephone:  089 463 5124