Ana Matronic among big names confirmed for Inspirefest 2017

28 Feb 2017

Inspirefest 2017 speaker Ana Matronic. Image: Suki Dhanda

Another new batch of names has been added to the exciting Inspirefest 2017 line-up, including Scissor Sisters star, artist and broadcaster Ana Matronic.

The list of speakers confirmed for Inspirefest 2017 has been impressive to say the least. Just last month, venture partner and inclusion champion Ellen Pao was confirmed for Dublin’s summer sci-tech festival, which will take place from 6 to 8 July.

Some of the other names recently announced include Symantec’s ‘website security czar’ Tarah Wheeler, award-winning scriptwriter Rhianna Pratchett and Mashable UK editor Anne-Marie Tomchak.

These major names from the worlds of philanthropy, telecommunications and the arts will be sure to pique the interest of many.

Ana Matronic

The first of these is Ana Matronic of Scissor Sisters fame.

An artist, musician, author, DJ, radio and television presenter, she honed her reputation as a formidable onstage presence, cutting her teeth at San Francisco’s legendary drag night Trannyshack in the late 1990s.

Having collaborated with such legendary artists as Elton John and New Order, her first full-length book Robot Takeover: 100 Iconic Robots of Myth, Popular Culture, and Real Life was published by Octopus (Hachette) in 2015.

New Year’s Eve 2014 saw Matronic’s debut as a broadcaster with her first show for BBC Radio 2.

Since then, this has spiralled into a 17-part series on rare groove disco and her own weekly show called Disco Devotion, which will launch in April this year.

A frequent guest on British television, covering a wide range of topics from pop culture to AI, politics and human rights, Matronic is also a founding member of the activist organisation Witches Against Fascist Totalitarianism.

Marcus Weldon

Marcus Weldon

Marcus Weldon, president of Bell Labs and corporate CTO of Nokia. Image: Pete Byron

Joining Matronic is one of the smartest minds in tech: Marcus Weldon, president of Bell Labs and CTO of Nokia.

Bell Labs has become synonymous as an institution integral to the evolution of telecoms and IT, improving how people connect, collaborate, compute and communicate.

Appointed to the role by Alcatel-Lucent in 2013, Weldon coordinates the technical strategy across the company, and drives technological and architectural innovations into the portfolio.

Throughout his career, Weldon has won many prestigious awards including being selected as one of the Global Telecoms Business Power 100 of the most influential people in ICT in 2014, and one of their ‘Top CTOs to watch in 2015’.

You can check out Weldon speaking with back in 2014 on the future of networks and IoT with 3D printing here.

Matt Flannery

The last of the speakers confirmed hails from the world of fintech and philanthropy: Matt Flannery, co-founder of Kiva and Branch.

In 2005, Flannery founded Kiva as a peer-to-peer lending model for women and young entrepreneurs in developing countries, which has led to $700m being distributed across 80 countries.

More recently, Flannery has dived back into the start-up world by creating Branch International. Branch is a for-profit, Android-based ‘branchless bank’ for Africans that was launched in 2015. In its first two years, Branch made almost 1m loans in Tanzania and Kenya.

Flannery was previously chosen for the No Boundaries Innovation Award created by The Economist and was included in Fortune magazine’s ‘Top 40 under 40’ list in 2009.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Book now to get your Early Bird tickets.