Here’s what to expect at Future Human 2022

4 May 2022

Des Traynor, co-founder of Intercom. Image: Conor McCabe

As Future Human welcomes back an in-person audience at the new Trinity Business School in Dublin, we take a look at what you can expect over the two-day event.

Future Human is set to kick off in person in Dublin next week (12-13 May), albeit with a limited audience and a large online contingent.

Taking place in the state-of the-art new Trinity Business School, the Silicon Republic event promises to be a thought-provoking mix of tech, science, world affairs, the arts and humanity.

The line-up is almost complete and attendees can now get a sense of how they might spend their Thursday and Friday at the event.

As with its previous incarnation Inspirefest, Future Human does not silo speakers into different specialist stages, but rather follows the philosophy that whatever your profession, you have something to learn from all the hand-picked contributors.

Therefore, the event will have one carefully curated main stage with no parallel tracks, closing at lunchtime on Friday to facilitate smaller intimate masterclass sessions with a focus on leadership development.

Here are just a few highlights you can expect at the event.

Future of climate action

The highly regarded and prolific broadcaster and author Prof Alice Roberts will open the future of climate session on Thursday afternoon, looking at the future of the planet and respect for the natural world.

This will be followed by a fascinating expert panel discussion on the work going on across Europe to secure a sustainable future.

Future of leadership and entrepreneurship

Friday morning will give attendees a rare opportunity to hear from the New York-based president of Aon, Eric Andersen, on how the future of leadership looks in our new reality.

Guests can also expect fascinating insights from other leaders such as Irish unicorn Intercom’s co-founder Des Traynor, who will be doing an exclusive fireside chat on Thursday morning with event founder and curator Ann O’Dea. Sharon Vosmek of Astia Fund returns to close the stage on Thursday.


Sharon Vosmek speaking at Inspirefest 2017. Image: Conor McCabe

Future of Ukraine

The event’s organisers have been adamant from day one that the Ukrainian innovation sector should have a voice at Future Human, so will be dialling in the IT Ukraine Association’s director, Konstantin Vasyuk, to a panel that includes Ukrainian government digital adviser Yuliya Garyacha and Tech Link Ukraine co-founder Neill Dunwoody on Thursday morning.

This will be followed on Friday by a fascinating talk on geopolitics and technology from Paris, with Prof Alice Pannier of the French Institute of International Relations.

Future of innovation

Global chief innovation officer for Aon, Jillian Slyfield, will join us in Dublin on Thursday to look at how the future is now, with a focus on changing consumer behaviours, shifting social narratives during the pandemic, and the everyday evolutions of innovations in the way we work, live and manage our customers.

Last week, Slyfield spoke to about her role and shared some examples of how Aon is creating solutions to address new and complex challenges.

A headshot of Aon's chief innovation officer Jillian Slyfield.

Jillian Slyfield. Image: Aon

Future of software

Regulars to Silicon Republic events will know there is often a focus on how technology makes for a better world.

This will surely be the case on Friday when attendees get to hear about the work Keith Davey of Marino Software and Trevor Vaugh of RTÉ’s The Big Life Fix are doing to literally give Charlie Bird back his voice as he lives with motor neurone disease. There will also be a cameo from Bird himself.

Future of the web

On Thursday afternoon, the organisers have gathered experts and practitioners to look at what Web3 and NFTs have in store for us as they delve into the challenges and opportunities with Launchpool Web3 Techstars Accelerator managing director Pete Townsend in the chair.

He will be chatting with Time Digital president Bharat Krish, GamiFi CEO Laura Walsh dialling in from Singapore, and crypto-art pioneer Kevin Abosch.

The future of the arts will also feature on the main stage on Friday with Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan, a Dublin-based writer, performer and cultural consultant from India, with a passion for all things STEAM.

Future of work

As workplace strategies have been turned on their head in recent years, Rand Fishkin’s talk on the concept of ‘chill work’ will be unmissable on Friday afternoon, offering smart tips for leaders and their teams.

A headshot of Rand Fishkin in a suit smiling at the camera.

Rand Fishkin. Image: SparkToro

There will also be a panel on the future of work on Thursday afternoon with Dee Coakley of Boundless, Aon chief people officer Lisa Stevens, who oversees a workforce of more than 50,000 people, and Hatch Analytics founder Monica Parker.

Future of health and wellbeing

A pharmacist by trade, some may have seen Jack Kavanagh recently on The Tommy Tiernan Show talking about his journey since his spinal cord injury, but on Friday he will offer his insights into health and wellbeing, a very unique perspective indeed.

Kavanagh sits on the board of the National Disability Authority and its Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, as well as on the board of leadership development organisation Common Purpose Ireland.

Professional development and networking

While many of us have not had much of an opportunity to spend quality time with peers and make new connections, Future Human’s organisers will close the main stage on Friday after lunch to help rectify this.

Friday afternoon will feature a choice of carefully curated masterclasses with visiting experts from Aon and a programme designed by Trinity Business School Executive Education.

These masterclasses will have themes from digital disruption to climate change metrics, mastering hybrid meetings and healthcare innovation. The schedule for these will be released on Monday (9 May).

Alternatively, attendees may choose to wander the Trinity College campus and chat with new friends or network with peers online.

A limited number of in-person tickets for Future Human are still available. But for those who can’t make it, there are plenty of online tickets, offering access to the full main stage programme and a range of online masterclasses.

Future Human is Silicon Republic’s international sci-tech event focusing on the future of work, climate, entrepreneurship, leadership and the web. The event will take place on 12-13 May 2022, and in-person and online tickets are available at the Future Human website. For more information, you can also sign up to the Future Human newsletter for event updates and special offers.

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