Future Human reveals first speakers in its May line-up

5 Apr 2022

Eric Andersen. Image: Aon

Originally planned as an in-person event in 2020, Future Human returns on 12-13 May at the cutting-edge Trinity Business School building.

The countdown is on for the event that will feature the future of everything STEM as Future Human kicks off on 12 and 13 May 2022.

As its first speakers are revealed, the event’s organisers say they want to go beyond the hype in tech and science and offer a sophisticated, forward-looking examination of the critical areas of business, workplaces, society and living.

On the future of leadership and business, Future Human will feature a fireside with the global president of Aon Eric Andersen, where he will share his considerable experience and insights on the future of business, leadership, technology, climate and work.

Also on the future of business, Sydney-native Catherine Welch, Trinity Business School’s first-ever chair of strategic management, will give her first major talk in Ireland on the future of internationalisation in a changed world.

With the latest IPCC report published yesterday (4 April), the future of climate action will play a key role on the main stage.

To set the scene, Future Human will welcome Prof Alice Roberts to the stage. A highly regarded anthropologist and qualified medical doctor, most will be very familiar with her work from multiple TV broadcasts in recent years, including Coast, The Incredible Human Journey, Origins of Us, Prehistoric Autopsy and Digging for Britain. 

A headshot of Prof Alice Roberts smiling at the camera.

Image: Prof Alice Roberts


Intercom co-founder Des Traynor, a popular speaker at Future Human’s former iteration, Inspirefest, will return to the main stage this year to discuss the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Europe in a fireside chat with Future Human curator and Silicon Republic CEO Ann O’Dea.

A headshot of Intecom co-founder Des Traynor against a grey background.

Des Traynor, Intercom. Image: Conor McCabe

“One thing we always aim to do is to bring together industry leaders, dynamic entrepreneurs, the cream of academia and a sophisticated audience of professionals and researchers,” says O’Dea.

“And this year will be no exception, albeit with a smaller in-person audience, to ensure attendees feel comfortable and safe.” 

Other great founders on main stage will include Dee Coakley, co-founder of Boundless, who will be part of a wide-ranging future of work discussion that will also feature Aon chief people officer Lisa Stevens and Hatch analytics founder Monica Parker.

Rand Fishkin, formerly of Moz and now co-founder of SparkToro as well as author of Lost and Founder, will wrap up the first day of Future Human with a more personal and very timely look at the future of how we work.  

Future of the web

“Another important session will be that around the future of the web,” says O’Dea. “There’s so much extreme chatter around Web3, NFTs and blockchain and it always seems to be black and white – you love what’s happening or you hate it. We wanted to have a hype-free, thoughtful discussion on this.”

The session will be chaired by Pete Townsend, managing director of the Launchpool Web3 Techstars Accelerator.

He will be joined by Laura Walsh, CEO of Bangkok-based GamiFi, as well as conceptual artist and crypto-art pioneer Kevin Abosch and Time Digital president Bharat Krish, who led the TimePieces NFT art initiative.   

For those of you following the exploits of Charlie Bird’s Croagh Patrick adventure, Future Human will feature the inventors behind the software that has given Bird back his voice: Trevor Vaugh, principal investigator at the Maynooth University Innovation Lab, and Keith Davey, co-founder and CEO of Marino Software.   

Other speakers include Jack Kavanagh, a pharmacist by qualification and, according to O’Dea, “a deep thinker on all things health-tech, healing and wellbeing”, having sustained a spinal cord injury in a swimming accident in 2012 that left him paralysed with 15pc muscle function. Today, Kavanagh sits on the board of the National Disability Authority and its Centre for Excellence in Universal Design.

Sharon Vosmek, CEO of angel investor group Astia, will also be returning to the stage. Vosmek has been a hugely popular speaker at Silicon Republic events over the years.  


Recent arrivals from Ukraine will feature strongly at Future Human, both among its attendees and on the main stage.

A special panel discussion will include Neill Dunwoody, co-founder of Tech Link Ukraine, along with some very special Ukrainian guests both in person and dialled in live from Kyiv.  

In addition, AWS In Communities is supporting Future Human to bring a group of recently arrived Ukrainian STEM professionals to this year’s event for free.

“We really hope it’s an opportunity for these attendees to build their peer network here in Ireland and we aim to give them a great welcome to the sector,” says O’Dea. “They may even meet their next employer or work colleagues – or friends.”

There are still tickets remaining under this initiative via a simple application form.

In-person numbers are limited this year, given the ongoing pandemic, but there are general tickets remaining and online tickets will be available right up to the event for those who prefer to partake from home or the office.

The whole main stage programme will be streamed live on 12 and 13 May for virtual ticket holders.

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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