Five new speakers join the Inspirefest 2018 line-up

14 May 2018

Karen Contet Farzam. Image: Karen Contet Farzam

The latest batch of speakers for Inspirefest 2018 covers everything from fintech to protecting Ireland’s coastlines.

Inspirefest 2018 takes place next month and the unmissable event will feature some of the most fascinating and thoughtful speakers in STEAM from all over the world. Bord Gáis Energy Theatre will play host to the two-day extravaganza, where minds will meet and connections will be made.

Environmental science, the future of work, digital transformation and blockchain will be among the diverse topics of discussion from 21 to 22 June at Europe’s premier weekend for inquisitive minds.

A diverse spread of speakers

Several Inspirefest speakers, both past and present, made the cut on Richtopia’s Top 250 Women Leaders list (including Nilofer Merchant and Dr Sue Black), so this year’s event is expected to be as ahead of the curve as ever.

Áine McCleary

Áine McCleary

Áine McCleary. Image: Bank of Ireland

Áine McCleary is a director of distribution channels at Bank of Ireland. Having led senior teams across retail, corporate and institutional customer segments, she now leads a team of professionals engaging with customers across digital channels, branch network and via phone.

She recently spoke to about opportunities to develop diversity in fintech and finance. “As the fintech sector becomes more prominent within financial services, the need for fintech-literate talent is increasing. This is a huge opportunity to develop diversity and inclusion as these companies form and grow, and STEM becomes paramount to their creation. True innovation can only come from greater diversity.”

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon

Dr Anne Marie Imafidon

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon. Image:

At the age of 11, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon was the youngest girl to ever pass A-level computing and was only 20 years old when she obtained a master’s degree from the University of Oxford in mathematics and computer science.

Her love of learning led her to co-found Stemettes, a social initiative designed to promote the next generation of young women in STEM. Since it was founded five years ago, more than 17,500 girls across Europe have benefited from Imafidon’s wisdom and passion for a more balanced sci-tech community. The BBC listed Imafidon as one of its Most Inspirational and Innovative Women, while Marie Claire pegged her as a Future Shaper. She last spoke at Inspirefest in 2015.

Yuka Nagashima

Yuka Nagashima. Image: LinkedIn

Yuka Nagashima. Image: LinkedIn

A global advisory board member and former president of Astia, Yuka Nagashima is recognised as a thought leader in diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship and technology. She began her career as an educator and developed STEM curricula based on experiential learning and teamwork to help boost the number of girls taking her honours physics class.

Since then, she founded two tech start-ups and operated incubation centres for the Hawaii state government and also represented the tech community at conferences at the National Academy of Sciences, Nanotechnology Regional Leadership Summit at the White House, the National Governors Association and more. Nagashima actively engages the community through her public speaking and consulting work, and is always rooting for the underdog.

Beckey-Finn Britton

Beckey-Finn Britton. Image: LinkedIn

Creator of Bexter Productions, a coastal digital media company, Beckey-Finn Britton is also development officer for Clean Coasts in Donegal and Leitrim. She joined the Clean Coasts team in An Taisce’s environmental education unit in 2014 and works to protect Ireland’s marine life, seas and beaches through this community-led initiative.

Britton also works in wellbeing as well as in artist co-ops, and spends as much time as possible in the water with her longboard.

Karen Contet Farzam

Karen Contet Farzam

Karen Contet Farzam. Image:

Co-founder of, Hong Kong’s biggest start-up community, and founding board member of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong, Karen Contet Farzam is immersed in the global tech scene.

Farzam is an international speaker, French foreign trade adviser, ambassador of French Tech, community leader for Techstars and mentor for several accelerator programmes. She also worked as a software developer and front-end development teacher, going on to found Women Who Code Hong Kong.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Get your tickets now to join us in Dublin on 21 and 22 June 2018.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects