Inspirefest unveils first three speakers ahead of 2019 event

5 Oct 2018

Mark Pollock. Image: Peter Macdiarmid for the Mark Pollock Trust

The first batch of exciting speakers for Inspirefest 2019 are unveiled as the countdown begins.

Dubbed ‘the best conference for bright minds in Europe’ by Romero Games co-founder Brenda Romero, Inspirefest is already gearing up for its 2019 event.

A must-see for fans of science, technology, the arts and innovation, Inspirefest attracts a diverse array of both speakers and attendees, with next year’s event being no exception. Previous speakers include Liza Donnelly, Raju Narisetti and Monica Parker. Today (5 October), the first three 2019 speakers are unveiled.

Mark Pollock and Simone George

Mark Pollock and Simone George recently impressed the TED audience with their ‘love letter to science’ and Inspirefest will be welcoming the couple onstage in 2019 for a deeper dive into the science and technology behind their journey.

From left: Mark Pollock sitting in a wheelchair, Simone George sitting in a chair on stage.

Mark Pollock and Simone George on stage at TED 2018. Image: Ryan Lash/TED

A determined endurance athlete, Pollock was the first blind person to race to the South Pole. In 2010, a fall from a second-storey window left him with a catastrophic spinal cord injury. His paralysis led Pollock and his fiancée George, a determined researcher and human rights lawyer, to explore the intersection between humans and technology. Finding a cure for paralysis in our lifetime is this Irish couple’s mission.

At Inspirefest 2019, they will discuss how they connected with San Francisco-based engineering company Ekso Bionics, which created a robotic exoskeleton that would allow Pollock to stand. Their story is one not to be missed.

Mark Pollock using his Ekso Bionics exoskeleton, he is able to stand.

Mark Pollock using his Ekso Bionics exoskeleton. Image: Peter Macdiarmid for the Mark Pollock Trust

Angela Saini

Angela Saini smiling, resting her chin on her hands.

Angela Saini. Image: Angela Saini

An award-winning science journalist, author and broadcaster, Angela Saini will also speak at next year’s event. Her latest book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, was published in 2017 to widespread critical acclaim and was named the Physics World Book of the Year.

A former MIT fellow, Saini has a master’s in engineering from the University of Oxford and her journalistic work has received accolades from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association of British Science Writers.

She will be speaking ahead of the publication of her new book at the end of May 2019. This one will tackle issues of race and science.

More time to get half-price tickets

Coming into its fifth year, Inspirefest is now a stalwart of the European sci-tech and STEAM landscape. Next year, the two-day event will be held on 16 and 17 May 2019 in its longtime home, the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.

To coincide with the newly announced dates, the team is releasing a fresh batch of Ultra Early Bird tickets for a limited time only.

Any tickets already purchased are still valid for the new dates. If needed, transfers and refunds can be arranged by emailing by 30 October 2018.

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