Inspirefest 2018 welcomes four exciting new speakers

29 May 2018

Gerry Ellis, accessibility campaigner. Image: Bank of Ireland

Four accomplished individuals have been added to the Inspirefest 2018 line-up.

The countdown is on for Inspirefest 2018, which will take place on 21 and 22 June at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. The two-day festival and conference will play host to inquisitive guests and a brilliant speaker line-up.

The intersection of arts and STEM, blockchain technology, and accessibility are just some of the themes attendees will encounter over the course of the event. Four new speakers, representing four very different areas, have just been revealed as the date draws closer.

Surbhi Sarna

Surbhi Sarna.

Surbhi Sarna. Image: nVision Medical

CEO and founder of nVision Medical, Surbhi Sarna’s experience as a medical patient led her to establish the company, which develops medical devices to address early detection of ovarian cancer.

A major success story, the company recently sold to Boston Scientific for a cool $275m. Prior to this, Sarna secured €17m in venture-led Series B funding. A strong leader and prolific patent author, Sarna has spoken at UCSF and Harvard, and featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2014.

Zoe Philpott

Zoe Philpott

Zoe Philpott. Image: Zoe Philpott

An entrepreneur and storyteller, Zoe Philpott previously performed her show Ada.Ada.Ada at the Fringe festival of Inspirefest 2016. She is returning this year to collaborate in the development of her latest interactive story: Ada’s Army.

Philpott will be inviting Inspirefest attendees to help her update history with the overlooked women in STEM to join celebrated mathematician Ada Lovelace’s ‘army’ of innovators.

Gerry Ellis

Gerry Ellis. Image: Bank of Ireland

Gerry Ellis. Image: Bank of Ireland

Gerry Ellis is blind and is an accessibility and usability consultant under the name ‘Feel the BenefIT’. Ellis has worked for more than 35 years as a software engineer and mainframe technical specialist at Bank of Ireland, and is a fellow of the Irish Computer Society.

He is former chair of the Irish Council for People with Disabilities, and was a founding member and first chair of the Visually Impaired Computer Society and the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability.

An advocate for the interests of people with disabilities, Ellis has had discussions with various broadcasters and spoken in more than 30 countries on accessibility-related issues, among numerous other endeavours.

Yvonne Jacobi

Yvonne Jacobi. Image: Aon

Yvonne Jacobi. Image: Aon

Yvonne Jacobi has been with Aon for eight years and has held the role of COO for the Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics (ACIA) in Dublin since November 2016, extending to the Krakow team in February of this year. Risk management, data privacy, portfolio and delivery management are just some of her areas of focus, as well as human resources and ACIA financials.

Prior to her time at Aon, Jacobi spent six years in New Zealand, where she was heavily involved in strategy and business planning for the NZ divisions of two Australian insurance carriers.

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