5 new speakers you won’t want to miss at Inspirefest 2018


7 Jun 2018577 Views

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Eden Full Goh, founder of SunSaluter. Image: SunSaluter

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Inspirefest 2018 is just around the corner, and now we have five more names added to an already impressive roster of speakers.

Inspirefest, Ireland’s leading sci-tech festival, is back again this year with an impressive ensemble of people from across multiple fields, ranging from marine science to the future of work.

Taking place on 21 and 22 June, the event will be aiming to wow the crowd at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin. It will also showcase some impressive fringe activities across both days including a HubSpot happy hour and investor evening on the Thursday, followed by the official Inspirefest Fringe after-party on the Friday.

Already, some acts and artists have been confirmed, including photographer Paul Condron, the band Hvmmingbyrd and the return of some of the smartest comedians you’ll ever see with Bright Club.

Before the big day arrives, the crew over at Inspirefest has announced the latest list of high-profile speakers, including Eden Full Goh, Rajeev Behera, Peter Brabazon, John Cormican and Deepa Mann-Kler.

To get you excited about the weeks ahead, here is just a flavour of what they are all about.

Eden Full Goh

A proud Chinese-Canadian now living in New York City, Eden Full Goh is an exciting young engineer and creator who invented the SunSaluter, a low-cost mechanism that optimises solar panels while providing clean water for rural, off-grid communities in 19 countries.

At the age of 19, she made the brave decision to leave high school to turn her idea – originally a school project – into a fully fledged business.

A software and mechanical engineer by trade, Goh’s invention has won critical acclaim, including the MIT Climate CoLab’s grand prize, the Westly Prize and the Mashable-UN Foundation Startups for Social Good Challenge.

On a personal level, she has also made the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 list in energy and industry – not once, but three years in a row.

Since 2014, she has also acted as an adviser for EES Ventures, a firm that helps build seed and early-stage companies in the areas of energy, efficiency and sustainability.

Rajeev Behera

Rajeev Behara

Rajeev Behara, CEO of Reflektive. Still from ‘Rajeev Behera of Reflektive on Organizational Agility’. Image: Reflektive/YouTube

Rajeev Behera has shown himself to be a master funder as CEO of Reflektive, a performance management platform for companies.

As its head, Behera has turned the company from a broken annual event into a lightweight, real-time, agile process, raising more than $100m from Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners and TPG Growth.

In a previous life, he was a director of mobile products at none other than Disney Interactive, leading a studio of 100 people to create some of the company’s most successful mobile games.

Under his tenure, Reflektive now has more than 300 customers globally, including Comcast, Pinterest and Nutanix.

Peter Brabazon

Peter Brabazon

Peter Brabazon, general manager of Specialisterne Ireland. Image: Specialisterne Ireland

Dubliner Peter Brabazon is currently the general manager of Specialisterne Ireland, a specialist employment agency for people with autism.

Since last year, Brabazon and Specialisterne Ireland have supported more than 70 people to gain employment. The company has also been working with undergraduates with autism to enable them to get the internship work they need to complete their courses.

Prior to joining the group in 2013, Brabazon was an electrical engineer and spent 25 years working for what is now known as the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

John Cormican

John Cormican

John Cormican, general manager of Jaguar Land Rover Ireland’s vehicle engineering division. Image: Jaguar Land Rover Ireland

If you want to hear from one of the leading figures of autonomous car development in Ireland, then you’ll definitely want to check out John Cormican, general manager of Jaguar Land Rover Ireland’s vehicle engineering division.

Based in Shannon in Co Clare, Cormican and his team play an important role in realising the company’s vision for autonomous, connected, electrified vehicles and shared mobility services.

Having started his career as a software engineer in Piercom and Tellabs, he moved to Intel where he held a number of roles over an impressive 15 years, more than 10 years of which was as the lead for its automotive business development strategy in the EMEA region.

When he co-founded his current division in May 2017, Cormican returned to his western roots, having graduated from the University of Limerick.

Deepa Mann-Kler

Deepa Mann-Kler

Deepa Mann-Kler, CEO of Neon. Image: Neon

Based in Co Down, Deepa Mann-Kler is an internationally renowned multidisciplinary artist, primarily working in neon and creating light installations.

In recent years, she has expanded her work into the exciting field of virtual reality (VR). She is now CEO of Neon, a company using immersive technologies to improve people’s health and wellbeing.

Neon’s first product, BreatheVR, is an app to manage chronic pain and improve mental health, and has launched on the Oculus store.

Mann-Kler also impressed attendees of SXSW 2017 after she debuted RETNE, a VR experience she directed and produced for the HTC Vive headset.

She has eleven years’ experience working in equality and authored the first report into racism in Northern Ireland, called Out Of The Shadows.

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.

Updated, 12.47pm, 7 June 2018: This article was updated to clarify that Shannon is in Co Clare, not Limerick.