Infosec expert, blockchain entrepreneur and more added to Inspirefest line-up

20 Dec 2016

Blockchain entrepreneur Leanne Kemp speaks at IBM Edge 2016. Image: Everledger

Hear from a cybersecurity tsar, an acclaimed gaming scriptwriter and an entrepreneur bringing blockchain beyond fintech applications at Inspirefest 2017.

The line-up for Inspirefest 2017 is starting to fill out, revealing more on the hot topics to be discussed at the international sci-tech event.

Next summer, visitors can expect the usual blend of science, technology, engineering and the arts that this unique two-day conference and fringe festival brings to Dublin. More specifically, there will be sessions looking at gaming, blockchain technology beyond the realms of fintech, and the challenges of cybersecurity in an increasingly digitised world.

Early bird tickets are now on sale for the event, which expects a full line-up of more than 50 speakers. There are different rates available for students, start-ups and more, and kids can go free with a special guardian-and-child ticket. And, up to 15 January 2017, you can enter our competition to win one of five free tickets.

Tarah Wheeler

Hacker, start-up co-founder, CEO and now ‘website security tsar’ at Symantec, Tarah Wheeler is the first cybersecurity expert to be added to the Inspirefest 2017 bill.

Wheeler’s career has seen her lead projects at Microsoft and Silent Circle, the company behind the super-secure Blackphone. She joined Symantec this summer to help the infosec company connect more effectively with the independent hacker community.

Her entrepreneurial endeavours have been supported by her poker-playing ability, and her own company, Fizzmint, offers end-to-end employee management.

Wheeler is also lead author of the book, Women in Tech, which features practical advice for women looking to advance their tech career, with inspiring stories from the likes of Inspirefest 2015 speaker Brianna Wu.

Rhianna Pratchett

Rhianna Pratchett

Rhianna Pratchett. Image: Giant Bomb

Rhianna Pratchett is an award-winning scriptwriter, story designer and ‘general narrative paramedic’. She was the lead writer on Tomb Raider, among many other blockbuster credits, and has contributed to several books on games writing.

Pratchett wants game developers to embrace storytelling and improve how interactive narrative is defined, integrated and received. Eidos and Square Enix’s highly anticipated reboot of Tomb Raider has now been released, earning praise for the characterisation of the new Lara Croft.

Sticking with Eidos and Square Enix, Pratchett is now working on screenplays for Vigilia and Warrior Daughter, as well as Terry Pratchett’s The Watch.

Leanne Kemp

Leanne Kemp is founder and CEO of award-winnning start-up Everledger, one of our Europe Start-up 100 ones to watch in 2017.

Kemp has a wealth of successful start-up companies under her belt and brings her background in emerging technologies, business, jewellery and insurance to the table with Everledger.

Everledger uses blockchain technology to tackle fraud in the trade of luxury goods, where counterfeits can prove exceptionally costly. Starting as a permanent ledger for diamond certification and transactions, the company aims to become a provenance platform for all manner of high-value items.

Update, 10.53am, 3 May 2017: Everledger founder Leanne Kemp is no longer available to speak at Inspirefest 2017. For the full current line-up, see

Anne-Marie Tomchak

Inspirefest speaker Anne-Marie Tomchak

Anne-Marie Tomchak. Image: Mashable

Anne-Marie Tomchak has worked for a variety of European media outlets, including the BBC and RTÉ, and now finds herself based in London as the editor of Mashable UK.

One of the founders of BBC Trending, Tomchak is a digital innovator with a track record for producing original journalism. She broke the world exclusive revealing that the viral ‘Syria Hero Boy’ video was faked and, last month, she presented the RTÉ documentary Cloud Control: Who Owns Your Data?, discussing the issues of cybersecurity and big data.

The Longford native returns to Ireland next summer as a guest chair at Inspirefest 2017.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Book now to get Early Bird tickets.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.