Life is a story, so how will you tell yours?

8 Dec 2016

Tamara McCleary, founder of Thulium, speaking at Inspirefest. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

Tamara McCleary, founder of Thulium, spoke at Inspirefest 2016 about the power of stories, and how our interactions with technology and science are all just added parts of the narrative.

Having worked for years as a registered nurse, Tamara McCleary made a big decision to head back to school to study molecular physiology.

Tamara McCleary

Her thinking was simple; having treated cancer sufferers in their final weeks, days and moments on Earth, she wanted to instead find a cure.

However, there was a problem: the lab life didn’t suit her. “I missed people, I missed the stories,” she said.

Working with patients in a terminal condition, McCleary was captivated by anecdotes and relationships. Working in a lab, she lost that.

“What I found myself doing was moving back into story and creating a bridge between technology, medicine and the layperson; taking all these incredible things we were discovering in science and technology and making it digestible to the average human being,” she said.

“When people can understand science, technology, what we’re doing – that’s when there’s a lot of enthusiasm and backing behind it.

“Marketing and sales really loves that ability to tell a story and connect people at a very deep level, so that they can see themselves in a product or a service,” she said, adding that this is where her career led her.

McCleary explained that modern-day marketing is just going back to old-school ways: telling stories. Using Irish folk tales as an example, she highlighted Queen Medb.

“She had her feet placed firmly in two worlds: one in the world of form, one in the ‘other’ world. We too, male and female, have our feet placed in two worlds.

“All of us have one truth in common: that is this too shall pass. How do we want to write our own story?”

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Book now to get half-price Super Early Bird tickets before prices go up on 15 December.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic