Make some Headspace for lively debate and comedy at Inspirefest

12 Jun 2015

Oscar Wilde, one of the most famous residents of Merrion Square Park, where the Inspirefest Fringe event will be hosted. Photo via Lucian Milasan/Shutterstock

Inspirefest attendees are invited to open their minds and join the conversation in the Headspace tent at the Merrion Square Fringe Festival.

Hosted over Thursday and Friday night by our events maestro Eva Dowling, the Headspace line-up promises lively debate and discussion, and more than a few laughs.

For Inspirefest attendees who will spend their days basking in knowledge from sci-tech luminaries in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, the Fringe Festival in Merrion Square park will allow them to fill their nights with music, film and lots of chat.

On Thursday, WITS (Women in Technology and Science) invites attendees to join in a celebration of 25 years of the organisation, which was founded by the late, legendary Mary Mulvihill. During this discussion, a panel of WITS members and friends will explore why such an organisation ever needed to exist and why it has endured for half a century.

That same evening, Deirdre Mortell, director of Women for Election, will be joined by senator Averil Power and others for a panel discussing women in politics, while the Inspiring Allies session chaired by Bright Club MC Dr Jessamyn Fairfield brings together three male advocates for gender diversity, including famed astrophysicist Dr Joseph Roche.

Closing off Thursday’s line-up will be Sinéad Burke, AKA Minnie Mélange, who somehow finds time in between studying for a PhD at Trinity College Dublin to write an award-winning blog where she interviews Extraordinary Women.

On Friday, Headspace will educate as much as entertain, with contributors offering guidance on entrepreneurship, advancing diversity and social responsibility.

Kicking things off will be alumni from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland talking about how technology can create sustainable social change in the areas of employment, disability, education and food waste, with representatives from remarkable start-ups FoodCloud and Grace App.

GLEN, Ireland’s gay and lesbian equality network, will also be there to explore how tech companies can commit to LGBT inclusion in the workplace, and the benefits of doing so.

Joanna Murphy will take to the Headspace stage to share her personal entrepreneurial journey. Murphy originally came to fame on The Apprentice and, after encountering her share of challenges along the way, is now chief operating officer of ConnectIreland, an FDI-building referral programme that works with IDA Ireland.

Wrapping things up on Friday at Headspace will be science comedian Hazel McCarthy, who will no doubt delight the audience with smart stand-up that will show you the funny side of neuroscience.

All this and more awaits Inspirefest attendees at the Fringe Festival. Check out the full line-up for more details.

Updated 15 June 2015 at 12.04pm: This article has been updated to include the involvement of WITS in the Inspirefest Fringe festival.

Oscar Wilde statue image by Lucian Milasan via Shutterstock

Inspirefest 2015 is Silicon Republic’s international event running 18-20 June in Dublin, connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity. 

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.