The countdown is on to Ireland’s sci-tech extravaganza, Inspirefest 2017

26 May 2017

From left: Michelle Cullen, managing director and head of diversity and inclusion at Accenture Ireland; Ann O’Dea, founder of Inspirefest; and David Tighe, head of innovation at Bank of Ireland. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

One of Ireland’s largest sci-tech events is nearly here, with some big names to descend on Dublin for Inspirefest 2017 this July.

In its third year, Inspirefest is expected to welcome people from across the world to Dublin to discuss some of the latest and greatest technologies from a perspective of inclusion and diversity.

Taking place between 6 and 8 July, more than 50 speakers from 15 countries are on the schedule, specialising in topics including blockchain, fintech, medtech, infosec, AI, robotics, the future of work and STEM pedagogy for a new landscape.

Schedule now released

Again this year, the collision of technology and the arts will be tackled, as Other Voices founder Philip King will be teaming up with engineers from Nokia Bell Labs to create a special performance to close the first day of the conference at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.

Ana Matronic of Scissor Sisters fame will also be on hand to offer her unique view on robot storytelling and the shape of AI to come.

The official launch of Inspirefest took place last night (25 May) at Bank of Ireland’s StartLab in Grand Canal Square, with a small selection of the speakers and sponsors waxing lyrical about the event.

Most importantly, the event schedule has been released, so attendees can get a sense of what each day has to offer.

“We’re just delighted to see the event go from strength to strength,” said Inspirefest founder Ann O’Dea.

“From day one, we wanted to show that a tech event that put diversity and inclusion at its heart would actually be far more dynamic and innovative than traditional events. The feedback suggests we’ve succeeded.”

One-of-a-kind event

Bank of Ireland hosted the evening, with David Tighe, head of innovation, saying: “Following on from the success of last year, Inspirefest has really developed into something truly special in the STEM calendar and, as a result, become one of the leading science and arts conferences in Europe.

“For us at Bank of Ireland, the focus on inclusion and diversity at Inspirefest is key, and how they showcase the fantastic role models working in STEM to us all.”

Accenture will also be playing a major part at Inspirefest, with its managing director and head of inclusion and diversity for Ireland, Dr Michelle Cullen, describing it as a one-of-a-kind event.

“We are thrilled to be a part of Inspirefest again this year,” she said.

“We are at a point where organisations must truly innovate to be relevant for the future, and inclusion and diversity drives innovation in all areas of a business.”

In addition to the talks, each evening of the event will be topped off with a Fringe festival of banter, music and culture, hosted in the salubrious surroundings of the Facebook and Airbnb offices.

Meanwhile, the popular Family Fringe event returns on Saturday, 8 July, with exhibitions and workshops on everything from space exploration to coding. There will also be a mini Dublin Maker at The Dock, Accenture’s multidisciplinary research and incubation hub at 7 Hanover Quay.

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