Save the date: Inspirefest launches in Silicon Docks

27 Apr 2016

Pictured (l-r) at the launch were Cherelle Kavanagh, candidate coordinator EMEA, Dropbox; Inspirefest founder Ann O’Dea; Ellyn Shook, chief HR manager, Accenture; Dave Tighe, head of innovation, Bank of Ireland; and Celine Szymczak, Dropbox. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography

The second edition of Inspirefest is officially underway after the summer’s much-anticipated event was launched in Dublin’s Silicon Docks.

“The calibre of speakers we’ve gathered again this year validates Ireland’s reputation on the global map of international sci-tech events,” said Ann O’Dea, founder of Inspirefest and CEO of Silicon Republic, at today’s launch.

Dozens of global tech leaders will address issues ranging from soft robotics to the future of finance, medicine, media and entertainment, right up to the challenges of the sharing economy.

Inspirefest: Exploring the issues

“With Inspirefest, we’re consciously exploring challenging issues and alternative perspectives on the impact of technology and science on work, on business, on society and culture, on how we live and how we will live in the future,” said O’Dea.

Taking place from 30 June to 1 July at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Inspirefest is expected to bring some 3,000 attendees to Dublin, with an evening fringe festival in Merrion Square. There will be a free family fringe event running from 10am to 1pm on Saturday 2 July, with coding, crafting and hacking activities.

Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar; Raju Narisetti, VP of strategy at News Corp; gaming legends Brenda and John Romero; Dropbox’s global head of diversity Judith Williams and Accenture’s chief global leadership and human resources officer Ellyn Shook are just some of the names taking part.

“Today’s digital age means being ready to innovate, adopt and thrive on change,” said Shook. “We are excited to be part of the Inspirefest conversation and to lend a strong voice to help drive progress and ignite creativity around the world.”

Space race at Inspirefest 2015

Prof Susan McKenna Lawlor Founder and MD, Space Technology Ireland, via Conor McCabe

Prof Susan McKenna-Lawlor, founder and MD, Space Technology Ireland. Photo via Conor McCabe Photography

At last year’s event, Ireland’s first-ever space mission, later named Cumar, was announced by Prof Susan McKenna-Lawlor. Brianna Wu’s keynote speech on changing the gaming industry was a moving moment for the 2015 audience, and further thought-provoking discussion on inclusion is promised this year.

“Inspirefest assembles such a dynamic collection of speakers, and changes the conversation in tech. It shows how inclusion actually drives innovation, and we want to make sure that we are part of it,” said Dropbox’s Judith Williams.

Inspirefest 2016 launch

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Join us again from 30 June to 2 July 2016 for fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity. Book your tickets now.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic