The Digital Ireland Forum 2012 – Winning in the Next Economy #DIF12

1 Feb 2012

The Digital Ireland Forum 2012 takes place on 23 March at The Convention Centre in Dublin, beginning at 8am

Following the success of’s Digital Ireland Forum in 2011, on Friday, 23 March 2012, Ireland’s tech leaders will once again gather in Dublin to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Ireland in its bid to compete and win in the next economy – the digital economy. The event will be held at The Convention Centre, and among the confirmed keynote speakers is Sean O’Sullivan.

Recognised as co-creator of the term “cloud computing”, serial tech entrepreneur O’Sullivan is co-founder and managing director of Avego, a technology firm with offices in the US, Ireland and China. He is also managing director of SOSventures International, which boasted returns averaging 27pc over the past 15 years.

A founder of JumpStart International and Chinaccelerator, O’Sullivan’s first company, MapInfo, grew to a $200m public company and popularised street mapping on computers. He is also the latest high-profile addition to the TV programme Dragons’ Den.

The Digital Ireland Forum 2012 marks a rare opportunity to see O’Sullivan speaking live, bringing his wealth of experience in the international digital economy and his views on Ireland’s current digital status on the global stage.

At the Digital Ireland Forum, our leading keynote speakers will be joined by Ireland’s technology CEOs, including Intel Ireland general manager Eamon Sinnott, BT Ireland CEO Colm O’Neill and MD of TelecityGroup Maurice Mortell. Diane Hodnett, CEO of Sea Fibre Networks has just been added as a panelist. Diane is also on the Board of the IDSC (International Digital Services Centre) established to advise and support the development of the digital services in Ireland as part of the plan for Government.

These tech leaders will take part in mediated panel discussions before an invited audience of C-suite executives and senior policy makers, discussing the key issues that need to be tackled to enable Ireland to be a winner in the next economy, including:

  • Ensuring an enterprise-friendly culture in a digital age
  • Attracting and nurturing the knowledge professionals
  • Creating a workforce with the skills for the next economy
  • Access to next-generation infrastructure
  • Becoming the location of choice for tech MNCs and start-ups
  • The industries that will be winners in the next economy
  • The imperative of adaptability of policy in an age of rapid change.

Event programme

Given our busy C-suite audience, this will be a breakfast forum (running from 8-10.30am), with short presentations from each keynote, followed by lively panel discussions with Ireland’s technology CEOs, and opportunities for the delegates to question the panel. Delegates will include an invited audience of Ireland’s leaders in public and private spheres.

Provisional running order

7.30-8am: Registration and breakfast

8am: Introduction by the chair, broadcaster and author Matt Cooper

8.05am: Opening by Pat Rabbitte, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

8.15am: Keynote 1: Sean O’Sullivan, serial tech entrepreneur, founder MapInfo, MD of SOSventures, and the latest addition to Dragons’ Den, on creating an environment to facilitate digital enterprise and create jobs

8.35am: Panel discussion and Q&A with Sean O’Sullivan and panel of Ireland’s tech CEOs

9.10am: Coffee and tea, served at tables (short break)

9.30am: Keynote 2: Emer Coleman, Deputy Director Digital Engagement UK Government Digital Services/Cabinet Office on openness and the role of policy in enabling and encouraging digital enterprise – large and small

9.50am: Panel discussion and Q&A with Emer Coleman and panel of Ireland’s tech CEOs

10.30am: Event closes

Speaker and programme updates will be posted on the forum site.