The sci-tech celebration that is Inspirefest is almost upon us. Taking over the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre for two days in Dublin’s Silicon Docks, accompanied by evening and Saturday Fringe events in surrounding high-profile office space, Inspirefest will be inescapable as of 6 July.
Thankfully, the highly curated single-stage set-up at Inspirefest means attendees don’t have to make any difficult decisions between speakers in the line-up they want to see most. The other side of that coin is there are so many great speakers to catch, you may never leave your seat.
Here are just 10 of the speakers who’ll be visiting Dublin this July, some of whom are speaking in Ireland for the very first time at this event.
Silicon Valley’s diversity problem has been flung into an interrogative spotlight of late but there was a time that the US centre of innovation escaped this scrutiny and quietly ignored the issues. It’s thanks to outspoken people who found themselves in the thick of an unequal playing field that diversity gaps are now seeing the light of day, and with that recognition has come an impetus for change.
Tracy Chou is one of the instigators of this shifting perspective in Silicon Valley. In 2013, she wrote a Medium post that challenged tech employers to reveal the number of women engineers they had on staff, demanding that these figures not be hidden away. Now, she is both a software engineer and the co-founder of a movement at Project Include, and will present a keynote on ‘Engineering Inclusion’ at Inspirefest.
Joining Kennedy and Narisetti will be Longford native Anne-Marie Tomchak, who has worked for a variety of European media outlets, including the BBC and RTÉ, and now finds herself based in London as the editor of Mashable UK. A digital innovator with a track record for producing original journalism, Tomchak broke the world exclusive revealing that the viral ‘Syria Hero Boy’ video was faked.
One of Tomchak’s guiding principles is to “step out of the bubble” and broaden her horizons socially and professionally. “It is easy to get caught in your own echo chamber, so I go to conferences on lots of different topics,” she told Claire O’Connell. “It’s a great way to get access to the greatest minds and get up to speed in what other organisations are doing, and you get to meet new people and build new relationships.”
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