Dublin Tech Summit returned for an in-person, two-day event at the RDS which saw some of the most influential and innovative thought leaders in tech converge on Dublin to network, exchange insights and see the latest, cutting edge developments in tech.
This year’s DTS returned to an in-person event following the DTS Virtual in 2021. Following the success of last year, this year saw Europe’s fastest growing tech summit welcome 6,500 registered attendees to see 200 international speakers and 100+ sessions across four stages. With delegates from 60+ countries in attendance, there were 100+ startups, 200+ members of the global media and 80+ corporate partners all networking and sharing insights. The Summit kicked off with Ignite X at the Van Gogh exhibition.
This year’s themes included Irish unicorns, rebooting the news, tech for good, cyber security and much more. The international event explored numerous topics affecting the global tech community with speakers including company founders, CEOs, innovators, leaders, activists and researchers drawn from industry sectors all over the world.
Day two of this year’s event featured discussions on women in leadership, the war on disinformation and how people can co-exist with artificial intelligence following the opening day of the pop-up tech metropolis at the RDS.
Dublin Tech Summit’s partners included Threatlocker, Lenovo, Globalization Partners and Payhawk.
Thursday June 16
President Zelensky addresses Dublin Tech Summit
DTS day 2 also featured a surprise appearance from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. A hologram of Zelensky was beamed onto the stage in the RDS and the Ukrainian president spoke of the importance of tech and how it can be used for good.
“It is no longer science fiction that artificial intelligence is as smart as humans,” said Zelensky. “It’s unusual for Presidents or heads of government to use a hologram to address people.”
“These technological possibilities can change public life. They have simplified government to people, and government to business relationships. “
“For the first time in human history, the state is 100% comfortable with the people. That is our goal and we can make it real.”
Grace Beverley, CEO, TALA and Dr. Amanda Parkes, Co-Founder, Pangaia, made up the panel moderated by Senior BBC journalist, Elizabeth Hotson, discussing Sustainable Fashion.
“You were having to pay for the privilege of sustainability” said Beverley when discussing sustainable active wear which she became interested in when researching fast fashion.
“The aim of TALA is to make active wear that you feel good in and feel good about. Essentially that boils to being sustainable active wear at a competitive price point,” she said of the company.
Dr. Parkes spoke about how technology makes sustainable fashion possible. “The philosophy I developed for us is called high-tech naturalism,” she said.
“We look at places where there is an abundance of nature like agricultural waste or carbon and utilise high-tech processes, and science and tech to actually convert and augment those kinds of things.”
Women In Leadership
Dorothy Creaven, Managing Director, Rent The Runway, Renee Hawkins, COO, Thoughtworks and Nikki Lasley, Head of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion made up a panel moderated by Rise Up CEO & founder Susan Dwyer discussing Women in Leadership.
“You don’t need to be very senior in your career to be a leader,” Creaven remarked during the panel. The Rent the Runway VP and managing director also commented on how important it is to learn from experienced people in your field. “Pairing with a mentor at every stage of your career is very important.”
Renee Hawkins spoke about the ups and downs that make a leader “I’ve learned the most in my career from my failures” and how important it is to be driven by more than the bottom line:
“When you’re a business you have to have a purpose.”
Move Fast and Fix Things
American entrepreneur Frank H. McCourt addressed the “Move Fast and Break Things” mantra coined by Mark Zuckerberg and pioneered by Facebook.
“Move fast and break things is a ridiculous vision. We’re seeing what’s happening with things that have been broken, like democracy,” said McCourt on the topic.
Damian Pelliccione of Revry took to the Horizon stage as they discussed being Unapologetically Queer.
“I always wanted to be the queer Steve Jobs… until Tim Cook,” they quipped during the keynote where the topic of “cancel culture” was also broched. “Media should be council culture, not cancel culture,” they said before giving an insight into how a product is communicated:
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” said Damian.
Rashmi Gopinath of B Capital spoke about the value of diversity in tech teams and how it is an effective tool for solving problems and innovating. “A Lot of the statistics point to diverse teams leading to better progress,” she said.
She also encouraged those in attendance to take the initiative in their careers telling them to be “willing to raise your hand and do things on a pro-bono basis.”
“Each one of us in our daily lives has the ability to influence and change thinking around us,” she said.
Rafael Pagés, CEO and Co-Founder, Volograms closed out day 2 on the vision stage as he addressed the crowd on Real Humans in the Metaverse.
“WTF is the metaverse or why should you care?” he asked early on in his keynote.
“It’s another way to interact with digital media,” he said in response to the question. As the metaverse is a new entity, its advent poses more questions with each answer given. Rafael remarked that its novelty and untapped potential were a gold mine for opportunity: “The metaverse is underdeveloped so there are a lot of opportunities.”
Traversing Growth Obstacles
Jean-Christophe Taunay-Bucalo, CTO, Travelperk joned Business Post correspondent Emmet Ryan for a fireside discussion about how to traverse Growth Obstacles.
Jean-Christophe suggested that a mentality change helps to leap the hurdles in front of growing business. The CTO referenced how his company did so to continue their growth.
“We changed the way we think about performance management.”
Joan Donovan, Co-Founder/Research Director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, joined Áine Kerr, Co-Founder, Kinzen and Lyric Jain, CEO, Logically for a panel discussion moderated by Eric Schurenberg on Disinformation Wars.
Social media has become the unstoppable vehicle for disinformation leading to multiple conspiracy theories from QAnon to vaccine mind control. Joan Donavan summed up the simplicity, ridiculousness and effect of disinformation with one short quip.
“Memes can mobilise.”