The Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny TD has announced the line-up for Ireland’s Edge, a unique conference which is taking place next month in Dingle, Co Kerry.

At the launch today at the Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute at Trinity College Dublin, Mr Kenny announced speakers from business, academia, the media, technology and the arts who will seek to plot a course for Ireland to gain unique advantage in the world.

The conference will take place as part of the eir Other Voices 2016 Festival in Dingle on December 3rd and 4th. It will be the second Ireland’s Edge multi-disciplinary conference, a unique annual event which explores the intersection of the worlds of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with the world of the Arts (STEAM) and how this could impact on Ireland’s distinct cultural identity both at home and abroad and our competitive advantage internationally.

Ireland’s Edge 2016 will focus on how creativity drives the increasing interconnectivity between science, technology, engineering mathematics with the arts (STEAM).enda-kenny-nov-16Photo: Intel Ireland.

Launching the conference, the Taoiseach pictured above said the Government will be keen to see the outcomes from the two-day discussions by leaders from across Ireland and the world. “There is an opportunity for Ireland to think and act strategically when it comes to integrating policy across areas such as creativity, arts, science, technology, education & learning, investment, economic & social development and, most importantly, Ireland’s relationship globally with the millions of people, particularly the diaspora communities, who have an affinity with Ireland. I look forward to seeing the conclusions of this conference and hope they will contribute to our national thinking on these issues.”

Day one of the conference will begin with a keynote address by Intel Fellow and Director of User Interaction and Experience and former lecturer in Anthropology and Native American Studies at Stanford University, Dr. Genevieve Bell. This will be followed by a discussion on how the creativity of the Irish people provides the country with a unique competitive advantage internationally, and how Ireland can continue to harness this energy into the future. Speakers will include Vice President and General Manager at Intel Ireland, Eamonn Sinnott, the Editor of The Observer, John Mulholland, Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, Ann O’Dea, CEO and co-founder of Silicon Republic and musician Caoimhín O’Raghallaigh. Day one will also play host to a performance from Collapsing Horse Theatre Company and an interactive storytelling performance of Zoe Philpott’s critically acclaimed show ‘Ada.Ada.Ada’.

Day two of Ireland’s Edge 2016, will further develop the discourse around the 21st century experience of emigration, the Irish diaspora and the emerging drivers of cultural identity for the Irish overseas. This discussion will involve some of Ireland’s leading emigrants including broadcaster and DJ, Annie Mac, and Senior Editor, News at CNN Digital International Blathnaid Healy. Ireland’s Edge will review 2016 and the evolution in our understanding of the Rising, the impact of the wide range of public, private, state and ceremonial celebrations and will look to the future of the 2016 Legacy Projects planned through 2017– 2021. Hosted by Professor of Modern Irish History UCD, author and broadcaster, Diarmaid Ferriter, this discussion will examine the experiences of Ireland 2016 and how Ireland can build on the momentum created by the programme of commemorative events that marked the centenary of 1916 and will include Director of Ireland 2016, John Concannon and journalist, author and broadcaster, Una Mullally.

Mr Philip King, Founder of Other Voices and the conference organiser, said: “Dingle in December has long been a pilgrimage for the best and brightest of Irish and international music to come and perform. “In recent years, we have widened the programme to include thinkers, creators and leaders from across the worlds of culture, politics and enterprise and Ireland’s Edge is the culmination of many of these conversations. In partnership with returning sponsors Intel, Ireland’s Edge will again play host to a stellar lineup of speakers from right across the spectrum of politics, media, business and art.”

Also speaking at the launch today, Intel Vice President and General Manager of Intel Ireland, Eamonn Sinnott said: “There are huge rewards available to those that can recognise the market opportunities of a changing world. The solutions of the future will need to be experience driven, people centric and market inspired and these attributes are ones which can be best delivered by people with multi-disciplinary skills. Ireland’s Edge provides an important platform to help drive this conversation to a national stage”.

As well as Intel, Ireland’s Edge is supported by the eir Other Voices Festival of Dingle, Ireland 2016, The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, The Department of Diaspora Affairs, Microsoft, PwC, Nokia Bell Labs and cpl.

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