Dublin Tech Summit is set to begin in two weeks and the lineup already sounds interesting. In its second year, the conference will focus heavily on music technology as well as business innovation and cybersecurity.
Several big names stitch together a unique lineup of speakers to complement the local and international startups showcasing their work.
The wide range of speakers and multiple focuses reflects the nature of attendees.
Vanessa Greene, marketing and event coordinator for Dublin Tech Summit, says they found among the 10,000 at last year’s Summit, many were not C-level executives.
“It’s about getting every voice heard,” says Greene. “[We’re] reaching out to the entire tech community.”
Among the highlighted speakers are Youtube personality Casey Neistat, Jason Zander of Microsoft’s Azure, and Airbnb’s Aisling Hassell.
In fact, despite the name, Dublin Tech Summit has a definitive international feel, based on who’s speaking. Several former White House officials will attend, including President Barrack Obama’s Director of Media Advance Johanna Maska and his Director of Digital Technology Tom Cochran.
Earlier this month, organisers announced former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff as a main stage speaker. Chertoff played a major role in crafting the USA PATRIOT Act during the George W. Bush Administration. That’s the law passed after the 2001 World Trade Center attack giving the American government more power to track terrorism suspects online. Few laws have had a bigger impact on technology rights.
This year, we’re seeing some of the results of organisers’ efforts to improve on last year’s summit.
One particular effort, organisers say, is to promote more diversity. To avoid “manels” (panels with only men) Dublin Tech Summit launched the Women in Tech Initiative to seek out more women speakers. They offered discounted tickets for women and sought out more female speakers.
According to the Summit’s statistics, women made up approximately half of the attendees last year and approximately 45 percent of all speakers this year.
“We are not there to say ‘we include women in tech, and that’s it,’” says Greene. “We have mentorship programmes and a number of events surrounding [the Women in Tech Initiative] all week surrounding Dublin Tech Summit.”
Organisers say this effort goes well beyond the week. At the Summit, they will officially launch the Women in Tech Awards. The award ceremony will take place in October highlighting extraordinary entrepreneurs.
Also new this year: a focus on music and technology. Clontarf-based beatvyne, which managed the 2017 Summit’s afterparty previously will also manage a full music stage at the conference this year.
“There’s a lot of technology in the music sector and the entertainment sector,” says Greene. “Dublin and Ireland as a whole that has a fantastic entertainment industry that is quite independent. People are doing their thing and working it out themselves.”
Greene says an international event like Dublin Tech Summit is a great place for those independent creators to connect, find advice, and develop even more.
Dublin Tech Summit is caught in a tough position. It, in many ways, was meant to fill the gap left behind by Web Summit in 2017. It is also one of several hundred tech conferences globally. It takes more than giving a platform to local startups to be a successful conference. Events like Dublin Tech Summit need to find and show their ‘soul’ to remain relevant.
With a wide-ranging message, attempts to woo a diverse audience, and a specific emphasis on music, Dublin Tech Summit may have found the right recipe for success.