“Your name badge is a permission device to speak to strangers”, noted Kingsley Aikins during his hugely entertaining and informative presentation at the Conference launch on the Thursday evening at the prestigious Bank of Ireland House of Lords on College Green, Dublin 2.
So set the tone for the next 24 hours where Irish entrepreneurs and business professionals from all over the world congregated for the 6th Annual IIBN Global Conference at the elegant Royal College of Physicians in Dublin on the 3rd November.
In a departure from previous years, the emphasis was on maximising the number of speakers and letting as many people as possible ‘get their spake in’!
And ‘spake’ they did. First up was Simon Conveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs and newly appointed Tanaiste, who spoke eloquently about the importance of the Irish diaspora and the challenges his Government are facing in relation to Brexit and the border with Northern Ireland.
We could have listened to him all day, until someone suddenly remembered we had another 30 equally eloquent speakers and the Minister was dragged kicking and screaming from the stage. Ok, not quite.
From Cork we moved to Galway and were treated to an enlightened voyage from Ireland’s Unsinkable Entrepreneur, Enda O’Coineen. When you’ve spent 4 days stranded off the coast of New Zealand with a broken mast, a 15 Minute TED-style talk was never going to faze Enda, and he wrapped it up with a powerful video diary of the highs and lows of the high seas. A special thanks to Enda for delaying his trip to New Zealand to complete his Around the World expedition until after his IIBN presentation.
We were then treated to a series of 15 Minutes Talks from Adrienne Harrington, CEO, Ludgate Hub, Darren Ryan, CEO, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Alex Cooney, CEO, CyberSafe Ireland, Emma Manley, Founder, Manley, Gerard Barry, Founder, Fintrax Group Holdings, John Stapleton, Entrepreneur, Niamh Bushnell, CEO, TechIreland & Sarah O’Connor, Co-founder, The Cool Bean Company.