Web Summit – Tim O’Grady Walshe

This year I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to attend the Web Summit in Dublin from the 3rd to the 5th of November. The Web Summit is an annual technology conference which was founded by a former Glenstal students, Paddy Cosgrave, David Kelly and theirMichael-Dell-1 friend, Daire Hickey.

This year they had a record attendance with an estimated 46,000 people, comprised of speakers, members of new start up companies and general attendees. This meant that the RDS, a huge venue compared to anywhere in our small country, was entirely packed. This meant that a tactic of using elbows and shoulders to push your way through the walkways was implemented by most.
The Summit was divided between the main RDS building and the Simmonscourt Road venue. This years Food Summit (an area showcasing the food that Ireland has to offer where lunch was available) was held in Herbert Park. Navigating all of this would have been difficult for most of the foreign attendees and those from around our own country if it weren’t for the ingenious Web Summit app which offered a handy map to all with smart phones and tablets. Those still in the age of the flip-phone only had to follow the massive crowds. The app also offered a day by day schedule of all the talks going on. It also allowed a person to contact anyone else using the app, including the speakers and Paddy Cosgrave himself.
The main attraction to the Web Summit were the talks made by some extremely interesting and intelligent people. I was delighted to hear a talk from Michael Dell -pictured – (Dell Computers) and Bill Ford (Ford Motoring) who were both looking forward to bright futures for their respective companies. I sat in on talks about drones, charity apps and even from a representative from Facebook.
To conclude I really enjoyed my few days at the Web Summit and I am very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to attend. I was humbled by the display of such intelligence and enthusiasm by the men and women who spoke of the present and more importantly, the future of this exciting and sometimes baffling sector of the global economy.
Tim O’Grady Walshe