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Inspirefest Salon 9th March 2017

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INSPIREFEST SALON, 9TH MARCH 2017

Members of NetworkIrlande had the opportunity to become part of the Inspirefest community for an evening on Thursday 9th March, when Ann O’Dea (CEO and Co-founder of Silicon Republic) presented an international Inspirefest Salon at the Embassy of Ireland in Paris.

Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason extended a warm welcome to the moderator, James Creedon (media editor France 24), and speakers Ann O’Dea, Anne Ravanova (CEO & Founder of Global Invest Her and filmmaker and multi-media producer Elena Rossini.

The Ambassador’s introductory speech made reference to the critical importance of technology and culture to Ireland’s future development, and the potential of these two forces to shape public policy and private interests going forward. As Ireland emerges from the economic difficulties of recent times the government is reaching out to those who can help to establish the concept of Ireland as a creative island with an outstanding technology and cultural offer. In its three years of existence Inspirefest has succeeded in bringing these two worlds together and in creating, “the best conference for bright minds in Europe”.

James Creedon began the discussion by addressing the issue of the vast changes taking place in the area of communications and technology, “the biggest and fastest-moving revolution that has taken place in the history of mankind”. He referred to his recent project, the documentary “Thanks to Your Noble Shadow” as an example of how these changes have happened over the space of a single lifetime.

Ann O’Dea introduced the audience to the concept of Inspirefest, a festival that combines STEM with the arts, celebrates diversity and inclusion and provides a meeting place for entrepreneurs, academics, and figures in industry regardless of colour, background, ethnicity or gender. She also emphasized the need for more women at top-level management in business. Anne Ravanova added her voice to Ann’s on the issue of the role of women in business and STEM, describing women as “the biggest untapped resource in the world” Anne’s company, Global Invest Her, aims to provide a safe environment for female entrepreneurs to ask questions, road maps with information on real funding journeys and advice to foster and encourage innovation. Her advice to would-be female entrepreneurs? “Think Big, Believe in Yourself, Ask for More Money, Be Clear in Your Ask”.

Elena Rossini ended the presentation by describing her involvement with the Stargazer Lottie project and the success of the Lottie dolls range in a market that is becoming more sophisticated and sexualised, one of the challenges faced by young girls growing up in a society where a standard form of beauty has become an increasingly global phenomenon.

Inspirefest 2017 will run from 6-8 July at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin.
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