Being the business lover that I am, I couldn’t pass up the chance to attend a business conference in another country, and that’s how I found myself at the University College Cork 32nd Annual Business Conference hosted by the UCC Commerce society. The conference was hosted at the Hayfield Manor Hotel near Cork City Centre, approximately a mile walk for me. I was greeted by a room of 20-somethings in suits and blouses quietly chatting over tea and biscuits, perhaps 75 students in all. Each chair was laden with promotional material, chocolate, and a notebook. The conference itself was divided into two sections, the first portion had Bill Liao (CoderDojo), Barrie O’Connell (KPMG Cork), Lisa Domican (Grace App Communication), with John O’Doherty (AIB) moderating. The second section had Cullen Allen (Cully & Sully), Deidre O’ Leary (IDME), Alan Gallagher (Voxpro), with Conor Healy (Chief Executive – Cork Chamber of Commerce) moderating. Both parts spoke on the idea of the Irish ‘Brain Drain’ – the fact that Ireland now has the highest net outward migration of all of Europe, and what can be done to stymie this flow. Each individual had their own take on what needed to be done to help Ireland grow. Some Important Points from the Conference:
- Due to its small population (about 4.5 million), Ireland has a wonderfully tight knit community. This means that most everyone knows someone affected by something, and can lead you to the people to help, which is why the business community is so strong.
- ‘Is the point of education to develop people to be rounded regardless of future, or to develop them to support Ireland?’ Ireland provides cheap education for its citizens, so to be educated in Ireland and then emigrate is actually a drain on Irish resources.
- Ireland needs to start looking internationally for immigration, not just focus on stopping emigration.
- We also need to recognize our lens. Who is our network? Our community? Is it Dublin? Ireland? Europe? The world?
- The only way to keep Ireland growing is to start doing our best now, while we are young
I’m almost tempted to move to Ireland for the start-up scene, it seems like there is a lot of potential and brilliance here. I managed to connect with one man who’s involved with the Irish Start-Up scene and knew of The Kairos Society, and I hope that I can meet with him to discuss future directions. The highlight of the conference for me was probably winning a free Kindle for ‘best question asked’ as voted on by a panel from Accenture. I knew the Irish were friendly, but I never expected it to go this far!
I got accepted into the Kairos Society!
The Kairos Society is an international nonprofit organization of entrepreneurs and innovators from the top universities around the world.
See what Forbes has to say on them – http://www.forbes.com/sites/ricardogeromel/2013/04/02/kairos-society-and-the-worlds-next-generation-of-new-billionaires/
Here’s my application:
I’m a technology obsessed individual who’s been playing with innovation and tech since day one. My father (a founder of a small IT firm in California) encouraged me to push anything I got my hands on to its limits (computers, websites, software, etc.) and explore as many new tech adventures as possible. I’ve dabbled in a diverse set of technologies ranging from html with neopets.com user pages and basic construction of computers when I was very young to basic python, youtube analytics, and wordpress web design more recently. Nonskill-wise I founded the Scripps College Women in Technology club, which often partners with the Scripps Entrepreneur club, intern for Geek and Sundry, a Commercial Youtube Channel, and design websites. I love networking with fellow tech savvy individuals and entrepreneurs to hear what the next wave of innovation will be, and discussing new ways to use technology to change how the world currently works and address problems previously unsolvable.
- Interpersonal: Management of project teams, Networking.
- Operating Systems: PC (including Windows 8) and Mac.
- Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, Powerpoint.
- Adobe Suite: InDesign, Photoshop, Premiere
- Google: Search, Calendar, Drive, Gmail, Analytics, etc.
- Websites: Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube Analytics, Trello
- Web Design: WordPress.
Anything tech related. Changing the world through technology. Educating others on technology, creating tech communities, and pushing people to become as tech-savvy as possible.
What would you like to achieve by the time you are 30?:
Unfortunately my answer is fairly vague since I don’t actually know where the tech industry will be in 30 years, but I want to do something big. I want to fill in the gaps, using emerging tech to make the world we live in better. I can’t say what technology I will be using to achieve this (30 years ago I’m sure no one could have even imagined we’d have smart phones and ipads), but I know that I want to be at the front of the wave, setting the precedent and forging the path that others will follow, with teams working under me to make sure that change is implemented.
What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
My biggest accomplishment would probably be starting the Scripps College Women in Technology club (there is a veritable vacuum in terms of community around technology on campus, and I aim to change that). There is a lot of strong talent on campus, and I am looking to pull them together, hone their skills, and help them find their way into the work force. Scripps prides itself on being more humanities and art oriented, but I’m hoping to expand it to be more inclusive of business and tech. Scripps is a Women’s College, and I want to make sure that the women who graduate from it are tech-savvy and ready for the business world.
What are your 2 biggest strengths you will bring into this organization?
My two biggest strengths would be my desire to constantly be creating new projects, and my love of helping communities. I find myself extremely jittery if I’m not working on something I consider ‘productive’, whether that’s educating myself, working on projects for my internship, job, or school, or helping others to succeed. I constantly want to change myself and my environment for the better, and love finding where the gaps are and filling them in with solutions and ideas so that both I and the world I live in improve. This leads to my love of helping develop communities, for with communities I am able to educate others and help them succeed, success which they then use to help people they know. It is a domino effect, and I love being able to watch the people I mentor come into their own, and then use their education and skills to bring others to their full potential.
Historically, some of the most innovative and pioneering entrepreneurs have started by rethinking traditional assumptions and business models. Tell us about an area that you think is ripe for disruption, or about a way to solve new problems with existing technology and resources.
I currently work for a commercial Youtube Channel, which in my opinion is the next disruption in terms of the entertainment industry. We work daily towards using the resources YouTube and social media sites provide to create new, immersive models of entertainment, which is known in the industry as transmedia storytelling: the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies. We also work with YouTube to suggest how new innovations could lead to better experiences for the audience. We address the growing range of sites and technologies used by viewers, and take advantage of the fact that traditional cable channels are barely understanding how to use twitter, let alone vine, instagram, etc. As a Commerical Channel, we set the standards for other YouTubers to live up to, and decide the path to the future.
Give us an example of how you would be able to contribute your skills and expertise to solving key challenges in either healthcare, education or sustainability.
I would use my knowledge of YouTube and my ability to form communities to reform education. The fact that YouTube is still emerging as a disruptive technology means that each user can help decide what direction it is going to go. Commercial Channels are already working towards more diversity and inclusivity in the actors on YouTube, but if I was looking to reform education, I’d love to focus on the programming, specifically on how to use critical media theory learned as a Digital Media Studies major to make sure YouTube programming has meaning, not just entertainment value (although a balance would have to be struck). As YouTube and digital programming are a new frontier, I would work towards creating communities of channels that are dedicated to educating as well as entertaining. It would not be a niche market, but rather an underlying principle of all programming. Social media is already used to digital experiences, so it’d be interesting to see how it’d be possible to use social media for informing the audience and forcing them to think deeper and more critically about the content they are consuming.
I’m super excited to see where this goes!