60 tech speakers to gather in Skibbereen West Cork for DigitalWeek.ie

13 October 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth

4 Days, 60 speakers, 2000 attendees… 1 inspirational location

Ireland’s first ever National Digital Week will take place from November 3-8 in Skibbereen, West Cork, with over 2,000 entrepreneurs, digital marketers, technology enthusiasts and those embarking on a digital journey, expected to attend.

‘National Digital Week’ aims to develop entrepreneurship by making digital accessible for all, and is the first of its kind in a non-urban area in Ireland. It caters for everyone and anyone with an interest in the future of digital technology.

The 4 day event, which has been organised by the recently established Ludgate@Skibbereen, Ireland’s first rural digital hub, will focus on the future of digital technology and will be attended by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White.

It will feature more than 60 high profile international and national speakers on two stages, including Ronan Harris, Head of Google EMEA, and Dr Laurence O’Rourke, Rosetta Mission Science Operations Coordinator at the European Space Agency, who will discuss the applications of STEM in a practical way and the success of the Rosetta mission and the future of space exploration.

Ingrid Vanderveldt of the US based Empower A Billion Women 2020 organisation, who was a former entrepreneur in residence at DELL and CNBC television host, will also speak at the event, and she and her team will conduct workshops with attendees and showcase toolkits for entrepreneurs from their EBW2020 programme. The formal partnership formed between National Digital Week & EBW 2020 is an injection of confidence in rural Ireland. Commenting Ingrid said, “I am very excited to play a part in the partnership between EBW 2020 and National Digital Week, which provides the tools, technology and resources needed to succeed in business in a digital age. My team and I especially look forward to guiding motivated women in Ireland to success, which is our key focus. I believe the formation of this relationship will have an exciting future long after Digital Week.”

Who’s speaking?


Google, Discovery Networks, Enterprise Ireland, the ESA, Musgrave Group, PayPal, Vodafone, and Microsoft are just some of the other companies presenting at National Digital Week, and there will also be a video conference from Ireland’s Digital Ambassador Lord David Puttnam.

The event will give attendees practical sessions on the latest technology trends and tools, advice and support on growing a business through digital, and taking it to the next level in terms of market, finance and internationalisation. Speakers will also discuss working or running a business from a rural location rather than a metropolitan area and how that impacts company strategy.


Themes for the week are as follows and tickets can be purchased for each session;

• Wednesday 4th November: ‘Digital future of Education & STEM’ and ‘Farming 2030’.

• Thursday 5th November: ‘Female Entrepreneurship – Empowering a Billion Women by 2020’ & ‘Social Entrepreneurship’

• Friday 6th November: ‘Digital Revolution of Retail and Services’, ‘Energise Enterprise – Capacity building workshop for Irish Towns and Villages’, ‘Industry 4.0 – The digital and Industry fusion’

• Saturday Summit 7th November: ‘Story of Entrepreneurship’ and ‘IoT: Re Imagining a connected world’. How do entrepreneurs find their spark and niche? Learn from entrepreneurs from a variety of different backgrounds and discover their experiences.

There will also be a multitude of seminars, workshops, exhibitions and extracurricular activities throughout the week, including cycles of the Wild Atlantic Way and a stellar line up of entertainment with live music from Jessie Kennedy, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, Sasha Puttnam and special guests.

Ministerial comment

Speaking about National Digital Week, Minister Alex White, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, said, “Across rural Ireland digital innovators can be found in all rural towns and villages. Ireland is small nation where metropolitan urban centres have become technology and multinational hotspots. However rural Ireland can compete with urban centres, when given high speed broadband connectivity. National Digital Week is a fantastic initiative that will get this message out to all”.

National Digital Week is organised by the steering group of the recently established Ludgate@Skibbereen, an initiative which aims to create a digitally enabled rural society in West Cork, in which innovators can create and expand their businesses in rural Ireland whilst competing on a global scale.

It is supported by The Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR), as part of the government’s national digital strategy for rural & maritime communities & towns across Ireland.


The main corporate sponsors of the event are AIB and Vodafone, Discovery Networks, Paypal, Cork County Council, Apical, and Spearline Labs. Other supporters include Google, Glen Dimplex, Vilicom, Fields Supervalu, and Enterprise Ireland.


The 4 day conference will be held in the West Cork Hotel, Ilen Street Skibbereen and the Southern Star Old Printworks building adjacent to the hotel. Workshops will be held in the West Cork Hotel. Exhibitions will take place in the Southern Star Old Printworks building, Ilen Street, Skibbereen.


Tickets can be purchased for individual full day sessions priced at an early bird price from €35 to €65 euro and are now on sale at www.digitalweek.ie; For further information and details of new speakers follow @DigitalWeekIRL on Twitter #DigitalWeekSkibb.

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