Inspirefest 2015, which kicked off in Dublin today, is a three day international event that connects professionals interested in the future of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with new perspectives on innovation, leadership and success.
The conference aims to challenge the status quo in the STEM sectors by featuring a speaker line-up and attendance list dominated by high-achieving women. Those high-achieving women, who already act as role models to so many young people around the world, are what makes InspireFest so special.
This is a conference that puts women first and aims to showcase that STEM is just as relevant and should be just as interesting to girls as it is to boys. 75% of the speakers at the event are women, with many flying in from as far as the United States to speak at the event.
If we are to encourage youth that their is a future for them in STEM, that it is imperative to show them how many leaders are in this innovative sector already and that is is very possible to start 'changing the ratio'. Below is our pick of the top speakers to check out over the next 2 days, women who are sure to inspire in many ways.
Thursday's Speakers To Watch
Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Said to have discovered one of the "..greatest astronomical discoveries of the twentieth century", Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell is an award-winning astrophysicist from Northern Ireland. Bell famously missed out on winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1974 ,despite being the first person ever to discover radio pulsars, for reasons that were never fully explained. Bell is one the most extraordinary scientists to ever come out of Ireland and is sure to inspire generations more of young scientists.
Susan McKenna Lawlor
Astrophysicist Susan McKenna Lawlor is best known for her role as the principle investigator for an experiment on the European Space Agency Giotto mission and for founding the space instrumentation company Space Technology Ireland. Mckenna is so talented in her area that she was asked to lead an international team of scientists in building a particle detector capable of detecting energies between 30 kiloelectronvolts and several megaelectronvolts for the Soviet Union.
Ariel Waldman is one the younger speakers at InspireFest and is a real inspiration to youth interested in space exploration and science hacking. Founder of Spacehack.org, a directory of ways to participate in space exploration, and the global director of Science Hack Day, a worldwide event that brings together scientists, technologists, designers and people with good ideas to see what they can create in one weekend, Ariel is sure to open the minds of many at InspireFest 2015.
Friday's Speakers To Watch
Dr Sue Black
One of the top 50 European women in tech, Doctor Sue Black is one to watch. Black is founder of @savvytechmums (a global community of kick-ass tech savvy mums), an award-winning computer scientist and (yes..there's more!) a tech journalist for The Guardian and The Mirror. Black is also a long-time champion for women in computing and recently launched Savvify, a social enterprise that aims to empower people through technology.
Niamh Bushnell was recently appointed Dublin’s first Commissioner for Startups, a role created as a result of the Activating Dublin report spearheaded by Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Dublin City Council. Niamh is also the co-founder of IDIRUS, a purpose-built peer to peer networking and mentor-matching platform. Prior to her appointment as Startup Commissioner, Niamh was the Entrepreneur in Residence at Talent Tech Labs in New York City. Niamh is already working tirelessly to make Dublin the best city in Europe for startups and can constantly be seen improving and promoting Dublin's startup ecosystem.
Cindy Gallop is probably one the best known and most out-spoken speakers coming to InspireFest 2015. Gallop is the Founder of 'If We Ran The World' and 'Make Love Not Porn' and is behind the #changetheratio movement, encouraging more women to get involved in tech and promoting for a fairer workplace where women have the same chance as men of landing top tech positions. She has a reputation as a highly compelling and inspirational speaker at conferences and events around the world on a variety of topics and her Ted Talk in 2009 was one of the most watched and most talked about videos that year.