Inspirefest 2018 — My Highlights

Wow, I can’t believe that was two weeks ago!? Inspirefest didn’t disappoint especially when it comes to connecting and re-connecting with people. It feels like the best annual reunion with added bonus of meeting new acquaintances. It does help that I was the only person with purple and blue hair! 😂

I was blown away on the first day and it wasn’t even 11:00, and both of those speakers were 11 and 14 years old respectively. Aoibheann Mangan (11)is a mentor, loves to code and through her dry humour had the audience laughing and she even raises the rural broadband divide problem we have. What amazing parents to drive her to Tesco to get signal so she can have access to the internetz for her projects, it’s really unbelievable in this day and age, but it’s a big problem for everyone who is trying to part of the digital age when they can’t even get access online. She also doesn’t appreciate folks calling kids the future, she said they are making changes right now. Taylor Richardson down to earth personality talked about raising funds (she’s a 14 year old philanthropist) for kids all over America to have access to books, attend space camps, attend screenings of inspirational movies like Hidden Figures. She’s a space enthusiast herself and want to be the first black women on Mars!

The social aspect of the conference has been positively successful for me again,I had multiple hats on, the usual suspects: Coding Grace, PyLadies Dublin, Women Who Code Dublin, LoveLaceSpace and GameCraft

Had a quick lunch meeting with Irene (Director, Women Who Code Dublin) and Sheree (Board-Appointed Global Ambassador,Women Who Code).

I had quick meeting the next day with Claire (WWCode Belfast) and Christina (WWCode Dublin) in between breaks.

I manage to connect with one of the speakers, Karen Contet Farzam, who is also looking after WWCode Hong Kong at the after-party.

I’m so excited about my amazing friend, Shaun O’Boyle, has been doing, see House Of Stem. He announced #LGBTSTEMDay which is happening on July 5th.

And highlighting LGBT issues we have in STEM. Go check House Of Stem for more info and updates on how you can get informed and involved. 🏳️‍🌈

I really enjoyed Hedy Lamarr performance by Heather Massie, she got a standing ovation. She still has a few shows around Ireland, check it out at her site for more info — http://www.heathermassie.com/

I also recommend Ada Ada Ada Show, which was shown at last year’s fringe at Inspirefest. Zoe Philpott was really good and it’s interactive, everyone can join in young and old. You can find more about their shows via http://adatheshow.com/

Zoe Philpott

I did manage to share some stickers and badges as well as getting some back. I even gave some to Zoe Philpott (fan-girling here) and she swapped some badges with me also. 🙌

Look, we got a selfie with Zoe Philpott at the after-party!

Ann and Aishling has been busy taking to the road to spread the word about Inspirefest, and one of those places was Hong Kong, and we had some folks from Hong Kong. I learnt pretty quickly that they don’t really use Twitter, so I found them by word of mouth, or one person found me via my friend Tammy, who was one of the many amazing volunteers.

HONG KONG!

For those who want to get involved in an amazing event, meet speakers and guests, you should volunteer for the next year’s one, it has been positive feedback when I was talking to friends who were volunteers this year.

I couldn’t find Aishling, but I manage to get a pic with Ann who made all this possible! Well done to Ann, Aishling, the Inspirefest team, volunteers and everyone who’s involved. Looking forward to next year!

Me, my other half, Mick and Ann! Are those bunny ears?!? 😂

Here’s links to highlights from Inspirefest:

And if that made you want to be part of it, they’ve already started planning for 2019 and super early birds are available — https://inspirefest.com/

P.S.: I’m an attendee and no way affiliated with Inspirefest — so I hope to see you there next year! 😉