Dublin Tech Summit
08 June 2023

Dublin Tech Summit

It had 8,000 attendees from around the world, 200 speakers, 100 start-ups, 70 nationalities, 3 AI robots and one creative thinking programme. That’s right – The B!G Idea hit the RDS on Wednesday 31 May for the two-day Dublin Tech Summit 2023.

Speaker topics included start-ups, remote work culture, company branding, the future of work, sustainability, AI and Chat GPT4 and lots more. But creative thinking was the most talked about topic at our stand.

Here are our top 10 DTS23 creative thinking highlights:

1: Talking to so many people about The B!G Idea
There were 8,000 attendees – we must have spoken to half of them. Maggie and Christine talked to so many people and even had the opportunity to speak on a stage for 6 minutes as part of the Ignite Pitch Competition (which was won by the clever Kyran O Mahoney and his team at Inclusion and Accessibility Labs, who were also winners with us on Think Global earlier this year.
We met with Sandra Rocha, Miren Samper (TechFoundHer) and Nicole Cox (Siemens Advanta), as well as Ciaran McGuinness of NTT DATA – who all agreed that creative thinking is a vital ingredient for innovation and a skill that is needed in industry right now.
We loved Ciaran’s understanding of creative thinking.

“It's about collaboration, trying new things and learning from doing”

Ciaran McGuinness, NTT DATA

2: Meeting new programme supporters
The excitement about The B!G Idea was palpable. Everyone wanted to know more about it and how they could get involved. We answered a lot of questions about how people can connect with us and help students. We told them that you can sign up as a school, as a progressive company of mentors in a team, as individual mentors or, of course, as much valued B!G Partners. We explained that we are a not-for-profit and our programme is free so it can reach students of all resources and abilities and help us in our mission to democratise creativity. Email the team here at hello@thebigidea.ie if you have funding available and would like to use it to support students (as well as engage and upskill your employees – win win!) through our multi-award-winning creative thinking programme for 15-19 year olds which is now nationwide.

3: Meeting tech celebs
Well, when it comes to tech celebs, it doesn’t get any better than meeting Adam Cheyer, Co-Founder Siri and Viv Labs. He stood and listened for ten minutes before his talk to hear about Ireland’s creative thinking programme. A massive thank you to Tracey Carney, MD of Catalyst Media which organises the Dublin Tech Summit for the kind introduction.

4: On a mission
It was encouraging to hear so much discussion about the importance of diversity and inclusion in design, in tech and work teams. This was one of our challenge topics chosen by students this year and a big feature in our Creativity Card kits. It is certainly a strength that our programme promotes through the solutions and learning, but also through the diverse range of mentors each year.

5: Showcasing our creativity card kits
They were a hit! Highlighting the 4 Ds of design (discover, define, develop and deliver), our Universal Design how-to guide is popular with our learners and students too as they each get one to help them along in the programme.
Sven Liebau, Innovation Manager at German-based automotive company HELLA loved our kits and had this sage advice about creative thinking.
“Creative thinking is about being open minded…looking left and right of the path, not just straight forward. Because although an idea might seem to be that good in that first step it can help you at a later stage. You can connect it with other ideas, so be open and then you will develop a great product and service.”

6: Amazing partnerships
With so many like-minded people under one big roof, it’s not surprising that we had some incredible conversations with some Irish and international businesses. We are looking forward to reconnecting with them all in the coming weeks as we introduce them to our programme ahead of the 2024 cohort of secondary school students and Youthreach/CTC learners.

7: The World Economic Forum is local
Have you ever heard of the Global Shapers Club? Well, it’s an initiative of the World Economic Forum with a branch in Galway and Dublin. We were thrilled to meet Dublin member Pierce Dargan who told us all about the branch and the work they do to support education for better global citizens and future leaders.
“Creative thinking is such an important set of skills. It gives people the ability to make evaluations, solve problems, and come up with innovative ideas. It is these set of skills that are so important to equip young people with at an early age as they are necessary to succeed in today’s economy,” Pierce says.
We often quote the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs Report 2023’ when discussing the need for The B!G Idea to bridge the gap between education, industry and society. Creative thinking skills are the world’s most in-demand skills, according to that report which you can read here.

8: Robots on the loose
While we didn’t get to meet Desdemona, who is the like the Madonna of robots and was suitability inundated with press interviews, we did get to meet Buddy, a helpful bot owned by Terry Madigan at Virtual Reality Ireland.

9: Creative thinking on the loose
Everywhere we looked, we saw creative thinking in action. Our favourite talk had to be Till Haunschild, who dazzled the audience with his unique combination of magic and AI. He called over for a chat with his wife Sushila Sara Mai, who is a renowned Indian/German actress. They both know all about empathy and ideation in their work, along with the other creative thinking skills.

Another person who understands the power of creative thinking was Eve Mc Sweeney, Account Executive at Beachhut PR (which focuses on PR for tech) who described it as: “Creative thinking is so important for the new generation of digital natives, like myself. With advancements in AI, creativity and critical thinking are indispensable skills every young person needs to have!”

“The B!G Idea allows these skills to flourish in a safe environment!”

Eve McSweeney, Beachhut PR

10: What about the swag?
Our colourful glasses got a shout out on the DTS podcast (even though we weren’t giving pairs away)! Cheers Sarah Freeman from Business and Finance Magazine for that lovely plug. Goodies that you could get were socks, USB cables, notepads, drinks bottles and pens. Not as exciting as a selfie with our colourful glasses and brollies though.

And speaking of podcasts, we enjoyed a wonderful chat with Viviana Rojas, the creative mind behind the popular Innovation in Higher Education podcast.

We will be contacting the many interested mentors and partners in the coming weeks but in the meantime, if you want to connect with us to support more students and learners through The B!G Idea programme, drop us a line at hello@thebigidea.ie.

Because one B!G Idea could change our world!

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