Super Speakers
13 May 2021

Super Speakers

It’s finally here! Our B!G showcase event is really happening and we have such an exciting line-up of the B!GGEST superstars. Emma Power of 2FM fame will MC the event and we have four incredible speakers ready to blow us away. Does the fabulousness ever end…. read on to find out more about our speakers. 


First up is David Pollard. David is the Education and Innovation Manager at European Institute of Innovation and Technology (Health). He is also the Founder of TeamOSV (Open Source Ventilator) and was a Finalist at the Red Cross Humanitarian Awards. He is a PhD Candidate in Inclusive Design and Creative Technology Innovation at UCD and he began his career as a builder. Not a bad CV but there’s an even more incredible real life story. It’s hard to imagine that David struggled in school academically but he did and he now believes that this was due to a “lack of understanding of how to learn”. Since then, thinking about how people learn has become a theme in his work, as has the subject of resilience. Through his Master’s degree he found some of the most resilient people he’d ever met, people within the disabled community. He was placed by the Rehab group to work with individuals with intellectual disabilities and found that he really loved it. He started connecting these communities with the tech world and so his world and their world grew. “My goal is to create—I hope—positive opportunities and paths for others.” 

Next we have Lara Hanlon who is Senior Designer at IBM.

Lara is an award-winning designer, working with IBM in New York City. She creates a culture of design; collaborating at the intersection of design practices, education and culture. She is currently working on designing brand experiences and digital platforms.

Lara co-created and delivered Ireland’s first PostGrad Design Thinking course with Dr Hilary Kenny in IADT Dun Laoghaire where she had graduated from. She held tight to her roots here as she has part-time lectured in BA(Hons)Design in Visual Communications at IADT since graduating.

Lara is also passionate about the future of food and sustainability and in 2017 delivered a TED talk about her discoveries in a research project she undertook to encourage Western society to include insects as a food source. We were thrilled with Lara’s comment about The B!G Idea:

“I’m so jealous of the students taking part in The Big Idea – Ireland — I wish I had this back in my day!”  How cool is that.

Our next speaker to welcome is David Fitzgerald who is an Irish hurling manager and former player, currently managing the Wexford senior hurling team. As a player he was widely considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation. Davy began his hurling career at club level with Sixmilebridge, Co Clare and then broke on to the club’s adult team as a 17-year old going on to win the All Ireland Club Championship.

Fitzgerald’s club career ended in 2011 but he went on to coach Waterford, Clare and then Wexford to great success. He is a co-creator of Ireland’s Fittest Family as well as being one of the coaches. 

Davy is renowned for his effervescent personality. He is passionate and committed, emotional and driven and he credits his strength of character from being bullied as a teenager. “Did they make me stronger? They did, without any shadow of a doubt.” The All-Ireland winning manager said that bullying was “something I cannot tolerate” and urged those responsible to “look within yourself and say ‘Listen, I’m not going there again and I’m not going to make someone feel like that again'”. Davy often talks of building resilience to overcome hurdles and challenges.

And finally, we have Róisín Lafferty who is the Founder and Creative Director of Kingston Lafferty Design (KLD) in Dublin since 2010.  Believing in the power of creative collaboration, Róisín has gathered a team of talented designers, contractors, and craftsmen around her, and in those ten years has shaken up the interior design industry in Ireland. Known for her fearless use of colour and materials, her designs are innovative, experimental, and playful. Róisín employs a holistic approach to her design, designing all aspects of her work, and is a firm believer in the power of design to enhance people’s lives, seeking to evoke curiosity and imagination with her work and awaken possibilities.

Róisín has been passionate about design all her life and takes inspiration from the world around her. She is recognised as one of Ireland’s leading creatives and has received a string of prestigious accolades and awards both in Ireland and Internationally. Her work has featured in many Irish and international publications, including Elle Decoration, Australian Vogue, Architectural Digest, Living ETC and The Wall Street Journal to name a few.

 We look forward to hearing from all our awesome speakers and we hope that you will be inspired and motivated by them.

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