Alumni look to the future at TEDxDCU

Samantha Barry of CNN discusses being fearless and embracing digital news

Last week saw DCU hold a TEDx conference on the principle of Imagining the Next Century where speakers, including DCU academic staff and alumni, gave talks on how we should use innovation and today’s technological advancements in order to secure a healthy and revitalised future.

The evening event saw speakers range from Director of DCU’s Health Technologies Research and Enterprise Hub Christine Loscher, to playwright and Creative Director of the university’s MA in Theatre Studies programme Marina Carr, to 14-year-old Niamh Scanlon who was 2015’s EU Digital Girl of the Year, offer new ideas, research and inventions looking to the future.

Held at The Helix, an estimated crowd of 400 people represented the largest attendance at this, the third TEDx conference held in DCU. MCed by Dr Claire O’Connell, a journalist for Silicon Republic, the event witnessed seven speakers address topics ranging from the future of food to the changing landscape of the digital news media, to a vivid reading of Greek mythology.

Deputy President Daire Keogh welcomed the audience before Christine Loscher addressed the prevalence of trans fats in our day-to-day shopping and eating habits, discussing the rise of a Trans Fat Revolution following a shortage of butter for the American military during the Second World War.

Following Dr Loscher was Niamh Scanlon, the 14-year-old daughter of MC Claire O’Connell, who argued the benefits to young students that learning computer coding offers, having studied for a number of years at DCU’s CoderDojo which aims to create an environment that excites and engages children in technology.

Head of Social Media for CNN Samantha Barry spoke of how both news consumption and production had altered completely in recent years, all of which was captured throughout this year’s US presidential election.

Video by Leanne Hannafin

The night concluded with an emotional discussion by Ann Power, SC, on the meaning of life, recalling her vote to keep an illegal immigrant in Ireland despite going against the case’s precedent, due to the fact that the mother in question would likely have died from a lack of medical facilities in her home country, to deliver a message of maintaining one’s own beliefs despite being in a minority.

Aaron Gallagher

Image Credit: Zainab Boladale

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