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TEDxTallaght 2012: When Stories Collide

Catriona Crowe

Catriona Crowe is Head of Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland. She is Manager of the Irish Census Online Project, which has placed the 1901 and 1911 censuses online free of charge over the last 4 years. She is an Editor of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, which published its seventh volume, covering the period 1941-45, in November 2010. She is editor of Dublin 1911, published by the Royal Irish Academy in late 2011. She is Vice-President of the Irish Labour History Society, and a former President of the Women’s History Association. She is Chairperson of the Irish Theatre Institute, which promotes and supports Irish theatre and has created an award-winning website of Irish theatre productions.

Maureen Gaffney

Maureen Gaffney is one of Ireland’s most respected, trusted and well-liked commentators on everything from personal development to organisational, cultural and societal change. A clinical psychologist by profession, Dr Maureen Gaffney worked for many years in Trinity College Dublin as Director of the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology. Over the past ten years she has divided her time between her own consultancy business and a number of state and other boards. She works with companies on developing programmes of leadership and emotional intelligence; managing diversity, change and transitions; and offers a programme of Executive Coaching.

She has worked with companies in Ireland, the UK, Israel, and the US. Drawing on her vast experience of working with people and organisations, and on a fascinating body of recent research, Maureen Gaffney has written a gripping, stimulating and inspiring manifesto on how to flourish and why we need to. The book is called Flourishing and is published by Penguin.

Cathal Garvey

Cypherpunks and Biohackers: Remaking the Oldest Technology with Lessons from the Newest

Cathal Garvey is a Cork-based biohacker. He describes the international DIYBio movement as being somewhat like the revolution that saw the birth of home computers.

A micro-biologist and self-styled ‘bio-hacker’, Garvey is part of a network of DIY molecular biologists who are attempting to take back the technology from the big boys (eg bio-tech companies and universities) and make it open-source so that anyone can use the technology as a source for good.

“Computers used to exist in white-room labs and anyone who wanted to interact with this mainframe computer, which was imagined to be far too complex to take out of a lab, had to wear a lab coat, gloves and sometimes a breathing mask,” he says. “Then this garage revolution just turned it on its head – everyone had a computer, had that power, and now the internet is effectively dissolving every layer of society and building it from the ground up.

“Ultimately, computers are made of sand, and if we can do that much with sand and we are now starting to do the same thing with the bounty of nature, the implications are hard to predict, but they can’t be small.”

Spaces for biohacking – literally, hacking solutions together in biology – are springing up in the US and Europe, says Garvey. He describes how people can get into relatively simple experiments such as inserting DNA into bacteria in a way that makes colonies fluoresce bright green under a blue light.

Paul Lee

Paul Lee is a veritable evangelist for Google SketchUp, a free low cost powerful 3D modelling platform. Lee joined Nexus Cork, a technology enthusiasts or “Hacker” group, dedicated to the cause of spreading free technology and information to a wider audience.

In 2011, he started to contribute to Coderdojo as a mentor in 3D printing, programming and digital modelling.

With Alan O’Brien, he started Viewsion Virtual Environments- Ireland’s only Google SketchUp Authorised Training Centre. Together they have taught students and professionals from ages 10 to 90 how to use SketchUp to achieve solutions to the problems of rapid design and tecnhical communication.

Paul Lee has lectured in The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, Dublin; St. John’s Central College, Cork; Crawford School of Art, Cork; 3D Barcamp, Limerick; The Rubicon Centre, CIT; 3D Basecamp 2010, Boulder, Colorado.

PR Smith

PR Smith is the founder of The Great Sportsmanship Programme, which changes the lives of young people by simply inspiring them with true, two minute stories about sportsmanship. Paul is also the author of Great Moments Of Sportsmanship as well as a series of popular marketing text books in the UK.Paul’s sportsmanship stories address ethical values in the field of sport (and life). Values deemed boring by youths but exciting in the context of sport. Paul’s BBC & RTE radio interviews reveal the type of stories. The Great Sportsmanship Programme targets primarily schools, clubs and communities in Ireland, England and the UAE. The video, ‘Anyone For Olympism – the real Olympic dream?’, explains all. This flexible ‘edutainment’ programme includes the book and ebook and busy facebook and twitter platforms. The ‘user-generated–content’ is developed and used in subsequent editions – which effectively means that the next book will be written by young people for young people.Paul’s five marketing books are translated into seven languages and his SOSTAC® Planning System (listed by the Chart. Inst. of Marketing as one of the top 3 Business Models in the world) is now published as a hybrid eBook. Paul runs digital marketing workshops for the Marketing Inst and the Irish Mngt Inst. He received his MBA from City University London and his B.Sc. (mngt) from D.I.T. He is a Fellow of the Chart. Inst. of Marketing and a member of The Marketing Inst.(Irl). Born in Dublin, he lives in London and is married with three Twitter: @GtSportsmanship

Michael Rossney

Michael Rossney lost an incredible three stone (42lbs) in three months. Therefore he knows that the three stone in three month weight loss process is both possible for most people and safe. Since he has lost the weight he has run numerous marathons, Mara-cycles and triathlons (including Ironman.) After his own transformation, Michael has gone on to coach thousands of clients to lose weight rapidly, run their first marathon etc. He has 15 years worth of experience coaching, training and teaching within the fitness industry. He has been a coach to teenagers, business leaders & executives, athletes and corporate teams both in Ireland and internationally.

When he started working in the fitness industry he was initially frustrated because some of the clients would make changes and get startling results while others never even really got started after their initial consultation. He decided to study in depth how the human mind works (through NLP) in order to motivate people to get results. He developed his motivational skills by qualifying as a life coach and NLP practitioner but primarily through his experience in working with the Anthony Robbins Foundation in London. Michael has led leadership development and personal development workshops in London, Belarus, Bosnia and Georgia.

Jo Verrent

Jo Verrent works as a diversity trainer, consultant and project manager in the UK cultural sector Her work is about seeking to reframe the perception of diversity, through myriad events and opportunities – speaking, training, writing, curating, researching and reporting.

Most of her work focuses on diversity and equality – two things which she is passionate about. Not because they are just ‘a good thing’ or because there is a law which says people should pay attention to them, but because she thinks they are the key to transforming the way the cultural sector works.

Placing equality and diversity at the centre of arts organisations, venues, programmes and policies means that more people can become involved in work which is simply more dynamic, effective and life enhancing.

Jo is currently running PUSH ME – a groundbreaking film project reframing the work of artists for The Space ( and Sync – a leadership development programme focusing on the interface between disability and leadership -