November 29, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry, Dublin



Opening remarks from the morning Chair

Fearghal O’Connor, Public Affairs Editor, The Sunday Business Post


Keynote Address:
Work 4.0 – Why work will be quite a different experience for our children

The world is changing. The world of work, workers and leadership are changing too, as is the nature of culture and risk. In this presentation Ade McCormack will show how the changes we are experiencing today are in fact anthropological in nature. He will provide guidance on how we can create environments that attract and retain the best talent. Plus, he will make some recommendations on the personal disciplines we need to habitualise in order to maintain our economic relevance in this post-industrial world.

Ade McCormack, former technologist and Financial Times columnist

Ade McCormack is a former technologist who today is focused on helping organisations and individuals thrive in the post-industrial age. His perspectives on the convergence of technology and humanity provide a mind-moving framework for understanding how the world is changing, and how to capitalise on the changes. He has written a number of books,including ‘Beyond Nine to Five – your career guide for the digital age’. He also wrote a book for the European Commission entitled 'The e-Skills Manifesto – A Call to Arms', which included input from governmental ministers, industry leaders, academics and think tank thought leaders. 

Every Attendee receives a free copy of Ade's book,


How do you future proof your workplace?

  • The changing world and the impact of technology on all businesses
  • How businesses are being affected by a global marketplace, flexible working and adapting to the new generation of workers
  • The importance of talent, innovation and how gender diversity will play an important role in the near future
  • The employer brand and how employers will need to adapt to ensure they attract future talent in a talent scare marketplace

Peter Cosgrove, Director, CPL and Founder of the Future of Work Institute, Ireland


  Morning Coffee


Panel Discussion:
Placing the digital workspace at the heart of business innovation

  • The challenge of a changing business culture
  • How can you deliver the flexible working practices your workforce is demanding?
  • Embracing ‘smart’ risk
  • How will you meet the expectations of the workforce of the future?

PJ Dwyer, Senior Vice President, End-User Solutions Sales & Marketing EMEA, Dell EMC

Kierran Dunne, Applications and Services Leader, Microsoft

Gill Brennan, CEO, Irish Proshare Association (IPSA)


Case Study:
How companies can provide outstanding workplaces which are enablers for productivity, creativity and innovation

Fiona Mullen, HR Director, Facebook 


Women are the future of work

Western economies are facing a skills crisis. We need a birth rate of 2.1 just to keep standing still; yet every year thousands of skilled women leave the workforce. In Ireland alone, over 3000 fulltime women leave every year. In the US 3 million professional women are keen to re-enter the workplace. eumom, Ireland’s biggest parenting community has researched the world of women and work. It has identified what limits women’s participation and what are the enablers to contributing now and in the future. This presentation will discuss findings in the light of global trends and how both business and economies can benefit.

Annette Burns, Director, eumom  



Transforming skill sets for growth


Welcome back from the Afternoon Chairperson

Ronan King, Program Director, Advanced Transitions, Dublin City University (DCU)


How will changing skills requirements alter education priorities for individuals and policy-makers across the stages of formal education?
Futures in post-school education for Ireland, beyond STEM.

Professor Anthony Staines, DCU


Afternoon keynote address: 
Competing for Top Talent: Build the Talent Platform

Though most CIOs believe there is a talent crisis, they engage in surprisingly little talent innovation. In particular, they must consider new approaches to acquiring and keeping top talent. To compete in this arena, CIOs must borrow the mindset, tools and technologies of branding and marketing. Seeing talent as a customer, and employment by IT as a brand promise fulfilled, will improve talent acquisition and retention. Persistent shortfalls in key talent areas show that CIOs must act now to adapt their talent approaches to the digital world. This research shows how to build a talent platform that meets the needs of both IT and the talent it seeks

Mark Coleman, Research Director, Gartner 


Ministerial Address:

Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & innovation 


 Afternoon Coffee


The Future of Work in the regional economies of Ireland

The recent recession and economic recovery has affected different parts of Ireland in different ways, which has resulted in diverging labour markets. This presentation discusses recent drivers in relation to regional economic growth, demographic and labour market changes. The Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas outlined a strategy to both increase employment in the short term and to move employment up the value chain in the medium term. This research considers the mechanisms to deliver on this strategy and the implications for the future of work. The study considers the implications  for graduates of different disciplines resulting from these changes and potential strategies, and considers
Professor Cathal O'Donoghue, Director, Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc 

Technology reshaping employment


How advances in technology are redefining employer/employee relationships

How are demographic and technology trends converging to transform working environments globally? What are the implications for Business Leaders, for HR and for employees?  Kevin Empey will explore what is changing in the employer / employee landscape and how organisations can prepare for a rapidly changing workforce and workplace.

Kevin Empey, Director, Willis Towers Watson 


Panel Discussion:
The ‘Gig’ economy is coming. What will it mean for work?

This on-demand, or so called ‘gig’ economy is creating exciting economies and unleashing innovation. But it is also raising hard questions about workforce protections and what a ‘good’ job will look like in the future…

Richard Donelan, IrishStartUpTV 

Maeve McElwee, Director of Employer Relations, Ibec

Sinéad Brady, Career Psychologist, A Career to Love 

Eileen O'Loughlin, VP Human Resources, Virgin Media 


Conference Close

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