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14 MAY 2013

The Pavilion, Dun Laoghaire

From the blog

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Alexander Reben

Alex Koppleman

Editor and Writer for News Desk

Alex Koppelman is an editor and writer for He comes to the New Yorker from Michael Wolff's Adweek, where he was news editor; before that, he was a senior writer at, where he ran the site's political blog, War Room. He's also written for New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and ABC News, and has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN Headline News, and NPR, among others.

Alexander Reben

Alexander Reben

Robot Designer

Alexander Reben is a kinetic engineer and interactive artist who designs robots and novel interfaces to experimentally explore humankind's evolving relationship with technology. His work has been shown at Ars Electronica, MIT, Axiom, EYEBEAM, The Whitney Biennial, and has been featured in New Scientist, Fast Company, BBC,CBC, Hack a Day, and other news outlets. Following his MIT thesis "Boxie," he was invited to speak at TED and several universities.

His recent interactive project Blabdroid, "The World's First Documentary Shot And Directed Entirely By Robots" was chosen to as part of Amsterdam's 2012 International Documentary Film Festival, and the 2013 Tribeca International Film Festival's Interactive Storyscapes Competition.

David Hieatt

Shazna Nessa

Former Deputy managing editor at Associated Press, 2013-2014 Knight Stanford fellow

For the past five years Shazna Nessa worked at the Associated Press in New York, pioneering AP’s interactive, social media, mobile and data journalism presence. As a former deputy managing editor at AP, she created and led an award-winning global department that created interactive news content, including the development of two data journalism tools funded by the Knight Foundation’s news innovation grants. She also designed and currently teaches the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism’s first ever design course.

Prior to her role at AP, she was the executive multimedia producer at Conde Nast’s Today her work is primarily focused around transitions in a rapidly shifting media ecosystem and innovations in storytelling.

David Hieatt

Markham Nolan

Managing Editor of

Markham Nolan is the managing editor of, a social media news agency founded on the belief that newsrooms can find their most valuable content on the social web. As one of Storyful's earliest hires, Markham was part of the team that pioneered new ways to verify and source news content online collaboratively, consistently and quickly. Markham graduate of both University College Dublin and the Dublin Institute of Technology and began his journalism career aged 17 as a sailing photographer. After college he joined Ireland's first free daily newspaper, Metro, and has since written for national newspapers in Ireland and Australia, shot & produced short documentaries for NGOs, and produced radio material for both National Public Radio and American Public Radio. @markhamnolan

Rick Falkvinge

David Brophy

Principal Conductor of the RTE Concert Orchestra

David Brophy is the Principal Conductor of the RTE Concert Orchestra. His career, while primarily based in Ireland, has taken him to many parts of Europe, Africa, America and Canada. While conducting RTÉ NSO, he conducted the orchestra in front of over 80,000 people at the spectacular opening ceremony of The Special Olympics World Games in 2003. This event, which was televised worldwide, included performances with U2 and the largest Riverdance troupe ever assembled. Radio broadcasts have been carried on RTÉ, BBC, CBC Television (Canada) and EBU to listeners across Europe, while recordings have been released on Silva Screen and Tara Records labels. His TV appearances include TheNational Concert Hall's 25th anniversary gala concert entitled Ireland's Finest. David as Principal conductor of the RTE Concert Orchestra had the privilege of making history and conducting the Orchestra in front of Queen Elizabeth II at Dublin Castle on her recent state visit to Ireland.

Mark Stencel

Mark Stencel

Managing Editor of Digital News at NPR

Mark is the Managing Editor for Digital News at the National Public Radio and is responsible for overseeing the journalism aspect of NPR’s website and other platforms. Previous to working in National Public Radio, Stencel worked at the Governing Magazine, Congressional Quarterly and The Washington Post. He was educated at the university of Virginia and is also a Board member at the Student Press Law Centre. Stencel is the co-author of two books on the subject of media and politics. “Peep Show: Media and Politics and in an age of scandal” co-written by political scientists Larry J. Sabato and S. Robert Lichter; and “On the Line: The New Road to the White House” co-written with CNN’s Larry King. He continues to write about science and technology, including digital media trends on his blog “Assignment: Future”. @markstencel

Nick Blunden

Nick Blunden

Managing Director and Publisher of the Economist

Nick is managing director and publisher of The Economist online. He is responsible for all commercial and development aspects of this iconic website across iPad, iPhone and Android the world. Prior to joining the Economist group he was UK CEO of Profero , the award winning full service global digital communications agency. In seven years at Profero, Nick oversaw the rapid expansion of the UK business, successfully launching its media business ‘Profero Performance and its technology business ‘Profero Connect’. He also completed a stint as Management Consultant with IBM Consulting. He is particularly interested in the impact of digital technology on human behaviour and business success. You can check out his thoughts about the topic here: @nickblunden

Susan Daly

Sarah McInerney

Political Correspondent - The Sunday Times

Sarah McInerney has been a political correspondent for the Sunday Times since 2008, during which time she has covered some of the biggest political stories of the last decade.
In 2009 she won the European Commission’s national journalism award for an article about whether the rights of non-EU spouses of EU citizens were being affected by new laws on sham marriages. Later that year, Sarah was awarded a certificate of merit by the Law Society, for an article on whether the Irish constitution is still fit for purpose.In October 2008, Sarah published a best-selling non-fiction book, Where No-One Can Hear You Scream, an account of assaults and murders in the Dublin/Wicklow mountains.

Previous to her current post in the Sunday Times, Sarah worked in the Sunday Tribune for five years. In addition to her work in print journalism, Sarah is also a regular contributor to national radio and television.

Tanya Cordrey

Piers Jones

Group Product Manager at Guardian News & Media

Piers Jones is Group Product Manger for the User Platform at the Guardian He is responsible for the digital development of registration and identity (including social sign on) and the Guardian's open initiatives which invite participation from users. The user platform enables open journalism and powers its user data strategy.

Piers has been with GNM for 4 years, prior to which he spent 9 years at Reed Business Information in a variety of digital roles across community, data and classified products.

Rick Falkvinge

Roddy Doyle

Irish novelist, dramatist and screenwriter

Roddy Doyle is one of Ireland's most celebrated writers and has received international recognition for his published works as well as his work for both stage and screen having contributed to several major publications such as The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Metro Eireann and several anthologies.Doyle has written nine novels and an array of stories including five children's books. In 1993 his novel 'Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha' won the Booker Prize, which is the prestigious award for writers of fiction. A native of Dublin, after graduating from University College Dublin, Doyle became an English and Geography teacher before becoming a full time writer in 1993.

He has written several pieces for stage including 'Brownbread' and 'Guess Who’s Coming For The Dinner' along with screenplays for 'The Snapper', 'The Van', 'Family', 'When Brendan Met Trudy' and he co-wrote the screenplay for 'The Commitments', which was the screen adaptation of his 1987 novel of the same title.

Doyle also co-founded Fighting Word’s, a creative writing centre that encourages students to develop their writing skills through free workshops given by volunteers made up of professional writers, poets and teachers.

Roddy Doyle’s latest book ‘Two Pints’, which focuses on discussions between two middle-aged men about different topics that made the news in 2011 and 2012, was compiled from original excerpts he had posted on social networking site Facebook over an 18 month period. The posts were done in conversation form and gained massive popularity on the site leading to it being turned into a book.

David Hieatt

David Hieatt

Co-founder of the Do Lectures

David is the co-founder of the Do Lectures (@DoLectures), the highly recognised event that provides inspirational lectures and workshops around the world, from this The Do Book Company, an independent publishing house based in Shoreditch, London, was launched. The company make a series of inspirational guidebooks in print and digital formats.

He also set up the award-winning sports clothing company Howies in 1995 with his wife Clare, which was purchased in 2006 by Timberland. David currently runs the jeans brand Hiut Denim Co. (@HiutDenim) based in Cardigan, Wales.

You can find out more about David on his website and on twitter @davidhieatt

David Hieatt

Alison O'Connor

Journalist, Broadcaster, and Commentator.

Alison regularly appears as a commentator on radio and television debates. She is a former political correspondent for the Sunday Business Post and the Irish Times. She received a national journalism award for her work on clerical child abuse in the diocese of Ferns, Co Wexford which she covered for the Irish Times, and has written a book entitled: “A Message from Heaven” on the subject.

David Hieatt

Dearbhail McDonald

Legal Editor for the Irish Independent and
an Eisenhower Fellow.

On her 2012 fellowship, Dearbhail spent three months in the US with
some of the world's leading media companies and universities exploring
the future of media, investigative journalism and advocacy in the
digital age.

A former news correspondent with The Sunday Times, Dearbhail has won a series of awards for her legal affairs coverage. Dearbhail sits on the board of Fighting Words, the creative writing centre established by Roddy Doyle and Sean Love and is a member of the Law Council of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She and holds an LL.B (Law) from Trinity College Dublin as well as a
Masters Degree in Journalism from Dublin City University. In her 2011 book, “Bust”, Dearbhail  followed the high-stakes rows through the courts and, drawing upon her unmatched contacts and told the often bizarre stories behind an extraordinary reversal of fortune. Tweet Dearbhail at @DearbhailDibs