Smart People for a Smart Economy; Technology, Education and Closing the Skills Gap

A man speaking at a podium
Chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy Stuart Dwyer

U.S. Embassy Dublin held an annual economic conference, “Smart People for a Smart Economy; Technology, Education and Closing the Skills Gap” that took place at the Marker Hotel in Dublin’s Docklands on April 3. The conference brought together tech leaders, policy makers, educators, entrepreneurs and business leaders from the U.S., Ireland and Northern Ireland to explore the next wave of innovation set to hit education.

Innovation in education will have broad implications for growth and jobs in the Transatlantic economy.  U.S. and Irish leaders will share insights and successes on how to close the skills gap, encourage new emphasis in STEM education, and ensure that creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation skills are nurtured. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. gave the opening keynote while other speakers from the United States and Ireland included Steven Duggan, Head of Worldwide Education Strategy at Microsoft,  Paddy Cosgrave of the Web Summit and Mark Segal formerly of Zynga, Lousie Phelan of Paypal and current President of the American Chamber of Commerce, Sean O’Sullivan, SOS Ventures,  Francois Pienaar, South African Rugby World Cup Winning Captain,  Billy Hawkes, Data Privacy Commissioner,  Shauntel Poulson,  NewSchools Venture,  Bill Bates of the US Completive Council, Ronan Dunne CEO of Telefonica UK and Ireland  and Ciaran Cannon, Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills as well as many other leaders in a range of fields.

“It is true that we may have smart phones, and plans for smart cities, smart grids and smart oceans – but without “smart” people momentum these areas will stall,” said Chargé d’ affaires of the U.S. Embassy Stuart Dwyer.  “Today, in our globalized world, education plays on an international field. We believe the United States and Ireland are uniquely partnered to lead in the next wave of innovation that technology will bring to education.  That is good for us all“

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