Engagement. Employment. Empowerment.


Engagement. Employment. Empowerment.


Keynote Speakers

Keynote Address: ‘Navigating Epic Disruption Throuh Innovation ’

Ryan Shanks

Ryan is the Managing Director of The Dock, Accenture’s global R&D Centre and its Flagship Innovation Centre in Europe. The Dock is a diverse team of over 300 creative problem-solvers – where design, technology and business meet under one roof. It is a crossroads where Accenture, its clients and partners connect to pioneer new ways to fulfil human needs using emerging technology. Ryan also chair’s Accenture Innovation Architecture Council, which drives the evolution of Accenture’s network of innovation capabilities.

Ryan has been implementing new technologies, restructuring organisations and developing talent with global organisations for over 20 years. His experience ranges from corporate innovation and operating model design, to culture change and leadership development. Ryan leverages his experience across several industries including telecommunications, software, banking and the public sector to create tailored approaches for his clients. He is a thought-leader on corporate innovation, talent and organisation development who frequently presents at academic, governmental and business events. His recent publications are in the areas of the future home, future of work, responsible business and human/robot collaboration.

Ryan is an American, Swedish and Irish national with international experience having been based for a number of years in Chicago, Stockholm and Dublin while managing projects across North America, Europe and Asia. Ryan’s has undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Communication, and Masters Degree in International Relations where he studied the role of multinational businesses in society.

    Keynote Address: ‘Empowering Communities Towards Peace’

    Bertie Ahern

    Bertie Ahern has been involved in negotiations for most of his life. From industrial relations issues in his early years; leading negotiations on the Maastricht Treaty; and achieving consensus of the 27 members states to a European Constitution while serving as President of the European Council, he has been central to reconciliation and negotiation over his entire career.

    While serving as Taoiseach (Prime Minister) from 1997 to 2008, Mr Ahern played a significant role in the negotiations that led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. The Good Friday Agreement transformed relations for the better between Ireland North and South and between Ireland and Britain; and instilled a new ethos of tolerance and respect into politics on the island of Ireland.

    Since leaving office, Bertie Ahern has engaged with peace processes and conflict resolution in several countries including Turkey, Columbia, Burma (Myaanmar) and working with CMI in Odessa and the Ukraine. He has worked in the Basque region to bring an end to the last armed conflict in Europe and he continues to share his experiences of peace building in the Basque process to strengthen the cause of reconciliation in this region.

    He was appointed Chairman of the Bougainville Referendum Commission in Papua New Guinea by the EU. The referendum, which took place in June 2019 was a significant milestone in the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

    In April 2019, Mr Ahern was appointed honorary professor of Peace Studies at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice in Queen’s University Belfast. He is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative a community of global leaders working together to forge solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

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