Convercon | Speakers
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Speakers in 2017

ConverCon 2018 Speakers to be Announced

Adrian Zumbrunnen 

UX Engineer at Google

Adrian is a designer, writer, and coffee enthusiast currently residing in Zurich. He is design tinkering at Google where he’s working on Google Assistant and conversational design. Before joining Google, he was at Information Architects where he worked for various clients in the industry.

Bojana Jamborcic

‎ Lead UX Designer at Typeform

Bojana is a Lead UX Designer with an intense curiosity about the underlying drivers of human behavior. Building on a design foundation in Architecture, she honed her skills in San Francisco while working at small and large companies. Currently she’s leading the UX efforts at Typeform, in beautiful Barcelona. In her perfect world, technology would be designed around human behavior and biology, plus a small jar of Nutella would be delivered to her desk, daily. In her free time she enjoys the Argentine tango and occasionally writes about herself in third person.

Julien Decot

Director of Product Partnerships at Facebook

Julien is a veteran internet executive with more than 10 years’ experience working in Silicon Valley across multiple senior roles in large consumer internet companies including Amazon.com, eBay and Skype.

 

He joined Skype in 2007 where he built the team in charge of Strategy, Business Development and Corporate Development, and managed the strategic partnership between Skype and Facebook. Prior to joining Facebook, he founded a mobile messaging company called TextMe, which reached 40M users and is now a profitable and successful business.

 

In his role as Director of Product Partnerships, EMEA, at Facebook, Julien helps companies of all sizes use Facebook’s platform to build, grow and monetize their products.

Benjamin Keyser

Director of Product Management at Intercom

Benjamin is Director of Product Management at Intercom, leading the Developer Platform and Messenger teams.  Benjamin is a Product Designer, bringing together User Experience and Product Management leadership together in an unholy union of futuristic idealism and market pragmatism.

 

Having started his career as a content strategist and writer working in companies such as IBM, Razorfish and Apple, Benjamin dove into the startup world of Silicon Valley working on ill-fated but clever social media, messaging and community platforms.

 

Later, after years of therapy, he moved to Europe and joined Telefonica where he launched a global messaging and voice communication platform. Most recently, Benjamin led the redesign of the upcoming Ubuntu mobile and desktop platforms before joining Intercom in the spring of 2016

Elizabeth McGuane

Product Content Strategist at Intercom

Elizabeth is Intercom’s product content strategist. She defines and shapes the product’s tone of voice and devises patterns for content across the company’s apps and Messenger.

 

Since joining Intercom in late 2015 she’s helped out with the redesign of its messenger, and last year helped launch its Educate product — a knowledge base that comes integrated with the Messenger — as well as designing lightweight bots for Educate and for Respond, its sister product for customer support. As part of Intercom’s product design team, her role is to ensure language and content are central to the team’s design process.

 

A dual Irish-Canadian citizen, Elizabeth started out at The Sunday Business Post and moved into UX in 2007. Over the past decade she’s worked with the agencies Each & Other, DigitasLBi and as a freelance consultant on projects for Lloyds Bank, Honda, the British Council, Ovo Energy, Vitsoe and FutureGov, among many others.

Dirk Songuer

Studio Head HoloLens at Microsoft Berlin

Working for Microsoft, Dirk is currently building the new Holographic Studio in Berlin for the Microsoft Consultancy Services. The aim is to assemble a team to create world-class HoloLens experiences for clients and partners and help them shape a Mixed Reality future.

 

Dirk has more than 20 years of experience in digital, having worked in development, project management, QA and User Experience / Information Architecture. Together with his teams he worked for clients like Nintendo, Audi, DHL, UBS and Deutsche Telekom to transform their businesses and bring their relationship with customers to the next level.

Gillian Armstrong

Technologist at Liberty IT

Gillian works as part of the Cognitive Technologies team in the Emerging Business and Technology department in LIT. Her team is focussed on exploring and using innovative technology in interesting new ways to improve how our employees do their jobs. 

 

She has more than a decade’s worth of experience in many technologies across the full stack, but her passion is for where technology meets humans in the user interface and experience. She truly believes that technology should be used to make lives better, and loves being a software engineer as it allows her not just to think up big ideas, but also to make them a reality.

 

An essential part of her team’s magic is a seven-foot-tall inflatable unicorn that is always happy to pose for selfies.

John Fitzpatrick

VP of Product & Engineering at Voysis

John Fitzpatrick is the VP of Product and Engineering at Voysis. Voysis is the complete voice AI platform to enable voice driven natural language instruction, search and discovery.

 

Prior to joining Voysis John was Director of engineering for Logentries which was acquired by Rapid7. John was founder of Forkstream, an early stage startup developing Wi-Fi network selection technology that was acquired by Openet. There he was Director of Openet Labs with responsibilities for new product development, research and standardisation.

 

Previously John was the recipient of a Marie Curie research fellowship and a postdoctoral fellow at University College Dublin and NEC Labs. John has organised International conferences and been a reviewer for a large number of journals and conferences. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from University College Dublin and is a graduate of Dublin Institute of Technology and Dublin City University.

 

Emma Reid

‎Principal Technical Evangelist at Microsoft

Emma Reid is part of the Developer Experience team in Microsoft Ireland helping ISVs to build reliable and scalable solutions on Azure to delight their customers.  She has over 15 years of experience in IT consultancy working for various local and multinational companies including Dell and Accenture delivering solutions for customers across Retail, Medical, FMCG, Financial Services and Government.

Emma is passionate about technology and is currently focussed on Cognitive services and the Bot Framework.  She is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion with a focus on encouraging young women into STEM and as such delivers the “IT is not just for Geeks” program to teenage students in Dublin.

She has a BSc in Computer Applications from Dublin City University along with certifications in Enterprise Architecture, Designing and deploying cloud solutions on Azure, Project Management amongst others.

Alessandro Prest

Co-Founder & CTO at LogoGrab

Alessandro Prest is co-founder and CTO of LogoGrab, an Artificial Intelligence platform that tracks the presence of brands in billions of online pictures.

Alessandro has covered several research positions in international institutions and industries delivering A.I. solutions that span from quality control for the semiconductor industry to detecting cats on YouTube.

He received a Google-funded Ph.D. in Computer Vision from ETH Zurich in 2012 and a M.Sc. cum laude in Computer Science from the University of Udine in 2007.

Charlotte Breen

IT Security and Data Specialist

Working where text, people and software meet .

She researched and designed the core Data Loss Prevention rules and policies for RSA/EMC. She developed DLP Security Incident Analysis and Escalation rules and policies for Synopsys.

She works at the level of what this legislation means for your data, combined with that  software.

Originally coming to the field from Librarianship, Charlotte has developed taxonomies, classification system, EDRMS, provided training in Advanced Information Management, worked with multinationals across verticals, and with government departments across the EU.

With 20 years’ of data project experience, she’s highly experienced at spotting what will go wrong next.

Eric Robson

Research Unit Manager at TSSG

Eric Robson is a senior leader in the software industry with over 14 years’ experience delivering high quality innovative products in multi-national, SME and R&D environments.  Eric currently leads the Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Research Lab in TSSG where where his team are published ground-breaking research and delivered world class technology to clients around the world. As the leader of an R&D division Eric has promoted a culture of continuous innovation coupled with industry grade (agile/scrum) engineering.  The research lab is currently investigating highly novel distributed analytics algorithms for the agricultural sector and building artificial intelligence applications for the customer service sector. 

Grant Ronald

Director of Product Management, Mobile and Intelligent Bots at Oracle

Grant Ronald is Director of Oracle Product Management for Mobile and Intelligent Bots responsible for getting customers up and running with Oracle technologies. Before the exciting world of mobile and chatbots, he had a variety of roles in his 20 years at Oracle including developing Oracle Forms, Java and mobile technologies. Previously he spent 7 years as a developer at EDS Defence building secure military IT systems.

 

He is author of the McGrawHill book “The Quick Start Guide to Fusion Development”, a regular magazine contributor and has spoken over 200 times at more tech conferences that he can remember.

Paul Sweeney

EVP at Webio

Paul leads Webio’s Product Vision. He has over 20 years’ experience in research, new venture development, venture capital and outsourcing across the telecoms, Internet and technology sectors. Paul previously held the positions of Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Product Officer at customer communication specialists VoiceSage.

He also worked at Eir where he was responsible for new venture development, advising more than 40 start-ups. Paul is currently a strategic advisor to TSSG, the internationally recognised centre of excellence for ICT research and around ten other start up or scaling companies, and an active participant in the start-up community in Ireland. He is a cofounder of Convercon. Funfact: he also started a poetry festival.

Elaine Burke

Managing Editor of Silicon Republic

Elaine is an award-winning journalist and editor who turned her attention to science and technology in 2011, having always had a passion for learning about the next big innovation.

As managing editor at Silicon Republic, she’s proud to be part of a team working to showcase and encourage diversity in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and is an advocate of integrating the arts into this creative mix. She tweets about STEAM – and anything else that interests her – at @CriticalRedPen and can often be heard on the airwaves discussing the latest news and trends in science and technology.

Colm Moriarty

Founder HomeHero

Colm is the founder of HomeHero that was developed in the ESB Innovation’s incubator in Dogpatch Labs. HomeHero Home is a virtual assistant for home energy. It helps people live more sustainable, efficient and comfortable lives. Send HomeHero a photo of a household appliance (like a dishwasher) to see – how much its energy use costs or how it could be saved through efficient use

HomeHero can be found on Facebook Messenger @YourHomeHero.

Brian Herron

Director and Principal Designer

Brian is a Director and Principal Designer at Each&Other, an experience design agency that partners with large organisations to transform their businesses.

He has lectured on content strategy and design thinking for DIT and UCD and his client list includes Google, Zurich International and Vodafone. Each&Other is an employee owned company that operates internationally from an old converted priory in Dublin and works across multiple sectors, including finance, enterprise, tech and both local and national government.

Andrea Revilla

Product Owner at Typeform

Andrea is Product Owner at Typeform. Currently, she’s leading the Chat Integration project. In the past, Andrea worked as java developer at Disney in Argentina. She also worked on the LifeLine product team, a federal program in the US that assisted people with low-income to access mobile services.

Simon Michael

Senior Technical Evangelist at Microsoft

Simon is a Snr. Technical Evangelist in the Developer Experience (DX) team at Microsoft. He helps customers understand more about making applications smarter with Machine Learning APIs such as Microsoft Cognitive Services, and understanding the notion of ‘Conversations-as-a-Platform’ which involves learning how chat bots and smart assistants can change the way we interact with technology today. Prior to Microsoft, Simon was development lead for McLaren on F1 engine configuration and data telemetry applications. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science

Ian Wallis

Director Chatbots and Mobile PaaS Business Development at Oracle

Ian drives Chatbot and Mobile PaaS business development in Europe for Oracle helping customers and partners embrace the next wave of innovation and digitalisation. His focus is on driving customer success centred around chatbots, virtual assistants, artificial intelligence, mobile and cloud services. Ian previously worked in mobility sales for Pega Systems.

 

Prior to Pega, Ian worked for several mobile platform and mBaaS start-ups including FeedHenry (now part of RedHat), Volantis (sold to Antenna Software which in turn was bought by Pega) and weComm (now part of Opentxt). Ian has a strong enterprise consulting background having worked for Andersen Consulting and Openwave Systems, where he held various senior management positions in Europe and Asia.

Ed Melvin

Digital Strategy Director at Publicis Dublin

Ed is the digital strategy lead at creative shop Publicis Dublin. Ed has over 15 years’ experience in digital strategy and delivery, across the web, mobile, apps and more recently, conversational interfaces. Clients include Vhi Healthcare, Bord Gáis Energy, Iarnród Éireann, Kerrygold and Asavie. Publicis’ role is to build distinctive, memorable brands, through “storytelling and experiences”, working in partnership with clients and a multidisciplinary agency team.

Ultan O’Broin

Senior Director, Oracle Applications User Experience EMEA

Ultan has worked in software development in the U.S. and EMEA since 1996. His charter is EMEA and APAC Oracle partner enablement and sales enablement using UX ‘design’n’build’ accelerator UI kits for developers and startups. He has patents in design patterns, has published books, blogs, and articles on technology, and spends his mid-life crisis running marathons to avoid completing his PhD in Trinity College Dublin.

Nicola Aitken

Software Engineer at TypeForm

Nicola is a Software Engineer at Typeform. Currently, she’s turning typeforms into messaging conversations on Facebook (more platforms coming soon). In the past, Nicola worked on Aeroplane engines and holds a law degree from the University of York. Nicola hails from the mining village featured in the film “Billy Elliot.”

Barry Nolan

Vice President Strategy at Swrve