Sunday, 5 February 2012

From Davos , Ireland matters when talking tech

As you know Silicon Ireland was in Davos. We wanted to make sure that the regular readers of this blog were a part of what was going on there. Mostly the thing that shocked me was the lack of engagement from Ireland in real terms from North and South. Its not enough to just have politicians talking to each other.

There are real things going on, from the tech side there was , Arianna Huffington from AOL Huffington, along with Michael Dell, Google's Larry Page and Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook. reported that' Microsoft sent six people, Google five, Facebook two, Apple none. While venture capital was represented by firms like Accel, Founders Fund, Index, and Redpoint.'

There was a feeling that big tech was there to talk in private to the Government people they often wanted to meet, and also to mingle with each other. Where was Ireland's representatives, where were the InvestNi people the IDA's people the many organisations that work on talking to big companies. In fact in a discussion from a UN member who asked not to be named, she said that Davos enabled these leaders to talk in anonymity with each other. This made sense! 

There was also many 'Social Entrepreneurs' there - listed on our Davos page, we watched a brilliant forum on Water, which we mentioned in previous posts, after the 1 1/2 hours it was opened up to the public, there were many questions about new technologies to help with the production of water for people, agriculture and industry, 2 entrepreneurs stood up to ask how governments could help in the funding of new technologies, as all agreed that governments see water as a basic human right. It then struck me that we were missing out in Ireland on these very discussions and that if this one meeting had brought 2-3 ideas that we could look at in Ireland ( a country that knows a thing or two about water and rain) then how many other possible things were missed.

What gets me is that Technology advances are the number one that human beings are banking on to keep the life we know the same for future generations. Ireland wants to be the tech hub of Europe, what we need to do is be looking at these new forward technologies that could make a difference to the world. Wind power, water purification, green policies and tech all working with business and government.

Finally, the world is a small place, and it was with great interest that I spoke to a reporter from a business magazine in Davos, he said that he loved Ireland and new a lot of its history but he had not met anyone from Ireland who 'only' covered technology on a blog before covering Davos. We explained our mission and why we were there, he smiled and said 'let me introduce you to?'. People are the same, think what we missed by not being there!