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TEDxUCD Videos are live !

Our 1-word theme for TEDxUCD 2017 was Inspiration.

In a world where jargon and technical language is everywhere, we think it is worth gathering people together for a day at TEDxUCD 2017 for inspiration and to share the range of “ideas worth spreading” from our speakers who are drawn from the wider University College Dublin community.


Please click here to view TEDxUCD 2017 videos

TEDxUCD 2017 Speakers

Eimear Cahalin (@EimearCahalin)

How ego is the enemy of eco

Eimear Cahalin is co-founder of Vivid Edge, an Irish company headquartered at NovaUCD, which is pioneering Energy-Efficiency-as-a-Service, to enable large energy users to undertake projects they would not otherwise take on.

An experienced Chief Financial Officer, Eimear has spent much of her career to date working in global investment banks in London, before her life-long interest in sustainability saw her move to Mainstream Renewable Power, then a start-up and now a global leader in the development of wind and solar energy projects.

She has been as member of the steering Committee of RE100, a collaborative, global initiative uniting more than 100 influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity, and is an accredited trainer in Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats method of parallel thinking.

Believing that the world needs to transition to a state of low carbon, resource efficient sustainability, and that efficiency is the first source of renewable energy, she is now working towards making Vivid Edge’s vision to be the world’s leading provider of energy efficiency services a reality.

Eimear graduated with a B. Comm (Banking and Finance) and a Masters in Accounting from University College Dublin. She is a proud alumna of Arthur Andersen, a fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and a member of the Institute of Directors.

Eimear is passionate about life-long learning and all forms of diversity.

Twitter: @EimearCahalin


Stephen Cluskey (@StephenCluskey)

An accessible world is an inclusive world

Stephen Cluskey is an award-winning entrepreneur, disability advocate, public speaker and everything in between. Having suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury at the tender age of just 18, which left Stephen paralysed from the neck down, he has since gone on to achieve in a short time, more than most would in a lifetime.

Stephen graduated with an Honours Degree in Business Studies from the Open University.  He attended UCD to study Economics, after his accident, via the UCD Access & Lifelong Learning Programme and also studied in Dublin City University.

Stephen has started 2 award-winning businesses and 1 social enterprise.

He has advocated on behalf of disabled people, spoken in front of large crowds, been appointed to a government body by the Minister for Transport.  His participation has led to changes regulations at the top level, and helped secure more than €3 million to put more wheelchair taxis on Irish roads.

He has designed, and help develop, an IFTA-nominated nationally broadcasted TV show to try to change people’s perceptions around access issues.

He has acted as a brand ambassador for Nissan and won numerous awards as an individual as well as for his businesses.

He offers a very unique, positive perspective on life, challenging individuals to realise that almost anything is possible with the right will and determination.

Stephen has travelled the world and his work has only just begun.

Twitter: @StephenCluskey


Dr Amber L. Cushing (@cushinga)

Listening to respond: justifying public support for cultural heritage in a personalized world

Dr Amber L. Cushing is a Lecturer/Assistant Professor in digital curation and digital cultural heritage at the UCD School of Information and Communication Studies where she directs the MSc in Digital Curation and the PhD Programme.

Her main research area of interest is how individuals perceive meaning in digital cultural heritage objects, their experiences with the objects, and the implications of such meaning perception for cultural heritage institutions in society.

In 2014 and 2015 she was awarded Irish Research Council New Foundations funding to explore how a mobile walking tour app about the 1916 Easter Rising could be used to provide access to and use of digital surrogates from cultural heritage collections.

In addition to her career as a researcher, Dr Cushing has also worked in several roles in libraries. She uses this experience to inform the development of her research. Dr Cushing is passionate about understanding the ways that cultural heritage institutions justify their roles in society.

Dr Cushing graduated with a BA in History from Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, a Masters in Library Information Systems with a focus on Archives Management from Simmons College, Massachusetts, and a PhD in Information and Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Twitter: @cushinga


Dr Monica Gorman (@monicamgorman)

Adventure and change as the key to well lived lives

Dr Monica Gorman is a lecturer in agricultural extension and innovation at the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science where she has developed and co-ordinates postgraduate Masters programmes for agricultural science students who want to work in farm advisory and agricultural education roles.

Her research focus is on agricultural extension with a particular interest in supporting women in agriculture.

Dr Gorman grew up on a small farm in Co. Wicklow and after completing her BAgrSc and MAgrSc in UCD she went to work with Concern in Sudan. In Sudan she worked with semi-nomadic pastoralists on the border with Eritrea and from there she moved to Tanzania where she worked first with Irish Aid and then with IUCN on community development in agriculture and natural resource management.

She returned to Ireland and completed a PhD at UCD on multi-functional agriculture and the prospects for expanding livelihood opportunities for farm families. On completion of her PhD she spent the next 10-years working on international development.

In 2013 Dr Gorman returned Ireland and to her current role at UCD where she is bringing her diverse experiences to bear in strengthening the attention to the social sciences in a School with a dominant natural science perspective and focus.

Twitter: @monicamgorman


Dr Bahareh Heravi (@Bahareh360)

How is data journalism changing the newsroom?

Dr Bahareh Heravi, a data and computational journalism researcher, trainer, practitioner and innovator, is an Assistant Professor at the UCD School of Information and Communication Studies, where she is the founder and Programme Director of the new Data Journalism CPD programme.

Her research activity is particularly focused on the application of new technologies in journalism, news and media industries. She is passionate about creating innovative data-driven solutions for the news industry, and helping journalists equip themselves with data skills required in the 21st century newsroom.

Prior to joining UCD Dr Heravi was a Research Fellow and leader of Insight News Lab at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway. She is also the former Lead Data Scientist at The Irish Times, where she spearheaded the Irish Times Data and led the paper’s R&D programme.

She has also led a number of R&D projects with RTÉ, through her academic-industry collaborations, and is the founder of the Dublin chapter of the Hacks/Hackers network.

At age 19 she started a successful software development company in partnership with two university friends and subsequently sold her shares in the company in 2010. In 2011 she was awarded Google’s ‘Women Techmakers’ Scholarship, an Award given to recognise outstanding young women scholars in computer science and related fields.

Dr Heravi holds a PhD in Information Systems from Brunel University London.

Twitter: @Bahareh360


Professor Mary Horgan

HIV: the virus that made me a better doctor

Professor Mary Horgan is President of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland; Director of Graduate Entry Medicine, University College Cork (UCC), and a Consultant Physician/Infectious Diseases in Cork University Hospital.

With over 20 years of experience in the field of infectious diseases, Professor Horgan undertook a Fellowship in the specialty in Washington University Medical School, St Louis, USA in 1990 and was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at Washington University in 1995.

She returned to Ireland in 1997 to take up the position of Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Cork University Hospital where she now practices.  This was only the second infectious diseases appointment in Ireland and she has been actively promoting the further development of the specialty in Ireland since her appointment.

Professor Horgan was appointed as Dean in the School of Medicine in UCC in 2013 and she is a member of the UCD Governing Body and serves on UCC’s Committee on Strategy and Innovation.

She is also actively involved in postgraduate education and was instrumental in setting up the Infectious Diseases Fellow training programme for Ireland in 2003, which has trained over 20 physicians in the specialty to date.

Professor Horgan is a Ministerial appointment on a number of Health service related National Boards and is former President of the Infectious Diseases Society of Ireland.

She graduated from UCD in 1986 and trained in Internal Medicine in the Mater and St. Vincent’s University Hospital. She was conferred with an MD from UCD in 1995. She was awarded her MRCPI and MRCP (Lond) in 1988 and 1989 respectively and FRCPI in 1997 and FRCP (Edin) in 2004. She was inducted as a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in 2015.


Colin Keogh (@colinj_keogh)

Helping people help themselves: Technology enhanced global development

Colin Keogh is an award-winning engineer, consultant, lecturer and innovator.

He is currently undertaking a PhD at UCD’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, focusing on improving innovation methodologies using disruptive technologies. In this regard he is working with a number of groups in areas such as biomass energy, waste recycling, additive manufacturing, biological imaging and innovative design.

In 2017 Colin was included in Forbes’ top 30 under 30 list for Europe in Science and Healthcare, was named one of JCI’s Ten Outstanding Young People and was named a Nissan Generation Next Ambassador.

Colin is also the co-founder of a social enterprise, The Rapid Foundation, which aims to disperse 3-D printing technology to 3rd world locations and conducts printing workshops in schools. The goal of The Rapid Foundation is to change the way development aid is distributed, and improve the innovation potential of all people, regardless of their circumstances. The work of The Rapid Foundation won the IMechE 2016 Fritz Schumacher Award.

His latest venture, the Printastic project, run in collaboration with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, is tackling the recycling and repurposing of waste plastic materials from the oceans utilising low cost, low tech solutions supported by 3-D printing technologies.

As an active technology consultant, Colin is advising a number of companies and bodies, from small start-ups to government departments, in areas such as disruptive technologies, engineering practice, innovation, design and early stage growth & prototyping.

Colin graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and a Masters in energy systems engineering from UCD.

 Twitter: @colinj_keogh


John Francis Leader @JFLdotCOM

Therapy of Tomorrow

John Francis Leader is a consultant psychologist and cognitive scientist who specialises in positive psychology, experiential learning and mixed reality therapy to assist people in successfully navigating the physical, the virtual and the imaginary.

John spends his time between training, consultancy and therapeutic work in private practice and academic research which he conducts within the Cognitive Science Programme at UCD.

By combining multimedia techniques with current psychological research John’s work aims to make therapy more fun, immersive and effective, a type of theme park meets therapy experience.

As part of his applied work John builds multimedia installations. His latest piece is an ex-military 1976 Series III Land Rover fitted with a virtual reality system that overlays a graphically-rendered version of the vehicle’s interior. A motion tracker mounted to the steering wheel allows participants to explore learning-relevant worlds whilst using the act of steering as a metaphor for developing control in their own lives.

John is an advocate for mental health awareness and regularly collaborates with the media and other pro-social organisations. He is the host of the #bodymindself podcast, which explores the topics of applied psychology and cognitive science, experiential learning, perception, virtual and mixed reality, embodiment, mental processes and identification.

Twitter: @JFLdotCOM

 Dr Antonio Martin-Carrillo (@antmarcarr)

A cosmic gold rush

Dr Antonio Martin-Carrillo is a lecturer in the UCD School of Physics where he is a member of the Space Science Group studying the transient Universe and in particular Gamma-ray bursts, the most energetic electromagnetic explosions in the Universe since the Big Bang.

As part of his research, Dr Martin-Carrillo uses space observatories to study the high-energy emission of these sources, and ground-based telescopes such as WatcherWatcher is a UCD professional telescope located in South Africa and used to help scientists to understand the nature and origin of these powerful explosions.

His research also includes the development of software tools for advance data analysis. As such he is an ambassador and collaborator of the Astropy project aimed at providing a wide range of software packages written in Python for their use in astronomy.

He is also very passionate about science and its dissemination to a general audience. He leads an outreach programme called Skywonders Ireland where he uses astrophotography to explain in simple words the science behind such photographs.

Dr Martin-Carrillo graduated with a BSc and MSc in Physics with astronomy and theoretical physics from University Complutense Madrid. Following 2 years working at the European Space Agency he moved to UCD where he completed his PhD investigating Gamma-ray Bursts and pulsars.

 Twitter: @antmarcarr


Siobhan McDonald (@SioMcDonald)

Siobhan McDonald is a visual artist and is currently Artist in Residence at the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science. She was previously an Artist in Residence at Parity Studios.

She is particularly interested in the changeable nature of landmass, historical events and their interconnection to time. As such she regularly travels to diverse locations such as Iceland and the Arctic Circle to record and distil what is ephemeral and essential in these fragile landscapes.

Her approach combines fieldwork and research in museums, archives and laboratories with an active studio-based practice. Using diverse methodologies, she works collaboratively with historians, scientists & composers on projects combining ideas of interaction on the natural world. Her projects employ an interdisciplinary approach that manifests in many forms including painting, drawing, film and sound.

In 2017 she received a Bursary Award from the Arts Council Ireland; a Culture Ireland Award for Imagining Ireland in the UK and has also had solo exhibitions at the Centre Culturel Irlandais and at the Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda.

She graduated with a BA in Fine Art from the University of Ulster and a Masters in Visual Arts Practices from IADT.

Twitter: @SioMcDonald


Dominic O’Connor (@domdom2407)

How can neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) help accelerate cancer rehabilitation?

Dominic O’Connor is a Marie Curie Research Fellow and a PhD candidate in the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sport Science.

His research focus is on using exercise mimetics as an interventional strategy to combat the side effects of cancer and its treatment. Coming from a Sports Science background, cancer is a new and exciting area for him and he is excited to use his knowledge of exercise to help improve the quality of life of cancer survivors through rehabilitation.

His research forms part of the wider CATCH (Cancer: activating technology for connected health) training network, which aims to bridge the gap in cancer care through technology supported physical exercise.

Having gained an honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science in 2014 from Abertay University, Dundee, Dominic spent 1 year working in New Zealand. He then returned to Scotland and secured an MSc scholarship to complete an MSc in Exercise Physiology at Abertay University.

Dominic is passionate about exercise and is keen to raise awareness to its benefits across the lifespan.

Twitter: @domdom2407


Dr Mark Rowe (@drmarkrowe)

Life is a tape measure, how will you measure yours?

Dr Mark Rowe graduated from UCD School of Medicine in 1991 and established his family practice at the Waterford Health Park, a space that he founded as a new paradigm for sustainable improvements in community health.

The building was subsequently shortlisted as a finalist for World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival Awards in 2010. In 2013, the Waterford Health Park received the ‘A Place to Flourish’, Global Health Improvement Award. In addition in recognition of Dr Rowe’s commitment to the built environment, he was shortlisted for a prestigious Loeb Fellowship in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University in 2016.

Dr Rowe has an unbridled desire to change the culture of ‘a pill for every ill’. Instead he encourages people to become active participants and leaders in their own wellbeing. He advocates lifestyle change as the best medicine for burnout prevention and lasting wellbeing.

He was appointed to the inaugural Healthy Ireland Council in 2014 and is also a member of ‘Leading by Design’, an invitation only international collaboration of leaders committed to improvements in health through a more effective design of the environment.

He is the author of two books, ‘A Prescription for Happiness’ and ‘The Men’s Health Book’. He also writes the Good Health Times, a free quarterly newsletter with seasonal positive health messages.

Twitter: @drmarkrowe


Caroline Fothergill (@cmfothergill)

Caroline, the MC for TEDxUCD 2017, hails from Vermont, is currently a master’s student in marketing at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

Before moving to Dublin in September, Caroline spent three years as the marketing and communications manager at IT’S TIME TEXAS, an obesity prevention non-profit based in Austin. Prior to this she worked with the AmeriCorps service helping low-income high school students apply and prepare for college.

She is a photographer, a theatre lover, a huge TED fan, and is enjoying attending UCD and exploring Dublin.

Caroline received her undergraduate degree in communication studies from Emerson College, Massachusetts.

Twitter: @cmfothergill


Call for nominations

TEDxUCD will take place again on Tuesday 5th December 2017

The 2017 event, will feature exceptional talks and performances from members of the wider UCD community including staff, student, alumni and friends.

To nominate yourself, or someone else, to be a speaker at TEDxUCD 2017, please forward the following information to Caroline Gill (e:

If nominating yourself:

Your full name:

Your organisation/company:

Your link with UCD (staff, student, graduate):

Your email address:

Your Idea Worth Sharing (provide details of your proposed TEDxUCD talk in a maximum of 300 words):

Estimated length of your talk (minimum 5 minutes, maximum 18 minutes):

Online links to past public talks given by you:

Anything else you think we should know:


If nominating someone else:

Full name:

Organisation/company (if known):

Link with UCD (if known):

Contact details (if known):

Why do you think your nominee would give a great TEDxUCD talk ?:

What is your nominee’s idea worth sharing ?:

Online links to past public talks by your nominee:

Anything else you think we should know about your nominee:

NB: If you are nominating more than 1 person please provide the above information for each nominee.

 TED has never paid speakers to appear, but has always committed to creating an experience that is tremendously fulfilling for all engaged parties. For our TEDx event, we uphold the same goals.

TEDxUCD events are organised by volunteers from the UCD Research and Innovation team based at NovaUCD.

Thank you for your support and interest in TEDxUCD


TEDxUCD has been running annually since 2013.  We are hoping to run our next event in December 2017.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.

The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

TEDxUCD is organised by volunteers from UCD Research & Innovation at University College Dublin, Ireland.