François Hollande and Al Gore to speak at latest Web Summit

Former French president François Hollande and former US vice president Al Gore will speak at this year’s Web Summit, Europe’s largest tech event.

Actor Liam Cunningham, who plays Davos Seaworth in the HBO epic series Game of Thrones, and European commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager are among the other headline speakers.

The company behind the Web Summit that started in 2010 is also planning to increase its workforce by 40 employees over the next six month.

It wants to hire people for its Dublin headquarters and for new roles in San Francisco and Hong Kong in addition to its office in Lisbon.

The workforce expansion is in addition to the more than 40 employees recruited over the past three months.

More than 60,000 people are expected to attend the four-day global technology conference that will be held in Lisbon in November.

The Web Summit chief executive, Paddy Cosgrave, said each secondary school in the country would receive 50 tickets for the event.

The tickets are being given away so the entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow get the chance to hear and learn from the world-class speakers.

“As we continue to grow our events with an incredible roster of world figures such as François Hollande and Al Gore and the heads of big tech companies including Intel, Mircosoft, Google, Oracle and Facebook, we think it’s essential we play our part in supporting the leaders of tomorrow,” he said. Mr Cosgrave said the company could no longer claim to be a start-up, but it had managed to keep the “disruptive spirit” that had helped it grow so quickly.

He also revealed that the Web Summit had an employee “crash pad” in Dublin because of the housing crisis. “To circumvent some of the challenges of relocating to Dublin at the moment, we have a six- bedroom house, which is a permanent crash pad for people arriving.

“It at least gives them about four weeks where they don’t have to worry about trying to negotiate somewhere to rent.

“I’ve no doubt other companies are doing something similar as well. It’s quite a challenging climate.”


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