Web Summit: Officialdom challenged

THERE are always two sides to every story but correspondence released yesterday by Web Summit co-founder Paddy Cosgrave suggests that one side of the story around the decision to take the event out of Ireland may not be particularly impressive or inspiring. 

It suggests that the long-dreaded dead hand of smug bureaucracy is as influential as ever.

Mr Cosgrave’s recorded that: “We’ve never succeeded in getting a single meeting with Dublin’s city manager… yet we’ve been invited to sit down with prime ministers across Europe… we’ve been invited to more meetings in Number 10 Downing St than to meetings in Leinster House.”

These are challenging claims because they suggest that decision makers in our capital are hopelessly out of touch with today’s world and how it works.

The summit was a showcase that brought the world’s most active digital designers and entrepreneurs to Dublin for an event that had built considerable momentum, and credibility, in a very short time. Nearly any capital city in the world would have welcomed it with open arms — and have provided all of the supports that infers.

Mr Cosgrave insisted he did not ask Government for any money but wanted support in other ways. Ireland should not have lost the summit and if the blame lies with inflexible authorities then a profound change in culture is needed. As ever the question remains: Who will drive that change?


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