The CEO of the Web Summit Paddy Cosgrave announced today the organisation’s intention to distribute 7,000 free tickets to secondary and third level students.
The plan was unveiled today during an event where organisers discussed what attendees should expect from this year’s event. Cosgrave said that the tickets would be divided on an even basis between second level and third level students, and allow access to two different events.
The first evening of theWeb Summit will close with the Web Summit for Schools event, where 3,500 secondary school students will descend upon the RDS to “be inspired by some of our leading speakers about considering a career possibly as an entrepreneur, and studying some of the STEM subjects” Cosgrave said. The initiative is an expansion of last year’s similar event.
A Careers Summit will also be run for third level students, which organisers hope will show that whether someone finishes college or drops out, there is an opportunity to build a successful company.
Head of Communications for the event Mike Harvey said that the strength of these student focused summits will be the appearance of big names from the main event. Some of the speakers announced for this year’s event include Tour de France victor Chris Froome, author Dan Brown and Ed Catmull, head of Pixar.
Harvey indicated that the organisation hopes to give something back to the community: “a lot of the leaders of today are going to be at the Web Summit, we need to inspire the technologists of tomorrow.” The organisers have sourced a list of schools from around the country in order to invite students to attend with their schools. The intention is to draw on students from around the country and not just from Dublin.
Though the presentation was underscored by the sense that the Web Summit has roots in Ireland, the future of the event in Dublin was a topic of discussion. Portuguese deputy Prime Minister Pablo Portas has stated that his country is interested in hosting the event in Lisbon, and Cosgrave made it known that other cities have actively been seeking the rights to host it, though he could not discuss specifics.