Published March 11, 2020

CXO Dublin Conference Overview – February 2020

On Tuesday 25th February 2020, the Inspired CXO conference was held at the InterContinental Dublin.

The CXO conference brought together business leaders from the Marketing, Information Technology and Information Security industries for a luxury learning and networking experience.

Situated within two acres of landscaped gardens, the five-star InterContinental Dublin offered a modern and stylish venue for the conference.

The agenda included a programme of thought-provoking masterclasses, which discussed some of the key trends and topics affecting each industry. Executives also attended a series of pre-qualified, one-to-one meetings to discuss their latest projects with innovative vendors offering solutions to their challenges.

The evening before the conference, guests enjoyed a three-course dinner and networking drinks in the Hibernia Suite. Around 50 CMOs, CIOs, CISOs and other high-level executives shared ideas with their peers and established valuable new business connections in a relaxed and sociable setting. 

As the conference opened the next morning, more than 100 attendees from all three industries were brought together in the Shrewsbury Room for an inspiring panel discussion: ‘Innovation – A Disruptive Force for Good’.

The panel included Martin Curley, Director of Digital Academy and Open Innovation at HSE; Denis Canty, VP Technology Labs at McKesson; Lynda Magee, Vice President Commercial UK and Ireland at WaterWipes; and Angela Bergin, Vice President Head of Change at Global Payments.

Moderated by Máirín Murray, TEDx Speaker and Founder of Tech for Good, the panel discussed how technology has fuelled a new era in the way businesses behave and think. The speakers shared an insight into the ways this innovation has had a positive impact on society, with automation, artificial intelligence and data analytics enabling a more personalised approach for consumers and arming organisations with the capability to understand and react to insights like never before.

A short networking break was followed by the first educational masterclasses of the day.

Eoin Mulvihill, Digital Manager at Volkswagen Ireland, led an informative session for the Marketing industry track. Titled ‘The Key to Personalisation’, this masterclass discussed Volkswagen’s journey toward a more personalised experience for the consumer. Eoin shared his own experiences with personalisation projects as well as best practice cases from brands around the world.

Information Technology executives attended a masterclass titled ‘Boost Technical Innovation with Diversity’. Hosted by Maebh Costello, Global Director of UX Design Labs at McKesson, this session considered the ways a diverse workplace is a key driver of creativity in the technical world. Maebh discussed how McKesson’s global UX design labs team uses this strategy to invigorate its workflow.

The Information Security session, ‘Money for Nothing’, was led by Greg van der Gaast, Head of Information Security at University of Salford. This masterclass looked at some fascinating case studies on the outsourcing of systems, services and security and discussed the difficulties with enforcing Information Security contracts.

Marketing executives also attended a discussion on ‘Designing for User Needs – How to Stop Thinking ‘Inside Out’’. Hosted by Tansy Murray, Vice President Product Experience and Design at Mastercard, this workshop considered the difficulties in changing the way an organisation thinks. Tansy shared her thoughts on the cultural transformation needed to move from ‘inside out’ to ‘outside-in’ thinking, and how this is helping Mastercard to create products that deliver exceptional experiences.

Grace Wilson, Cyber Security Executive at Darktrace, led an Information Technology masterclass on ‘A New Era of Cyber Threats: The Shift to Self Learning, Self Defending Networks’. This session included real-world examples of subtle, unknown threats that routinely bypass traditional controls and looked at how businesses can leverage machine learning and AI algorithms to defend against advanced cyber threats.

A thought-provoking Information Security masterclass titled ‘Top Cybersecurity Challenges – Perception, Education and Human Factor’ discussed how cybersecurity is perceived and understood by the people using technology every day. Bernard Swierczyna, CISO at First Ireland Risk Management Ltd, shared his thoughts on the lack of education in cybersecurity issues and how perceptions are shaped before people enter the workforce. 

After each masterclass session, a networking break took place. Attendees used this time to enjoy refreshments, share ideas with their peers and view expo stands from innovative vendors.

Pre-arranged business meetings were also held during each networking session, bringing business leaders together with solution providers offering products or services that could assist their latest projects.

All senior executives were interviewed before the conference to identify their current pain points and establish the vendors best placed to solve these challenges.

The attending CMOs, CIOs and CISOs took part in valuable discussions with relevant solution providers throughout the day, establishing important new business connections.

“The networking and one to one meetings are incredibly valuable for us,” said Tim Eves, COO of Lynchpin Analytics. “They are qualified meetings so we know what the interest is and what the key areas are. We’re having some really productive and valuable conversations, which are hopefully the start of longer-term conversations as well.”

Luke Sartain, CEO at UpUGo, shared valuable insight into ‘Storytelling Optimisation and Content Silos to Boost Visibility’ with Marketing attendees. This workshop looked at the ways UpUGo combines advanced data and analytics with content creation.

An Information Technology session on ‘Ireland’s Digital Transformation – The Impact on Delivering Healthcare of the Future’ was delivered by Stephen Brennan, Chief Digital Advisor at Government of Ireland. The masterclass focused on the ways digital transformation is changing people’s expectations of healthcare and how it should work.

Information Security executives enjoyed an informative workshop on ‘New Adventures in Security Automation’ led by Tony Clarke, CISO at ICON. This practical session looked at the pitfalls and benefits of security automation and discussed the radical changes to incident response and threat intelligence.

A networking lunch took place in the Shrewsbury Room before the programme of educational masterclasses and business meetings continued throughout the afternoon.

Marketing executives were brought together for a masterclass discussing ‘How to Define and Maintain a Unique Brand Voice on Social’. Samantha Fay, Senior Vice President Global Brand Strategy at Guinness World Records, discussed her brand’s social evolution and shared valuable tips on adapting content for different platforms and keeping a brand voice alive.

Jeevantika Lingalwar, Chief Technology Office at Primeline Logistics, talked to Information Technology attendees about ‘The Journey from Serverless to Quantum World’, sharing an insight into the benefits of Quantum Computing.

In an Information Security session titled ‘Threat Intelligence’, John Rouffas, former CISO at Go-Ahead Group, discussed how people incorporate their threat intelligence into their infrastructure and resilience.

In the final Information Technology masterclass, Guglielmo Iozzia, Associate Director of Business Tech Analysis, IT and Analytics at MSD discussed ‘Explainable AI’. This inspiring session provided CIOs with suggestions to set up automated AI explainability as part of their ML/DL pipelines.

The Inspired CXO conference ended closing networking drinks where guests were able to reflect on all of the new ideas, solutions and business relationships they had gained throughout the day. 

“As I come to the end of today’s event, I am reflective on a lot of things,” said John Shaw, CIO at PrimeLine Group. “I’ve learned a lot from listening to my peer group – the presenters and sponsors have great insights that I can apply to my business.”

Check out our Insights Video into the CXO Conference in Dublin:



Nikki Swift

Content Manager

Inspired Business Media