The madness can spread. Eliot Higgins is the founder of Bellingcat and in his new book he traces the origins of "an intelligence agency for the people" and the challenges the world faces in an age of disinformation
Pete Lunn was a behavioural economist at the ESRI, working on policies to help people make better decisions, when Covid-19 hit. Since then, as a part of NPHET, he's been drafted into the fight against the virus. In this podcast with Sean Keyes, he talks about how behavioural economics insights have informed the government's response to the virus. And, with the end starting to come into view, he explains what behavioural economics has to offer the country beyond Covid – as well as the replication crisis and behavioural economists as "white hat" marketers.
In a new book, Empireland, Sathnam Sanghera makes a compelling argument that so much of modern Britain from Brexit to the country's attitudes to race, stem from the British Empire and the reluctance to confront the history of that empire frankly. For Irish people who became enraged by the ignorance about Ireland demonstrated by many leading Brexiteers, there is much to consider here. There may also be lessons for us in how we deal with our own complicated history.
Former Dublin football star Bernard Brogan has transitioned from the pitch into entrepreneurship, launching both Legacy Communications and PepTalk. Along the way, he realised that many of the lessons he learned in elite sport are transferable into the business arena. In this podcast, Brogan, who has won seven All Ireland titles and four All Star awards, identifies five things that business leaders can learn from the world of sport. Like in sport, he says that a crisis is an opportunity to innovate in business, while he also discusses why culture lives or dies with middle management. With most employees working from home, Brogan also talks about replacing the changing room/watercooler moments. A chartered accountant, Brogan also talks about his own entrepreneurial journey, revealing that PepTalk is currently in the midst of a funding round to help fuel an international expansion strategy.
Peter Oborne’s career in journalism spans forty years. At many stages, he has been in the orbit of Boris Johnson, particularly when Oborne was working at The Spectator and Johnson was, in Oborne’s words, its brilliant editor. He has charted Johnson’s rise and in his new book the Assault on Truth, Oborne deals with Johnson and his relationship with the truth, although in reality, it deals with his relationship with the media, specifically how the media were complicit in his rise and have failed to hold him to account.
Former Ireland international Niall Woods was forced to retire from rugby following a career-ending injury. He regrouped, transitioning into a career representing players. For eight years, he led Rugby Players Ireland (formerly IRUPA), and, then 10 years ago, he launched Navy Blue Sports, a sports agency that specialises in rugby and in female athletes. In this podcast with Ian Kehoe, Woods explains how a breakdown in relationship with the IRFU led to his exit from IRUPA and charts the battle to get his agency off the ground. He talks about the business of sourcing fresh talent, cutting contract and sponsorship deals and dealing with the negative stereotype of sports agents. With many rugby players still in limbo over their contracts, he talks about the impact of Covid on professional sport and what this means for contract talks. He argues that foreign-based players should be allowed to play for Ireland, outlines his ambition to grow the business in the UK, and explains why female sports is the next big growth area for brands and sponsors.
The nature of Irish politics ensures that many politicians, aware of how precarious their positions are, spend a long time working in their constituency. Some of this is necessary and a public service as TDs help constituents "navigate a dysfunctional system" But, in the worst cases, according to Holly Cairns, they are taking credit for things they haven't done. In this podcast, Cairns discusses her first year as a TD and the issues which energise her. Cairns is determined to fight for what she believes in even if it won't always necessarily transfer into votes.
Since launching in 2016, specialist business lender Capitalflow has advanced more than €550 million to Irish companies. And this is just the start, with its founder and CEO Ronan Horgan telling Ian Kehoe that he wants to “double or triple” the size of the business over the coming years.
In this podcast, Horgan explains how he got the non-bank lender off the ground, revealing the pitch that convinced Pollen Street Capital to back the venture. He also talks about the rise of non-bank lending, the future of financial services and the importance of competition in the lending market.
Horgan also talks about the impact of Covid-19 on his business and its customers and outlines his plan to expand Capitalflow through organic expansion into Europe and through mergers or acquisitions.
Devan Hughes co-founded the grocery delivery platform Buymie in 2015 and is now its chief executive. After launching in Cork in between lockdowns in the autumn, the fast-growing start-up is preparing to enter new cities in Ireland, the UK and beyond. Hughes tells Thomas Hubert about the European markets he is considering for expansion and the growing number of personal shoppers working with Buymie to perform deliveries – many coming from the devastated hospitality industry. He also defends the gig economy model and, having raised over €10 million, discusses how few venture capitalists are prepared to back consumer-facing businesses in Ireland.
Rick Perlstein’s work has concerned itself with the American right, in all its forms, and the tendency of those on the centre and the left to dismiss them.
His four volumes began with ‘Before The Storm’ detailing the rise of Barry Goldwater in the 1960s and concluded last year with the publication of ‘Reaganland-America’s Right Turn’. The historian has observed the journey of the Republican party and its outriders, while also noting how rashly they have been dismissed by Democrats and the media for the past 50 years.
In this interview with Dion Fanning, Perlstein discusses the clear eyed reality of President Joe Biden’s inauguration speech. Biden might have talked about unity but he didn’t flinch when confronting the insurrectionists.
Perlstein has devoted his life to studying the American right but he felt exhilarated watching Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. “Democracy has prevailed,” Biden said. The next four years will tell us more about that, but this week was certainly better than the alternative.
When the economy went into lockdown last March, Kasia Gaborec-McEvoy was concerned Covid-19 could devastate My Name is Ted, the luxury leather accessories brand she established with her husband Brendan McEvoy four years ago. Instead, sales increased by 400% last year with consumers drawn to their high-end leather bags and wallets during 2020. In this podcast with Cáit Caden, Gaborec McEvoy, a law graduate, talks about the decision to leave a senior role at Ryanair to launch a luxury fashion brand in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, and explains how the company has built up a loyal clientele of lawyers, doctors and entrepreneurs. Gaborec-McEvoy also talks about sustainable fashion, landing a coveted spot on the Brown Thomas annual Create showcase and the various supports available for female entrepreneurs. Having pivoted My Name is Ted fully online as a result of the crisis. She also reveals that the company is now preparing to raise external funding to drive future expansion.