Ruth Medjber has 2020 all mapped out. The award-winning music and portrait photographer was covering Glastonbury for the BBC, had an exhibition in Australia and was touring in the US. In March, however, it all fell apart. However, using some of the entrepreneurial zeal she inherited from her parents, the Dublin photographer launched an online store and a range of t-shirts. However, it was her series, Lockdown Portraits in a Window, that caught international attention and landed her a book deal with Penguin Random House. In this podcast with Alison Cowzer, Medjber talks about pivoting her business as a result of the crisis, and about the impact of Covid-19 on the creative industries. Medjber, who trades as Ruthless Imagery, also talks about touring with Hozier, the importance of developing an online following, why artists should never be too proud to take a job, and the racism and sexism she encountered in her career.
Aidan Connolly is the chief executive of the Dublin agtech company Cainthus, president of AgriTech Capital and a member of the Forbes Technology Council. In this podcast, the industry expert explains that while the food system was ill-prepared for this Covid-19 induced crisis, it has also hastened the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence. Speaking to Ian Kehoe, Connolly also highlights six examples of actors in the food industry who have introduced AI, how this has accelerated their growth, or even changed the way in which they operate. Drawing from his international experience, he also discusses the opportunities for Ireland in the world of agtech and AI.
Jim O’Callaghan is one of Ireland’s most respected barristers and a Fianna Fáil TD. He talks about the ongoing fallout of golfgate, his ambitions in politics and career in the law to Sam Smyth. O’Callaghan also discusses how he is open to going into government with Sinn Féin, the identity crisis at the heart of Fianna Fáil, and his regrets about not pursuing his love of rugby more.
As managing director of Chevron Training, Karl Fitzpatrick runs one of Ireland’s largest providers of online childcare and healthcare programmes. However, the Wexford based entrepreneur also owns the Irish master franchise for a range of other businesses including Bricks 4 Kidz Ireland, Little Medical School Ireland and 4EverYoung Anti-Aging Solutions Ireland. In this podcast, he charts his own career and reveals how he manages his collection of business. He also talks about his role as an angel investor, his expansion plans and the impact of Covid-19 on his businesses - and the wider economy.
Most retail brands start off with a physical presence and migrate online. Gym + Coffee, the Irish athleisure brand, has done it in reverse – launching an online store in 2017 before rolling out a chain of retail outlets. However, Niall Horgan, a co-founder and chief executive of Gym + Coffee, says its online-first strategy has allowed it to scale during the current crisis. In a podcast with Ian Kehoe, Horgan also explains why he left a multinational career to help launch the business, and how it overhauled its supply chain in 10 days due to Covid-19. He also talks about the importance of community, brand and mission and reveals its strategy for international expansion.
Over the past year, The Currency has exposed the structures used by vulture funds to acquire tens of billions’ worth of distressed debt in Ireland. Thomas Hubert’s latest investigation into CarVal also revealed how profitable this business has been for the US private equity firm, and where its Irish-registered special purpose vehicles are headed next. From the policies that led to the mass securitisation of distressed debt to the 2016 reform of so-called Section 110 companies and its effect (or lack thereof) on the tax they pay here, and to the use of Irish vehicles to swoop on distressed debt as far away as Australia and China, Thomas joins Ian Kehoe to take stock on the presence of vulture funds in Ireland as pillar banks book a fresh round of loan impairments.
Over the past month, Investment Strategist John Looby has written a three-part series on what investors, policymakers and business leaders can learn from the thinking of the scholar and mathematician Nassim Nicholas Taleb. In this podcast with Ian Kehoe, Looby talks about the practical implementation of many of Taleb’s theories around probability, risk, and anti-fragility, and explains how investors can buffer themselves in an uncertain world. He also talks about what Irish politicians can learn from Taleb’s theories about the future, with Looby arguing that a significant policy goal should be winning the case with our EU partners for splitting the capital budget from the current budget, and funding the former with tailored, long-term debt.
With sport almost ground to a halt, the various Irish governing bodies have been warning about the financial impact of the crisis on their respective associations. In this podcast, Rob Hartnett, the founder and chief executive of Sport for Business, examines the business shock of Covid-19 on the GAA, the FAI, the IRFU and horse racing. Hartnett, whose company bridges the gap between business and sport, also talks about the impact on television rights, sponsorship and partnership deals, as well the new models that associations and clubs will have to implement to adapt to the new commercial reality.
US physicist Yaneer Bar-Yam has specialised in studying complex systems such as pandemics and financial crises. In January he wrote an influential paper with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the author of a best-selling book called The Black Swan, warning that the novel coronavirus emerging in China threatened the world. Bar-Yam has been paying close attention to Ireland's coronavirus response and argues that the best approach once the number of new cases has been brought near zero is to cut off routes for any fresh infection to spread. He tells Thomas Hubert: "You want to be as careful as possible to limit the possibility of starting a new fire and what you want to do is to limit travel as much as is reasonably possible and to quarantine people that arrive carefully so that they don't start a new outbreak."
The Irish social media analytics firm Newswhip has raised $9m from investors and counts Walmart, IBM, the Washington Post and Microsoft among its clients. In a podcast with Ian Kehoe, co-founder and CEO Paul Quigley talks about the company’s journey over the last nine years – and outlines its plans for the future. Quigley also talks about how the company helps publishers and companies track online engagement, something that he believes improves business decision making. He also discusses the media landscape, fake news and the importance of recurring revenue.
The economist David McWilliams has always been quick to spot societal and economic shifts. In this interview with Sam Smyth, he explains why Covid-19 offers an opportunity for the government to reimagine the Irish economy and the interaction between business and the state. McWilliams also talks about wealth, the future of the media, the Irish housing crisis, the importance of accessible economics and why Dickens was ahead of his time.