RTE Arena host Seán Rocks leads panel discussion at Digital Transformations

Seán Rocks is the presenter of Arena, RTÉ Radio 1’s flagship arts, culture and entertainment programme (Mon-Fri 7pm).

Digital Transformations, the conference on the digital society, is delighted to welcome Seán Rocks as the chair of our evening panel, featuring Julian Gough and Paul McBride.

Seán Rocks is the presenter of Arena, RTÉ Radio 1’s flagship arts, culture and entertainment programme (Mon-Fri 7pm) In that role, Seán has interviewed many major writers, actors, musicians and artists – including Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, Edna O’Brien, Martin Sheen, Danny De Vito, Saoise Rónan, John Banville, Brendan Gleeson, Roddy Doyle, Steve Reich and Marina Carr.  He has hosted numerous outside broadcasts from major arts festivals, and anchored Arena’s live three-hour broadcasts from Meeting House Square during Culture Night 2013 and 2014. He has also hosted public interviews with figures in both the national and international arts world. The Monaghan man, a former actor, has been working with RTÉ Radio since 2000 and has previously guest presented The Arts Show, Spirit Moves and Rattlebag. He has also produced, written and presented several series for Radio 1. Before that, he worked with RTÉ Lyric Fm, presenting programmes including Lyric Breakfast, Lunchtime Choice, Lyric Pitch and CultureFile.

Julian Gough is the popular and acclaimed author of Juno & Juliet, and now of Connect a virtual-reality-obsessed teenage boy is caught in a collision between his parents’ high-tech careers, and his choices will alter the balance between technological progress and human life as we know it. Connect is a novel of ideas that explores what connection—both human and otherwise—might be in a digital age.

Paul McBride is the founding General Manager & VP of Global Data Solutions for machine learning at Lionbridge.  A Kerryman, he has made Mayo his home since arriving in Ballina twenty years ago to “spend just one year” starting up the business for its multinational parent.  Today, the Ballina business has developed a community of over 15,000 bi-lingual professional across the 5,000 towns and cities in 102 countries around the world.  This “Global Crowd” provides local data and insights that enable technology brands make their Artificial Intelligence (AI) based products and services, such as internet search , more relevant.  Paul sees the business he leads as less an Information Technology and more a Social Science enterprise – as they extend their technology to some of the remotest regions in the world to enable societies undertake their own digital transformations.

Why should you be a part of Digital Transformations?


Real innovation involves exploration, curiosity, and contact with ideas and experiences that are unfamiliar. Digital Transformations will start you on a journey of new understanding that can lead to new discoveries for you and your business.


The speakers, from the arts, media, business, education, technology and film will be joined by key influencers in the audience. This is a unique gathering of people, with whom senior managers and policy makers can establish potent new relationships.


To gain a competitive edge, you need to see things more clearly, and more quickly than others in your field. Digital Transformations will help clarify what the digital society is, without the jargon, and will use the imagination of artists and creative professionals to help you gain that critical insight.

Jeremy Rifkin to address digital transformations

Leading international economist, author and social theorist JEREMY RIFKIN joins artists, authors, senior business leaders, academics and technologists at the Digital Transformations Conference in Ballina this May.

If, as Rifkin argues, the economy of the future is based on access then what will that mean for both our private and public lives?

Creativity is hailed now as the new energy to drive our future economy. But if technology can outsource imagination and creativity to programmes and algorithms, if technology can imagine, design and create then what does it mean to be human? Will businesses respond simply by developing new products and services, or will the very concept of business and business models be radically transformed?

Together with a range of artists and creative sector professionals DIGITAL TRANSFORMATIONS will address the possibilities of the new digital age..

Mr Rifkin is the author of the best-selling Third Industrial Revolution and The Zero Marginal Cost Society. Hehasbeen an advisor on technology and change to the leadership of the European Union since 2000 and adviser to the leadership of the Peoples Republic of China on developing a sustainable low-carbon economy.

Digital Transformations brings together artists and thinkers at the cutting edge of creativity and technology including Steve Woodhall, Paula Kehoe, Cate Field, Sinead McDonald, Leah Hilliard, Joanna Hopkins, Paula Kehoe, Alexandra Jonsson, Loes Bogers, Glyn Darkin, Ronan Laffan, Sinead McDonald, Sophia New and Daniel Rogers, Paul O’Neill, Ian Keaveny and more, to address the themes of the Digital Human, The Networked Personality and the Purpose of Art and culture in the digital society.

Digital technology has great potential, but as we rush into this future it is necessary to pause and ask – how will the technology reshape us? What will it mean to be human?