enactusTALKS: Speaker Experiences

Last Wednesday marked the gathering of over 70 students, academics, business leaders, community leaders and alumni for our inaugural enactusTALKS! A huge thank you to Microsoft Ireland who hosted the event in their state of the art new campus in One Microsoft Place, Leopardstown.

As the rows of chairs began to fill, the Microsoft offices began to fill with a buzz of excitement – they were all here to celebrate the theme of Enactus by enjoying seven talks delivered by various individuals. We spoke to five, of our seven, speakers who share their experience with us!

Colin McAndrew, Enactus MU student 


‘Participating in enactusTALKS was one of the most fantastic experiences that I have ever had. I was delighted to discover that my application was successful, as it meant that I could further share my passion for maps, receive some excellent training, develop my public speaking skills and most importantly, hear about the work and projects of some of the most innovative and passionate people that I have ever had the pleasure of sharing a stage with.

For me, the best aspect of “enactusTALKS” was hearing the talks of my fellow speakers and friends. Andrea captured the magic of Enactus, combining the drive for social change with the strategies of business and innovation. I especially enjoyed hearing about her journey in Enactus, it inspired me to further my own journey. Roisin Lyons’ talk on entrepreneurs was especially interesting for me. As a student of entrepreneurship in Maynooth, it made me think about the teachers and role models that helped me to become more entrepreneurial and how I want to encourage others to develop entrepreneurial skills.

Overall, I am so proud to have been a part of the inaugural enactusTALKS. I particularly want to thank the Enactus Ireland team and Microsoft Ireland for organising this. I would like to thank Andrew Keogh of Aristo for his training and my friends in Maynooth University who helped me to deliver a talk that I was proud of.’

Andrea Whelton, Enactus UCD student


‘For me, Enactus is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only do you have the chance to work on amazing projects that make a significant impact on the world around you, you are also offered endless opportunities that empower you to develop key skills and encourage others to take that initiative and get involved in social entrepreneurship.
It was safe to say that I was thrilled to be chosen to speak at the event on my talk “The Spark of Sustainable Social Innovation”, and I got to work on bringing all my thoughts together and put pen to paper straight away. Writing my talk was certainly a reflective experience; how did I get involved in social entrepreneurship? Where did social innovation fit into tackling and solving social problems? What makes someone a social entrepreneur? I wanted to answer all of the questions, while also encouraging young people to get involved in Enactus. Already, I can say that Enactus has been one of the best things that I have done in university, and I wanted the power of social entrepreneurship to shine  through during my talk.

My favourite part of the process has to be the event itself. There was a wonderful atmosphere, and every speaker was                                                                                                as inspiring and as empowering as the next. The event ran seamlessly, clearly testament to the hard work of both                                                                                                        Enactus and Microsoft, who really pulled off a fantastic event. I hope that I encouraged at least one person to spark that                                                                                              idea  and ignite that spark to make sustainable and long-lasting change in the world around us!’


Stuart Bolger, Enactus DIT Alumni & Digital Marketing Specialist at KPMG Ireland

Stuart Bolger, Enactus DIT Alumni & Digital Marketing Specialist at KPMG Ireland 


‘As an Enactus alumnus, I was delighted to be invited to speak at the inaugural EnactusTalks event in association with Microsoft. Asked to speak on any topic that could relate back to Enactus and the principles the programme instils within project teams, I chose to speak on Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is a field of computer science that I have a particular personal interest in and it’s a relatively new technology

Enactus Ireland were incredibly supportive in the run-up to the event held in Microsoft’s new Dublin campus. Over a number of sessions held in the Enactus Ireland HQ, all the speakers worked together to refine their talks and add a little bit of flare to capture and hold the audience’s attention. Andrew Keogh of Aristo held a bespoke session with us to hone our speech structure and pacing. An especially informative evening, we left far more prepared and confident in ourselves leading up to the event.

Certainly the most rewarding aspect of the whole EnactusTalks process has been getting to learn about concepts and initiatives from people who are passionate about them. I thoroughly look forward to the next EnactusTalks evening and hearing more about the plethora of exciting and game-changing ideas, initiatives and projects the Enactus Ireland network has to offer.’


Roisin Lyons, Enactus DCU Faculty Adviser


‘As a faculty adviser, I felt that it was important to show my students that I am fully engaged in Enactus so I applied for enactusTALKS. I was delighted to be successful and my talk focused on the student entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Enactus Ireland team have been incredible to work with, and have both professionalism and a true warmth to them, which is a rare find. The enactusTALKS event itself was a huge success, in my view. The speakers were well prepared and while each one spoke about a different topic, it was clear that they shared a common thread of positive progress. Personally, given my passion for developing student entrepreneurship, I was quite moved to see the two Enactus students (Andrea and Colin) speak so confidently and be so committed to social entrepreneurship.

If I was to pick a favourite aspect from the entire experience, I would say that the sense of friendship and comradery developed between the speakers and the Enactus Ireland team in such a short time was heart-warming. As each speaker went on stage, there was a feeling of support, encouragement and congratulations from the rest. I was honoured to be among such a positive and inspiring group, and I would like to express my true gratitude to Enactus Ireland for the opportunity.’


Mairead Dillon, Accountant, Bank of Ireland


‘I was delighted to participate in the recent EnactusTalks series hosted by Microsoft. We were introduced to our fellow participants in the Enactus office the week before the talk. I really enjoyed meeting the other speakers and talking through our presentations.The night before the event, we had a coaching session with Andrew Keogh from Aristo. Andrew was an extremely positive and likeable person. He shared excellent tips with us and praised the content of our speeches which really helped to build our confidence.

On the day of the event itself, I felt like a celebrity! We received great attention from Microsoft and Enactus staff, coupled with a photoshoot and a tour of the Microsoft campus. The building was a terrific venue in which to host the event as it had a vibrant yet restful ambience. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of participating in EnactusTalks and would highly recommend it to anyone considering taking part in the future.’


If you want to get involved with future enactusTALKS event, please reach out – last Wednesday was only the beginning of our enactusTALKS journey!

Liam Redmond