Sunday 4 December 2016

Explained: What is the One Zero conference and why is Lance Armstrong coming to Dublin to appear at it?

Published 28/09/2016 | 10:26

The early September announcement that Lance Armstrong will appear at a Dublin conference next month for a 'no holds barred' interview got people very intrigued.

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The American cyclist, who was famously stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after his extensive doping was exposed, is one of sport's most reviled figures, and getting him to come to Dublin is certainly a coup for the event organisers.

Taking place on October 21, the event is billed as a 'sports and tech conference' and features a host of influential speakers.

Armstrong is being branded as one of three 'keynote' speakers that will engage in a 'fireside' chat with a prominent sports journalist.

Another is Clive Woodward, England's Rugby World Cup-winning coach from 2003, while the other is yet to be revealed.

The event, which takes place in the RDS, will run from 9am to 8pm and, according to the website, topics covered in other panel discussions will include:

Investment – Is sports investment profitable?

Esports - Inside perspective of the esports industry

Media – The evolution of sports journalism

Ethics– Is any sport truly clean?

Digital – Transforming how fans experience sport

Innovation – Changing sport as we know it

There is an impressive set of speakers lined up, such as golfer Shane Lowry, Vice President of Digital at the Phoenix Suns, Jeramie McPeek and the Head of Sport at Twitter, Alex Trickett.

The One Zero Conference was co-founded by Dublin entrepreneurs Ross O'Dwyer and Richard Barrett, Sport for Business founder Rob Hartnett,Health Tech Entrepreneur Clyde Hutchinson and event management experts Venues World.

But what does Armstrong have to gain from opening himself up to an invasive interview, to be conducted by Ewan MacKenna?

Speaking on The Last Word with Matt Cooper on Monday, Hartnett revealed some of the details as to why the known doper is coming to Dublin.

"We wanted to create a space in Dublin, a conference that is looking at sport in all of its various shapes and forms," Hartnett said.

"It is about technology and how the lessons of the past can define what can happen in the future. The story of Lance Armstrong is probably the one that has stood out over the last decade.

"We wanted to bring him to Dublin and to learn from him, to learn from, as you say, a disgraced doper, a cheat, the winner of seven Tour de Frances. To ask him serious questions as to how he did it, why he did it, and what impact he thinks he had on sport."

Hartnett also said that Armstrong is having his flights to Dublin paid for and will receive a fee for speaking.

"We are flying him over in the same way that we are flying Clive Woodward over and bringing Shane Lowry in," Hartnett said.

"We are meeting his travel expenses. We are a start-up, we aren't backed by anyone. We are putting are hands into our own pockets.

"There is a fee that is payable to some of the speakers that are coming in."

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