SOLAS to Highlight the Many Paths to Success with a TEDx Talk in Shannon

SOLAS to Highlight the Many Paths to Success with a TEDx Talk in Shannon
SOLAS to Highlight the Many Paths to Success with a TEDx Talk in Shannon


SOLAS to Highlight the Many Paths to Success with a TEDx Talk in Shannon

An apprentice cabinet maker turned business women; a social entrepreneur come firewalk instructor; and a driving force behind aeronautical training in Ireland are amongst the stories to be discovered at TEDxShannonEd next month.

TEDxShannonEd is an independently organised TED event by SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority in partnership with Atlantic Aviation. It takes place on Wednesday, 7th December from 10am – 3pm at the new Atlantic Aviation Institute, Shannon, Co Clare.

The theme of the event is ‘Many Paths to Success’. Chris Gordan, CEO of the Irish Social Enterprise Network who has spoken widely on the topic doing well and doing good, will MC the event. Speakers include:

  • John Walshe, award-winning education journalist and author, who served as special adviser to former Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn.
  • Margaret Reilly, from Drogheda who started out as an apprentice cabinet maker in 1998 before founding her bespoke kitchen and bedroom furniture company, CTR Manufacturing, in 2009. 
  • Adam Harris, founder of, an organisation working to build an Ireland where every person with autism can “live and succeed as they are”. Adam founded based on his experiences of living with Aspergers Syndrome, a condition on the Autism Spectrum
  • Brendan Kavanagh, a serial entrepreneur, who recently launched HiUp, a recruitment app which helps jobseekers develop their skills and boost their earning power through appropriate online training.
  • Mairead Healy, founder of Future Voices, a programme empowering disadvantaged and marginalised young people to pursue third level education.
  • Michael Mooney, manager of SOLAS eCollege, the National Online Learning Service.
  • Mairead Crosby, IBEC Regional Director.
  • Patrick Jordan, owner of Atlantic Aviation.


Speaking ahead of the event, Paul O’Toole, SOLAS CEO, said: “Further Education and Training is inclusive and accessible to everyone including school leavers, career changers, people returning to employment, people with disabilities and older people. At SOLAS, we know that there is more than one path to success and we are delighted to bring together this group of inspirational speakers for TEDxShannonEd to mark the European-wide Vocational Education and Training week.”

TEDxShannonEd takes place at the Atlantic Aviation Institute which officially opens on Wednesday, 7thDecember. The state-of-the-art training facility at Shannon for aerospace and aviation training is equipped with a dedicated training aircraft, the latest aeronautical education and training equipment and is near to a live aircraft maintenance environment.

For further information, please visit: Due to limited capacity, attendance at TEDxShannonEd is by invitation only.


SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority, a statutory agency under the aegis of the Department of Education and Skills, was established in October 2013. Its role and functions are set out in the Further Education and Training Act, 2013. SOLAS is responsible for funding, coordinating and providing strategic direction to the Further Education and Training sector in Ireland. For more information, please visit

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a “wish,” or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.


National Learning Network provides a range of flexible training programmes and support services for people who need specialist support (job seekers, unemployed, people with an illness or disability) in 50 centres around the country. The SOLAS & HSE training programmes, all of which include work experience, offer nationally recognised qualifications including QQI, ECDL, and City and Guilds ensuring that students are ready to get a job or go on to further education.

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National Learning Network