Web Summit, why the controversy?

Web Summit 2022 Lisbon

Web Summit, held in Lisbon, is not just another conference; it’s the epicenter of technology in Europe. Since its foundation in 2009, this event has grown exponentially, becoming the largest tech gathering in Europe. Currently, it hosts over 2,200 startups from 90 countries and brings together more than 70,000 attendees and 1,000 renowned speakers. Originally founded in Dublin, Ireland, the Web Summit moved permanently to Lisbon in 2016, further consolidating its importance in the tech world.

Cosgrave at Web Summit 2022. Wikipedia official website.

Who is Paddy Cosgrave and Why the Controversy? Paddy Cosgrave is not just another name in the tech industry. He is the visionary behind the Web Summit. Along with David Kelly and Daire Hickey, he founded this iconic event in 2009. His ability to identify and bring together the brightest minds in technology has been a key factor in the success and growth of the Web Summit. Recently, Cosgrave made statements regarding the situation in the Middle East, specifically concerning the conflict between Israel and Hamas. These words triggered a series of responses, leading several Israeli entrepreneurs to reconsider their participation in the Web Summit. Cosgrave’s words did not go unnoticed by the Israeli tech community. Companies, prominent figures, and even the Israeli ambassador to Portugal expressed their discontent. The fact that the Israeli division of KPMG, one of the event’s sponsors, chose to withdraw highlights the gravity of the situation. It’s crucial to recognize that Israel is a tech powerhouse, with Tel Aviv being one of the leading cities for startups globally, precisely ranking third.

web summit 2022

In the face of the growing controversy, the Web Summit organization released a statement. In it, they expressed their condemnation of the attacks and their deep concern for the loss of innocent lives. Although they acknowledged cancellations, they chose not to disclose specific figures of the dropouts.

A Call for Empathy and Awareness It’s essential to remember that in any conflict, there are no sides; there are only victims. Wars strip people of their loved ones, homes, and hopes. Regardless of where one stands, humanity should come together to recognize the value of each life and work towards a more peaceful and understanding world. It’s time to be aware of this.