Web Summit’s Paddy Cosgrave to move to Lisbon

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Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave has announced that he is moving to Lisbon and will expand the organisation’s offices in the Portuguese capital.

In a press conference on the last day of the summit (Thursday) said he could not forecast exactly how the event would develop over the next decade, but announced that the organisation’s offices in Lisbon would be “expanded dramatically”.

“My wife told me last night that we’re moving to Lisbon, so it seems the decision has been made. I’ve already spent a lot of time here and it looks like I’ll be spending a lot more along with my wife and our little son.”

At the closing ceremony of Web Summit 2018 Portugal’s President, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa called on technology giants to join the fight against xenophobia, intolerance and racism.

He asked the 70,000 participants at the three-day event to put “the wellbeing of society” at the top of their agendas when developing new technology. “Digital technology should serve freedom — promoting open economies and societies and dialogue and tolerance.

“Digital technology must not forget the rest of society and of course, you are, in a certain way, pioneers, heroes and leaders in the present and future. But don’t forget everyone else please and help to create a better world.”

Paddy Cosgrave and Portuguese prime minister António Costa revealed last month that Lisbon will remain the host city of Web Summit for the next decade under a new €110 million deal, including a large-scale venue expansion to facilitate the conference’s fast-growth.

After a robust and competitive tender process involving offers from over 20 cities across Europe, the company behind the largest entrepreneurial and tech conference came to an agreement with the Portuguese government whereby as part of the deal Web Summit will receive €11 million per year from Portugal.

Additionally, a part of the deal is to double the size of the Altice Arena and FIL (Feira Internacional de Lisboa) within the next three years, to fit Web Summit’s growth forecasts. Commencement of the first phase of the expansion project will begin soon and should be completed in time for Web Summit 2019.

This year’s summit saw a plethora of speakers from top companies including Lisa Jackson (Apple), Darren Afronofsky (Protozoa Pictures), António Guterres (UN), António Costa (Portugal PM), Fernando Medina (Lisbon Mayor), Carlos Moedas (EU Commissioner), David Pemsel (The Guardian Media Group), Stephen Kaufer (Trip Advisor), Young Sohn (Samsung), Helen Chiang (Minecraft) and Garry Kasparov (Avast) to name a few.