Dervala Hanley
Dervala Hanley

Dervala Hanley will share her perspective as an Irish mum raising a daughter through a Junior Infants (Kindergarten) remote education programme in California. Along with some fact-checking by Tara (5), Dervala will share some of the things she hopes remains as part of the fabric of education as we leave behind shared memories from a pandemic that has changed our perspective of how we live and learn.

People in Irish tech circles encountered Dervala Hanley’s writing in the late 90s because she was among the first 20 Irish bloggers. She shared front line perspectives with start-ups in New York City at a time when the best mobile travel guides served information on Palm Pilots. Her blog posts about rock stars and tech investors she would see in elevators and meet during coffee chats gave her insights into how services like Google, Foursquare and Stripe would launch. Her writing brought humanity to business.  

Hundreds of people read stories written by Dervala. Leaders hire Dervala to shape stories, business cases, and corporate messages that make new services, products, or ideas take off.  

A Limerick native and UCD graduate, Dervala has lived and worked in London, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Oakland. She names her formative experience as “supporting Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz through a powerful transformation of the company and brand, first as a consultant and later as a member of his team”. During her time with the Starbucks executive team, Dervala helped created a programme that paid university fees for Starbucks employees who wanted to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree—which would otherwise have cost around $60,000 across four years.

You can find Dervala Hanley on LinkedIn and read her archived blog at