Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses Dublin Tech Summit

War-time leader promises to put digital technology at the centre of his country’s economic rebuild

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy promised to put digital technology at the centre of the rebuilding of his war-torn nation in a hologram address streamed this afternoon to seven European technology conferences, including the Dublin Tech Summit in the RDS.

Mr Zelenskiy “appeared” virtually onstage via hologram at conferences in Stockholm, London, Amsterdam and Paris, while his holographic image was also streamed to Dublin, Berlin and to a second London event.

In his short address, which was recorded in both Ukrainian and English, the president appeared wearing his by now-familiar outfit of green t-shirt and military combat trousers, versions of which he has appeared in since Russia’s invasion on February 24th.

“We will rebuild everything that Russia has destroyed,” he told 200,000 attendees across the seven tech conferences that received the address. He said Ukraine would “not stop for a minute” in its economic development, despite the war, which is now concentrated in eastern Donbas region that Russia is trying to fully seize.


Mr Zelenskiy said he would make Ukraine the “freest digital economy in the world”. He said the country would provide “total stability of all state institutions” and technology would be used to ensure there was less bureaucracy and corruption, while state institutions would be “paperless”, using digital documents instead.

He said more would be revealed at a conference on the rebuilding of Ukraine next month in Lugano, Switzerland, which is being held under the aegis of the Ukrainian president’s United24 initiative. The Swiss event has become known as the Ukraine Recovery Conference, and is intended to “kick off the recovery”, despite the ongoing military hostilities.

Mr Zelenskiy’s address and hologram was produced and transmitted using technology from companies including ARHT Media and Evercoast.

The president’s address, which was received in Dublin at 4.20pm on Thursday, came towards the end of the final day of the two-day Dublin Tech Summit, which is owned by businessman Ian Hyland. Paul Connolly, a former director of Independent News & Media, holds a 10 per cent stake in Haymarket Capital, the company that ultimately owns the Dublin event.

Dublin Tech Summit this week attracted 8,000 visitors to the RDS, with 200 speakers including senior executives from digital companies such as Stripe, Google and Intercom.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times