4IRC (The 4th Industrial Revolution Challenge)


Catalyst’s 4IRC (The 4th Industrial Revolution Challenge) programme is an annual series of monthly headline debates on how our everyday lives will be disrupted by accelerations in technologies. 

Eligibility criteria: 

There is no eligibility criteria for the monthly debates - everyone is welcome to attend.

To apply for Connect Shapers you should: 

  • be curious about the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution and new technology
  • be engaged
  • be a team player
  • show excellence in your field
  • have the time to engage in the programme on a monthly basis for a year
Additional information: 

The Debates

The 4IRC programme is an annual series of monthly headline debates held across Northern Ireland encouraging participants to learn together how the sectors health, finance, energy, transport, government and food will be disrupted by accelerations in the platform technologies of IoT, Analytics, AI, VR, 3D printing, robotics, genomics, and quantum computing. 

Each 4IRC debate brings the opportunity to meet other curious and like-minded individuals in an informal and lively setting where you can actively debate, share and learn. Everyone is welcome to attend the debates and discover more about the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution, led by various panels of expert contributors from a range of organisations and professional backgrounds. 

Connect Shapers

Each year Connect at Catalyst invites Northern Ireland’s top academic research professors, most innovative businesses and leaders from the start-up community to apply to be a Connect shaper. These are individuals who have demonstrated brilliance in their field and a restless curiosity to find answers to the biggest questions facing society. Together, the Shapers define the key questions from the 4th Industrial Revolution and design the platform from which anyone can learn while meeting other people who share that curiosity. 

Responsibilities of a Shaper

  • Identify the key questions: working collaboratively in multi-disciplinary Shaper teams you will identify the key questions and set the ten challenges for the year, topics of highest priority to Northern Ireland.
  • Organise one event: each Shaper must join one team and be responsible for the production of that challenge event in a multi-disciplinary team of four Shapers.
  • Help other teams organise their events: review the outcomes, identify speakers, venues, promote events to your networks, generate ideas for promotion etc. 

Benefits of being a Shaper

  • You will join and develop relationships with an elite and diverse network of people that will be of value to you for the rest of your career.
  • You will be one of a small number of people with insight into the breadth of change coming to industry and life.
  • Shapers will be recognised for their contribution.
  • You will be personally responsible for helping key audiences in Northern Ireland to be better informed and better connected.
Support organisation: 
Jessica Caldwell
028 9073 7791