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Impact at Web Summit

As an organisation, a global event series, and a network bringing world leaders and entrepreneurs together, we strive to empower our staff and community to work towards a more sustainable future. Were dedicated to contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Diversity, equity and inclusion

We’re committed to making our events more diverse and inclusive by fostering networking opportunities, building mentorship programmes, and increasing diversity and inclusion at our events through targeted community ticketing initiatives.

Since 2022, for example, our Indigenous Attendee Program has amplified the voices of Indigenous communities to help build a more inclusive tech ecosystem.

With the help of our women in tech programme, we have increased the number of women at our events from 25 percent of attendees in 2013 to a steady 42 percent. We want to grow from there in 2023 and beyond.

A smiling person sitting at a high table. They are looking towards another person at the same table who has their back to the camera and appears to be speaking. A third person at the table – seen from the side – is smiling and looking at the speaker.

Responsible consumption

We believe sustainable consumption is crucial to conserving the climate. To that end, we have effectively eliminated single-use plastics from our events.

Our stages are built using sustainable materials that are redistributed and reused after the event concludes.

We also aim to reduce food waste at our events. Where limited food waste is unavoidable, we redistribute it through partner organisations such as Zero Desperdicio.

A person walks past a water station with Web Summit branding on it. The water station is on an exhibition floor with high ceilings and industrial lighting.
  • 110
    kg
    Food redistributed to organisations across our events in Lisbon and Toronto in 2022
  • 462
    kg
    CO2 avoided as a result of our food redistribution in Europe and North America in 2022
  • 17,837
    Single-use (500ml) water bottles eliminated as a result of our refillable water stations in 2022

Safeguarding our climate

We celebrate emerging companies striving to achieve the UN SDGs. Every year, hundreds of startups take part in our Impact initiative.

Our planet:tech stage showcases the world’s leading innovators, companies and activists as they discuss solutions to the global environmental crisis.

Since 2021, Web Summit has been an official nominator of the Earthshot Prize, a global environmental reward initiative designed to help repair our planet.

A person squats on a sandy surface. Their right hand is splayed inches above the ground, where something appears to be drawn or written in the sand. People appear to be walking by in the background. This is the exhibition floor at Web Summit.

Quality education

Every year through our developer programme, we distribute complimentary Web Summit tickets to the most active developers and open-source contributors in our network.

Our learning and development team at Web Summit provides weekly training, classes and guidance for all employees.

Our scholarship programme unites up to 300 students and recent graduates who demonstrate an ambition to change the future.

A smiling person looks at someone who has their back to the camera. The second person is wearing a sweater with Volunteer Lead written on it. The pair appear to be having a conversation.

Employee and attendee wellbeing

Web Summit is dedicated to providing an enjoyable, respectful and safe experience for everyone.

We have 200 employees based in Ireland – nearly 60 percent of a global workforce of almost 320 people.

The Portugal-based Web Summit team has grown from four members of staff to 90 in six years, and the Lisbon office hosts team members of 12 nationalities.

We have enhanced Ireland-based benefits, including increased annual leave, employer pension contributions, and a wellbeing benefit that provides financial supports for long-term sick leave.

We have fully embraced a hybrid working model, globally, giving employees flexibility to choose whether to work in the office or from home.

Two smiling people pose for a selfie. The person on the left holds a mobile phone in their outstretched right hand.

Some of the resources we provide attendees at our events include:

Parent and child, prayer, and sensory-friendly spaces
Community meet-up space and dedicated point of contact
Accessibility desks and dedicated point of contact
Maps with step-free access routes

Community support and economic growth

At each of our events, in each of our host cities, we source local contractors to assist us in the build and running of our events, thereby supporting local jobs and enterprise.

In 2021, Web Summit became a signatory of Lisbon’s Corporate Mobility Pact – an initiative focused on improving and transforming city mobility.

In 2020, Web Summit donated €1 million to support Covid-19 response projects in Ireland and Portugal.

A smiling person seen through a round window. Their face is partially blocked by a variety of leafy plants.

“Where the future goes to be born.”

Three people sit around a circular high table. Each has a microphone on the table in front of them. The person on the left appears to be speaking. This is a podcast recording session.

– The Atlantic

“The Olympics of tech.”

A person fills a paper cone with water from a metallic water fountain. Only the persons forearms are visible.

– Politico