Yesterday was another busy day filled with sunshine, site visits, and “steps”. We took a walking tour of The Docklands along the River Liffey, which is like night and day to the rest of the city. As the financial and technological center in Dublin everything is ultra modern, shiny, and brand spanking new, with the majority of the buildings being built in the last decade.
Our visit to the docklands was guided by Dr. Darren Kelley, a native Irishman who has bounced back and forth between the states a few times over the years, and has watched the development of Dublin with particular interest as a anthropologist studying the psychology of urbanization.
Along the tour we made a few stops and Dr. Kelley gave a few short lectures, showing us pictures of what the areas we were looking at looked just a few short years ago. He explained the impact on the housing bubble in 2008 on Ireland, and how the Irish government had to, basically, take over all of the major banks in Ireland and assume the debt from the financial crisis, ask the EU for more money as a bailout, and basically signed away its sovereignty in the processes.
Dr. Kelley also gave us his perspective on why he believe the rapid growth in Dublin is occurring, There are the obvious reasons, such as there very low corporate tax rate of 15% which beats any other EU country, and the fact that once Britain pulls out Ireland will be the only English speaking country left in the union, but Kelley thinks its more than just financial incentives. Dr. Kelley believes that there is an innate adaptability to the Irish, and a social aspect deeply ingrained in Irish life; the gift of gab or the ability to “bullshit” as Darren said, that makes the Irish particularly ideal for the new world job markets, in which we need to be able to operate on a global level, quickly being able to adapt from one culture to another over the course of any given business day. The Irish have a particular disdain for rules, and as rule breakers they deft lateral thinkers and comfortable operating outside the box, they are quick to smile and tell a joke at their own expense, which does make them endearing. One thing I found particularly interesting was that on a global scale the Irish are found to be 4 times more productive then there counter parts and where else in the developed world, so I could certainly see the appeal from a business stand point to set up shop in Ireland.
After the tour we visited Googles impressive world headquarters, and it was a shock and awe experience. they paraded us through 3 of the 7 buildings they currently own in Dublin wowing us with the views that look over the city, there break out spaces with free snacks and pool table to the sound proof music rooms, massage areas, napping spaces all for employees to blow off steam. To say it was impressive would be an understatement, but I don’t really feel as though we gained any insights as business students, the tour we were given could be accessed by pretty much anyone who know someone inside google, it wasn’t like our experience with Eaton where they prepared specifically for our visit. Non the less it was impressive and I can see why positions at google are highly sought after.
The sun has continued to shine on us here in Dublin and while that’s fantastic its also proved to be a little problematic for me as well. After three straight days of being blasted by the sun, I am so burnt, my face looks like a radish and feel like some one rubbed me down with sandpaper. I didn’t particularly feel well when we returned last night and I intended on catching up on the last episode of Game of Thrones and doing some outlining for an upcoming project we have but 10 minutes in to the new episode I was asleep and a stayed that way until just a few minutes ago when I began to write this blog. That’s over twelve hours of sleep, currently as I regain my faculties I’m not sure whether or not that was a good thing as I still don’t feel very amazing.
It’s another busy day today and there’s no rest for the wicked so I’ll see you all on the other side!
Final thought: Only I would visit Ireland and get sunburnt. From now on I take sunscreen everywhere.