Lebron James famously once said, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach.”
But this isn’t about Miami. Or basketball. Or my next multi-million-dollar contract.
In fact, this post is about moving to another iconic place – a wonderful, scenic little island famous for its coastline, culture and pints of heavy black beer. And while there is no South Beach in the North Atlantic, I could not be more excited to be the lone Ketner Group team member calling Ireland home for the next 12 months.
Over the past few decades, Ireland has emerged as a cultural hot spot, benefitting from a booming tourism economy driven by golf, ancient castles and Guinness. Now economically humming once again, after a sharp crash in the recent global recession, Ireland is a destination not just for those seeking leisure on a grand soft day, but for the international technology firms that benefit from a highly educated workforce, low corporate tax rate, and welcoming population.
As an Irish-American armed with a passport from both nations and a background in retail technology, it’s fascinating to see how the country has changed from the first time I came here as a young child. Of course, sheep still create traffic jams on country roads the width of your driveway, but there is a buzz in the air of Dublin and Ireland’s other cities as its global potential starts to be recognized.
From Facebook to Google to Airbnb and Apple and so many more, Ireland has recruited some of the world’s most important technology companies to its shores. Of course, with Brexit leading to concerns about access to the European market, many more are expected to follow. The Irish-American business bond is catching up to the personal bond created by waves of Irish emigrants to American shores. The Irish culture of innovation is threatening to catch up to the rich culture of its history, a promising premise for the country, and for those who are lucky enough to call it home.
Of course, it’s only been my home for less than two weeks, but I can’t wait to play my small part in keeping that connection strong and growing.