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David McWilliams
Economist and Professor, Trinity College Dublin

David McWilliams is an economist, author, journalist, documentary-maker and broadcaster. He is Adjunct Professor of Global Economics at the Trinity School of Business, Trinity College Dublin. He is ranked as the 10th most influential economist in the world.

McWilliams has devoted his entire professional life to the objective of making economics as widely available and easily understandable on as many platforms and to as many people as possible — and is having a laugh doing it.

As a result, he co-founded the world’s only economics and stand-up comedy festival, Kilkenomics, described by the Financial Times as “simply, the best economics conference in the world.” He also founded Ireland’s leading literary and ideas shindig, the Dalkey Book Festival. The World Economic Forum at Davos debased their currency profoundly by making him a Young Global Leader a few years back.

As well as writing a weekly economics column in the Irish Times, he is active on social media and was named Ireland’s “most influential Twitter user” in 2016. McWilliams uses new ways to explain our economic world — for example, "Punk Economics" and a new venture with the Financial Times, "Punk FT," which deploy cartoons to make economics digestible for normal, non-nerdy punters.

McWilliams has written four bestsellers, and one of these, "The Pope’s Children," is the best selling nonfiction ever published in Ireland. His writing style is described by Bloomberg’s head of economics, Stephanie Flanders, as having “a great knack for bringing a complex economics story to life. He is also funny. In economics, that’s a rare and persuasive combination.”

Once upon a time, McWilliams had a few real jobs, working extensively in the public and private sectors. He was an economist in the International Relations Department of the Irish Central Bank; chief European economist at UBS, Europe’s largest bank; and head of emerging markets research at Banque Nationale de Paris.