Pendulum Summit 2024 reviewed

Pendulum Summit celebrated its 10th anniversary in Dublin’s Convention Centre on the 10th and 11th January. Reviewed by Marie-Clare Byard @NowMediaLive

This annual event brings together both local and international speakers of the highest calibre, experts in many different sporting fields, leadership, technology, communications, relationships, health and so much more. You cannot leave Pendulum Summit without being Inspired by the world-class leaders it brings together, a great way to kick start the new year.

10th year of Pendulum Summit

This event is the brainchild of Irish former professional Rugby star Frankie Sheahan and his wife Norma Sheahan.

Charlie Engles

Pendulum Summit kicked off with a brilliant presentation from Charlie Engle who shared how he managed to leave a life of drug and alcohol abuse behind, to dive into a commitment to run every day, which he did for 2 years without missing a day. He exhibited, early in life, an appetite for endurance, having a sense that his physiology was different.

He took his appetite for endurance to the extremes and set a target to run across the Sahara desert. He raised the funds,  gathered his film crew together and with his teammates completed the run, being the first to ever do this!

Charlie Engle shares his story about recovery from addition by starting running ???? everyday for 2 years! He decided to run across the Sahara Desert and nothing would stop him!#PendulumSummit

— Irish Tech News (@Irish_TechNews) January 10, 2024

While running he saw the water shortages first hand, he came up with the idea for H2O Africa and raised $6 million. This would later go on to be what is now known as the world’s largest water supplier which has raised over $1 billion, now co-owned by Matt Damen and Gary White.

Charlie Engle says – “I’m an addict who runs and I’m a runner who writes”. Over 30 years in recovery now, and has published a book entitled “Running Man”.

Later Charlie was investigated for tax discrepancies, which he duly paid, yet ended up in jail for 18 months. When in jail he started running around the courtyard and doing yoga at lunchtime, they all laughed at him. But by the time he left he had set up a running club with 50 members and 30 of the inmates joined him for yoga every lunchtime. The inmates explained to him how this had changed their lives. He concludes, “What happens to us is not nearly as important as what we do with it”.


Next up was Dr. Julie Smith, who became a YouTube internet sensation during the pandemic years.

Top tips, when asking someone, “How are you feeling?” always ask TWICE, it’s too easy to just dismiss and say fine on the first ask.

Surround yourself with people you trust, a sense of belonging and trust are very important for healthy relationships.

She gave a great analogy for stress, to think of it like an ATM, stress is really about balancing the books, if you take cash out (of the ATM) all the time and never put any back in, you get burned out, you have to put something back in, you can’t just keep taking.

We all need to start with sleep and prioritise it. Take micro-moments out, it will improve performance by just getting off the hamster wheel. Allow yourself to just sit with how you are feeling.

Dr. Zoe Wimshurst
Introduced us to ‘Performance Vision’ a concept that I’m sure was new to most of the audience. She specialises in the provision of unique visual training tailored to elite athletes. She screens elite athletes to test their visual skills, then gives feedback showing them the best way to incorporate vision training into their overall training programme.

This method enables you to see two times faster and make better decisions in a split second. Our eyes normally have 2 fixations per second, through her training you can increase this to 5 fixations per second, taking in five times more information.

The eye has six muscles that work together to move it, through her methods you can train your eyes to work faster. She trains footballers to be proactive, not reactive. Footballers need to also look at the angles of the non-kicking foot, this will tell you what direction they are going to kick the ball, with the increased eye reaction time to assess this, this gives them that crucial performance edge.

You can start your own eye speed improvements by Juggling.  Zoe said it improves eyesight!

Jessica Jensen

Jessica Jensen is Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Indeed and shared some insights from their business.

Interesting insights into the #futureofwork and how we should embracing AI to speed up processes, but be aware of AI bias as AI is created by humans and has bias @indeed look to remove these bias with their technology #pendulumsummit

— Irish Tech News (@Irish_TechNews) January 10, 2024

Jessica is a big advocate of AI, she shared that Indeed is now saving 10 million a year on content production and freeing up human time!

When advertising for job roles in your business, job seekers are way more likely to apply if salaries are disclosed.

Forcing your workforce back to the office full-time does not increase productivity. Flexibility is the way to go, you need a mix, the hybrid model. A full return to work will not work.

Wim Hof – The Ice Man

Breathwork revolutionary and ice record holder, Wim Hof,  ran a half marathon barefoot above the Arctic Circle and succeeded in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts! Author of The Wim Hof Method, his Breathwork techniques help people to endure extreme cold to improve both physiology and mental health.

Wim has a deep, loud and commanding voice which coupled with a great sense of humour captivated the room. Wim gave a demonstration of his breathing techniques and surprised us with his singing and drumming skills! Sharing videos of his feats of cold water resistance and how they can greatly improve your health.

Wim dropped out of school and now works with and teaches professors, doctors and neuro-scientists all over the world. They studied the techniques which enabled Wim to withstand extreme cold water temperatures for long periods. They ran all sorts of brain scans and analyses. Wim is a hack of science, brain scans don’t lie, they saw him controlling parts of the brain they didn’t think we had access to control. Wim displayed full autonomy over these parts of his brain and body.

Wim went as far as to be injected with e-coli and demonstrated that the autonomous nervous system related to the innate immune response, can be wilfully influenced, something that was previously unknown to science.

Going to be hard to top that, phenomenal keynote by the @Iceman_Hof and such energy! What a man, who challenged scientific beliefs, and turn them on their head with his breathing methods and tolerance for cold beyond anything ever seen before. #pendulumsummit

— Irish Tech News (@Irish_TechNews) January 10, 2024

Wim Hof advocates we are born to be in control of our happiness, strength and health and he shows this now through the science from the studies that have been carried out on him.

Wim is convinced that everyone can tap into their inner potential without having to invest in decades worth of study, travel and daring defeats he has done. You too can learn his methods.


A big message that came through from so many male speakers on both days is the need for more awareness of men’s mental health, and the need to talk about it.

Niall Breslin (Bressie)

Shared that he does not have the answers, he is not our guru, and he hates all the quotes that circulate on the likes of Instagram, they don’t help. He also hates fish, they smell bad, taste bad and are always sad!

The early prevention model is what he is working on, peer-to-peer support. Looking past people’s behaviours takes emotional intelligence, we all have ingrained intergenerational trauma we are working through. We need compassion for ourselves because as human beings we all have flaws.

Dr. Brian Pennies

Shared about the trauma he endured in the first few weeks of his life.  Doctors were dismissing his mother’s concerns for her baby’s health and suggested it was just colic when in fact he had a twisted gut.  Dr. Pennies ended up having surgery when he was three weeks old with no anaesthetic because at the time it was believed babies didn’t feel pain and even if they did, wouldn’t remember it anyway.

This trauma followed him for the first three decades of his life and included a 15-year heroin addiction, which he eventually overcame. He went on to become a neuroscience and psychology expert, lecturer at Trinity College Dublin and UCD, a published author, keynote speaker, executive coach, consultant and founder of Change is Possible.

Nancy Rademaker

Advisor and Educator on Digital Transformation, Disruption and AIWe are addicted to our smartphones, we now can’t be more than 2 feet from our device, the official name for this is now sombies (Smartphone zombies!)  The city of Chongqing in southwest China has an extra lane on the path just for people walking while looking down at their smartphones!

We have become much more impatient, our span of attention has gone down from 15 seconds in the 1970s to a mere 7.6 seconds. We are officially beaten by the goldfish who has an attention span of 8 seconds. (Google says 9-seconds!)

77% of executives predict significant industry disruption in the next 3 years in the form of (a) New Technologies, (b) New Competition and (c) Higher Expectations.

We are now in the GenAI (Generative artificial intelligence) era and it is time consumers embraced AI. Does your company have an AI strategy? Nancy suggests businesses won’t survive without one.

The 1980s saw machine learning, then deep learning and now generative AI benefits through learning from the customer.

We have become overloaded with information, our heads are too full. For customers to overcome this information overload, we now need to offer fewer choices, but more relevant ones and focus on CX (Customer experience). CX needs to collect data, have a strategy for the next normal, and be prepared to take on your learning journey.

Use the 5i to improve customer experience, The 5i for good CX are:

Individualistic…this means…Personalisation for the customer
Impatient….….this means…Convenience and speed for the customer
Informed………this means…Transparency to the customer
Intuitive……….this means…Evotes the right emotion with the customer
Influenced……this means…Instagrammable moments for the customer

Is the machine going to take over? We have to take over, we will help the machine with I.A., Intelligent Assistant.

This is the first time technology is giving us back time. Use this time to create experiences.

AI is not all hocus pocus, it is just pocus.

P = Predictions

O = Object recognition

C = Creating content

U = Understanding people

S = Self-moving objects

For your content creation, you can save time with products like Dalle-3 for image creation. Based on your description, it will create an AI image for you, you can modify the image as you see fit by modifying the description.

HeyGen AI can translate your videos with voice cloning, lip-sync, and talking styles all in one click, turn your words into speech with HeyGen’s text-to-speech AI, so you don’t have to make time consuming expensive videos.

By the way, WTF does not mean what you think it means!!
It now means WHAT’S THE FUTURE! Watch this space!

Dr. John Gray Ph.D

Work-place relationship legend and the mind behind ‘Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus’, gave us some great nuggets to take back to the office and home.

The secret to loving your work is if you feel valued, if you create a culture where staff feel valued you will have a very happy workforce.

Be mindful of your wording. Men are motivated by requests – Will you do this? Changing the words you use is powerful, use “Will you do it” rather than “Can you do it”?
Replace “Could you” with “Would you” and see the difference.

Women have higher stress levels than men naturally, our default is to go to pessimism, rather than optimism. Remember when someone was very late coming home and your mind started worrying whether they were in an accident or something worse? Women have two times more stress in work and it doubles when they come home, Dr. Gray says the workplace was designed for men, and competition. Men take action when stressed, women call someone.

In home life, we need four hugs a day!

In conclusion, Pendulum Summit 2024 was another brilliant event! The energy in the room was electric, with ample networking opportunities that facilitated so many connections being made. Frankie and Norma Sheahan consistently delivered an impactful start to the new year with this annual event.

A prominent theme this year emphasised the importance of communication and active listening. Discarding hierarchical structures, eliminating reliance on PowerPoint presentations, understanding the roles of every staff member, and avoiding taking them for granted were key takeaways.

The call to create a psychologically safe environment that nurtures diversity and inclusion, and encourages innovation resonated throughout the summit. Cultivating a workplace culture that fosters a sense of belonging, and encourages employees to share perspectives and express their authentic selves, will ultimately lead to a flourishing of creativity.

Furthermore, embracing AI to streamline tasks and save time allows for a greater focus on enhancing the customer experience (CX) by offering fewer choices.

Embrace the power of breathwork to calm the mind and bring clarity. Create the space to take even just a few minutes out in your day to sit in stillness and just breathe, you will notice a difference.

Lastly, let’s establish spaces where men feel comfortable discussing their mental health, fostering an open dialogue not only at home but also in the workplace, making it a part of everyday conversation.

Marie-Clare Byard


Content Creator / Social Media Training /
Non for Profit Programme Coordinator for

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