Kilkenomics started as a conversation between myself and Richard Cook – the man behind the Kilkenny Cat Laughs comedy festival. I have known Richard for years and in mid 2009 we sat down and he quizzed me about what was going on in the economy. He told me he was sick of being bombarded by jargon and by so-called experts who oddly didn’t seem to have seen the crash coming, telling him that there was no alternative to policy X or Y.

So we thought, why not do something different to try to explain what is happening to the concerned person who aren’t being included in the debate here but who’s lives are being affected by policies pursued. Not only do people feel excluded, but normally access to top international economists on the conference circuit is prohibitively expensive. The deal was simple, I’d bring some of the world’s top economists, initially largely from my own contact book of people from around the world I have worked with and Richard would bring the stand—up comedians and we would keep the price reasonable so that the audience would get five star information at one star prices.

The reason for the stand-ups asking the question is that we thought if the stand-ups host the events, they will be good fun but also the very presence of a stand-up on stage will be gibe the people in the audience the “permission” to ask question they never had the nerve to ask. The upshot over the past three years is that now we know everyone is qualified to ask any question they like. It works.
It has been a joy to put on.

Thanks for all you support and I hope to see you in Kilkenny. For more information and tickets check out the Kilkenomics website.

Here’s a taste what the press has had to say about Kilkenomics:

The Australian – “Davos with jokes”

UK Sunday Times – “one of the oddest festivals anywhere, comedy with a pint and a point”

San Francisco Chronicle – “an utterly bizzare idea but the public love it”

BBC – “comedians give permission to the audience to feel comfortable”

The Irish Times – “A little jewel where players manage to talk human without being patronising”

BBC World Service – “having a laugh despite the gloom”

Bloomberg – “Lenny Bruce meets John Maynard Keynes”

The Guardian – “wildly successful”

The Sunday Tribune – “laugh, I nearly defaulted!”