I was lucky enough to speak at the re:publica last week. The re:publica is kind of a three day conference, happening, event and I really enjoy going there. It’s quite big: this year they had 7000 visitors from 23 different countries. 44% of the visitors weren’t male. They had a wonderful little play area for kids right bang in the centre of the conference – not hidden away in some corner, no – right bang in the middle.
I liked that. A lot.
The re:publica is a wonderful thing – it’s a huge mixed bag of themes, interests and people. It’s probably the only conference where business/media/advertising folk rub shoulders with punks, cyber-punks, hippies, activists, hacktivists and what is left of the German Pirate party. They even had a real, honest to God, astronaut. It is also quite a difficult conference to navigate as there are 13 stages hosting talks that cover 13 different tracks.
To be honest, I struggled a little with this year’s theme “finding Europe” and it took me a couple of days to get into the swing of sitting down and listening to the talks. That might have had something to do with the fact that the weather was lovely.
Fortunately the re:publica records nearly everything and most of the sessions can be found on YouTube. Here are a few of my favourites so far:
Felix Schwenzel: Kognitive Dissonanz
I’m a big fan of Felix, who writes wirres.net. I really like his presentation style and what he has to say (he also brought his mum to the re:publica which is wonderful). I like his beard.
James Bridle: Living in the Electromagnetic Spectrum
I finally got to meet James in person at this year’s re:publica. It was an absolute pleasure and his talk (as is his work) is magnificent. Don’t be put off the title and stay with it because there’s a wonderful little re:publica moment where James goes head to head with that bloke from wikileaks.
netzpolitik.org: Mit Journalismus für digitale Grundrechte eintreten
This is an odd one, but I enjoyed it because I finally got to see who is behind netzpolitik.org.
Eric Jarosinski: Losing Hope. Finding Europe. – Utopian Negation Reconsidered.
Eric is fantastic. We’ve nearly met on multiple occasions which is as disappointing as any relationship can get.
Was it the best re:publica ever? Or the worst? I don’t know. I really enjoyed it, met lot’s of old friends and made some new ones. It’s insanely well organised and a lot of fun to visit and be a part of so if you get the chance, you should get yourself to Berlin on May 2nd 2016 and join in the fun.