re:publica is one of the largest and most exciting festivals about digital culture in the world. Since its foundation in 2007, it has grown from a cozy blogger meeting with 700 participants into a wide-ranging “society conference”, with 8.000 visitors at the anniversary edition re:publica TEN. Representatives of digital culture share their knowledge and decision-making tools, and discuss the future of the information society. Here they can mingle with activists, scientists, hackers, entrepreneurs, NGOs, journalists, social media and marketing experts, and many others. This fosters innovation and creates synergies between net politics, online marketing, network technology, digital society, and (pop) culture. What is more, around 46 percent of re:publica speakers are female – far more than at many other similar events.
The 2016 edition has been exciting: We proudly count a total of 8.000 participants, 770 international speakers from 60 countries who made up the 500 hour-long program – and 5-minute firework celebrating the anniversary. This is the highest number of visitors so far, making 2016 another record-setting year for re:publica. Young and old alike were represented on re:publica's 17 stages – from the youngest speaker of 11 years to the renowned Richard Sennett aged 73.
re:publica TEN brought together people from all continents. From 2nd till 4th May 2016, 8.000 participants and around 800 accredited international journalists bustled around the fully packed STATION Berlin and adjoining Kühlhaus.
Of course, our broad focus on issues related to the digital society – from net politics and technological innovations, music, culture and media, to health and education – has convinced sponsors and partners alike. Again, we’ve formed a close partnership with MEDIA CONVENTION Berlin, the defining congress for the international media industry, which started with the same event space in 2014. Since last year, the collaboration is intensified with one ticket for both events.
re:publica hosts various sub-conferences: At TEN the "re:fugees" conference was hosted in cooperation with the German Federal Center for Political Education (bpb). Furthermore the Global Innovation Gathering (GIG) sub-conference is already in its fourth year, this time supported by Autodesk, Bürklin, FabLab Berlin and Arduino.
One focus in 2016 was the topic of Virtual Reality which was explored all over the STATION Berlin and especially at the "labore:tory" in collaboration with the First German Association for Virtual Reality (EDFVR).
And, since 2015, there is even more to be explored in two sub-conferences, the one-day Wearables sub-conference #FASHIONTECH BERLIN in collaboration with PREMIUM and SEEK International Fashion Trade Shows, and the Musicday on the latest in music and tech, supported by the Musicboard Berlin.
To name just a few of the many themed tracks at #rpTEN: Net Politics, Immersive Art, Hate It, re:learn, re:health, Call It Work, re:think Mobility, Law Lab, FinTech and many more.
And finally, re:publica maintains close relationships with its sponsors. In the past, sponsors have included: Daimler AG, comdirect bank AG, Spiegel Online, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Microsoft Deutschland GmbH, IBM Germany, Sony, WDR, Deutsche Bank, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Deutsche Telekom, Google Germany, WWF, Hewlett-Packard, sipgate, ARD, Vodafone, and many more.
A selection of our speakers from the past years:
The Yes Men, Neelie Kroes (European Commission), Jeff Jarvis (BuzzMachine), Saskia Sassen (Columbia University), Steffen Seibert (German government spokesman), Mitchell Baker (Mozilla Foundation), Cory Doctorow (BoingBoing), Miriam Meckel, Jim Wales (Wikipedia), Bianca Jagger, Sascha Lobo, Jillian C. Yorck (EFF), Kathrin Passig, David Hasselhoff, Gesche Joost (UdK Berlin), Gunter Dueck (CEO Omnisophie), Yoani Sánchez (Entrepreneur and blogger, Generación Y), Erik Hersman (Founder of iHub and Ushahidi), Sarah Harrison (Wikileaks), Dieter Zetsche (Daimler AG executive board), Jutta Allmendinger (President of the WZB Berlin Center for Social Science), Andreas Schleicher (Head of the Education and Skills Directorate, OECD), Lawrence Lessig (Creative Commons)
Photo credit: re:publica/Gregor Fischer (CC BY 2.0)