re:publica continues to bring people to Berlin who are interested in all things within the digital, political and social triangle. The streamlining of the festival has done good, says //next columnist Markus Sekulla, who attended #RP23.
Ah yes, re:publica. A celebration of nostalgia and future vision at the same time. Nostalgia because of the many old acquaintances you still meet there for ten years and counting, future vision because of the innovative topics discussed at the sessions. Perhaps it is this mixture that makes the re:publica still a special conference.
Let's start with the innovative part: One rule deeply rooted in our German Angst is: you don't talk about money. Therefore, it was smart to choose “Cash” as the central theme of this year's re:publica and thus quite differentiate from the titles of previous years. The multi-layered nature of the topic also allows for discussions on both the micro and macro levels. It only half worked out, because everyone still wanted to talk about the currently omnipresent topic of artificial intelligence.
To direct the conversation directly to money, the man who stands for the topic of money in Germany like no other, Christian Lindner, Federal Minister of Finance, came on stage on the first day after the opening. The questions could have been a bit more critical in my eyes, but see for yourself:
ERGO as a partner had also chosen the topic of money for the partner lot and especially highlighted the aspect of "financial independence of women". Nakeema Stefflbauer and Daria Suvorova illuminated the topic from many angles. On the day this article was published, the video was not yet online, we will add it as soon as it is available on re:publica's YouTube channel.
I was most impressed – as always, really – by Maja Göpel #fanboyalert, but see for yourself:
And now for the nostalgic part – many from my digital bubble have been attending re:publica for 10+ years. For us it is/was the networking event of the year when it comes to job discussions, new ideas and good vibes.
And even if the festival was a bit smaller this year than in 2022: I don't see a good alternative. OMR is a completely different direction anyway. The Web Summit would be an idea internationally. But so probably next year again many go to Berlin to spend 3 days... Save the date: 27 - 29 May 2024
As always, there was a lot of exciting stuff to discover besides networking and the session schedule. The most popular photo motif was – as always – the mouse. This time, however, it was closely followed by a sticker wall on which visitors could answer money questions with post-its. My creative favorite was an answer to the question: What should be taken out of the range? Whoever wrote “5 minute terrine”… I love it!
My personal highlight, besides the many great conversations, was Ulrich Forman's “Slotmachine” art installation in the form of an airport departure board. This showed Ghost Flights, empty flights that are performed in real time by airlines just to avoid losing take-off or landing slots, which is a disaster ecologically.
Nothing really matters, anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me
Any way the wind blows
Text: Markus Sekulla