By @SimonCocking. Great exclusive interview with  Andreas Gebhard, CEO of republica GmbH, the company behind re:publica. After ten years of successful events in Berlin the re:publica conference experience will be coming to Dublin on October 20th. 

re:publica has been a long running success in Germany (10 years). For those that don’t know, what sort of topics do you cover?

In 2007 re:publica started as a blogger meeting with 700 participants in Berlin. Today, re:publica is the largest conference in Europe for Internet and the digital society. re:publica covers all topics concerning the digital age. Net politics and technological innovations to culture and media, music, health, education and further aspects surrounding the digital society are in the focus. Main topics in our programme are f.e. net-politics, Immersive Arts, Fashion, Music, Hate Speech, Education, Health, Work 4.0, Mobility, Law and FinTech. Our multi-layered structure enables also a thematic openness for new topics.

What sort of experience can people expect from one of your events?

Numerous accompanying day- and nighttime events turn re:publica into something unique: More than just a conference, it is a festival for the digital society. You will have the chance to start a dialogue with participants, pioneers and visionaries of the digital society. Thanks to the Internet, former passive recipients have become active users now. They want actively participate in the selection, assessment, recommendation and proliferation of information in a multitude of forms. At re:publica, visitors have not a passive recipient role. Together with speakers and partners our participants have the chance for a thematic and specialist knowledge exchange, discussing experiences and possible solutions.

dub fest

What makes you different from other tech conferences?

Our events, with all its different and colourful off-shoots, aims to reflect the diversity of an open society. It is important to us that all participants feel welcomed and can make their way around the event. As the digital society is more and more divers, so is re:publica. The heterogeneous mix of visitors and speakers make the re:publica unique in Europe. Nearly 50% of our visitors and more than 40% of the speaker are female. The youngest speaker was 11 years old, the oldest was 73 years.

We develop our conferences not only for the community but together with all participants. Our attendees have high standards, are well informed and are themselves possess expertises on digital topics. Beside the curated program and different sub-conferences we also open “Call for Papers”. Up to 50% of the sessions in the main programm are based on the input from the “Call for Papers”.

Tell us what have been your big successes to date?

We stick to the ideas we as founders had 10 years ago. We had only one guideline: “Doing an event where we would go to, too”. Sounds easy but hard to fulfill.

What is hot in German tech at the moment?

Privacy and digital rights are important topics for several years. Other topics are IoT, Blockchain and how to deal with new ways of working thanks to digital solutions. FinTech, Health or Mobility are also very hot. And we have a big creative community, not only in the field of start-ups but also in music or fashion.

What inspired you to come to Dublin this October?

We want to make our community more international. Our unique platform in Berlin should be known by more people. We worked together with a few companies in Dublin, have already a small network and – of course – we like the city!! Berlin and Dublin has a lot in common. We want to show what it is and what it could be in the future!

What sort of topics and speakers are you hoping to have for it?

Just this week we started our Call for Papers, so people can join us and can put topics on the agenda. In Berlin we have 700+ speaker. Our show in Dublin will be much smaller. It is our first step abroad. We want to showcase a mix of all our topics and give a sense of what we and our community thinks about the digital society.

Anything else we should have asked you / you’d like to add?

re:publica is not only a conference. It is a network and a feeling. It’s hard to tell people how it feels: So join and get the vibe!

See more about re:publica here  


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