From a spontaneous idea of a blogger meeting to one of the most important social conferences in Europe: for the seventh time, re:publica invites guests to Berlin in order to discuss and share digital life with 5,000 other visitors.
From 6 to 8 May 2013, the event, which for the second time will take place at the STATION near Berlin’s Gleisdreieck, will run under the motto “IN/SIDE/OUT” – turning perceived notions on their heads, inside out and outside in.
Let’s start from the top:
By 2006, German blogs had established themselves enough to not only have entered the wider public consciousness but to have also developed their own themes and challenges. It was time to tempt the so-called “blogosphere” from its virtual into the physical world and thus the idea of a blogger meeting was created. A name followed soon after: re:publica.
A few months later on April 2007, Tanja & Johnny Haeusler of Spreeblick.com, Markus Beckedahl of netzpolitik.org, and Andreas Gebhard of newthinking communications opened the doors to the very first re:publica, drawing not the hoped for 300 but 700 guests. The next three days in the Kalkscheune, Berlin were marked by such success that a repeat of the meeting was not only hoped for – rather it was demanded by all those participating.
Since then, re:publica has developed into a recognised institution and become one of the world’s most important conference on the digital world, year on year growing larger, prettier and more international. In 2012, 4,500 visitors took part in re:publica and over 300 speakers presented their ideas on eight different stages in the 16,000sqm large venue of the STATION-Berlin. re:publica was catapulted from the once blogger meeting into the international festival category.
“Those who say that re:publica is a class reunion, are right.
Those who say that re:publica is nothing more than a class reunion, have no idea.”
Anke Gröner, 2010
Despite its rapid growth, re:publica has managed to stay true to its original charm. Hardly any other conferences feature a comparatively broad spectrum of guests, nowhere else would one find Hacktivists mingling with business guests, and at few other events are discussions and debates equally controversial and good natured as at re:publica Berlin.
“re:publica is SXSW with an European accent, the DLD and DAVOS of the people. It is a favorite conference of mine.“
Jeff Jarvis, author and professor of journalism
On the eight stages of re:publica 2013, German and international speakers will present a wide ranging thematic spectrum, from politics and science to culture and society. Much of it will fascinate, surprise, and may even encourage selling some company shares (or invest in new ones). Others will make you re-assess long held beliefs, while other may bring tears to your eyes in laughter. The unexpected is tradition at re:publica.
Alongside the event programme, of which half of the guest were invited and curated by the founding team while the other half are chosen through an open “Call for Papers”, re:publica offers the space for exchanging big and small ideas and business cards. Furthermore, re:publica focuses on the networking of people, whose meeting outside of its informal and inspiring setting would be rather unlikely.
It its the diversity of the guests, not only the themes, which gives re:publica its significance and has made it what it is today: