First of all, a big thank-you for all your submissions. We’ve had a phenomenal total of 930 submissions to our Call for Papers – a new record! That’s an increase of 30 percent compared to last year, when we had around 700 submissions. That just shows us once again how enthusiastic you are, and how full of ideas!
And true to this year’s motto, Finding Europe, we have received far more international, English-language submissions. That means the fraction of English talks is now slowly, but surely approaching 50 percent. So finally, we can announce the first items from our schedule this week – we have now published the first 50 sessions from the re:publica program! Of course the entire schedule is not available yet, but the confirmed talks and speakers will give you a nice foretaste of a total of 350 sessions, which will all go online in the next few weeks.
- The #rp15 motto Finding Europe is present in many of the submissions – or now, sessions: Topics like migration, the digital community in the different countries of Europe, or a European perspective on current network issues are like a common denominator of a lot of sessions, from the talk of whistleblower Annie Machon to #JeSuisCharlie, from Zara Rahman on migration to a panel on Internet Governance.
- Another central topic revolves around issues of terrorism and the Islamic State, IS. The developments of the last two years in connection with IS are tackled in different sessions: by Sascha Stoltenow and Thomas Wiegold, Ben Wagner, and Frederike Kaltheuner.
- Then we have the re:health track, of course. Since we are interested in diverse aspects of the issue – 3D printing for disaster zones, for instance, or online depression treatments, and best practices and experiences from other European countries, we have a broad range of contents, from the session by Hagen Terschüren and Jenna Shotgun to Anthony Zacharzewski.
- Our re:learn track is as exciting as ever. Already online are a talk on the blanket surveillance of the educational system by Jöran Muuß-Merholz, and a session on creative learning in the fashion/tech industry by Saba Ghole.
As mentioned above, the first sessions now online are just intended as a preview, and there will be many more sessions – around 350 – in the schedule in the end.
With Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, the MEDIA CONVENTION Berlin has presented one of its first great speakers from the media industry. The Global Innovation Gathering sub-conference will connect promising entrepreneurs from African and Asian innovation hubs. Sustainable, participatory urban development projects can be discussed within the sub-conference Future City. And of course, net politics remains an important part of the program: Questions of net neutrality, surveillance, and the like continue to engage us. There will also be a continuation of the recent #FASHIONTECH Berlin, with a separate Wearables track, and a strong focus on the intersections of fashion and tech. New this year is the re:cord Music Day, bringing together music professionals and start-ups.
Look forward to all these tracks being introduced individually in the next few weeks!
P.S.: Unicorns will certainly be a part of the program again!