These are the 10 highlights

Alexander Gerst

The ESA astronaut will be at the Republica this year.

(Photo: NASA / dpa)

BerlinThe Republica 2019 is under the motto "tl; dr", the Internet abbreviation for "Too long: did not read".

The organizers explain the motto as follows: "We dedicate the re: publica 19 to the fine print. The footnotes. The power of research, knowledge and controversy.

The need and urgency to critically question the issues that polarize, divide us – or even unite. "Bloggers, politicians, scientists, entrepreneurs, artists and activists meet at Europe's largest digital conference.

Last year, more than 19,500 participants from 80 countries gathered at the three conference days in Berlin to discuss current issues of the digital society. These are the main highlights this year.

So much politics was never

The Republica will be opened this year for the first time by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. In addition, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, Labor Minister Hubertus Heil, Environment Minister Svenja Schulze and Family Minister Franziska Giffey will be there.

Since German politics is not known to be a pioneer in terms of digitization, Taiwanese Digital Minister Audrey Tang will be hooked up – live and via Augmented Reality, ie by computer-assisted virtual expansion of the real environment. The former hacker will talk about her vision of a society where innovation is not only possible, but fun too.

  • What? Speech by the Federal President
  • When? May 6 (Monday) 11:15 to 11:35
  • Where? Stage 1

  • What? Digital Social Innovation with Audrey Tang
  • When? May 8 (Wednesday) 11:15 to 12:15
  • Where? Stage 1

Technology of yesterday, today and the day after tomorrow

For the first time, the neighboring German Museum of Technology opens its rooms for the digital debate. On Monday, it's about technology and sustainability using the example of the fashion industry. On Tuesday, so-called urban space experts talk about living together and mobility in the future.

Wednesday, on the other hand, is about how the museums themselves approach the digital transfer of knowledge. In the park of the museum stands Berlin's last windmill, replete with technical history. In addition, you can drive here with the e-scooters from the incubator of Daimler AG. The future of technology can be admired in the form of the Volocopter, the electrically powered flight taxis.

  • What? Flight taxis – today already a reality!
  • When? May 6 (Monday) 16:15 to 17:15
  • Where? Lab 1886 Truck

How to stop climate change

Sustainability, climate change and the question of what digitization has to do with it are one of the main themes of the Republica. Among other things, Minister of the Environment Svenja Schulze will discuss with Markus Beckedahl, the editor-in-chief of, how increasing data volumes are accelerating global warming and what politics wants to do about it – also with the help of digital solutions.

One should also hear the speech of Johan Rockström. He is Director of the Institute for Climate Impact Research at the University of Potsdam and one of the most cited researchers worldwide. Rockström has co-developed the concept of the planet's load limits. At the Republica he wants to record six paths that people must take if they want to achieve the United Nations sustainability goals and the Paris climate agreement.

  • What? A stable planet for a good human life on earth
  • When? Wednesday (8 May 16:15 to 17:15)
  • Where? Stage 1
  • What? The new DNA: digitization, sustainability and action
  • When? Tuesday (7.May 16:15 to 17:15)
  • Where? Stage 4

About the cyber war

Digital defense lines will be discussed by Hans-Wilhelm Dünn, President of the Cyber ​​Security Council, Julia Schütze of the New Responsibility Foundation and Marcel Yan of the Bundeswehr Innovation Hub. You ask yourself: what is being done to protect the media, infrastructure and citizens?

"Internet users have become a source of collateral damage in the conflicts between states and corporations," says Frank Rieger, spokesman for the Chaos Computer Club. In his lecture he is also concerned with the "discrediting of legitimate civil society protest", for example against the current climate policy or article 13 within the new copyright reform.

  • What? Cyberwar, hybrid warfare, disinformation – clashes between power blocks in the digital space
  • When? Tuesday (7.May) 18:30
  • Where? Stage 1
  • What? Digital defense lines. How propaganda and fake news shape security policy on the Net.
  • When? Wednesday (8th of May) 10:00 to 11:00
  • Where? Stage 7

Dystopia or myth

A social points system "good" citizens are rewarded and trusted, and "bad" citizens punished, sometimes deprived of fundamental freedoms and even denounced: What sounds like substance for a consequence of the science fiction series "Black Mirror" is in China probably reality by 2020 nationwide.

For this, as much data as possible should be collected and evaluated. But are fears of the points system exaggerated, are there any advantages for the citizens? At the Republica, scientists and journalists in a panel want to clarify the biggest myths about the system. And who wants to know what it actually looks like in Europe, can still look at the presentation Kristina Penner and Matthias Spielkamp AlgorithmWatch.

  • What? Beyond Black Mirror – China's Social Credit System
  • When? Monday (6th May), 1.45 to 2.45 pm
  • Where? Stage 5
  • What? Citizen Scoring in the EU – it happens at home, not only in China!
  • When? Tuesday (7.May) 15:30 to 16:00
  • Where? Stage 5

Big tech in the check

At the Media Convention, which takes place parallel to the Republica on the festival grounds, representatives of the major platforms will face the discussion with regulators and critics. Bundeskartellamt President Andreas Mundt provides information about the Facebook procedure. With Dennis Kaben from Google Germany, Justus Haucap from the Institute for Competition Economics and Katharina de la Durantaye (European University Viadrina), he discusses monopolies and the competition for user data.

So much for the economy. Simon Hegelich of the Technical University of Munich, who watched election campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and Co., is concerned about democracy. He will discuss with Semyon Rens of Facebook Germany, Tabea Wilke of Botswatch Technologies, and Anja Zimmer, Director of Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg, on political advertising in social networks and the challenges for regulation. On Tuesday, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager will give a keynote speech.

  • What? Big tech in the check. Competition for data and equal opportunities in the network.
  • When? Monday (6th May) 17:30 to 18:30
  • Where? Stage 7

  • What? Media, manipulation and microtargeting. How social media dominates the election campaign with political advertising.
  • When? Monday (6th May) 16:15 to 17:15
  • Where? Stage 7

New work, new challenges

Due to the digitization of work, more and more employees are feeling differently. The implications of this – in the workplace and in society – are discussed by scientists and activists in Hall 2 at the Republica. There, the Denkfabrik Digitale Arbeitsgesellschaft of the Federal Ministry of Labor deals with the topic of power and cooperation in the digital (labor) society.

  • What? Without power and self-empowerment
  • When? Monday (6th May), 3:15 pm to 4:30 pm
  • Where? think tank

New methods of application

At the Republica this year visitors can come to a new job in an unconventional way. In speed meetings and corporate presentations, they can get to know potential employers and apply directly. There are also mailboxes and booths for recording application videos.

  • What? Networking of employers and applicants (re: cruiting @ re: publica19)
  • When? Monday to Wednesday
  • Where? right: cruiting area right at the entrance of the station Berlin

relaxation options

If you need some rest at the Republica between discussions, lectures and workshops, this year you can go to a new location for the first time: the "B-Part Am Gleisdreieck". There are also meditation and yoga sessions offered – for example, yoga for entrepreneurs.

  • What? Yoga for Entrepreneurs with Zoe
  • When? Tuesday (7th of May), 3 to 4 pm
  • Where? B-Part Am Gleisdreieck, re: connection Space

Space travel on stage

As "Astro-Alex" social media users know and appreciate the German astronaut of the European Stage Agency (ESA), Alexander Gerst. Almost 1.3 million followers, he thrills alone on Twitter with his images from space. In December 2018, the German ended his second mission on the International Space Station ISS with a video in which he apologized to the next generation for the condition of the earth.

Alexander Gerst will talk about space programs in the future and what our society has to offer on Stage 1 of the Republica with Jan Wörner, the General Manager of the Space Agency ESA. Presumably this will interest many visitors – so the discussion will also be broadcast live in the Museum Park (Open Air Stage).

  • What? Space travel and society – where is the journey going?
  • When? Wednesday (8 May), 17:30 to 18:30
  • Where? Stage 1 and live stream on the Open Air Stage (Museum Park)

Berlin (t) Digital (t) Internet (t) Facebook (t) ESA (t) Twitter (t) Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin (t) Google Germany GmbH (t) Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg MABB (t) t) Bundeswehr (t) re: publica (t) Foundation New Responsibility (t) Daimler (t) E-volo (t) University of Frankfurt / Oder (t) CCC (t) University of Potsdam (t) Svenja Schulze (t) Johan Rockström (t) Alexander Gerst


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