The first edition of re:publica took place on April 11–13, 2007. It was a cozy meeting of bloggers that attracted about 700 participants. Over the years, the event has grown to become one of the largest tech conferences in Europe. The 2016 edition drew 8,000 participants from 60 countries. The name of the festival stems from the Latin phrase “res publica” which loosely means “public affair”.
re:publica is a three-day event that features keynote speeches, talks, lectures, discussions and workshops dedicated to various topics ranging from media and culture over technology and politics to entertainment. All talks and discussions are streamed online for everyone to watch. The 2016 conference featured 770 speakers, 46% were female which is a very high number for a tech conference.
re:publica brings together IT specialists, activists, scientists, entrepreneurs, NGOs, journalists, bloggers, social media and marketing specialists, hackers from across the globe. Such a wide range of participants helps to foster bonds between online marketing, net politics, digital society, network technology, and popular culture. Representatives of digital culture come to Berlin (and since 2016 also to Dublin) to share their knowledge and experience, as well as to discuss the future of the information society.
Previous speakers that have participated in re:publica include Jeff Jarvis (BuzzMachine), Neelie Kroes (European Commission), Daniel Domscheit-Berg (WikiLeaks and OpenLeaks), Saskia Sassen (Columbia University), Cory Doctorow (BoingBoing), Jim Wales (Wikipedia), Sarah Harrison (Wikileaks), Lawrence Lessig (Creative Commons), Mitchell Baker (Mozilla Foundation), Erik Gersman (iHub), and others.
re:publica is one of the biggest events of its kind, its scale is really impressive. As we’ve already mentioned, the anniversary edition re:publica TEN (2016) gathered over 8,000 participants, 800 journalists and 770 speakers from more than 60 countries. 46% speakers and 49% attendees were female. 500 hours of program took place on 17 stages.
The immense success of the anniversary conference strengthened the determination of the organizers to hold the Dublin edition in the fall. After Dublin lost the Web Summit conference that moved to Lisbon in 2016, there’s a void here that can be filled by re:publica Dublin.
Photo: re:publica/Jan Zappner CC BY 2.0