Public speaking at re:publica

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Uri Aviv is a science fiction evangelist, and the founder and director of Utopia, a film festival dedicated to science fiction and fantastic film.

The ROI Micro Grant allowed me a visit this May to Berlin Web Week and not one, but two speaking engagements - my first time as a listed speaker in an overseas international digital conference.

re:publica and Media Convention Berlin are two of the main events held during Berlin Web Week. Both are taking place at the same compound - Station Berlin - for the first time, complementing each other. Media Convention is the “serious” professional conference on media innovation, while re:publica is a much younger, open, fresh and innovative conference on digital society. Media Convention Berlin is for the professionals in suits; re:publica is for the professionals in t-shirts. The combination of the audiences of both, close to 6,000 media professionals and digital hipsters, and the entire ecosystem created via their combined structure, made for one envious festival director from Tel Aviv.

I was invited to speak at both events, and learnt that my specific field of interest and expertise, the relationship between science and science fiction, is not yet covered and is highly interesting to many.

At Media Convention I gave a sci-fi intro talk to “FUTURE FORMATS AND FUTURE INTERFACES,” and spoke about the mutual inspiration between science fiction and design, as well as about the entertainment and information dystopias presented in the science fiction classics (1984, A Brave New World) and how they manifest themselves in current day information and entertainment industries.

At re:publica I spoke more directly and at length about the mutually inspirational relationship of science and science fiction.

The talks were well received I’m happy to say, and they have already matured into several more possibilities for collaborations and speaking engagements.

As important as the relationship is with re:publica itself, hopefully there would be a much more substantial Israeli presence next year (other than myself and fellow ROIer Omri Marcus), and maybe even a Utopia content track.

re:publica is one of the major digital society, culture, media and art events in Europe, and I’m happy at the opportunity to visit, speak and most importantly, interact, connect and network in this field.

I should also mention that this opportunity arose following my visit to the Munich DLD conference in January, also supported by an ROI Micro Grant. A chance meeting at DLD with a programmer for two digital conferences in Berlin, and her enthusiasm with my fields of expertise, made for the invites extended a few short weeks thereafter.

The ROI grant leaves to its motto - enabling me to connect and create. I would not have been able to do any of this without these small but crucial doses of energy and motivation.