Let’s Shape Our Networked Future Together: Submit for re:publica 2018

To all future designers, IoT and security experts, smart city planners, Bitcoin fanatics, legal advisors and social media geeks: Give your thoughts a stage and share your vision with like-minded people! Take part in the re:publica 2018 Call for Participation and submit your ideas for FinTech, Smart Cities, GIG, IoT and Blockchain, as well as our LawLab and "social" Social Media. Let’s shape the networked future of our industries and society together. Keep reading for more inspiration!


Register here: https://18.re-publica.com/user/login

Questions? Read up on all the important points and everything else you need to know on the Call for Participation page.


However we imagine our future, we will be living in an even more interconnected and interdependent state. As a matter of fact, it isn’t even possible to think about AI, the machine economy, smart cities, energy production and the future of money without also thinking about migration, demographic trends and climate change. In a truly global world, we need to think about how we can and should shape the transition to the machine economy in our societies, our industries and in ourselves – and do so together. Which visions do we share, which ones differ, and why? And what does “ethics” even mean in different cultural contexts?


FinTech: The Bank In Your Pocket

Our money currently depends on trust in a third party for its value. In light of the many inflationary and hyperinflationary episodes during the 20th century, it is safe to say that this isn’t an ideal concept. The new software system Blockchain challenges classic business models from the ground up. It promises a world in which transactions without banks or cash will be cheaper and safer for users. We’ll highlight and answer the questions surrounding Blockchain – Which legal grey area does this technology occupy? How hard is it to manipulate stored information and people? Are the risks manageable?

In developing countries with many unbanked or underbanked citizens, the tendency to use cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin is rising. Micro-loans and micro-insurances, as well as aid transactions, can also be provided in this way. What place will Blockchain technology assume within society? And what role can cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology play in building social and solidarity finance?

At present, the biggest hurdles for adoption are the lack of awareness and financial skills. We want to discuss the risks and opportunities of cryptocurrencies and see what difference they can make in our globalised world.


Smart Cities: Urban Breakthrough?

How should we think about Smart Cities? The central feature of smart city models is the Internet of Things (IoT). Metaphors like “the age of technopolis” (Sheridan Tatsuno), “global network city” or “intelligent city” (Phil Harris) describe a technologically-driven transformation of urban spaces. Reflecting on the future of cities means searching for technological utopias, such as those found in alternative smart city narratives. Silicon Valley was a pioneering example of a successful future form of industrialisation. What’s next?


Global Innovation Gathering (GIG): A Question of  Power

Besides discussing global political developments, alternative smart city narratives or online hate speech in conflict regions such as South Sudan, the Global Innovation Gathering (GIG) also want to question existing power structures. Currently, Blockchain is widely considered to be as revolutionary as the invention of the internet. It could lead the way to more transparent democratic processes, deeper participation, and the right of codetermination. Applicable in various sectors, we’d like to discuss its role for social good, remittances, developmental cooperation, or in creating equal opportunities between developing and developed countries. Submit your proposal and turn PoP into the Power of People at re:publica 2018.

There are a number of challenges to adopting IoT in developing countries, including bandwidth or data storage facilities. There is the potential power of the global maker movement and Fablabs, which offer innovative solutions for utilising those capabilities that are currently available in resource-constrained countries. Be a source of inspiration and help shape the conversation for a world made “better together” – share local solutions for local problems.


Law Lab: Move Legally in the Netsphere

Unfortunately, publishing on the web can mean stumbling onto thin ice, legally speaking. Patent issues arise with the use of software and hardware which make the digital transmission of content possible. Reproduction and distribution rights need to be considered in terms of “fair use”. Copyright issues and trademark, cease and desist, surreptitious advertising – just some of the keywords and stumbling blocks involved.

Blockchain is having an increasing effect on government finance and currency structures – many states have invested in Blockchain research and development. What’s the current regulatory and legal status quo?

And what about smart contracts, otherwise called self-executing contracts, blockchain or digital contracts? They could possibly reduce conflicts whilst increasing accountability in the future. But would they also help avoiding costs incurred through lawyers and intermediary institutions? And does legal advice become distinctive where smart contracts are effective?

Plus, there are always issues concerning the privacy and security of personal information and strict rules in content provided to children.

Every year, within the framework of our Law Lab at re:publica, we like to give experts a stage to point out legal issues arising in the digital and social media worlds. Submit and turn PoP into Power of Principle!


Is There Anything “social” About Social Media Anymore?

That’s what our »social-Social Media« topic wants to highlight. Sustainability instead of big data, content instead of clickbait. Is there an alternative to the big players of socialness? And if so, what exactly is their big task to really challenge them? It doesn’t matter, if you’re an developer or an daily user of social Media, the question of more awareness connects us already.

Is your new network generating crypto-loans for refugees, or is that new messenger helping protect net neutrality? Is your network decentralising data streams instead of tracing them, rewarding interpersonal understanding and preventing hate speech? If you want to figure out new ways of connecting online, then you’ve come to the right place.

With this topic, we want to show that the social web can be more than a data leech, that it can provide assistance and foster cohesion. Networking for the sake of networking, and not for gathering and trading data.


Found some inspiration? Then take part in our Call for Participation! More details over here. Our Session Guidelines and our newly revised FAQs can be found here: https://18.re-publica.com/en/faq