re:publica co-founder and CEO Andreas Gebhard officially opened the first re:publica conference in Thessaloniki on September 11. It was a special honour to be able to welcome the Greek Secretary General for Communication and Media Lefteris Kretsos. German guest speakers at the ceremony were the German Consul General Walter Stechel and Berlin’s Deputy Mayor Klaus Lederer. Follow the links for all the speakers featured at our welcome party in Thessaloniki and a summary of the opening ceremony.
Unfortunately, Mayor Yannis Boutaris was not able to attend the opening ceremony.
Aphrodite Bouikidis, founder of the Ashoka network in Greece and urban development consultant, hosted a walk through the city where attendees were given insights into Thessaloniki’s history and creative development.
The Holocaust memorial is located directly across the street from our venue. Bouikidis explained how the city began a more concerted effort to honour the history and memory of the city’s Jewish population over the last decades. The next stop on the tour, were the historic arcades of Agiou Mina. As an effect of the economic recession, one store after another in the arcades was forced to close. Once a year, the deserted shops are brought to life as part of the STAMP festival for creative and innovative ideas. Artists organise workshops and exhibitions that provide a space for the local creatives and public to come together in the heart of Thessaloniki to discuss and play out ideas concerning a cooperative economy.
Markers, batteries, wire and lots of tape – these are the essential components for a drawbot. Marios Mouratidis and Victoria Wenzelmann will build you some at their GIG & Communitere Mobile Makerspace.
“You don’t want an apocalypse”
Dystopias are easy, designer Mushon Zer-Aviv said. We’re afraid of giving up the status quo, but this means there is far too little change, criticised Zer-Aviv in his “Political tragedy data-driven determinism” session. His plea: Think in utopias, because this is the direction we need to move our global future in! The Israeli-born Zer-Aviv told us about a new movement, #SolarPunk, which began in Brazil. The focus is on the possibilities for a sustainable future society. It is a movement that assesses possibilities and answers through artistic and activist approaches. Zer-Aviv‘s own project “Speculative Tourism” will be presented on 12 September. Here you find more information about it.
And for everyone who can’t make it in person: Click the link for the #rpTHE live stream.
Photo credit: Anna Neifer