26.01.2023 - With which topics do you make it on stage of #rp23 & how does a convincing submission look like? A guest contribution of Markus Beckedahl
Markus Beckedahl
Photo Credit
re:publica/Jan Zappner

Our Call for Participation for re:publica 23 is still open until 14 February. A crucial part of our programme is curated from the CfP submissions. We are supported by dozens of people in our track teams, who bring expertise for individual focus topics and help us to bring the most versatile and diverse programme possible to our stages.

Submissions that are easy to understand are highly appreciated. Becaus nothing is more frustrating for both sides than to write long texts that we read and in the end don't get what exactly is meant. Shorter is therefore always better. Two concise paragraphs are better than two pages. Also keep it mindl: If we decide to accept your submission, you can always change and improve your text afterwards.

We often prefer exciting presentations and talks over panel discussions with many guests. And we like to have fun, not everything has to be serious. You know us (hopefully). We do not like self-congratulations about your start-ups and business models.

re:publica is a festival for the digital society. This means that we mainly bring topics about the many-sided aspects of digitalisation and its effects onto our stage. And prioritise them in the Call for Participation. Many things now have a digital component, but above all, the exception to the rule applies: re:publica has always been colourful enough to offer a stage for other relevant topics as well. Sustainability is one of them, or our motto #Cash! An overview of this year’s theme tracks can be found here

Below we put together a few suggestions for topics that we find exciting. The list is intended primarily as a guide and may inspire you. Of course, it is not complete, so as always: Surprise us!

  • “Artificial intelligence" is the new "Web 2.0". We have always discussed the impact of AI systems, but currently there are new exciting developments coming up. We are interested in the field of AI-generated content between ChatGPT, Dall-E and StableFusion, its social impact and how culture, art, education or politics can make use of it; as well as the debate about deepfakes. Is there any algorithm transparency at all or are we mainly talking about “transparency theatre”? What are your experiences and best practices? And what about the current debates around the AI Act, the Data Act, the data strategy and Gaia-X?
  • Elon Musk bought Twitter and seems motivated to destroy the favourite toy of many of us. But this also opens space for the much-needed debate about alternatives like Mastodon and the Fediverse. What are new approaches to user-centred content moderation, how can these infrastructures be promoted, what experience do you have with running instances? You know your way around the Fediverse, beyond Mastodon, and you can explain it to interested newcomers without losing them in tech-talk?
  • Speaking of Communities! What exciting new examples of the power of communities are out there? What problems can arise and why, and what solutions can be found?
  • What are the current and future relevant legislative debates on network policy at federal and EU level?
  • Which new debate about Metaversum is taking place right now? What are the technological, economic and social impacts and developments? Are current rules sufficient, what should be reviewed and why?
  • New rules, old enforcement? What can we expect from the enforcement of the DSA and DMA? Where is still room for improvement?
  • When will we finally see the many wearables and XR systems that have been promised to us for a long time? Will we also want to use them?
  • What's exciting about citizen and platform councils and other new supervisory bodies?
  • What are new inspiring rolemodels for civic engagement?
  • How can digital volunteering be promoted, or why not?
  • What new experiences have you gathered in the field of digital education that are worth sharing with us?
  • Do you work with robots and want to share your experiences with us? 
  • You are a content creator or journalist? What experiences have you had with platforms to finance your work and develop business models? How dependent are you on the platforms, what could be strategies for platform independence? Influencer economy in general - how does it work on the several platforms, why and who does it and why?
  • What are the new working conditions between home office, gig work and total surveillance? All back to 2019?
  • Speaking of 2019, digitalisation was supposed to be accelerated by the pandemic. What is left in the endemic now because it is supposedly no longer needed?
  • Who wants to talk about the memification of financial markets and how they can be manipulated?
  • Of course, cryptoculture is also connected to this. What's exciting, what's useful, what's just scam? What is relevant crypto-criticism
  • Where do NFT business models work and have hopes been fulfilled so far?
  • How can we use our old devices longer, what about the right to repair
  • Who is working on digital currency systems in a historical context? Why do we only have systems that monitor us completely?
  • There are many exciting e-commerce questions to discuss: how do markets and platforms work, which regulation is needed? (But please don't pitch your shops and start-ups, we usually find that boring.) In general, there are many exciting aspects of the platform economy!
  • Which are the most innovative developments in the cultural sector? Are there any projects that successfully tried out during the pandemic? What didn't work out so well & why, but was an exciting experiment?
  • Which exciting data projects have you implemented, be it visualisation or innovative processing in the public good?

As said before - this is just a small sample of possibilities and topics to enrich our programme. We are very excited about your idea!