5-7th June 2023
Arena Berlin & Festsaal Kreuzberg
What happens if we leave addressing some of our biggest future challenges to the tech industry? By looking at the topic of mobility, author and podcaster Paris Marx explores this fundamental question in his book "Road to Nowhere".
Silicon Valley actors are promising us nothing less than a revolution, but in reality, they are providing us with nothing more than meager changes to the status quo - and are making #CASH in the process. Marx calls for a rethinking of this approach. The key to future-oriented, climate-friendly mobility lies not in technology, but in urban and social planning. It is not tech companies, but social and political systems that are responsible for ensuring that mobility serves the many and not just the few.
In his weekly podcast "Tech Won't Save Us", Paris Marx challenges the tech industry, it´s grand promises and invites us to reconsider and question the narratives we’ve been fed about for decades. In conversation with his guests, he opens up critical and inspiring perspectives on new technologies, worldviews and their impact on society.
We look forward to exciting and controversial discussions at #rp23 - with our keynote speaker Paris Marx.
Let's talk about #CASH. An interview mit Paris Marx.
The motto of re:publica 23 is CASH. What comes to your mind when you think about how techology and money are interrelated?
They’re intimately related. Money shapes the very foundations of the technologies that get deployed into the world, especially as public funding has become even more focused on eventual commercialization. In many cases, if a technology doesn’t have a business case, it’s not going to get the resources to be explored further, let alone be implemented at scale. That has massive implications for the technologies we use, the technologies that get developed, and in some cases even what we consider technology to be.
You are the host of “Tech won’t save us” - What new developments or trends in tech and the tech industry should we pay attention to? Which are maybe overlooked? Why?
After the crypto bubble popped last year, it’s no surprise the industry started looking for its next big thing. It won’t be news that they’re putting a lot of money into AI right now and massively hyping up what it can deliver. But beyond that, I’m also watching what tech companies are doing as they try to further move into healthcare and push technology as the solution to the climate crisis. Those deserve a bit more focus that they’re getting, because they’re very unlikely to solve the real crises we face on both those issues.
You are an expert in many topics. What would you like to discuss with others at #rp23? Are there European trends in tech or politics that you are curious about?
Absolutely. A lot of my work focuses on North America, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in what goes on across the Atlantic. Europe has a stronger regulatory approach to the tech industry that the world is watching for inspiration, but it’s also interesting to see how conversations around the future of transportation, streaming content regulations, and gig workers rights are playing out. I’m looking forward to talking about all that and more.
In keeping with our theme of CASH, what are your current recommendations for reading, podcasts, or videos?
How much space do we have? Relating to my first answer, Malcolm Harris’ history of the emergence of the US tech industry, Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World, is an essential read. I also frequently read the work of Molly White, Ed Zitron, and Brian Merchant’s new column in the Los Angeles Times. For podcasts, Crypto Critics Corner is great for the continued crypto fallout, while Trashfuture and This Machine Kills exist alongside my own show to dig into the dark side of the tech industry. Finally, I’d say to look out for Ben McKenzie and Jacob Silverman’s book chronicling the recent crypto bubble which will be out in July, Easy Money: Cryptocurrency, Casino Capitalism, and the Golden Age of Fraud.