Politics and society, in all their many facets, have rarely been as of crucial topics as they are now and re:publica 2017 will be looking at this thematic closer than ever.

While civic tech is a natural thematic overlap for us, we will also be examining the interplay of technology and society on the day-to-day basis. Some of the success stories include increased awareness and defence of digital civil rights and the ongoing support from our and many other communities for refugees.

However, with algorithms, a post-factual age where examination and evaluation are near impossible, filter bubbles, and the apparent inability to create dialogue we can't ignore that some of these causes stem from this interplay of tech and society.

The question, of how we interact (digitally) with each other, remains: does the platform society influence the way we spread and shape our own opinions?

Legitimised, yet still scandalous, mass surveillance, targeted selection of data, digital policy, and social media shutdowns as means of control prior to elections will all be discussed in 2017.

How are the international movements for digital democracy and open data developing? What social and legislative processes should be initiated to shadow ever accelerating automation? Where humans reasoning fails, can the “incorruptible” blockchain deliver on its promise of outsourcing essential processes?

We want to create a space where we can dissect and analyse – and develop approaches to mitigate problematic developments. Despite all set-backs there is still room for success stories!

Photo credit: re:publica — Headphones (CC BY 2.0)

  • Stories of Protest: Identity and Networks Across Europe and Beyond

    Politics & Society
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    A filmmaker and a researcher team up to talk about storytelling, protest and digital identity across Europe and beyond it, drawing on their personal and professional experiences. They look at how sharing personal stories can help people connect across borders and embrace the commonalities and differences in their expressions of dissent, and how digital networks can help or hinder this diffusion of ideas and tactics.
  • Rethinking Digital Hate

    Politics & Society
    I am looking to debate the notion of digital hate. How is digital hate defined, how and why it circulates, how big a problem it is, what is done to counter it. How can we counter hate not from a legal but from a sociological and cultural point of view? Can hate ever be totally eradicated? Can we purge emotions from social media platforms? If love and solidarity exist then hate too must exist - but if this is the case then are we fighting a losing battle? My talk will go over these dilemmas and will propose a new conceptualisation which focuses not (solely) on eradicating hate from social media but on rethinking its social and political functionality and then address it as such.
  • Regulating The Power of Hate Speech

    Politics & Society
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    How does Facebook's Newsfeed connect with the rise of online hate speech? Why is EU taking on the wrong lead in regulating this phenomenon? I will argue that the usability of hate speech is of political and economic nature. As long as this fact will not be acknowledged and addressed, hate speech will continue to grow, take new forms and be the false reason for developing internet censorship tools. A new approach to regulation is needed.
  • Taxation, a European Issue

    Politics & Society
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    Taxation is normally a boring issue. But as they say "Hey it's the economy stupid!" and you pay for it.
    Based on the #rp17 talk in Berlin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCNjCD7R75E we will update of the talk and provide an further overview why that matter is crucial for Europe. From Berlin, to Dublin to Thessaloniki. What combines this 3 locations with taxation?
    We will a provide a quick overview of the international taxation system.
    Explaining what a Double Irish Sandwich is. How come international corporations like Google only pay 2.4% taxes. And how your favorite tech companies (Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, ... ) evaded billions in taxes. This tax-dodging costs the European Union more than $50 billion. Annually. We bring this numbers into perspective.
  • Digital Citizen Ireland

    Politics & Society
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    As our lives becomes increasingly mediated by technology, issues of data protection, privacy and surveillance are becoming ever more relevant to the general public.
    Digital Citizen Ireland (digitalcitizen.ie) is a recently launched website and community which began life as a student project with the Digital Skills Academy in Dublin, Ireland. The site aims to promote an awareness of Digital Citizenship and Digital Access to a global audience.
  • Ultimate Platform Power: a situation in need of change

    Politics & Society
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    For years now, platforms have become more and more dominant in the value chains of retailers, e-commerce and other digital industry.
    First started as enablers for small business to reach a worldwide audience, the relationship between platforms and business partners is no longer on eye level.

    A relationship in need of change.