In 2015, the re:publica ran under the motto of “Finding Europe”, addressing the situation and experiences of refugees in Germany and Europe throughout the entire conference. Even though 2016’s focus was on our tenth anniversary, the subject remains just as current, relevant and, accordingly, all the more urgent. That is why this year we were presenting our re:fugees track supported by Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, which offered refugees and helpers a stage from which to present and discuss their experiences, ideas and innovations. Within this context, we have put out a call for a tandem project with helpers, where refugees, together with partners, could support and explore the re:publica. Track topics focussed on the digitalisation of refugee migration and help, youth media projects and the media coverage surrounding human rights and refugees.

Photo Credit: Metropolico.org(CC BY-SA 2.0)

  • New at re:publica TEN and already very successful: the re:fugee track. Check out what happened in our focus on migration and integration.

  • What role does a smartphone play for refugees on their long journey to a foreign country? Noor Nazrobi surveyed Afghan refugees on their smartphone usage. In his Day 2 “re:fugees” track talk on smartphones as life savers for refugees, he presented ideas on how to improve the lives of refugees.

  • In the "Demands on Politics and Policy-Makers" podium discussion, refugees Firas Alshater and Fatuma Musa called for more housing and quicker asylum procedures in Germany. They directed these demands at Florian Pronold (SPD), who participated in the talk as representative of the German government.

  • Climate change, mining or land theft: Increasingly, more and more people's living spaces are either massively under threat or have already disappeared. But there are no rights for them to appeal to, nor are there laws which protect them. Sociologist Saskia Sassen gives them a voice on Stage 1.

  • YouTube comedian Firas Alshater, aka "Zukar", explains to Germans what it's like to be a refugee in Germany. Refugees find out from him what makes Germans tick. He made clear why the reactions to his clips give him hope for a happy and peaceful coexistence between Germans and their newly arrived neighbours in the "re:fugees" sub-conference.

  • Workshops and Meetups for the exchange between refugees/newcomers and experts from in digital publishing, marketing, public policy, internet activism and newcommer engagement.
  • How can refugees in Germany be assisted to help them master their everyday life and stay up-to-date with news from their area and their home countries? The re:fugees@ARD session in the themed track "re:fugees" presented what's on offer.

  • "re:fugees" –  With the re:fugees sub-conference this year, held together with the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb), we will discuss aspects of migration and integration, and aim to provide a stage specifically for refugees and their supporters.

  • re:health
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    Refugee First Response Center (RFRC). A standard shipping container transformed into a telemedicine facility. Six weeks from idea to execution to live implementation. Almost 4.000 translations since November 2nd 2015. What has come about through a spontaneous idea to “hack” a container and through our collaboration in the local community with both the department of public health and Universitätsklinik Hamburg-Eppendorf, underlines the primary purpose of “smart health”: to help people.

    The RFRC unit can be transported anywhere, providing medical professionals with the tools and space they need to conduct proper medical exams at refugee camps. Using video translation services, medical professionals click one button and are connected with more than 750 specialized interpreters in more than 50 languages. This engagement has helped thousands receive medical attention, and already inspired a philanthropic donation of $1 million to build 10 more RFRC units.  
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    Was mögen Deutsche an Deutschland?
    Was mögen Flüchtlinge an Deutschland?
    Was wünschen Flüchtlinge am meisten?

    Firas Alshater ist Flüchtling in Deutschland, hat dort seit kurzem als Youtuber großen Erfolg.
    Und im Gepäck hat er zwei Videos und drei Antworten zu den Fragen hier oben.
    Und eine gute Portion Humor, trotz dem ernsten Thema!
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    The engagement of the civil socitey for refugees since last year has been enormous and still keeps a lot of people busy. Especially in Berlin a lot of digital projects were started, but which tools are really being used? What is the right balance between online and offline support, one on one and mass communication and information?
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    Wenn Geflüchtete nach Deutschland kommen gibt es eine Vielzahl an Forderungen und Wünschen, wie Geflüchtete sich verhalten sollen, wo sie nicht in Erscheinung treten sollen und wie mit sie mit ihrer neuen Lebenssituation umzugehen haben. Was sind aber die Eindrücke, Wünsche, und Forderungen der Geflüchteten selbst? Was wünschen sie sich von der deutschen Politik und Bevölkerung?