What are European Alternatives to Google and Facebook?, International conference, Berlin


Digital Backyards | International Conference
October 18th-20th at Kunstquartier Bethanien | Berlin
Organizer: Berliner Gazette, http://berlinergazette.de/

Are there any alternatives to an increasingly centralized internet landscape as cultivated by Google and Facebook? It is hard to imagine, but there are. The resources for such alternatives lie dormant in Europe’s diversity itself: tinker garages, corporate hotbeds, grassroots hubs, institutional labs, hacker bedrooms, editorial outposts etc. In those digital backyards innovators have been silently pursuing their work. Now they come together from all over Europe to explore synergies and common interests.

The conference is partitioned into a semi-open „Networking Lounge“ and „Public Talks“ that are accessible to a broad audience.

Networking Lounge | October 18th + 19th | with registration

The barcamp-style „Networking Lounge“ takes place on October 18th and 19th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Journalists, activists, bloggers, researchers, entrepreneurs, cultural workers and programmers define their own issues and questions. An online collaborative platform will facilitate this process. The link to it will be available here within the next days.

Public Talks | October 20th
| free admission

On October 20th a curated program of „Public Talks“ (9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.) sheds light on best practice cases of alternative network cultures: multilingual aggregator platforms, mesh networks and other seminal forms of decentralized networking. What is their potential for reforms in the sphere of digital publishing and the public sphere in general? This is one of the major issues of the lectures and panels.

The mission of the conference initiator

How can the internet be used to foster a thinking „outside of the box“? How can it bring people together across boundaries? Those questions lead Berliner Gazette to analyze groundbreaking features of the Internet and to test them in practice. Against this backdrop the nonprofit and nonpartisan association of journalists, researchers, artists and programmers weaves its social networks – offline and online, locally and globally.

In 1999 we began to publish berlinergazette.de in German under a Creative Commons-License – with more than 700 contributors from all over the world. For thrirteen years now we also organize conferences, seminars, workshops, edit books, etc. „Digital Backyards“ is a kick off event for a series of meetings. Ideas will be honed and tested for application.

This conference is part of the initiative Aesthetic Education Expanded: a project curated by berlinergazette.de, Kuda.org, Kontrapunkt, Multimedia Institute and Mute - funded with support by the European Commission.