Europe – the Old World. And yet, it’s all digital. With this year’s re:publica motto, Finding Europe, we will take a closer look at net politics in Europe, we will explore its diverse digital communities, and most of all, try to pinpoint them geographically. It’s short-sighted to deal only with the civil society of the 28 European Union member states. Instead, we see Europe as a digital culture space that extends way beyond the boundaries of the continent. This digital space expands thus far that we have now included 50 countries altogether. So it is not just the Euro zone (24 countries) or the Schengen zone (26 countries), the NATO (28 countries) or the Council of Europe (47 countries) – specifically, we have picked a greater Europe of our own with 50 countries.
After all, finding Europe means learning more about you, in all these European countries. Join in! That’s why we will be opening the discussion with you on Twitter in the coming weeks, under the hashtag #FindingEurope #rp15. Because you are what brings this conference to life. We are looking for all those places all over Europe where the digital society is already happening, places in 50 countries where the many different facets of European digital society come together: Co-working spaces, maker labs, hackerspaces, innovation hubs, or any other (physical) place or interface where digital communities come together and share knowledge. Do you know a makerspace in Andorra? Where do digital activists meet in Montenegro? You are the ones who are connected and know your way around, and we’re relying on you as well, because we want to ask all these spaces in Europe to come to #rp15.
At the conference we will serve up a variety of dishes from the rich European cuisine, and let you get a taste of the specialties our neighbours have to offer – in a figurative as well as literal sense. In a way re:publica is extending in Europe as it does with its sub-conference Global Innovation Gathering (GIG) already. A poster child for networking in the global maker community, GIG is again held at #rp15 to bring together exciting projects, spaces, hubs and other from Africa, Asia, the MENA region and Latin America.
Finding Europe = Involving Europe
Support us – in the next few weeks we will be asking around on Twitter, how you locate yourselves in Digital Europe. How do you perceive the digital society in your country, for example? Of course, we’re not just interested in opinions from Germany. Most of all, we want to know about the particularities of the situation in every one of the many countries of Europe. You’ve travelled, you have friends elsewhere, and you’ve come to know many other digital communities? Surprise us with your answers, we are looking forward to hearing them – and the best Twitter replies will be awarded with a free ticket to the conference!
From now on, you can hear more at @re:publica under the hashtag #FindingEurope #rp15. Do you have other exciting ideas or suggestions, or want to be a partner for our actions? Write to Alena: alena (at) re-publica.de. We’re looking forward!
Update: Find our list of digital spaces over here.
photo credit: Mindaugas Danys "Coworking at Hub Vilnius"