Re:Publica Conference On Internet And Society In Berlin

Loren Treisman | Indigo Trust | May 17, 2013

After almost 2 month’s in West Africa, I flew straight into Berlin for the Re:publica Conference, one of the world’s leading gatherings of techies and social activists, exploring how technology can help improve society across a huge range of themes.  It’s almost impossible to summarise the whole conference, which covered themes as varied as culture, politics, business and innovation, science and research, politics, society and education but I thought I’d take a stab at giving an overview of some of my highlights, with a focus on global innovation.

It was fabulous to see Tech Superstar Erik Hersman take the stage as keynote speaker. Finally the world is waking up to the fact that ‘The West’ has a lot to learn from African innovation.  He reminded us of innovation needing to be disruptive and appropriate to the local context with quotes like ’Innovation kills the status quo’ and ‘Innovation comes from the edges, so it comes as no surprise that innovators are found in the margins. They are the misfits among us.’

He reminded us all that Africa of today is not what most of the world thinks it is and that it’s local people who know how to solve local challenges.  [...]