Berlin questions 2021 – Metropolis: The new now

  • City of Berlin to host international conference from 11 to 14 August 2021
Berlin Questions 2021 Logo ©  visitBerlin

Berlin, 2 June 2021

What is the future of the metropolis after the Covid-19 pandemic, or have cities become obsolete? Can we learn from the experiences of the past year to re-think life in the city? And what are the first steps towards re-starting our urban centres? From 11 to 14 August, the fourth edition of Berlin questions will address these and many more questions, turning the city once again into a stage for global debate on the most pressing issues of our time. International figures from politics, science, art and activism will meet in iconic locations across the city for disruptive and agenda-setting keynotes, panel talks and discussions. Confirmed speakers include New York High Line architect Elizabeth Diller, Mayor of Dakar Soham El Wardini and co-founder of Turntoo Sabine Oberhuber.

This year’s edition of the conference is titled Metropolis: The New Now and will focus on local solutions to global problems, starting with the Covid-19 pandemic, to cast a hopeful look into a brighter future. On 11 August, mayors from all over the world will discuss their experiences of the pandemic and their vision for life in the metropolis going forward with activists, scientists and other trailblazing speakers. From 12 to 14 August, speakers will then dive deeper into several topics, including Civil Responsibility and Quarantine Economies among many others, in locations around the city that were chosen for their relevance to the topics discussed. This year’s conference is hosted by Governing Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller:

“As though it were a magnifying glass, the pandemic is bringing not only ordinary challenges into sharp focus, but society’s big questions as well. That’s because the pandemic struck in the midst of what were already sweeping changes – digital transformation, urbanization, and climate change – and their corollary impact on social justice, democracy, and freedom. These are all issues that still have special urgency in these pandemic times.”

Berlin Questions 2019 - Nadia Murad im Gespräch ©  visitBerlin, Foto: Kevin McElvaney
Berlin Questions 2019 - Nadia Murad im Gespräch

The conference will take place in Berlin, a city whose history gives special significance to democratic debate. Participants will meet at a different iconic location each day, from landmarks of grassroots activism like Haus der Statistik, to venues regularly hosting global changemakers like E-WERK, to unique architectural complexes such as San Gimignano Lichtenberg and Floating University. The challenges currently facing the world must be debated on a global level, so for the very first time, Berlin questions is taking place in a hybrid format, allowing participants to follow the debates online, regardless of pandemic regulations. All content on the 3D platform, The Virtual Now, will also be available on demand after the conference.

Speakers at past conferences include disruptive thinkers, such as Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Nadia Murad and Muhammad Yunus, agenda-setting politicians like Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico, Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Rem Koolhaas and multimedia artist Cao Fei. This year’s speaker line-up will be announced shortly. In the meantime, follow Berlin questions on:

Instagram: @berlin.questions

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Berlin questions 2021 is initiated by the City of Berlin, hosted by Governing Mayor Michael Müller and curated and organized by visitBerlin.

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