Q Berlin Questions 2018: Visionaries, researchers and politicians from all over the world met in Berlin to talk about the future

  • Around 500 guests from 45 countries came to the E-Werk in Berlin
  • They talked about fairness, the relationship between progress and ethics, respect in cyberspace and cultural identity
  • Q Berlin Questions ends today with excursions to the city

Berlin, 21 November 2018  A positive future will require individual freedom, global cooperation, room for new ideas, lifelong curiosity and courage. That was the conclusion of the second edition of Q Berlin Questions, which ended today in Germany’s capital city. Yesterday at the E-Werk, more than 500 guests from Germany and abroad discussed the key issues of our times with thirteen speakers from the worlds of business, politics and civil society.

“We created Q Berlin Questions as a dialogue platform to provide orientation in a complex world,” says  Burkhard Kieker, managing director of visitBerlin. “The many young and international guests at the E-Werk, who talked openly and intensively about subjects such as technology, the political influence of social media or the promises of salvation in gene technology, showed that there is enormous interest in these topics. And that Berlin is the just right place for it.”

How little we can take freedom for granted became all too clear at the beginning of the conference: Joshua Wong, the student leader from Hong Kong who had been scheduled as a speaker, was not allowed to leave his country and could only address the guests by video message. He stressed the importance of fundamental democratic rights. Nighat Dad, director of the Digital Rights Foundation Pakistan,told how verbal attacks on the Internet lead to assaults on women in real life. She proposes new social media guidelines that are not defined solely by the major Internet companies. Styli Charalambous, co-founder and publisher of the independent South African news platform Daily Maverick, spoke out for free and challenging journalism. Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, criticised the move towards the nation state that is currently evident in many countries as a regressive step after four decades of positive development. The questions of the future can, he said, only be solved by cooperation and a collective global effort.

Participants from more than 40 countries visit Berlin

Young people in particular made use of Q Berlin Questions as a discussion platform. Three quarters of the 500 or so guests were under 40. Around a third of them came to Berlin from abroad, representing a total of 45 countries. As well as Germany and elsewhere in Europe, participants came from the United States, Mexico, New Zealand, China and Taiwan.  Q Berlin Questions was held for the second time this year. The conference is an event that is held on behalf of the city of Berlin.

Excursions to the city’s neighbourhoods                             

With guided excursions to civic projects in Berlin, Q Berlin Questions  ends today at noon. Visits will be made to institutions and projects that deal with matters connected to the topics of the conference; for example Connect Women, a project by Terre de Femmes to support female refugees after they arrive in Berlin.

Photo material is available here. For more impressions and quotes go to Twitter at #qBerlin.

For information on the conference go to www.q.berlin.

Q  was curated and organised by the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office and red onion GmbH in cooperation with around 40 of the city’s partners, including Deutsche Bahn AG, TOA, Factory, Impact HUB, Land der Idee, ESMT and many more.

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