Q BERLIN 2022 – Berlin’s official metropolitan conference on 15 & 16 September at the ICC Berlin

PK zur Q BERLIN ©  visitBerlin, Foto: Dirk Mathesius
PK zur Q Berlin mit Franzsika Giffey und Burkhard Kieker

Berlin, 5 September 2022 “The New Unknown – Navigating Zeitenwende” never before have we been confronted with as many urgent, complex questions as we face today. What are the consequences of the war in Ukraine for the world order? How can we structure societies and democracies to be more sustainable and resilient? What role can cities like Berlin play in overcoming current global crises?

Mayors of international cities and speakers from politics, economics and science will discuss these questions during Q BERLIN on 15 and 16 September at the International Congress Centrum (ICC) Berlin. The conference will be hosted by Franziska Giffey, Governing Mayor of Berlin.

Franziska Giffey, Governing Mayor of Berlin: "We are in a time of simultaneous crises, all of which also have a direct impact on our city. Our international conference, Q BERLIN, deals with questions that we have to ask, but also with possible answers that we have to find in this new situation. That is why its motto is "The New Unknown - Navigating Zeitenwende". For me, this means responding with local solutions to global problems. I look forward to discussing this with guests from all over the world at Q BERLIN."


Q Berlin Questions ©  visitBerlin, Foto: Sebastian Gabsch

Burkhard Kieker, Q BERLIN Director and CEO of visitBerlin: "Q BERLIN is Berlin's metropolitan conference. The German capital thus has an international conference at which the important issues of the day are discussed. It intends to strengthen our city's position internationally as a place of tolerance and open discourse."

The theme of this year's edition is divided into three main topics:

  • Transformation & Resilience – On Crises as Change Agents On the question of how crises can serve as a wake-up call and the resulting impulses for our future
  • Global Cohesion & Solidarity – On Food, Shelter & Economies On globalization and its challenges, especially the role of cities in overcoming crises.
  • Democracies in Danger – On Free Speech, Propaganda & Fake News On current developments in the media landscape and in our society


Q BERLIN is the first conference to be held at the decommissioned conference centre in a decade. The ICC is a special venue to Berlin, an architectural icon and a statement of an idea for the future of the city and society.


  • Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris – on global crises and the challenges and opportunities for cities
  • Rem Koolhaas, architect and founder of OMA – on growing concerns of European self-isolation and the role of data centres within urban infrastructure
  • Marietta Slomka, journalist and television anchor for ZDF heute Journal – on fake news and propaganda
  • Rem Koolhaas, Architekt, Autor und Gründer der OMA – über seine wachsende Besorgnis der europäischen Selbst-Isolation und die Rolle von Datenzentren innerhalb der urbanen Infrastruktur
  • Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, leader of democratic Belarus – on stolen votes and democracy
  • Francesca Bria, innovation economist, digital policy expert and President of the Italian National Innovation Fund – on the challenges of global metropolises
  • Frank Sieren, journalist and China specialist – on China’s rise as a world power and the end of the Western-centric worldview
  • Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, Senior Advisor, Europe’s Future program, Bertelsmann Stiftung – on urban power and the pact of free cities
  • Düzen Tekkal, war reporter, filmmaker, journalist and founder of Háwar.Help e.V. – on solidarity, an effective transition and agents of change, between Berlin Hellersdorf and Baghdad
  • Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Founder of the Tawakkol Karman International Foundation


During the two conference days, participants can also experience the ICC’s spaces and a cultural program, including: a discourse kiosk by the street newspaper Arts of the Working Class, scenography by the Berlin studio Gonzalez Haase AAS and virtual reality works by the Ukrainian collective Pixelated Realities. On 15 September, after the official conference schedule ends at 8pm, Q BERLIN invites all participants to discover the installations and activities at the ICC.

Tickets, as well as the complete conference program and list of speakers, can be found at https://q.berlin/.

The Internationales Congress Centrum (ICC) Berlin was designed by architects Ralf Schüler and Ursulina Schüler-Witte and completed in 1979. Once Europe’s largest conference centre, it became a symbol for a metropolitan, futuristic Berlin. After the building closed in 2014, it faced the threat of demolition before being listed as a historic monument in 2019.

Q BERLIN has been curated and organized by visitBerlin since 2017. It is co-funded by the Senate Chancellery of Berlin and hosted by the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Franziska Giffey. The conference is open to a broad audience and welcomes all stakeholders who seek to shape the future. Q BERLIN will take place in a hybrid format, allowing participants to follow the debates live in Berlin and also online.

Rahel Yohannes                                                                     
 +49 15901775997                                                               


We would be delighted to welcome you to Q BERLIN 2022. For press accreditation, please send your full name, your email address and your media affiliation to director@q.berlin.