In 2017 the re:publica team came up with an ambitious project to take the idea of re:publica further: Activists, scientists, hackers, entrepreneurs, NGOs, journalists, social media and marketing experts gathered in Dublin and Thessaloniki to debate the future of the information society in Europe.
With re:connecting EUROPE, we aim to promote the development of a Europe-wide network of creative industries and push the exchange between the various digital scenes along our North-South axis. The conferences in Dublin and Thessaloniki gave us valuable insights and new perspectives on our interconnected world, which we discussed in-depth with our speakers and visitors. The events also created spaces for a cultural exchange of ideas across our European borders and allowed us to learn more about the issues concerning people on the ground at the re:publica locations.
As a global network whose aim is to connect grassroots innovators we were huge fans of the re:connecting events. With the Labmobile already being used as a Mobile Ressource Center by Greece Communitere, GIG was excited to be a part of the event in Thessaloniki. Similar to the GIG Maker Space which has been a part of re:publica since 2014, we set up a Maker Space with some workshops around the Labmobile in the center or the venue in the port of Thessaloniki.
Marios, who runs the Palestinian-German exchange project YALLAH! and is one of the Road Trip Rockstars of Fab Lab Siegen, and our Executive Director Victoria spent two days in Thessaloniki hosting workshops on junk drawbots and an intro to wearable technologies.
Marios used the time in between workshops to fix the 3D printer that Fab Lab Siegen donated to the Labmobile, and we are proud to have hosted Claudia of Kultur Propaganda with her USB Typewriter Lady 1337 – we absolutely loved the connection of the feeling and sound of good old typewriter keys with a micro controller connecting your analog writing to the digital world!
Victoria was part of the re:publica welcome with Klaus Lederer, Mayor and Senator for Culture and Europe of Berlin, and she also gave a talk about GIG. Ângela Marques and the Greece Communitere team shared some experiences of their works with refugees in Northern Greece and how they utilize the Labmobile for it on a panel.
We are super happy to have been a part of re:connecting Europe, and we are sad that not more GIGers could make it to Thessaloniki. But our light keeps on shining on an embroidered map thanks to come conductive thread, and also on the map of the global digital society thanks to our network of beautiful minds!