The ‘Berlin Questions’ Conference Asks for a Better Future

Aug. 9, 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 centers? From August 11th to 14th, the fourth edition of the ‘Berlin questions’ conference will address these and other questions, turning the city again into a stage for a 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. It will combine a ‘Mayors Summit’ with a ‘Speakers Programme,’ which will feature Benjamin Bratton, Elisabeth Diller, Francis Kéré, Lesley Lokko, María Inés Plaza Lazo, Hito Steyerl and many others.

A wooden construction on top of a rain basin (a water surface). the construction and the cloudfs reflect on the water surface.

Floating University, Berlin // © Victoria Tomaschko / raumlaborberlin

This year’s conference edition is titled ‘Metropolis: The New Now’ and will focus on local solutions to global problems to cast a hopeful look into a brighter future. On August 11th, 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 August 12th to 14th, speakers will dive deeper into several focus topics, including ‘Civil Responsibility’ and ‘Quarantine Economies,’ in locations around the city chosen for relevance to the discussions, such as Haus der Statistik, ewerk, St. Gimignano and Floating University. This year’s conference is hosted by the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller.

Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, pictured speaking at the conference 'Berlin questions'

Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2018 at Berlin questions 2019 // Photo by Kevin McElvaney

For the first time, the ‘Berlin questions’ conference is a hybrid format, allowing participants to follow the debates both on-site and online. 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, Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Rem Koolhaas, and multimedia artist Cao Fei.

Conference Info

‘Berlin questions’

Aug. 11–14, 2021
Various Locations in Berlin

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