World’s largest tech festival to descend on Berlin

29 May 2012

Compuseros at last year's Campus Party in Brazil

Berlin’s Tempelhof airport will be the scene for more than 10,000 techies who will arrive en masse in August kitted out with tablets, laptops and sleeping bags for Campus Party Europe.

Campus Party takes place every year for one week with 24 hours a day events involving hackers, developers, gamers and techies.

This year between 21-26 August, the techies – collectively known as campuseros – will attend talks, workshops, competitions and hackathons at Tempelhof.

This year will be the first time the festival will be held in Germany.

Various editions take place in Sao Paulo, Bogota, Valencia, Quito and Mexico City.

Campus Party has grown into a global community of 180,000 young, passionate technologists.

“In Berlin we expect thousands of technology enthusiasts will come from all over Europe to participate and we want to harness this concentrated power of expertise and talent to create projects for a better world,” Campus Party co-founder Paco Ragageles said.

Co-founder Belinda Galiano added: “From the moment we saw the former airport Berlin Tempelhof we knew in a second, that it was the ideal place for Campus Party Europe. To know that thousands of campuseros will unite at this historical place, known worldwide as a symbol of freedom, helps fulfil a dream that began with the first Campus Party in 1997.”

Writing Europe’s new source code

The main mission for attendees this year will be to write Europe’s new source code.

There will be more than 600 hours of talks. Keynotes will feature writer Paulo Coehlho and inventor of the world wide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Before the event even begins, TheBigThink challenge will call on ideas for the European Digital Agenda: the best 5,000 entries will be chosen and their creators invited to attend Campus Party Europe in Berlin completely free, including transportation, event tickets and accommodation.

TheBigThink will be a starting point for a debate and filter process that will conclude during the event in a ceremony in which the ideas will be presented to Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission and responsible for the Digital Agenda. Campus Party Europe in Berlin is under the patronage of the European Commission.

“We believe the power of ideas and innovative approaches to technology can transform Europe’s social and economic future for the better,” said José María Álvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefónica Europe.

“One goal of Campus Party Europe in Berlin is to reinstate the region as a global leader in technology. Campus Party represents just one delivery mechanism for Telefónica Think Big – a series of 2015 commitments to promote entrepreneurial spirit in Europe.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years