Design and development conference HybridConf finds new lease of life in Berlin

12 Jul 2016

Items from a coveted HybridConf 2015 swag bag. Photo via Dan Rubin

They thought it would all be over in 2015, but HybridConf is back and headed to Germany for a 2016 event.

Thanks to record attendance in Dublin last year – and a plea from the audience the organisers couldn’t ignore – HybridConf is back to celebrate creativity of all kinds.

Inspirefest 2017

HybridConf 2016 takes place in Berlin on 18 and 19 August following events in Cardiff, Stockholm and Dublin. Digital community-builder Carl Smith returns as MC alongside a curated selection of speakers ready to discuss real-world issues from motivation and communication, through to product and idea creation.

For example, Joel Califa, product design lead at DigitalOcean teaches designers to code and developers to design, while Travis CI UI/UX designer Justine Arreche works to help developers understand design better, and to raise awareness of mental health issues in tech. Entrepreneur Jojo Hedaya, co-founder of the famously simple email unsubscribe service will share his passion for simplicity and data-driven decisions, while San Francisco-based photographer Helena Price will introduce the audience to her stunning Silicon Valley portrait series, Techies.

This year, the travelling conference has found a home in the UCI Kinowelt cinema in Prenzlauer Berg, which was originally a 19th-century horse and bus depot.

“After last year’s conference had such a great reception, there was no way that we couldn’t bring it back again,” said event co-founder Laura Sanders. “We’re so happy to be in Berlin this time around and we have loads of great things in store. Obviously we don’t want to reveal them all in one go, but with such a vibrant and exciting city on our doorstep, you can be sure it’s going to be fun.”

HybridConf founders Zach Inglis and Laura Sanders

HybridConf founders Zach Inglis and Laura Sanders on-stage at the 2015 event in The Helix, Dublin. Photo via Dan Rubin

Paying it forward

The inclusive-minded conference has handpicked a line-up to reflect the diversity of the creative industries.

“Picking the conference line up is the planning stage I feel most grateful for. We get to choose to see some of the most passionate and talented people who inspire us,” said co-founder Zach Inglis.

“Having people from a variety of backgrounds and skills is important. It gives our audience a chance to learn from those who are different from them, and be inspired by those in similar situations.”

Early bird tickets to HybridConf sold out in an hour, and the conference continues to operate a Pay It Forward scheme whereby attendees can donate money towards a ticket fund for underrepresented members of the community. HybridConf matches these donations, doubling the fund to provide free or discounted tickets to others.

Last year, the initiative covered six people who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to attend the event.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.