The hosts of #rp21: Geraldine de Bastion & Julia Kloiber

The stage is set, the programme is growing daily - and we are very happy that Julia Kloiber and Geraldine de Bastion will lead through the diverse programme of re:publica 21 on 21-22 May. We had three questions for them in this interview.

What do you associate with re:publica and when was your first time there?  

Julia: My first time at re:publica was in 2010, back in Friedrichstadtpalast. I was relatively new to the city and didn't know anyone at the conference. Today, 11 years later, re:publica feels like a big family event where I finally meet everyone again. One thing has remained the same over the years: I associate the re:publica with meeting new and interesting people. This can lead to friendships that last for years.

Geraldine: Besides the founders, I've been part of the team the longest. My first re:publica, which I also worked at, was the second one. My first talk was in 2009 on the topic of the African blogosphere and in 2012 I took over the programme curation and moderation of the main stage. Many re:publicas later, I am happy to have helped shape many programmes, built our international collaborations and organised the rpAccra event. re:publica has become a very important part of my working life, and of my community, and was the place where the Global Innovation Gathering was born, which I now spend a large part of my life with. 

What did you do "In The Meantime"?

Julia: In the Meantime was a time of ups and downs, a time of making plans and discarding them all over again. A time of hoping and fearing. A time when I learned to make my own noodles and then unlearned to do so again. 

A time when a lot of things shifted to my own four walls and there were longer episodes of boredom, but also a very active time with new projects. Despite the lockdown, it was important to remain politically active. Together with a number of civil society organisations, I started the initiative digitalezivilgesellschaft.org. We wrote demands for a sustainable and just digitisation, which were signed by more than 80 organisations. 

I also spent the “Mean Time” diving into start-up and launching a fellowship programme called The New New with my organisation Superrr Lab and publishing a magazine on "About the Future in Times of Crises". I also started a podcast on Hammam Radio with Geraldine called "That Time of The Month". So actually there was quite a lot going on in the meantime. :)

Geraldine: I also worked a lot. Like many people, I have had more rather than less to do, leaving little time for starting a sourdough, learning languages and a personal improvement programme. However, I have been walking in the forest more than in previous years, started to see jogging as a nice recreational activity instead of a punishment and watched too many TikTok videos, but most of all I have been trying to make sure that all the people who work in my company Konnektiv or at GIG are doing well. 

What are you looking forward to the most at #rp21?

Julia: To a lot! Being a host for the first time together with Geraldine, of course. To experience even more closely how a re:publica comes into being. In terms of content, I'm looking forward to Eva von Reidecker, who has written a great book called "Revolution for Life". To our interview with Jillian York, who has already spoken at several re:publicas and will talk with us about her new book "Silicon Values". To the Danger Dan live gig! To discussions on what the time after Corona will look like, to a look at China by Katharin Tai, ... I could go on endlessly. Very exciting programme this year!

Geraldine: I am also looking forward to co-hosting with Julia this year! I'm looking forward to our interview with Ms Vestager and the live recording of our new podcast "That Time of the Month".