DOKU:TECH, breaking the unicorn myth
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Photo of last year's event. Photo credit: Digjitale

Photo of last year's event. Photo credit: Digjitale

DOKU:TECH is free to attend, because the organizers believe that information and knowledge should be free. This year’s speakers each bring a novel approach to technology and tech activism

Digjitale

DOKU:TECH, the most exciting tech conference of Kosovo and the whole Balkans region, is taking place from August 6-7 in the cultural city of Prizren, Kosovo.

The Prizren League venue, which greeted over 1,000 participants last year in presentations, workshops and master classes, is welcoming world class speakers including Mike Butcher from TechCrunch, Simone Cortesi from Open Street Map Italia /Wikimedia, Aral Balkan from Ind.ie and others.

Kushtrim Xhakli, producer of DOKU:TECH, confirmed for Digjitale that the program has been set and that they’re currently working on the final pieces to ensure a stellar experience for the participants. “If you look at the program, you can see that this year we’re focused on breaking the unicorn myth. What that means is that we’re gonna have real people talking about real life stories and not some unicorn press releases,” confirmed Kushtrim.

The program also highlights people like Mike Butcher, one of the world’s leading tech influencers, who stands behind Techfugees, which crowdsources the tech community and startups with NGOs and refugees to try and bring the power of technology to bear with the crisis.

This year’s speakers have been expertly curated by the DOKU:TECH team, each bringing a novel approach to technology and tech activism.

Confirmed Speaker Lineup

Mike Butcher is Editor-At-Large at TechCrunch, the “biggest breaking news site about the world’s hottest tech companies”. Often pegged as a top-notch innovator both at home in the UK and worldwide, Mike is also the founder of TechHub, a “global community for technology entrepreneurs and startups,” working with over 700 companies worldwide.

Currently, he is a part of “Techfugees,” which aims to coordinate the tech community’s response to the refugee crisis and the needs of the refugees – with conferences, workshops, hackathons and meetups generating tech solutions for one of the biggest humanitarian crises in history.

Thorsten Wiedeman is the Berlin-based founder and artistic director of A MAZE festival, which revolves entirely around innovation in gaming – aiming to present the “final frontier” of gaming innovation and experimental game design. Another claim to fame is his choice to spend 48 hours in virtual reality, where he reported no nausea, headaches or eye problems. Perhaps one should take his experience with a grain of salt.

A MAZE has organized pop-up events in Croatia, Romania, Palestine, Russia and South Africa – calling themselves “the cultural ambassadors of artistic game development.”

Peter Sunde is returning to DOKU:TECH for the second time after his memorable panel from last year. Most know him (or mention him in their nightly prayers) because of his contribution to the founding of Pirate Bay. Sunde was involved in Sweden’s Pirate Bureau and ran for the European Parliament as part of the Pirate Party of Finland. He was (in)famously handed a jail sentence by the Swedish government for “assisting in making copyrighted content available,” a trial whose verdict was heavily influenced by the corporate film industry.

Josephine Goube is a tech activist in the truest sense of the word. She was the director of Migreat – an online platform supporting two million individuals in their visa and migration procedures – at age 23, and was named Expert On Immigration for the European Commission. She is also a part of Techfugees.

Josephine has another niche focus – getting women to become more involved in the tech world. As a co-manager for Girls In Tech London, she aimed to change the pattern of disenchantment and promote the successes that women have achieved so far. Figuratively, she’s really passionate about breaking the “tech glass ceiling.”

Josipa Majic is sentimental at heart. As the creator of the Teddy Guardian with Ana Burica, they took the concerns of parents worldwide and incorporated them into the “smart” teddy bear, which measures a child’s heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and body temperature – sending all this information directly to the parent’s smartphone. Those “smart paws” now serve a greater purpose than giving children emotional support. It is sufficient to say that this fluffy superhero won the “Smart Living” award at the Innovation World Cup. Josipa is currently the CEO at ID Guardian.

Valto Loikkanen knows how hard it is to meet the surplus of innovative ideas with the deficiency of funding possibilities. This is why he started Grow VC, which enables digital financial markets and economic development. Valto is an internationally awarded serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience, who has built companies across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. At age 24, Valto started and grew his first company to become an international business. He is a visionary strategist with deep knowledge about innovation, entrepreneurship, investing and the digital world interacting with the real world.

Aral Balkan is an activist and a software developer, trying to inject an “ethical” approach to tech development through his work at Ind.ie. This means respecting fundamental human rights and freedoms and injecting them in the tech experience – or in the words of their manifesto: “We don’t want to multiply greed, suffering, inequality, uniformity, and bullshit.” Technology for the people, rather than people suffering because of technology, is a rough translation of their goals, with the goal of promoting decentralized, interoperable and sustainable tech practices.

Uri Aviv has found utopia: or at least, Israel’s first science fiction festival based in Tel Aviv he founded that unpretentiously bears the name of this ungraspable concept. In Uri’s “Utopia,” political topics are discussed from a technological point of view, and often with a science fiction twist – with a philosophical outlook of the future being injected for good measure.

Uri has been a cultural entrepreneur since the age of 18 when he founded his first nonprofit. He believes that science fiction is “suggestive of how the public perceives science” and their perspectives for the future – and he works tirelessly to bring this to the center stage of Israeli culture and public awareness.

Simone Cortesi is the founder of OpenStreetMap Italia and a passionate Neogeographer – aiming to breathe fresh air into the centuries-old practice of geography. By involving new technologies in the creation, assembling and dissemination of geographical information, he and other neogeographers are non-experts in the field who try to improve the approach of traditional academics, along with other Digital Pilgrims.

Tobias Stone has been involved in early stage technology businesses for over a decade. He has been a startup entrepreneur, fund manager, and consultant. He mentors extensively at accelerators around Europe and has a particular interest in health, as both his father and grandfather were doctors. He has a lot of experience bridging between countries and cultures and is a very dynamic networker and connector. Tobias advises a number of other accelerators and startups, as well as performs academic research into innovation and accelerators.

Free for all

DOKU:TECH is free to attend, because the organizers believe that information and knowledge should be free. However registration is required to be done anyway on this link here.

This post was originally published on Digjitale

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Celik Nimani

About Celik Nimani


Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer at Appsix. Steers the strategic and corporate development of the company. Founder of Digjitale, a leading source for startups and entrepreneurs in Western Balkans since 2012. An entrepreneur by heart, quick-thinker and eagle-eyed for precision.

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