Bruce Schneier: The Battle for Power on the Internet


The fantastic Bruce Schneier gave an excellent talk at TEDxCambridge: The Battle for Power on the Internet:



In it, he explains in his usual clear, easy-to-understand way how power is distributed in the web, and how this distribution has changed over the years. More concretely, how have distributed actors gained and wielded as opposed to centralized, institutional actors – and then goes on to think about how we can find a balance between both types of power to make sure the internet keeps being a force for positive social change in the world.

Please do take the 12 or so minutes, it’ll change the way you see the web and where it’s headed.

Thank you for a great TEDxKreuzberg



Last night TEDxKreuzberg was on, and I think it’s fair to say that it was quite a success. Sadly, my co-host Christoph was stuck in Zurich after his flight got cancelled. (Hans kindly stepped in as a moderator.)

Our four speakers, Darryl Feldman, Dmitry Paranyushkin, Ricard Gras and Michelle Thorne delivered fantastic presentations. And judging by the conversations and mingling going on during the break and after the event, the audience enjoyed themselves, too.

We’ll be putting up some photos and (hopefully) videos of the talks soon, too. Until then, feel free to talk to the speakers about their ideas – they’re all happy to share and discuss!

Thanks to the lovely Betahaus crew, who handled the on-the-grounds work despite some major last-minute changes, to my co-organizers Christoph Fahle, Igor Schwarzmann, Johannes and Hans Raffauf.

Photos by Igor Schwarzmann (CC by sa)

Save the date: TEDxKreuzberg, 9 Dec 2010



It’s official! There is going to be a second installment of TEDxKreuzberg. On 9 Dec (Thursday), 7-10pm, we will have a spectacular line-up of inspiring speakers at Betahaus Berlin.

Last year we had a fantastic time. I was really happy to hear that Christoph Fahle wanted to go into round two as well. So this time it’ll be a co-production of Betahaus and Third Wave Berlin.

For all the details please read the official announcement and follow the blog for updates as they come in.

TEDxKreuzberg wrap-up



Last Thursday we held TEDxKreuzberg over at Betahaus. Now after a couple of days of recovery and some more travel (I’m writing this while in Karlsruhe, where I’ll be based for the next few weeks), it’s time to share some impressions.

Short-short version: I loved it! The crowd was great as were the vibes, and I had a number of really interesting discussions. Plus, I met a bunch of very cool & interesting folks. So thanks a lot to everybody for showing up and making the night what it was. Also, thanks a lot to my co-host Christoph Fahle and the Betahaus crew – you guys rock!

For the more in-depth version, I’d like to add to the above some notes as well as share some feedback I got during and after the event. The one point that came up a number of times was that we had almost too much content. With seven talks, it was a lot of ideas to digest. That’s a very good point and I agree – should we get to organize another TEDxKreuzberg, we’ll aim for five talks. That way, we’ll have more time in between sessions to meet people, to digest, discuss and exchange ideas.

I was glad to notice that – as far as I can tell – the language mix didn’t seem to be much of a problem: we had some presentations in German, but most in English. The audience, also quite international, didn’t seem to mind that a couple of talks were in German while the German share of the audience seemed happy with following the event in English. Running events bilingually is something that I’ve always been somewhat nervous about, but it worked out fine – good to know for the future.

Betahaus turned out to be a great location for this kind of event. The atmosphere was informal & intimate, which I think helps people feeling at easy and making a connection to one another. Even though we set up the space only the same afternoon, it all went pretty much as smooth as I could have hoped for. We’ll have to see how the videos turned out, but we’ll know within a couple of days.

To cut a long story short, allow me to go back to the beginning of this post: I loved it. And I hope you enjoyed it, too. We’ll be trying to improve further, of course, so keep the feedback coming, here in the comments or via the more official TEDxKreuzberg communication channels. Thanks!

ps. for some more impressions, check out Christoph’s post on the Betahaus blog, this post where we collect photos and videos, or ask Teh Google.

Photo: Rik Mayda (Thanks!)

Some personal updates: Arte, TEDxKreuzberg, Ignite Berlin


Just a few updates of what’s going on in my life these days, and a few brief shout-outs.

1) For the major parts of December 2009 and January 2010 I’ll be working at the HQ of Arte.tv in Strasbourg, France, where I’ll be helping out with a bit of behind the scenes concept work. This is a project I’m very interested in personally – I love working with media organizations and working out the best way for them to engage in the web. Arte is already doing a great job there, so this should be really good.

2) TEDxKreuzberg (10 Dec 2009) is coming along pretty well. All speakers are confirmed, and while we haven’t put up all the speaker profiles, a few are up already. It’s going to be an interesting and inspiring night, and thanks to my co-organizer Christoph Fahle of Betahaus, it’s also great fun to put it all together. Demand has outstripped the available space by far, but between the confirmed guest list, some invited guests and the waiting list we hope to share this night with as many as possible. For updates please keep an eye on the website and our twitter (@tedxkreuzberg).

3) It looks very much as if Matt Biddulph and I will be hosting an Ignite Berlin. We’re still working out the details, but both Matt and I as well as O’Reilly’s Brady Forrest are very motivated to do that, so I’m optimistic it’ll all work out well. Ignite is a great format in which speakers present their projects or startups in 5 minutes – with 20 slides, automatically changing after 15 seconds. It’s very dynamic, and thus never boring. More details on that as soon as we have them. Until then, I’m curious to hear what your favorite Berlin locations are. We’re looking in the 100-200 person range. Please share them in the comments or email me at peter (at) thewavingcat.com … Thanks!

Organizing TEDx Kreuzberg (10 Dec 2009)


TEDx Kreuzberg

I have an announcement to make that has me very excited indeed: We just got the go from the good folks over at TED to organize an independent TED event in Berlin. (Not familiar with TED? Check them out, you won’t regret it.) Our event will be called TEDx Kreuzberg and will be held at Betahaus, who are co-organizing the whole thing.

So please save the date:

Date: 10 December 2009 Time: 7pm / 19h Location: Betahaus, Prinzessinnenstraße 19-20, 10969 Berlin (show map)

For simplicity’s sake, let me quote from the event website that we’ve just begun building:

At 10 Dec (Thursday), Betahaus will open its doors to celebrate a night full of inspiring TED talks: Please join us for TEDx Kreuzberg! We will be providing more information over the next few days on the TEDx Kreuzberg website. Questions? The best way to reach us is via email: mail@tedxkreuzberg.org. More information on TED is available here or on the TED website.

So what’s the difference between TED and TEDx? Here’s the official explanation that explains things very well:

What is TED? TED is an annual event where some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to share what they are most passionate about. “TED” stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three broad subject areas that are, collectively, shaping our future. And in fact, the event is broader still, showcasing ideas that matter in any discipline. Attendees have called it “the ultimate brain spa” and “a four-day journey into the future.” The diverse audience — CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists — is almost as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Frank Gehry, Paul Simon, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono. What is TEDx? (x=independently organized event) In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

We’re getting in touch with potential speakers now and are going to be sorting out the details for the event over the next few days. You can follow our progress on the official TEDx Kreuzberg twitter account @tedxkreuzberg.

We’ll start talking to a small number of sponsors. Sponsoring a TEDx is pretty special indeed as it is both a strong brand and a great, inspirational event. If you think you know the right company to be a decent sponsor for this kind of event, please let us know (mail@tedxkreuzberg.info). Thank you so much!

Last but not least: A big THANKS to Christoph and the rest of the Betahaus crew for co-organizing the event. This will be grand, and I can’t wait. Hope to see you there!