A LED screen is set against the backdrop of the quaint historic houses of the Prizren League. A circular amphitheater is packed to the brim, with voices excitedly discussing the topics at hand. As the speaker takes the scene, the whispering subsides and focus shifts to the brightly lit podium.
This is the scene of Doku.Tech, an annual tech conference that happens during DokuFest. The two-day event will take place August 6th and 7th this year at the Prizren League complex, alongside the Lumbardhi river.
This year’s speakers are pioneers in their respective métiers, and will congregate in Prizren to share their success stories, the challenges and tribulations they faced on the way to success, to pass on tips to the eager DokuTech public – and talk about how each and every one of them is trying to give back to the communities that helped them grow.
This year’s speakers have been expertly curated by the DokuTech team, each bringing a novel approach to technology and tech-activism.
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 the 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 – claiming 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 DokuTech 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, who 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 build companies across US, Europe and Asia. At the age 24, Valto started and grew his first company to international business. He is a visionary strategist with deep knowledge about innovation, entrepreneurship, investing and digital world interacting with real world.
Aral Balkan is an activist and a software developer, trying to inject “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 founded utopia. Or at least, Israel’s first science-fiction festival based in Tel Aviv 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 non-profit. He believes that science fiction is “suggestive of how the public perceives science” and their perspectives for the future – and he works tirelessly at bringing at 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 doing academic research into innovation and accelerators.