Into The Open: The Summit of New Thinking 2012

Am 20.11.2012 von Florian Fodermeyer

Open source, open software, collaborative working and crowd-sourcing are on everyone’s lips. In Berlin, a group of likeminded people gathered for two days to discuss the possibilities and limitations of open concepts and strategies.

Summit of Newthinking 2012 in Berlin


‘Openness’ is the first thought that comes into the mind of a visitor of the Summit of Newthinking 2012 in Berlin when entering the vast and almost endless conference hall called The Station. The two-day conference has been held for the first time, hosted by new thinking, a Berlin based agency. The organizers’ goal was to bring together thought leaders, decision makers and everyone interested in the themes open source, open strategies as well as new ways of thinking and working together. Different conference tracks were curated to discuss the possibilities and limitations of open source concepts and strategies within various areas such as innovation, reality, business and data.

All presentations and workshops within the different „tracks“ were held in one shared conference space within the station and therefore the organizers took the concept of „open source“ even further: every visitor and participant was at all times able to wander freely between the different presentation areas.

“Openness has to drive the future.” – Dr. Karl-Heinz Strassemeyer

In his opening keynote Dr. Karl-Heinz Strassemeyer, an icon of the open source movement and one of the board members of Lisog, highlighted the importance of open source, crowd collaboration and shared knowledge not only for software development but also for societies living together. Being an IBM engineer for 30 years himself, he stated that „openness has to drive the future“ and that a lot of breakthroughs in software development „would never have been possible without open minds who were willing to work collaboratively on the same projects.“

Dr. Karl-Heinz Strassemeyer

Dr. Karl-Heinz Strassemeyer


The first conference track was all about „Open Innovation“, exploring how the wisdom of the mass can be used to innovate in a much better than „traditional“ way e.g. in small fixed groups at fixed times within a single company. Furthermore, key economical questions were brought up within the „Open Business“ track where for example the American entrepreneur Erik Eckhart, the co-founder of „A Headful of Bees“ presented his concept of DO-IT-TOGETHER: a collective of international artists, musicians, filmmakers, songwriters and designers who share and swap their knowledge and experience in order to help, nurture and promote their work and support each others’ careers.

The third track „Open Data“ was all about gathering, handling and working with vast amounts of data that can be used for generating stories, generating valuable insights or even win an election like Marco Maas presented in his talk about Big Data & Semantics.

A fourth track covered the topic „Open Reality“ along with questions about how we will continue to use digital technologies within our urban spaces. With more and more digital usage and enhancement of technology onto or within our bodies including biosensors and heartbeat data, moving towards an „internet of things“ it will be interesting to see how societies design a shared reality. In radically transparent societies where „we really know everything about everybody“ like Ruben Abels pointed out in his presentation about Neo-localism we definitely have to find new ways of combining the offline with the online world within urban spaces.

“To gain knowledge just spread it over; this will lead you towards wisdom.” – Asif Z. Warsi

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