Over recent years, we have all tuned into the news to find ourselves feeling not only distant from politics but hopeless and disenfranchised. More often than not, what should be a debate turns into an argument. We stop listening and start preaching. However, the importance of listening to all sides, and creating healthy discourse as opposed to confrontation, cannot be emphasized enough. It has become increasingly easy to feel as though your voice does not count, but it does. We wanted to reinstate that.
Democracy only functions as a system when we participate, and we wanted to encourage and provide a platform for this to happen through our .democracy campaign because, at the end of the day, democracy is everything.
A pinnacle focus of ours was the intersection of politics and digitalisation so, we kicked off our campaign by inviting selected media representatives, digital experts, and politicians to discuss the current challenges we’re facing with regards to democracy, election campaigns, and their media coverage.Our panel consisted of digital and political experts – Thomas Jarzombek and Anke Domscheit-Berg, to prestigious media correspondents like Melissa Eddy of The New York Times, Markus Beckedahl of Netzpolitik.org, and Startup expert Christoph Keese.
The foundation of democracy is enabling everyone to have a platform. We wanted to keep things equal, so we hosted and spoke to a series of politicians. In true Factory fashion, we held a Fireside Chat. The guest of honor being Cem Özdemir of the Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen. The discussion focused on digitization & entrepreneurship, and how these elements not only coexist but cross paths with one another. We also had the pleasure of hosting this years ‘Sommerinterview’ from ZDF, in which they spoke to Martin Schulz regarding his campaign and vision for Germany.
The Hackathon was an essential moment for us here at Factory. We saw incredible people join together in using their voices and abilities to produce compelling and impactful work. If these 24 hours showed us anything, it was that we all have the ability to forefront change, and we should all be doing it. Projecting your voice, no matter how big or small is a trait we should all exercise. You can read our previous article on the individual projects each team produced here, or you can check out WIRED Magazine’s write-up on the occasion.
The Election Party
We got together with Cosmonauts and King’s for the finale. This event was unique, not only because it was the first of its kind in Germany, but because it was everything we wanted to showcase in one room; hundreds of people with different views, celebrating amongst each other. We had live voting, a panel full of experts from various fields, and of course a party. For more on the night, check out the video here!
Our campaign has drawn to a close. However, the reason for its conception and the need to keep being politically aware and active has not. We need to keep being active, keep educating ourselves, and most importantly, always realize that our voices matter.