Speaking at From The Front in Bologna


At the end of June, Marco Cedaro asked me, if I'd like to come and speak at From The Front in Bologna, Italy. I knew that this talk would take place during a time that is hectic already and not only because beyond tellerrand // BERLIN is close, but also because I attend quite a few events in September. But I always wanted to attend From The Front anyways and never made it. So I used this chance to be part of this event, even though I am now speaking and not only attending.

I planned to write my talk early, but it proved again, that I need this certain kind of pressure to get productive and therefore I just started working on the presentation beginning of this week. As I start to travel on Friday from Cologne to Brighton to Freiburg to Bologne, there is not much time left other than this week to finish it.

Marco said:

The conference topic is related to change and for us it would be really interesting for you to share your experience in organising tech events.

I gave a talk, where I spoke about insights of running my beyond tellerrand events at ConfConf, but felt like this would be too much detail for the talk in Bologna. Therefore I called my presentation “Change” and try to focus on the “why” and the motivation of running the events. It – of course – has something to do with the community we work in/for/with. But it also was my wish to change something in my life, when I started thinking of running the event.

This is the description of the talk:


Have you ever felt this strange feeling in your gut that tells you that a job offer you got is one you should better not accept? Or when you had a job interview, that you thought, you’d be quite happy when you are out of it again? Maybe also if you are in a position, where you feel good in general, but from time to time you think about changing something. Maybe because small things in your daily business start to annoy you, maybe, because you always wanted to do a certain thing … maybe it is time to change something an follow your inner voice.

This talk is about a personal story and how it led to somethings that I highly enjoy doing. Every day. But is also is about the importance of community and meeting people in real life.

If you want to join me on this little journey, grab a ticket and come to Bologna.

⇾ Support the Rebranding of Offscreen

Great things need support. Support my friend Kai Brach and his Offscreen Magazine with their rebranding:

Reasons Festival 2016 in Brighton

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10 years ago my friend John Davey started his event called Flash on the Beach. By that time, I was running the Flashforum Konferenz (FFK in short) as a spin of from and the member of the German Flash community Flashforum. Sascha Wolter was speaking at this event and had a +1 to give away, which he gave to me. And I am glad he did, since i met one of my best friends these days, who was organising this event.

The moment John and I met and exchanged ideas and experiences of running an event and especially of running our events was, when John and I recognised that we are thinking the same way a lot. We spoke more often, he came to my events, I went to his (and I only missed one event in New York so far!) and we even started to travel around the world, attending other events to meet people and to somehow educate us. You learn a lot, when visiting other events - in a positive and negative way. It got to a point that it felt we were spending more time together than with our own family and people also attending or speaking at events assumed that when I was at an event, John would be there as well and vice vera.

John had, I think I can say this, the most famous and successful event of the “Flash world”. Around 1200 people attended his 3-day 3-theater festival of creative minds from various fields. Highly technical talks, mixed with amazingly creative session, this was what made a fantastic mix in terms of the content, but also the people coming to this event where always truly special. During those ten years, I met so many fantastic people at reasons and made a lot of friends and I always was and always am very much looking forward to the time of the year, when I travel to Brighton.

John made the decision of changing the name of the event from Flash on the Beach to Reasons to be Creative and Reasons To now. And what changed content wise? Not much I have to say and that is good! The focus of John always was on finding creative people and creativity has no limits and is not only reserved or present in the Graphic Design industry or the Design industry in General. People like Mario Klingemann, Jared Tarbell, Joshua Davis and André Michelle (just to mention a few of the long list) have shown and proven this. Sure, nowadays Flash might not be the tool of their choice, but it is not about tools anyways, but about technology someone chooses to express his/her ideas. So yes, the name of this event has changed, but the heart and the idea has not.

I myself always leave this event pumped with new ideas and inspiration. With new energy to try something different and to look into something I never thought of before. I always leave also with good memories about the conversations I had and the people I had these conversations with. And this is, when I think, I can say this is a great event.

Congrats, John, for a fantastic event and thanks for running this event for already ten years for us!

⇾ TWUMBLE – Episode 6 with Kai Brach

Kai Brach runs Offscreen Magazine and The Modern Desk and is equally passionated about it as I am about beyond tellerrand. That’s why i love to chat withhim, where ever I meet him. This time he was in Australia, while I was in Krefeld and we had a nice conversation on Skype.

Check episode number 6 of my German show called TWUMBLE.

⇾ The Typography of Stranger Things

A few weeks ago, before my holidays, I have posted a link to an article by Yves Peters, in which he geeks out about the Typography of Star Trek. This one now does the same, but with the Netflix series Stranger Things.

⇾ TWUMBLE – Episode 5 with Tobi Lessnow

Tobi is a musician. From the bottom of his heart he is a musician. In 2013, after he made some electronic music for a wrap-up video for beyond tellerrand, he suggested to make sketchnotes in music during the breaks between the talks. And since this, he is part of the btconf family, summarising the talks in music right after the speaker leaves the stage.

In show number 5 of TWUMBLE (in German), I was speaking with Tobi about passion, motivation, honesty and his life as a musician.

⇾ The Typography of Star Trek

I love if someone is completely into one specific topic. Certainly for Yves Peters this is type and typography, especially when it comes to movies, as you might have noticed, when he gave his talk about Trajan in movie posters at beyond tellerrand. In one of his latest blog posts, he is writing about the typography of Star Trek … I love it!

Stranger Things

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I made the mistake and started watching Stranger Things on Netflix. Of course I had to watch all 8 episodes nearly in one go. Don’t know exactly what it is, but this series somehow caught me. It reminds me of movies from the 80’s like ET, Back to the Future, Goonies or a Stephen King novel. Not only the way it is filmed and written, but also how the actors play, the dialogues, the typography and the overall feeling. Guess I was exactly their target group somehow.

Because I liked the soundtrack a lot as well, I searched for it and found a playlist on Spotify. On “What’s on Netflix” you can find a list of all episodes and related songs, which will we constantly updated as well. Furthermore I found an extended version of the theme song on YouTube.

⇾ Designing a Styleguide

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Everybody seems to speak about style guides at the moment. This post by Jonathan White is a good starting point on how to learn designing a style guide.

An Interview with Tito

Photo by Nils Riedemann

In March I had a very lovely two hour Skype conversation with Aoife Reaper-Reynold, who interviewed me to write a story about customers of Tito. I use Tito for a long time to sell my tickets for my beyond tellerrand events and I am very pleased and happy with them and their service.

Yesterday Paul announced the new series, starting with my story, on their blog and I like what Aoife made of it.

For me it is nice to read the story, as I am able to look back on the time I run beyond tellerrand and see how it grew from an idea I had to a successful event.

But read yourself ;)