Flashback of TOA 2016 or Why Tech Matters

Merging creative spirits and the highest tech, the 5th edition of Tech Open Air (TOA) hit Berlin’s innovation scene on the 13-15 of July. No matter if you’re a geek from the bottom of your heart, a day dreamer or a career chaser – TOA should hold a fixed spot on your calendar.

Woven horse hair and expensive Russian timber 


©TOAFunkhaus Berlin

To flourish the best ideas you need the very right space. Some criticism after spotting the location on a map and endless praises after seeing it live: the decision to host TOA 16 in the Funkhaus was far away from being random. The building from the 1960s that was used as an East Germany radio station until the 90s, knows how to wow. Floors and walls made of some nearest materials in the world, wood, stone and carpet floors designed to capture different sounds made by footsteps and the beautiful view of Spree. If you looked for the environment for creative freedom – you were definitely at the right place.

‘Creativity is the best currency’

With retro spirit floating in the Funkhaus air, TOA kicked off three days of talks, workshops, sessions and satellites. A well in- and out of Germany known tech festival covered a vast area of topics: from music and art to science and sex. More than 80 speakers including Thomas Gayno (Product Lead, Spotify), Renauld Visage (Co-Founder, Evetbrite) and Cindy Gallop (CEO & Founder, MakeLoveNotPorn) were in the spotlight this year. Calling creatives from all the around the world, TOA welcomed more than 7000 participants from all around the world. Yet that was not all.

TOA provided answers to questions we didn’t know we have. Virtual reality alliterating senses to enhance emotional engagement. Blockchain technology revolutionise banking as we know it. Being creative is believing in yourself. Sex tech is the new big thing. Live music reliefs stress. Tech startups can help solve refugee crisis. The best talks are improvised. And the list goes on.

Going home after the conference? Only for those who like to miss out

TOA Satellite 'One Day in a Smart City' hosted by Plazz Parking

TOA Satellite ‘One Day in a Smart City’ hosted by plazz parking

This years’s TOA was the biggest ever. Not only in a number of participants, but also in a number of satellites. 175 startups, individuals and communities stood up to host satellite events in the most artistic spaces in Berlin. Watch a 3D-printed movie with Formlabs, experience communal dining with EatWith or take a tour through a smart city with Plazz Parking – satellites made it all possible.

Actions speak louder than words

From location, panels and satellites to people and their ideas: TOA has proven its own claim – creativity is the best currency. It is hard to say that TOA is a conference. At least not like the ones we imagine. It is a celebration of science, innovations and creativity. Try to beat that.

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