1. What makes Berlin the right place for TOA?
Berlin has a fast-growing startup ecosystem with many successful global players, such as DeliveryHero, Spotify, and SoundCloud. They all have their headquarters here. Also, the startup and tech scenes are constantly developing, growing, and in flux—which makes it an ideal place for innovation and creativity. That’s why we decided to start Tech Open Air in Berlin. Now, for our sixth edition, Berlin and the TOA are more attractive than ever. Our numbers are proof of that; we expect more than 20,000 attendees, 200 international speakers, and 200 satellite events.
2. How are you seeing tech change the travel world?
Tech has made traveling so much easier and I think there will be more and more radical innovations under way. I have the feeling that with technical innovations, the world is becoming a big community which makes traveling much more personal. Just think of Airbnb, which provides the chance to directly connect with guests and hosts in a very personal way. Moreover, technical innovations are true time-savers. You can check in via your cellphone and don’t need to print tickets or go to the check in counter. It has also become more affordable, since websites allow us to find the cheapest flights and hotel deals possible. And with apps like Uber and Blah Blah car, we have easier access to cheaper and more convenient transportation options. Overall, technical innovations allow us to travel more easily, more affordably, and more conveniently than ever before.
3. Who are your three, not-to-miss speakers at TOA this year?
There’ll be definitely more than three top speakers at the Tech Open Air, but my personal highlights are:
Rebecca Roth, Image Coordinator NASA
Alex Ljung, CEO & Co-Founder of Soundcloud
4. What’s top on your list of travel destinations?
I have a lot of favorite vacation spots but would definitely love to visit Japan again. It just fascinates me how futurism and antiquity are so closely intertwined there. In regards to economy and technology, Japan is more than one step ahead of us—with a per Capita GDP higher than in Europe—and is at the same time valuing its past in such a wonderful way. I have never seen a combination like this in any other country. I am also fascinated by the perfection and the attention to detail. And as a foodie, Japan is the non-plus-ultra anyway.
5. A favorite spot here in Berlin?
Since I am a foodie that loves Japan, I have to go for the Japanese restaurant Sasaya in Prenzlauer Berg.