Visit Berlin; Q Berlin; Pressekonferenz; Rotes Rathaus; Berlin; 05. September 2022

When it comes to important congresses, Munich has the Security Conference to offer. Nothing comes to mind when it comes to Berlin. But that should change soon. On Monday, the Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) presented the new concept for the so-called “Q Berlin” metropolitan conference in the Red City Hall.

It may be meeting for the fifth time in a row, but as is often the case with newly launched events, this year it will be particularly international, pompous and above all important. At least that’s what Franziska Giffey, Burkhard Kieker, managing director of the tourism marketing agency visitBerlin and Q-Berlin director, and Lutz Henke, curator of the event and also employee of visitBerlin, affirm.

The questions that will be discussed in the International Congress Center (ICC) in Westend from September 15th to 16th are great. It’s about, says Giffey, “that in times of great upheaval, of change all over the world, we talk about how solutions can be developed at urban, local level to deal with climate change, the energy crisis, transformation processes, crises, inflation – all that to master what lies ahead.”

And she says: “We’re not just a neighborhood, we’re also a cosmopolitan city.”

That’s why the title of the event is also: “The New Unknown – Navigating the turning point of time”, which in German means something like: the new unknown – navigating in the turning point of time. What sounds cocky seems to be cocky. Kieker says: “We don’t claim to be able to provide answers to all of today’s major questions. You may walk out with more questions than you went in.”

Politicians, activists, artists and journalists are invited as speakers. Among them were the Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaja, the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Freetown Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr and the architect Rem Koolhaas, the CEO of the BVG Eva Kreienkamp and the Ukrainian journalist and author Nataliya Gumenyuk.

She and others would give 15-minute keynote speeches on the first day of the conference, a Thursday. The next day there should be several discussions and deeper arguments – so-called deep dives.

The metropolitan conference is aimed at “people who want to take responsibility for shaping the future for themselves and for others,” says Kieker. Two-day tickets for 199 euros and one-day tickets for 129 euros can be bought on the website

According to the curator and cultural scientist Henke, solidarity tickets are also offered, i.e. free tickets for people who cannot afford the participation fees. However, these are not yet available on the website as of Monday afternoon.

Then Henke once again praises the venue, the famous ICC. For the first time in almost ten years there will be a conference there. And as the entertainer Harald Juhnke said at the opening in 1979: the ICC may have something of Enterprise on the outside, but inside it is a very communicative center. Henke also refers to an open call, an invitation for artists to submit works for parallel exhibitions. Anyone who is only interested in this or simply wants to see the ICC from the inside again can book an evening ticket for Thursday for 15 euros.

According to Kieker, 800,000 euros from state funds have been made available for the event, and around 800 visitors are expected. On Monday, Kieker was unable to answer the question of how many tickets had already been booked. He didn’t look at the latest status again in the morning.