Taking the Stage


What the future should bring. And what it shouldn’t.
© Dan Taylor / Heisenberg Media
Ireally enjoy

being up on stage. It’s a great feeling to be part of a conversation with an audience that’s as curious as I am about how we should live in the future. Wherever I go, from tech conferences like Tech Open Air, re:publica and Codemotion to design festivals to TEDxBerlin, all of my talks relate to big topics of being human in an increasingly digital world.

From my experience attending hundreds of such conferences and events, I know what separates a good talk from a great one. The best talks are a transformative venture into a new topic, picking up the listener, taking them on a wild ride and returning them home safely, touched and moved, richer in insights and experiences. Just like a rollercoaster.

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The best talks are structured like rollercoaster rides.

Creating a talk is about crafting a story. I stick to the metaphorical structure of a rollercoaster ride: the high peaks – the long view, the big, philosophical questions – and the fast, unexpected parts: thought-provoking ideas that may provide glimpses of answers to the big questions. Surprises, laughter, perhaps even tears. The audience walks away with new perspectives, sparked conversations, the impetus to act, and thoughts to chew on in the long run.

Presenting at NEXT Berlin conference.
Speaking at NEXT Conference, together with Gesche Joost and Tom Bieling.

A great talk isn’t about information. It’s about transformation. Audiences shouldn't find themselves in the need to take notes — they should simply be touched. Below is a compilation that gives a sense of the style and beat of my talks:

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»Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.«
— Richard Feynmann
The following

are the topics I’m most fascinated by. While the big questions may defy easy answers, the goal is to start a discussion about what kind of future we wish for. I’m a strong believer in the endless potential of human creativity, and if I inspire people to share my belief, the effort will be worth it. Let's go for a ride.

Fabian Hemmert, giving a presentation.
Staying Human in a Digital World
  • Rethinking our relationship to technology
  • What makes us (in)human
    • A brief history of humanness
    • Learning from science fiction
  • How to not turn into a machine
    • The fast-food age of information consumption
    • House rules for digital addicts
Talking in front of a Back to the Future background.
Turning Ideas into Realities
  • How the new enters our world
    • Systematizing ideation
    • Cultivating creation
  • Managing ideas
    • Ideas are like plants
    • Creative habits
  • Prototyping
    • Crafting narratives
    • Building experiences
    • Designing the future
Fabian Hemmert, presenting on a lit stage.
Digital Ethics
  • Right and wrong?
    • Values versus algorithms
    • Hard decisions
  • Reinventing Work
    • Time is money?
    • Automation and its consequences
  • Artificial Intelligence
    • Thinking vs. consciousness
    • Our relationship to artificial beings