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.

A labelled illustration of a rollercoaster.
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:

A play button.
A video thumbnail.
A play button.
A video thumbnail.
A play button.
A video thumbnail.
A play button.
A video thumnail.
A play button.
A video thumnail.
A play button.
A video thumnail.
»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

Upcoming Talks

August 27, 2024
Artificial Intelligence – a Car for the Mind?
Horizons 2024
Hannover, Germany

Past Talks

October 6, 2023
Perspectives in Play
Essen, Germany
May 13, 2023
TEDxInnsbruck: Learn, Grow, and Thrive: The Transformative Powers of Play
Innsbruck, Austria
March 24, 2023
Designing the Future
Deutsche Telekom Stiftung
Bonn, Germany
November 25, 2022
Rien ne va plus? Unleashing societal and individual potentials with games
Next Level Festival
Essen, Germany
November 16, 2022
From hand axes to smart phones: designing interactions
Digitale Leute Summit
Cologne, Germany
September 29, 2022
Ein Plädoyer für das Spielen
June 9, 2022
Perspectives in Play
Didacta 2022
Cologne, Germany
May 17, 2022
Participation in the Hybrid Museum
September 9, 2021
Human-Computer Interaction in Future Mobility
IAA Mobility 2021
Munich, Germany
July 14, 2021
Panel: Alternatives to be Discussed
September 2, 2020
Wenn R2D2, Wall-E und Nr. 5 zu Kollegen werden
November 13, 2019
Digitale Sucht
Fachtagung Suchthilfe
Essen, Germany
November 11, 2019
Multisensorische Mensch-Computer-Interaktion
Affiliate Conference
Munich, Germany
April 2, 2019
Designing the Unknown
Im/Possible Futures
Berlin, Germany
November 21, 2018
Geräte von Morgen
October 25, 2018
Future Spatial User Experiences
August 22, 2018
Digital-Physical Play
Gamescom Congress
Cologne, Germany
June 27, 2018
Protecting Our Creativitity from the Side-Effects of Technology
TEDxBerlin 2018
Berlin, Germany
March 15, 2017
Information Spaces: Building Bridges between the Digital and the Physical World
February 19, 2017
Shape-Changing Interfaces
Schloss Dagstuhl
Wadern, Germany
October 10, 2016
Navigation: Der Weg nach vorn
September 27, 2016
Future Interactions with Games
July 29, 2016
Digitalisierung vs. Menschlichkeit?
Sommerfest Mensa in Deutschland e. V.
Berlin, Germany
July 3, 2016
IoT Kitchen Talk: Cyborgs
Telefónica Kitchen Talks
Berlin, Germany
April 26, 2016
Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag
Berlin, Germany
February 24, 2016
640TB sollten für jedermann genug sein.
Microsoft Explained
Berlin, Germany
January 30, 2016
Digitales Theater
Berlin, Germany
December 10, 2015
Staying Human in the Internet of Things
Hub Conference
Berlin, Germany
November 12, 2015
Mensch Bleiben
World Usability Day
Berlin, Germany
November 2, 2015
Tomorrow's Computers are Invisible
Digital Science Match
Berlin, Germany
October 4, 2015
How to Ruin your Creativity using the Powerful Tools of the Digital Age
Maker Faire
Berlin, Germany
August 29, 2015
Staying Human in the Internet of Things
August 28, 2015
Erfinder gesucht!
KidsCraft Summer Camp
Wolfsburg, Germany
July 9, 2015
Screenager und Smartphone-Zombies
HLS-Tagung »Mediensucht«
Frankfurt, Germany
June 30, 2015
Digitale Inhalte (be-)greifbar machen
Berlin, Germany
May 5, 2015
The Fast-Food Age of Information Consumption
Berlin, Germany
March 3, 2015
A day in the Future: Wearables
Mobile World Congress
Barcelona, Spain
January 20, 2015
Dress/Code: Interactive Textiles
Berlin, Germany
December 4, 2014
Human-Technology Interactions: What's Next?
Online Educa
Berlin, Germany
November 30, 2014
Staying Human in the Digital Age
Milan, Italy
July 29, 2014
Analog is the new Digital
July 16, 2014
Rethinking our Relationship to Technology
TechOpenAir 2014
Berlin, Germany
July 9, 2014
Mein Handy und ich
IFA Innovations Media Briefing
Berlin, Germany
June 3, 2014
Staying Human in the Digital Age
Webinale 2014
Berlin, Germany
May 22, 2014
Bodily Experiences of the Digital
UX Lausanne 2014
Lausanne, Switzerland
May 15, 2014
The Fast-Food Age of Information Consumption
Typo Berlin 2014
Berlin, Germany
May 6, 2014
Smartphone Zombies
Next 2014
Berlin, Germany
January 31, 2014
Computer von morgen
Handelsblatt-Tagung »Strategisches IT-Management«
Munich, Germany
January 22, 2014
Hello, real world
Berlin, Germany
December 3, 2013
Feeling the Digital
Barcelona, Spain
November 20, 2013
Der Mensch in der vernetzten Gesellschaft
October 25, 2013
The Physical Frontier
October 17, 2013
Wie unser Körper die digitale Welt begreift
Science Slam Berlin
Berlin, Germany
September 6, 2013
How our Body Understands the Digital World
TEDxBerlin 2013
Berlin, Germany
August 22, 2013
Bodies of Information
June 29, 2013
Physical Killed the Digital Star
Berlin, Germany
June 20, 2013
In Touch
MLove ConFestival 2013
Castle Beesenstedt, Germany
April 23, 2013
Interwoven and Connected: Prototyping a Networked Society
Next 2013
Berlin, Germany
November 23, 2012
Physical Interfaces of the Future
Munich, Germany
October 26, 2012
Research Through Design in Embodied Interaction
Dutch Design Week Goes Digital
Eindhoven, Netherlands
September 11, 2012
Embodied Interactions
Birmingham, United Kingdom
August 22, 2012
Design Research
Science Slam at Campus Party Europe
Berlin, Germany
June 28, 2012
Mobile Innovation
HTC Tomorrow Talks
Innsbruck, Austria
June 7, 2012
Research Through Design
DMY Design Festival
Berlin, Germany
April 5, 2012
The Future of Human-Computer Interaction
Miami University Local IXDA Chapter
Oxford, Ohio, USA
March 11, 2012
Designing Tomorrow's Digital/Physical Interfaces
SXSW Interactive
Austin, Texas, USA
February 23, 2012
Democratizing Innovation
Geneva, Switzerland
January 30, 2012
Hack to the Future
Dublin, Ireland
November 20, 2011
Erfinder gesucht!
Berlin, Germany
October 27, 2011
In Touch with the Digital
The Calcalist Mobile
Tel Aviv, Israel
July 25, 2011
Mobile Phones of the Future
Mobile Marketing Association CEO / CMO Summit
Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic
June 27, 2011
We Must Not Grow Up
Technology Meets Talent
Darmstadt, Germany
May 5, 2011
Tangible Future Visions of Multi-Sensory Mobile Communication
EuroVision TV Summit
Lucerne, Switzerland
November 15, 2010
How can we make Telecommunication more Emotional?
Berlin, Germany
October 1, 2010
How can we make Mobile Phone Calls more Polite?
Salzburg, Austria
May 7, 2010
Making Computers Stiff, Scratchy and Stubborn
Lift 2010
Geneva, Switzerland
March 2, 2010
Anrufe mit Fingerspitzengefühl
CeBIT 2010
Hannover, Germany
December 28, 2009
Haptic Displays in Mobile Phones
Chaos Communication Congress 2009
Berlin, Germany
November 30, 2009
How Can we Make Digital Content Graspable?
Berlin, Germany