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b° future festival

SAVE THE DATE and plan your trip to Bonn!

On September 15-16, 2023, we are hosting the first b° future festival for journalism and constructive dialogue. You can find more information here.

official b future festival logo with white lettering on skewed rectangles with the colours yellow, orange, green, blue and a light purple.

The Bonn Institute is the home of constructive journalism in Europe. And b° future is our house-warming party.

We believe that journalism needs a refresh. In an era marked by rapid change, major challenges and radical upheavals, people want the media to provide diverse perspectives, constructive debates, and more solutions.

With the b° future festival, the Bonn Institute is leading the way. For the first time in Europe, we are bringing together all those who are committed to future-oriented journalism that is good for society. Journalism that is critical, constructive, and focused on the needs of diverse populations. We want to spark a dialogue about critical issues for the future and ask: How can journalism report in a way that resonates and counteracts hate speech, Fake News, and polarisation - even in times of war and climate change? What can we do to ensure that journalism becomes as diverse as our societies in Europe already are?

If everything around us is changing at breakneck speed, how must journalism evolve so that it is still relevant tomorrow? That's what we want to discuss at the b° future festival.

Ellen Heinrichs, Founder and Managing Director of the Bonn Institute

Who is b° future festival for?

Are you a journalist? Come to the b° future festival on Friday, September 15th, for panel discussions, workshops, mentoring opportunities, and fireside chats/ hands-on skill building. The focus: How can journalism constructively evolve in times of war and climate crisis so that it reaches audiences? Who is leading the way? What kind of projects are they working on? From whom can we learn, with whom can we share knowledge and who will carry journalism into the future?

Are you a citizen interested in the future of media in Europe? Then come to Bonn's city centre on Saturday, September 16th. At various venues around town – from the market square to the Sternkino to the university – you will be able to see journalism in action and even participate yourself. If you are considering making journalism your profession, come to our career centre/job fair to meet mentors who can guide you on your way.

Call for Participation

Join us at the b° future festival in Bonn!

At the b° future festival, we are bringing together people who want to improve journalism – make it more diverse, more solutions- and future-oriented, and more constructive.

The festival begins on Friday, September 15th at the LVR-LandesMuseum with panel discussions, workshops and talks given by international journalists – for journalists and those working in the media. Our speakers come from diverse backgrounds, but they share the common goal of focusing their work on people’s needs and interests and experimenting with innovative approaches and formats.

On Saturday, 16th September, we will open the festival to the public and bring journalism to life. With events all day, free of charge, across the city of Bonn: at the university, in movie theatres, at the city library, in shops, and in the pedestrian zone. There will be lectures, discussions, workshops, live podcast recordings, readings, (background) talks and more. We want to give audiences a window into how journalism works today and discuss the media transformation.

Part of this programme will be curated through a Call for Participation. We want to present a diversity of journalistic and media offerings, from newspapers to TikTok channels. And you can be there, as a speaker and of course as a guest. We look forward to your ideas and submissions.

b future festival logo with black text and white background.

Call for Participation

Friday, 15.09.2023

The b° future conference for journalism and constructive dialogue is aimed at journalists. It will take place on Friday at the LVR-LandesMuseum in Bonn.

Submit programme now

Saturday, 16.09.2023

The b° future festival invites you to Bonn's city centre on Saturday to experience journalism up close and get a peek behind the scenes of media production.

Submit programme now


When is the deadline for the Call for Participation?

We will accept submissions until 16.06.2023.

When will I be informed if my submission has been accepted or rejected?

We aim to inform all applicants by 30.06.2023 at the latest. It is possible that we will send out acceptance letters for some exciting submissions before the deadline.

How many session proposals can I submit?

You can submit more than one proposal. But please keep in mind that we are a small team and must process everything – so we prefer quality over quantity. You will save us and yourself time if you concentrate on one or two proposals.

Is there a speaking fee?

Unfortunately, we cannot pay speaking fees - the festival is non-commercial and has limited funding. We have a small budget to cover travel/hotel expenses and may do so on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to request assistance, please indicate this in the form and we will be in touch.

What are the programme types?
  • Talk - an inspiring presentation, followed by a Q&A
  • Panel - a moderated discussion, followed by a Q&A
  • Workshop - a small group tackling a topic together
  • Clinic - a collegial consulate focused on a specific topic, including journalistic work
  • Fireside Chat - a personal chat with a small group of participants
  • Podcast recording - An audio recording for listening.
  • Reading - An author presenting their book.
  • Social Event - networking and meeting new people
  • Offstage - an event so big, it wouldn't fit in an indoor space! Open and interactive, for a large group
I have a great idea, but it is not really a submission.

We would love to hear about it! Send us an email with a brief description of your idea / proposal to festival@bonn-institute.org.

Will my session be recorded?

We will try to record as many sessions as possible, because our goal is to document as much of the festival as we can. However, we cannot say for sure whether this will be possible in every case and whether it they be video and/or audio recordings.

What technical equipment will you have available?

We have various venues, all of which have different technical specifications. Please let us know what needs (technical and otherwise) you have, and we will see try to accommodate to the best of our ability.

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