My impression of #okfest14 and Berlin in 17 bullet points.

The uncut version

Pieter-Jan Pauwels
Jul 20, 2014 · 4 min read

I know a lot of the people are writing about the content and results of the festival. Let me ignore that for just a second and go on about my impressions and opinions on my first week in Berlin.

#okfest14

  • #okfest14 volunteers are so self-organised. They only know half what to do, but wing in it in the most gracious way. It reminds me that whenever I’m organising an event I don’t have to chase my volunteers that much, they’ll handle it.
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  • I’ve met a lot of new people, but only a tenth of those on my to-meet-list. Two days is too short to try and meet so many interesting people.
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  • Almost every ‘Berliner’ at #okfest is from another country. Except for Martin. Which makes it a great atmosphere to be in and a logical place to host such an event.
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CC-BY PJPauwels
  • I really loved the fair where you just walk around and ask questions directly to people of certain projects. At least then you don’t have to think about what organisation somebody is from and why those damn name cards keep flipping over so you can’t read their names. “Sorry are you from School of data?“
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Source: businesstocommunity.com

My impressions of Berlin itself

  • Aside from #okfest It’s the only city so far that can be dirty and charming at the same time. I’m normally not a fan, here I was. I felt anarchistic and sometimes almost post-apocalyptic but without the radiation and zombies.
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CC-BY-NC-SA aNto on Flickr
  • The terrible food in Germany is a lie, at least if you’re staying in Berlin. All though I must say I didn’t went for the full German cuisine. I did Chinese, Italian, Turkish, Spanish, Japanese and Swedish if you count the Smorgasbord of the Open Education guys.
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CC — BY PJPauwels
  • Bikes everywhere made me think of my hometown, only in Berlin the bike paths are bigger but everyone rides on the sidewalk anyway. That would be a nono in Belgium above 9 years old. I really wanted to rent a bike to have this ‘f*ck the police’ feeling, even though it’s apparently fine in Berlin.
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CC-BY PJPauwels

What impression did you have of #okfest14 or its neighbourhood? Let me know a @PJPauwels.

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