Copenhagen Calls for New Tech Leadership

Aug 10, 2017 · 3 min read
  • Techfestival initiates global dialogue on human-centered design principles and responsibility in technology
  • 150 entrepreneurs, designers, technologists & philosophers join think tank to co-author progressive technology manifesto
  • Media accreditations now open

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK: Fake news and hacks disrupting democratic elections. People protesting Silicon Valley monoliths Airbnb and Uber. Cybercrimes shutting down infrastructure and hospitals. Nudging apps binding you to your screens for higher advertising profits.

Recent technology developments have caused extraordinary challenges to our societies, urgently calling for a new kind of leadership in tech.

Gathering up to 15,000 participants in Copenhagen, new festival and think tank Techfestival initiates an open and reflective dialogue around ethics and responsibility in technology, examining its impact on our societies and us as humans, September 5-10th 2017.

At the heart of Techfestival, its think tank “cph150” will gather 150 accomplished entrepreneurs, senior designers, technologists, and philosophers to craft a progressive European agenda for technology. During a 48-hours session, the 150 participants will co-author “The Copenhagen Letter on Tech”, challenging best practices in technology design today.

Once counterculture, tech is now everywhere and all-powerful. We have created Techfestival because it’s time to go beyond Silicon Valley’s ‘bro-culture’, innovation hype and widespread fear of AI. Time to coin a new agenda that anchors technology progress in society. Technology is not above us. It is not making the decisions. We are.” — Thomas Madsen-Mygdal, Initiator of Techfestival

“The Copenhagen Letter on Tech” will be presented at Techfestival, September 8th, and made available to the public immediately after the festival.

“Technology must integrate with democratic societies and basic human values. Right now we are sleepwalking into a future designed for users, not humans. Europe needs to step up. Techfestival is a wake-up call for all of us to put an end to innovation hype. We need to critically reflect on design principles, and to put progress back into the equation.” — Aydogan Ali Schosswald, Co-organizer & Philosopher in Chief, Techfestival

6 Days of Human-Centric Tech All Over Copenhagen

The inaugural Techfestival turns the entire city of Copenhagen into a stage for human-centric conversation on technology. The program offers more than 100 summits, meetups, conferences, installations and conversations hosted by independent organizers and thought leaders from Europe and beyond.

In a participatory festival setting, attendees will discuss topics such as: privacy and trust, cybersecurity, sextech, food systems, smart cities, new education, blockchain and decentralized internet technologies, machine ethics, micro-mobility, and many more themes.

In the evening, participants will gather at the iconic Meatpacking District in Copenhagen for shared experiences including conversations on stage, installations, dinners, music and meetups.

“We have been stuck in convention centers with roll-ups, powerpoint slides and artificial lights for too long. With Techfestival, we are using the entire city to have a human-centered conversation. Together with co-organizers from around the world we’ll break down today’s most complex questions into tangible experiences.” — Marie Louise Gørvild, Co-Organizer & Curator

Among many others, contributors and speakers include AI expert Azeem Azhar (UK), The Pirate Bay & Flattr founder Peter Sunde (SE), artist Olafur Eliasson (DK), Kickstarter founder Charles Adler (US), Clue founder Ida Tin (DK), urbanist Tomas Diez (VE), Tactical Technology Collective (GER), author and educator Linda Liukas (FIN), Eventbrite founder Renaud Visage (FR), analyst Horace Dediu (RO/US), technologist Jerry Michalski (US) and Ethcore founder Jutta Steiner (GER).

Techfestival is supported by a group of Nordic-born startups: Zendesk, Unity, Twentythree, Siteimprove, TrackUnit as well as the Copenhagen Municipality, Copenhagen Capital Region, The Danish Growth Fund and the Danish Business Authorities.

Full program available here.

Call for Journalists and Public Voices

The inaugural Techfestival kickstarts a broad, critically reflective dialogue on technology. We invite all journalists and curious minds in media to take part in Techfestival. Meet Europe’s progressive technologists and join the conversation.

For more insights into the program and media accreditation, sign up here and feel free to contact Marie Louise Gørvild at or +45 6170 9104.

Media kit available here.

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