WikiStage Team

WikiStage: What's next?
  • For those of you who are fairly new to the concept of WikiStage, allow me to spend a few paragraphs explaining our mission and achievements so far.

    Back in 2013 when we started this project with an event at ESCP Europe, we wanted to establish a network of events around the world that would tackle different issues, from start-up entrepreneurship to Immanuel Kant’s philosophy.

    We set ourselves a mission to use modern technology to revolutionize the way events are organized worldwide. Only 20 years ago, the reach of most conferences was restricted to their immediate audiences. Some of these events were probably very inspiring (some of them probably only had an exciting buffet), but there is no way for us to check that unless we know someone who went.

    Today, the situation has unfortunately not changed that much. Still, there are hundreds of events worldwide that are either not recorded or are recorded in such a way that makes it impossible to follow, or share on social media. For example: the videos are too long (4 hour long videos with all event talks and discussions), the videos look boring (shot from one position), the individual talks are way too long (2-hour dictator-addresses-the-United-Nations style talk with the help of a PowerPoint presentation). Luckily, things do not have to be like that anymore. Digitalize the events! It is the sharing revolution. It is the death of PowerPoint.

    Our events have not always been TED-like events with audience of thousands; we wanted to include smaller events - WikiStage Corners, where speakers give talks to a smaller audience. The common denominator of all these conferences is not just the WikiStage branding but also the fact that all event talks (short, focused - WikiTalks) were recorded and published on WikiStage.org.

    The idea was to give an opportunity to mainly young and enthusiastic people to organize events and give their speakers a global audience, regardless where in the World they are, or the lack of finance or logistics they might be facing if they wanted to organize a full-fledged high profile conference. The idea was not just to digitalize events, but also to democratize them.

    Three years later, we take a look back and we can say we have succeeded in making WikiStage a global brand. With a network of over 500 volunteers we have organized more than 70 events on 4 different continents. We have had over 350 speakers, total number of Facebook followers of all WikiStage pages has exceeded 55.000 and people have spent 2 years equivalent of time watching our WikiTalks. Beyond our initial partner ESCP Europe, we partnered up for individual confrences and recordings with the World Bank Group, SUEZ Environment, YESS, MEDEF, OuiShare, the French Embassy in Berlin, Maison de l'Europe de Paris, and many other.

    What’s next?

    We are still far from done in our mission to revolutionize the way ideas travel from events to audiences.

    Our next mission is to become THE platform for event talks. We seek to establish partnerships with event organizers around the world in order to add their event talks to our platform. We add the talks to different #debates in order to have videos on similar issues from a variety of events at one place, where the users can have a comprehensive overview of the issue, compare different positions, and vote for the best talks. 

    There are several types of partnerships we offer to conference organizers.

    The most lightweight is the one when events are already perfectly recorded, speeches are already short and focused, everything is online and ready to be shared. In this case, we only integrate the videos on our platform. In this way, we give not only a bigger audience to these event talks, but also an opportunity to compare them to the ones from other, related events.

    Further on, in case an event is filmed but the video is too long and/or shot from one position, we offer two types of partnerships. First, our video editing crew edits your event video and publishes all event talks on our platform. Second option, which can work together with the first: our film production crew records your next event, edits the talks, makes them look awesome and we, again, publish them on WikiStage.org.

    And, as they say in those cheesy TV commercials - that is not all!

    A closer WikiStage partnership includes our team of professional presentation coaches who help the speakers of a partner-event prepare their talks and rock the stage. Short and focused talks that have a long-lasting impact on the audience and a potential to go viral – this is the format they teach the speakers through really amazing workshops and individual coaching sessions.

    Organizers can also, in case they are not already using a similar format, opt for organizing WikiTalks as a distinct part of their conference. A great example for this would be an academic conference. Imagine having, for example, a group of leading physicists dealing with the theory of relativity doing WikiTalks next to their main, scientific event, in order to transmit their knowledge to the general audience. Amazing, right?   

    Will we become THE platform for event talks three years from now? We will do it even before, because we are not just a platform, but we offer a full service to event organizers, in-house, in one organization - WikiStage - led by young people (all employees are less than 30 years old), true to its original mission and enthusiastic about making the World a better place.

    Are you an event organizer and you are interested in becoming a partner of WikiStage in any of the ways described? Contact us here.

WikiStage Team

A conversation with Johannes Bittel
  • When I joined WikiStage over a month ago, I knew very little about the organisation. I had seen an advertisement online that had peaked my interest. But it wasn't until after I met with the team that I wanted to be in on the action.

    The website was being revamped, and the old blog was being wiped clean. Immediately, I knew how I wanted to be involved with WikiStage.

    It didn't take long before I found myself caught up in the energy and the enthusiasm as team members worked hard to finish their tasks. It was refreshing and exciting.

    And in the midst of everything, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Johannes Bittel, founder and president of WikiStage, to learn more about the future direction of WikiStage.

    Why the new website change?

    So the website that we had at the beginning of the project was a very simple website that presented the idea of WikiStage and that presented some of our favourite videos. But it wasn't, yet, this video platform or this video social network, if you like, about short talks. And this is what we now finally make come true with this launch of the new website.

    What's different about the new website?

    The new website is a true video platform and social media. You can follow the users that you like. You can watch all the videos from one specific event. You can watch, if you are interested in creativity, you can watch all the videos that are tagged about creativity.

    If you are interested about a recent event, such as Charlie Hebdo that happened in France a couple of weeks ago, then you can watch all the things that people have to say about this event.

    It's a platform that allows you to respond immediately with immediacy about current events that are in the news with your own talk. Or add videos that you find on the internet about this topic to the platform.

    How would you say WikiStage is an open platform?

    There are many ways how people can contribute. 

    The easiest way to interact is simply to go on the website, watch the videos, then you can create an account and leave a comment and join the debate there. You can create playlist and put different videos that belong together in a playlist together. You can follow other users. 

    But then you can get more involved. You can create your own WikiTalks. You can organise your own WikiStage events which aim to record WikiTalks that then go on the platform and produce your own content and contribute to the debate.

    Or if you are an expert yourself in something and you want to do a WikiTalk, you can record it and upload it to the platform. Or you can get invited to a WikiStage event that one of your friends organises.

    What do you hope people that participate get out of WikiStage?

    I hope they would feel a little more empowered and listened to when they have something to contribute on a certain topic. I hope that they discover many interesting things that will broaden their horizons. Many ideas. Many food for thought. Many short, good talks that could entertain them waiting for the bus or when they are doing the dishes. That they can put on a short WikiTalk that could enrich them intellectually in someway.

    I hope that people make this great experience of inviting others and curating a debate. Organising their own events is a very enriching and a very valuable experience, and I hope that people see themselves as actors and not just as consumers. As active contributors to society and to the knowledge of the world. And not just as people who are clicking, reading and watching but also commenting, contributing and even making a video of themselves. To contribute to something meaningful and bigger than themselves. 

     

WikiStage Team

Welcome to the New Blog!
  • Hello and welcome everyone!

    We have been working hard for a while now, and so it gives us great pleasure to present our new website. It is finally ready and so are we! We want to make this blog an important part of WikiStage, and what’s more, we want you to contribute!

    We would love to hear your stories and your experiences with WikiStage from all over the world. After all, we are the space for global, open debate. Even though WikiStage is a video platform, we praise the written word.

    All contributions need to be written in English, but don’t let lack of confidence get in the way! We will read and edit everything making sure it is coherent before posting. If writing is your cup of tea, we will be more than happy to welcome you as a regular contributor.

    Moreover, since we deeply believe that you learn and progress your entire life, we are always open for suggestions. Do not hesitate to contact us if you think you can help us improve. Having said that, let’s get started! Follow us and send your contributions to the email address: team@wikistage.org.

     

WikiStage Team

Traveling off the Beaten Path
  • I'll never forget the day I boarded my first, long distance flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Madrid, Spain. Passport clutched in my hand, my heart was pounding with adrenaline. I couldn't contain my excitement.

    For as long as I can remember, I've had the travel bug. I have always wanted to go and see and do. Sitting still was never an option. And four years after boarding my first long distance flight, I have been living abroad in Paris for three of those years and have visited over fifteen European countries.

    In his talk, "Why you should, and how you could, travel off the beaten path?" Jeremy Ximenez of WikiStage Stanford breaks down the "Where?" "How?" and "When?" for traveling off the beaten path.

    Ximenez has tons of experience visiting countries that most wouldn't dare out of fear and uncertainty. While I myself haven't traveled to the countries he mentions, I have visited ones that aren't in the top five for most European travelers, and these tend to be some of my favorites.

    But why?

    In the "Where?" section, Ximenez answers that question by explaining that there are less tourists in these countries. And since there are fewer, people tend to be more hospitable and eager to meet foreigners.

    When I took a cab ride from the Sarajevo airport to the center of the city, my cabbie tried to give me a quick, historical tour of his city with his broken English while whizzing in and out of traffic. The man was proud of his country, and despite a language barrier, he was eager to tell a young American traveler everything he possibly could.

    Traveling is already something important to learn more about yourself and other cultures. But sometimes when you travel somewhere filled with tourists, it can be difficult to fully experience what the country has to offer. I've discovered that when you travel somewhere with few tourists, locals are more likely to offer a helping hand and try their hardest to ensure your visit is memorable.

    My stories are not as extreme as Ximenez, but they just as important to me and serve as a reminder for why I love traveling to places most people wouldn't think twice about. And this is something I keep in mind as I plan my next adventure.

    If you itching to travel but aren't sure where, just take a few minutes to listen to Ximenez's talk, and maybe you will have the urge to travel off the beaten path.

WikiStage Team

WikiStage Recording March 21
  • On Saturday, the WikiStage team met at ESCP Europe to hold one of its studio recordings. While it was a small gathering, the atmosphere was open and positive. Everyone was chatting amongst each other trying to get to know the person behind the talk.

    'It was quite impressive to see people from any kind of background, any kind of studies, jobs that are pitching in three minutes what they have learned from years', said Diane Lenne, WikiStage manager.

    Lenne, one of 11 speakers, gave her first recorded WikiTalk on the question 'What if you would die tomorrow'? Her excitement and energy helped make her first talk a success.

    While there wasn't a set theme for the session, the talks were interesting and diverse. Alexandre Maurin discussed 'How to live in the present'?, Pierre Chevelle explained 'How to change the world in two hours'? and Abhinav Agarwal gave his opinion on 'How Shrek is an entrepreneur'?

    (And yes, that last one is about Shrek from the DreamWorks animated film.)

    The recordings will be up on the website in the next week giving you the chance to listen and see what sticks in your mind.

    'What had been said, it stuck in our minds'. said Lenne. 'We remember it very well, and I can almost repeat all the talks by heart'.

WikiStage Team

The importance of enthusiasm
  • (This article is a contribution from Oana Besnea, former PR officer at la Cité universitaire internationale universitaire de Paris.)

    Us, millennials, are very selective about the way we spend our time. When we attend an event, we want it to be short, energetic, and worth it. I attended a WikiStage event because of the energy and enthusiasm Johannes showed when talking about his project!

    I first met Johannes in a monthly brunch I used to organise with a team of brilliant students in the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris campus. We invited young individuals from around the world to give a short talk on a project of theirs.

    It was then that Johannes talked about WikiStage. He reached to every individual in the room, and I knew it was soon going to become global.

    That’s the secret if you ask me. That’s what the world needs nowadays: people with energy and initiative that make their actions matter.

WikiStage Team

WikiStage La Paillasse: The voice of the community
  • On Thursday, March 26, we had the opportunity to meet and to get to know the people behind La Paillasse: a biohacking laboratory co-created by the inspiring team of young researchers, entrepreneurs, inventors, designers and hackers.

    Fourteen speakers put their innovative ideas into the form of a WikiTalk, each delivering a speech in only three, six or nine minutes.

    The topics ranged from bioproduction and autonomy to alternatives for polluting properties of chemical pigments to knowledge in the sense of shared good. Some speakers gave their own answers to questions such as, "What to do in order to manage fashion"? "How collective intelligence could transform energy"? and "Is Arctic the future of Saint Pierre and Miquelon"?

    The event was conducted by the irreplaceable Diane Lenne, manager of our WikiStage team. A big thank you to Olivier Michelot who managed to create a unique setting for the speakers, inviting the audience into the magical world of scientific experiements.

    Soon we will be able to share these talks with you thanks to Cyrille Tassart from the Videaux crew.

    Stay tuned!

WikiStage Team

WikiStage Panthéon Sorbonne: innovation 2.0
  • On April 2, WikiStage held its first event at Panthéon Sorbonne. Around 50 people showed up to hear eight different WikiTalks centered around one theme: innovation.

    The atmosphere was bright and relaxed. Listeners were told to be curious and seek answers. Solutions to any problem can be found, but we need to pay attention to everything around us.

    The first speaker, Mika Mered, talked about different innovative projects in the Arctic and Antarctic from floating cities to developing tourism. For him, adaptation is key.

    Oliver Rohou encouraged the audience to not be ashamed about sharing their ideas. As long as you are passionate, no idea is a bad idea.

    For Jeanne Dussueil, people are the media innovation and anyone can be a decision maker. By using visions from abroad, we can enrich national debates.

    Through their talks, you can tell each speaker is driven and passionate about their ideas. It's hard not to listen and feel inspired!

    If you are wanting a little push in being more innovative, keep an eye out for these WikiTalks on the website!

WikiStage Team

WikiStage Team Profile: WikiStage Geneva Innovation
  • Since its first event in 2013, over 50 organisers spanning over 10 countries have volunteered to participate in WikiStage's mission.

    One of this year's newest organisers is WikiStage Geneva Innovation, founded by Yves Zieba.

    Participant Valérie Le Gall recalls the first meeting as being warm and relaxed yet professional. A small group of people sipped fair trade coffee from a sponsor "Fix," chatted getting to know one another and discovered how they could get involved. There was an obvious entrepreneurial spirit present at the meeting.

    "A beautiful energy emerges from the WikiStage Geneva [Innovation] team," said Le Gall. "The collaborative spirit, the presence of multiple skills and openness to the world are the ingredients that will undoubtedly lead WikiStage Geneva [Innovation] to success!"

    However, the turnout to the first gathering was small, and the team is in need of more key players to help get the ball rolling in Geneva.

    The team is planning on having its first WikiStage event within the next two months. So if you are in Geneva and want to join in on the action, feel free to join their Facebook group and get in contact with their team!

WikiStage Team

WikiStage SoScience: improving the world through responsible research and innovation
  • WikiStage SoScience welcomed over 50 guests to its first WikiStage event on May 16 to learn about Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). The day was divided into three sessions, each dealing with the point of RRI and the form it can take.

    The first session had the difficult task of introducing the audience to the basics of RRI. Thomas Busuttil introduced the goals of RRI by answering the question, "Is sustainable development a major leverage for a new humanism?"

    Daphne Carthy followed by showing how responsible research can be profitable by answering the question, "How to combine responsibility and performance during the innovation processes?"

    Since funding is crucial to complete research, Gilles Bruneaux explained how to select research projects that can be most profitable for society. Finally, Anastasia Mandraveli convinced us about the deep relationship between innovation and law.

    Following a quick snack break, thanks to our partner Puerto Cacao, audience members were able to discover exceptional RRI projects during the second session. The session started in an unusual way because theatre actors “Mises en Pièces” tried to humorously explain how to cook french fries in a responsible and eco-friendly way.

    Akpéli Nordor talked about translational research while both Adel Mebarki and Redhouane Abdelloui showed us how social networks can be useful for future health system.

    Ladislas De Toldi explained how robotics can improve the lives for some children, and Sandra Rey presented nature as an infinite source of inspiration for innovation

    After another break, we were ready to learn how to help RRI become viral and inspire everyone in society.

    This third session kicked off with another humorous skit from “Mises en Pièces” who pretended to perform irresponsible research as a way for audience members to better understand the importance of responsible research.

    Celya Gruson-Daniel explained the importance of developing open science for both society and for RRI. Lionel Larqué had the audience reflect about the complex relationship between science and society.

    The event ended with Alexandra Ivanovitch discussing new educative methodologies for the future relationship between science and society.

    At the end of the day, all of the participants at WikiStage SoScience were aware of RRI's goals and how crucial it is to continue spreading spread this idea over the world!

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