The Global LGBTI Tech & Science Conference


MAY 6, 2017 | BERLIN

#UNIT is a unique and entertaining conference: very laid-back, positive atmosphere without suits and formalities, a lot of networking possibilities, inspiring talks, music, encounters, performances and installations.



50+ mind-blowing speakers, artists and performers both high-profile and grass-root. Do you have an idea or a talk that is inventive, progressive, inspiring, empowering, insightful, just plain entertaining or downright revolutionary? Do you want to shape #UNIT 2017? Do not be shy, apply and we will get in touch with you soon.


1,000+ diverse LGBTI tech talents, experts, innovators, scientists, designers, artists and businesses from around the world, who come to Berlin in order to share, inspire, empower and learn from each other, work together and create common projects. Do you want to get a ticket discount? Become a member of UNICORNS IN TECH!


Our conference is very interdisciplinary in nature and it is divided into 10 themes that are state-of-the-art digital trends. Our aim is to build bridges between disciplines to explore unexpected insights and connections between our unicorns to create stronger networks and new collaborations. Vote for the themes and win a ticket here!


#UNIT 2016 was very international bringing people from all continents. Almost half of our speakers had international backgrounds. For #UNIT 2017 we strive to be even more international in order to create a spirit of the interconnected diverse world. 


We love knowledge-sharing and mutual learning through interaction and doing. We will propose various in-depth skill building workshops. Most of the workshops are free, but some workshops require a set of materials that we have to buy in advance. For those workshops, you have to register additionally. 


#UNIT is famous for its mind-blowing program and inclusion of digital arts, installations, interventions, performances, and music! Beyond any doubt you feel yourself energetic and excited, entertained and curious, enchanted and fascinated. We will throw up a party in the end to ease our packed brains.



Our ultimate goal is to connect as many diverse unicorns interested in tech and science as possible. In order to share, inspire, empower and learn from each other, work together and create common projects, and just enjoy some time together! “Connecting Unicorns” is the core of our program. There will be many networking opportunities, including regular speed-networking, common workshops, networking games, networking desk, company and start-up stands, pitching, and of course talks.

#UNIT is  a cool and fun conference with well-known and promising talents as speakers. The event is also a great platform for future employers and employees to meet, and to start a new partnership. We believe that closer social connections ultimately create the feeling of a stronger community and make our spaces safer and more accepting.



We put all our efforts into bringing the most inspiring speakers to #UNIT. We strongly believe that inspiration drives innovation. We want our members and guests to get excited about path-breaking technologies and plethora of opportunities, they bring to us. We do our best to bring mind-blowing or unknown technologies for play-and-try. We also focus on meaningful close mentorship and skills building. We have various workshops at #UNIT, where you can learn concrete unique skills. The workshops vary in content, format and difficulty level.


#UNIT 2017 | Connecting Unicorns: The Global LGBTI Tech & Science Conference is going to become more global with more international speakers than #UNIT 2016. We want to bring together LGBTI tech communities from East and West, North and South, from high-profile speakers and established authorities to emerging talents, to discuss the new trends and future of tech and science.We are going to discover alternative voices and unknown but remarkable tech and science projects from around the world and create a space for mutual learning, inspiring and empowering! We are going to look for LGBTI hidden tech gems and stars beyond Silicon Valleys and bring them to Berlin on May 6th, 2017!


Another goal is to promote LGBTI visibility, diversity, inclusivity in tech and science workplaces and to address these issues in safe spaces. There are not many events that create safe spaces to discuss everyday experiences of queer people in tech and science. There are even less platforms that bridge LGBTI communities and businesses together. #UNIT strives to draw wider social attention to issues of discrimination and exclusion at workplaces through bringing media attention and fostering reflective discussions.

#UNIT is a day, when LGBTI people share their inspirational and empowering personal stories of coming out, transitioning, challenging norms and attitudes at work. It is a day, when strategies of how to change tech spaces to be more diverse and inclusive are discussed. It is a day, when organisations reflect upon their policies and practices. It is a day that brings change into the daily lives of LGBTI people.


The thing that makes us different from other tech conferences is fun. Fun is in our DNA. We love to entertain. We create very easy-going atmosphere without suits and formalities. We want to create a safe space, where everyone feels truly as a part of the community, of the bigger family. We shorten social distances and destroy the boredom. We love each of our smart and gorgeous guests. We welcome everyone. And we all party with our DJs and celebrate! Dive with us into a pool of uniqueness, joy and excitement!


Prof. David K Smith

Prof. David K Smith

Department of Chemistry | University of York


Dave Smith is Professor of Chemistry at University of York, where he carries out fundamental research into smart nanomaterials and nanomedicines, publishing ca. 150 research papers and with an h-index over 50. He is a passionate educator with a strong belief in widening participation, giving outreach lectures to 30,000+ UK school students and developing his own YouTube chemistry channel, with over half a million views.
Dave has been recognised for excellence both in research and teaching, having received the Corday Morgan Award in 2012 from The Royal Society of Chemistry and a National Teaching Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy in 2013. In 2014, he was one of C&ENs Top 20 Chemists to Follow on Twitter. He has also been recognised as one of the RSC’s 175 diverse ‘Faces of Chemistry’ in recognition of work to raise the profile of LGBT+ scientists. Dave entered into a civil partnership with his husband Sam in 2010. They live in central York, with their adopted son, where they enjoy the vibrant and historic city, and like cooking and travelling.

Prof. Lynn Conway

Pioneering electrical engineer and computer scientist | University of Michigan

After studying physics at MIT and earning her BS (62) and MSEE (63) at Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, Lynn joined IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, NY. While working on IBM's Advanced Computing Systems project she made foundational contributions to computer architecture. Sadly, IBM fired Lynn as she underwent gender transition in 1968.

A gritty survivor, Lynn started her career all over again as a contract programmer in a covert new identity. Advancing rapidly, she soon became a computer architect at Memorex Corporation, but also began decades of living in fear of being 'outed' and losing her career again. Recruited by Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1973, Lynn invented scalable design rules for VLSI chip design, became principal author of the seminal Mead-Conway text Introduction to VLSI Systems, and in 1978, while serving as a Visiting Associate Professor of EECS at M.I.T., pioneered the teaching of these new methods. Lynn’s teachings quickly spread to over 100 universities, launching a revolution in VLSI microchip design during the 1980's.
Back at PARC Lynn also invented and in 1979 massively demonstrated an internet-based e-commerce infrastructure for rapid chip prototyping, thereby spawning the MOSIS System and the "fabless-design + silicon-foundry" industrial paradigm of modern semiconductor-chip design and manufacturing. As Assistant Director for Strategic Computing at DARPA, Lynn next crafted the meta-architecture and led the planning of the Strategic Computing Initiative, the Department of Defense’s major 1980's effort to coalesce the technology-base for modern intelligent weapons systems.

In 1985 she joined the University of Michigan as Professor of EECS and Associate Dean of Engineering, quietly continuing her distinguished career. Now Professor Emerita, she lives with her engineer husband Charles Rogers on their 23 acre homestead in rural Michigan. They’ve been together over 28 years. As Lynn neared retirement, she faced ‘outing’ as reports about her early work at IBM began surfacing. With a growing sense of pride in her accomplishments, she overcame her fears, quietly came out via the internet, and gradually created a major transgender advocacy website. Translated by volunteers into many languages, her site quickly became a beacon of hope and encouragement for gender transitioners world-wide and a trans focal-point to help expose the Gender Madness in American Psychiatry. Since Lynn “didn’t look like an engineer” back in the day, Silicon Valley’s cognoscenti were clueless about her accomplishments in the 1970’s. That began to change in 2012, when Lynn published her "VLSI Reminiscences" in a special issue of IEEE Solid-State Circuits Magazine, revealing how - closeted and hidden behind the scenes - she conceived the ideas and orchestrated the events that swept through and reshaped an entire industry.

A Fellow of the IEEE, Member of the Hall of Fellows of the Computer History Museum and elected to the National Academy of Engineering, Lynn has also received honorary degrees from Trinity College and Illinois Institute of Technology. Awarded the 2015 James Clerk Maxwell Medal by the IEEE and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, her citation included these words: “Her influence on modern electrical engineering is deep and profound, arguably on the scale of Armstrong and Steinmetz.”

“‘Life in stealth’ of microchip genius who migrated to a new identity: Lynn Conway beat transgender bias and began a revolution”, by Magnus Linklater, The Times (UK), Nov. 14, 2015.

IEEE/RSEoyal Society of Edinburgh "James Clark Maxwell Medal" Citation, read by Barry Shoop, IEEE President-Elect, Nov. 12, 2015.

Wikipedia article about Lynn Conway

Robert Hanson

CEO | John Hardy

Robert Hanson is the Chief Executive Officer of John Hardy. Hanson joined John Hardy  in 2014 bringing with him more than 25 years of brand development and retail experience. At John Hardy, Hanson drives the global strategic, creative, operating and financial development and performance of the brand.

Prior to joining John Hardy, Hanson served as Chief Executive Officer of American Eagle Outfitters since 2012. During this time, he led the brand to outperform the majority of youth specialty competitors, added $1 billion of market value to the company, and built the framework to transform American Eagle Outfitters into a global, multi-brand competitor. Before this, Hanson was Global Brand President for Levi’s and was a member of Levi Strauss & Co.’s worldwide leadership team.

Robert is openly gay CEO and advocates for LGBTI visibility in businesses.

The list of our speakers, performers, workshop organisers, artists, musicians, moderators, volunteers, etc. is coming soon and will be updated on a weekly basis.


We are working hard to produce a diverse and comprehensive program and to create a day full of excitement, encounters, performances, entertainment, presentations, installations, music, art and a lot of inspiration!
  • SchwuZ Club
    Rollbergstr. 26, 12053 Berlin

  • May 6, 2017
    09:30 am - 06:30pm

  • After-party
    Schwuz Club



Please, be on time to make the most of the day!

10:00 AM Main Stage


The day of excitement begins here!

by Stuart Cameron
6:00 PM Main Stage


Say thank you to the organising team 🙂

by Stuart Cameron


Show up for the best picture of #UNIT 2017

by Stuart Cameron


Time to celebrate and shake our bodies!

 Huge thanks to our sponsors and partners!


This is what people say about last year's conference. Want some more? Click here to read more reviews and learn more about #UNIT 2015 and #UNIT 2016.

“The atmosphere was relaxed and non-commercial (and not over-organized) as regular tech meetups. And we met a lot of nice people and friends. ”

From the #UNIT 2016 feedback survey

“#UNIT 2016 did fulfill my expectations. I like the open minded atmosphere - the mix of themes and presenters. It was a great cool day.”

From the #UNIT 2016 feedback survey

“It was a really good balance between levels of technical talks and non technical talks, people were friendly, it was a nice atmosphere”

From the #UNIT 2016 feedback survey

“I love to come with a curious eye, to pick some subjects of interests and to learn a few things. And it was a great event that I really enjoyed. Many quality presentations about diverse topics. I learnt a few things during this day and got some new ideas to explore.”

From the #UNIT 2016 feedback survey


Here are some answers to common questions. If you still have any questions, please feel free to write to us.

Who are the organisers behind #UNIT?

#UNIT is organised by UNICORNS IN TECH, The Global Tech Community for LGBTI and Straight Allies. Learn more about the network here. Do you want to get a discount for #UNIT? Become a member of UNICORNS IN TECH! The membership in our network is free.

I am a straight and/or cis individual. Can I come to #UNIT?

#UNIT is the most inclusive conference! No one is excluded, everyone is welcome, and this includes straight friends. We only ask that you respect the space and your fellow attendees. You should check out our Code of Conduct for more info.

Is there any accreditation for media?

All media representatives have to email us until May 1, 2017. We will add you to our guest list.

How do I become a sponsor/partner?

We welcome proud companies and organisations to become our sponsors and partners. Here is more information about sponsorship/partnership. If interested, please, email us with a subject line "#UNIT 2017 Sponsorship/Partnership".

How do I become a speaker/performer at #UNIT?

We are looking for established experts and unknown talents to present their perspectives and ideas at #UNIT. Please, fill out this form and we will get in contact with you!

Are there any scholarships to attend?

We will have very limited scholarship funds. They are mostly for speakers, who can not afford to come to Berlin on their own. Women, people of colour, trans people, people with disabilities and other underrepresented queer groups are encouraged to apply for scholarships. Please, subscribe to our newsletter to keep yourself updated about scholarship opportunities.

Where can I buy tickets for #UNIT 2017?

Sign up for our newsletter and keep yourself updated about early-bird tickets and other ticket discounts! The tickets for #UNIT 2017 will be available on September 15, 2017.


SchwuZ Club | Rollbergstr. 26, 12053 Berlin

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UNICORNS IN TECH - The Global Tech Community for LGBTI and Straight Allies (1.600+ members), organizer of https://t.co/nGvv4zOC21 #queertech #unit2017

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UNICORNS IN TECH - The Global Tech Community for LGBTI and Straight Allies (1.600+ members), organizer of https://t.co/nGvv4zOC21 #queertech #unit2017

Big thanks to @hubraumberlin for hosting our Get-Together! Get your tickets: https://t.co/vFpPfScIea Join fb event:… https://t.co/Pw2qSTFYeN
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UNICORNS IN TECH - The Global Tech Community for LGBTI and Straight Allies (1.600+ members), organizer of https://t.co/nGvv4zOC21 #queertech #unit2017

RT @Juristensummit: Noch 2 Monate. @bakermckenzie @lathamwatkins @HoganLovells @LinklatersLLP @AllenOvery @WhiteCase @lto_de @ELSA_Germany…
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UNICORNS IN TECH - The Global Tech Community for LGBTI and Straight Allies (1.600+ members), organizer of https://t.co/nGvv4zOC21 #queertech #unit2017

RT @greenred123: @UNICORNSINTECH Hi unicorns, please share this job ad with your contacts 🙂 Would love to see more diversity in my https:…
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UNICORNS IN TECH - The Global Tech Community for LGBTI and Straight Allies (1.600+ members), organizer of https://t.co/nGvv4zOC21 #queertech #unit2017

RT @professor_dave: Really looking forward to my talk at #UNIT2017 in Berlin 2017: 'From Strength in Diversity to Smart Nanoscale Technolog…
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UNICORNS IN TECH - The Global Tech Community for LGBTI and Straight Allies (1.600+ members), organizer of https://t.co/nGvv4zOC21 #queertech #unit2017

@leslieberland @Twitter should join #UNIT2017 | The Global LGBTI Tech & Science Conference! #unicornsintech
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UNICORNS IN TECH - The Global Tech Community for LGBTI and Straight Allies (1.600+ members), organizer of https://t.co/nGvv4zOC21 #queertech #unit2017

Get your free ticket to Women in Tech Diversity Group @eBay https://t.co/rWQwa5lLJ0
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UNICORNS IN TECH - The Global Tech Community for LGBTI and Straight Allies (1.600+ members), organizer of https://t.co/nGvv4zOC21 #queertech #unit2017

Apply for @we_are_panda Digital in Munich: 70 female professionals from the digital world are going to get together
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UNICORNS IN TECH - The Global Tech Community for LGBTI and Straight Allies (1.600+ members), organizer of https://t.co/nGvv4zOC21 #queertech #unit2017

@professor_dave will join #unit2017 as a keynote speaker. He is openly gay academic and famous for his YouTube chan… https://t.co/xFf8TJ6V7L
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UNICORNS IN TECH - The Global Tech Community for LGBTI and Straight Allies (1.600+ members), organizer of https://t.co/nGvv4zOC21 #queertech #unit2017

@lynnconway will join #unit2017 as a keynote speaker. She's a prominent computer scientist and electrical engineer.… https://t.co/b1M0otUVXn