MEET OUR SPEAKERS

 

The list of our speakers, performers, workshop organisers, artists, musicians, moderators is updated on a weekly basis. 

 
Brandon Hoffman

Carlos Sainz

Leads the LGBT group for eBay Germany, Head of Global Marketing Planning | eBay (formerly: Siemens, McKinsey, Valoris)

Telecoms Engineer from Madrid, Carlos started his career with SIEMENS mobile networks in Germany, then Asia and then Latin-America. After his MBA and some time as a consultant with McKinsey and Valoris, he joined eBay in Berlin 12 years ago and has led a number of functions there, from Finance & Strategy to Customer Service and Operations. In his current role in marketing planning for all digital channels, his team ensures a seamless translation of regional business strategies and plans into global marketing operations. Driving an operational performance loop to drive quality and accountability, and maximize business impact. He leads the LGBT group for eBay in Germany. He has just returned from his paternity leave after he and his partner had a child through surrogacy in California.




Talk: An inspired customer is a regular customer.


We will discuss following questions: How can we use customer insights and analytics in tandem with Marketing to produce the personalized offers that match the individual needs and interests of today's customer? How far can we personalize without losing the ability to scale? We’ll talk about scaling individually targeted campaigns and content from both the Marketing and Business Intelligence perspectives and discuss real-life examples of success and failure at eBay.

Brandon Hoffman

Matthias Bremer

Applied Physicist and Electrical Engineer | University of Kiel

Matthias studied Electrical Engineering and Business Management at the University of Kiel, Germany and Applied Physics at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Currently, he is working in Kiel towards a PhD about organic light emitting diodes and photoresponsive surfaces.

Brandon Hoffman

Midori Kocak

Computer Scientist & Web Developer | Transadvocate & Educator

Midori is a world citizen, a computer scientist & engineer, jQuery, PHP and cakePHP expert. She has been coding in PHP and creating web applications since dial-up years (2001). Midori actively contributes to open source software projects. She is also a designer.


Title: "For Absolute Beginners: Introduction to Web development"


This workshop aims the people who are SCARED to code. It is not that difficult to code! Midori will talk about how internet is working, what web development is all about, and about HTML, CSS and JS. Participants will create their own profile page using basic HTML, CSS and JS coding skills.

Brandon Hoffman

Aslı Aladağ

Product manager | adjust

Aslı Aladağ is a product manager at adjust, originally from Istanbul, a Berliner since 4 years. When she is not in the meeting with backend or frontend teams, she is teaching hatha yoga in the studio and in the park.



Talk: Can you afford to Limit Work in Progress?


Nowadays, multi-tasking is a magical word, which is even perceived as a plus on your CV. However, this does not go beyond a myth. Specifically for software development, limiting the work in progress instead of multi-tasking will give out better result, in regards to quality of work, reliability and time spent to develop features. I will be talking about the positive sides of limiting work in progress, by pointing out example from Kanban as an approach of software development.

Brandon Hoffman

Andrew Doherty

Design Consultant (former Lead Product Designer | Google), passionate about technological accelaration

Former Lead Product designer at Google in Mountain View California, Andrew Doherty now consults to large organisations around the world on how they can best prepare their products for an exponentially accelerating design arms race.



Talk: The future of design


Humans have come a long way from our first designs 3.3 million years ago. We are now approaching the knee of the exponential curve in the increasing capability of information technology. Everything is about to change, and much faster than we may be able to comprehend. The ERA of AI everything is upon us. What is coming, and what can we do to prepare ourselves and our companies.

Brandon Hoffman

Yaknel Elorza

Ashtanga yoga and meditation guru with 10+ experience

Yaknel is not your average yogi. She’s been practising Ashtanga yoga and meditation for over 10 years, while adding to her tattoo collection, rescuing a beautiful galgo, adopting street cats, and hitting the roller derby track.

She will give a yoga workshop and will talk about:


The lack of diversity in modern yoga in the west culture·

How the industry is targeting an specific social group excluding the LGTBI communities. How we can change it and take action.

Brandon Hoffman

Daniel Irvine

LGBTI advocate, Software Crafter | 8th Light

Daniel Irvine has been writing software for most of his life. He eats, sleeps and breathes code. As a consultant, he spends much of his time coaching others in becoming more effective in their daily work. He focuses not only on technical skills but also on social issues such as the promotion of inclusive environments and the prioritization of team welfare over code quality.

Originally from Ireland, Daniel has lived in London for the past decade but remains very much an Irishman at heart. He is an avid yogi and also a cat owner.



Title: Building inclusive dev teams

Have you ever felt the magic of an inclusive development culture?

This talk explores why inclusiveness is still such a rarity in the tech industry. I will introduce techniques which will help you nurture inclusion within your own team.

For those of us who are LGBTI, we may have already experienced the consequences of exclusion in the workplace. Based on those experiences, we know how important inclusion is to the success of teams. Building a culture around that ideal can be a daunting task, but this talk will help prepare you to do exactly that.

Brandon Hoffman

Michael Othen

Founder, produced several LGBT-themed games | Digicub Ltd

Michael's 10-year career in game development spans console, mobile and the rise of free-to-play. He has produced several LGBT-themed games and is founder and co-founder of Digicub and Fusebox Games.


Talk: A Game Dev Story


A candid account of Michael's journey through independent mobile game development. Through his top 10 lessons learned, Michael addresses the design implications of free-to-play, the fair representation of gender and sexuality in his own games, and the ‘fun’ in fundraising (there isn’t any!).


digicub.com

Brandon Hoffman

Tom Biegeleisen

Senior software engineer | Huffington Post

Tom Biegeleisen is a senior software engineer with the Huffington Post, where he has worked on a variety of projects and tech stacks over the last five years.  He recently moved back to New York, his Heimatstadt, after living in Berlin for a year and a half.  He is extremely excited to be back in Berlin speaking at #UNIT again!



Talk: Effective Communication Through Code Over Time


Good communication between engineers is vitally important in deploying and maintaining well-functioning systems. But it's not just about code readability in the present day: organizations often fail to think about code maintenance in the longer-term. How can engineers help each other to maintain high-quality, readable code and avoid technical debt over the course of years or even decades? This talk will examine some strategies and pitfalls in engineering communication during the software lifecycle and discuss how the Huffington Post tries to address these issues.

Brandon Hoffman

Lea Böhm

Inspirational expert in people management, CEO & Founder | allesroger.io

Lea has studied economics, politics and sociology and has worked several years in finance and operations until she realized that people are much more interesting than numbers. Consequently she switched to people management in 2012 and became an expert for topics such as leadership, internal communication, motivation, team building and development. She holds a degree in coaching and mediation, and is the CEO & founder of AllesRoger - the new work agency for leadership.


Talk: How to Deal With Everyday Discrimination


Everyday discrimination is the discrimination no one does on purpose. May it be a comment like "Oh I didn't know you, as a woman, are into xy ("typical guy thing")", jokes about blondes, handing the check straight to the guy instead of asking and all the other things that happen because we don't fit into people's expectations. Everyday discrimination is something we can learn to ignore or learn to address. In the workshop we will share examples about our own experiences and work out strategies how to deal with it. Afterwards you will have one concrete step for action to use every day.

Brandon Hoffman

Julia Läger

Creative Analytical Engine musician, develops own software tools for her music

Julia creates improvisations with software tools that she writes. Using voice and image sonification she gets an output moving between ambience, electronica, drone and noise.

Analytical Engine's source material is her voice, algorithmically layered into dense ambiences and merging with sonified images inspired by her background in physics and computer science. The results of her improvisations are eerie soundscapes, transforming from mesmerising pop drone to pulsating noise.

 

Check out her work:

 

https://soundcloud.com/analytical-engine

Brandon Hoffman

Maxi Beilfuß

Inspirational coach, marketing consultant; Founder | Cornerstone Business

Maxi studied Media and Marketing Management and works as a speaker, coach and marketing consultant. After her Bachelor and Master she has founded „Cornerstone Business“ where various professionals work in an interdisciplinary cooperation, combining research, branding, strategy, marketing and design for a brand development.


Talk title: Easy Ego Encouraging


Whether a presentation, a salary negotiation, an application, a date, a sales talk or the first meeting with your mother-in-law…. It is all about your self-confidence.

There are very simple, offbeat, ridiculous ways related to your body language, your facial expression, your gesture, your articulation, your handshake, the choice of your outfit (the devil is in details!) to rise up your self-awareness and (as a result) to influence and impress your opponent. Join me in this workshop for your ways to Ego Encouraging.

 

Brandon Hoffman

Anh N. Tran

Founder | IWC (formerly in Delivery Hero, Rocket Internet and other startups)

Anh was born in Vietnam and has been living in Germany for more than 25 year. She has been raised in both cultures, speaks both languages fluently and consider herself as "Gernamese".
After her graduation, she joined the dynamic startup scene that directly led her through companies such as Delivery Hero, Rocket Internet and a few smaller early stage startups. Her main area of focus were Business Development, Sales Operations and Account Management.
Anh holds a B.A. in Communication from the Cologne University of Applied Science and a M.A. in International Communication and Politics from the City University of London.
Since she felt in love with Berlin she has settled herself in the capital of Germany, enjoying the great variety of food, culture and people.
Anh is a founder of IWC (International Women's Connection).
Brandon Hoffman

Jillian C. York

Director for International Freedom of Expression | Electronic Frontier Foundation, co-founder of Onlinecensorship.org, a winner of the Knight News Challenge in 2014

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist focused on the intersection of technology and policy. Based in Berlin, she serves of the Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, where she works on issues of free expression, privacy, and digital security. Jillian frequently writes about these issues; her byline has recently appeared in Quartz, the Washington Post, and the Guardian.

In 2012, Jillian co-founded the project Onlinecensorship.org, which won the Knight News Challenge in 2014. Jillian is a fellow at the Center for Internet & Human Rights at the European University Viadrina and a member of the Deep Lab collective.

Brandon Hoffman

Steven Pakasathanan

Passionate geek about renewable technologies, Founder | ampido (former Energy Manager | Vodafone)

Steven studied Mathematics in the USA and Renewable Technologies in Germany. He worked as Energy Manager for Vodafone with a budget responsibility of 40 Million Euro. Steven is in the Founder Team of ampido.

Brandon Hoffman

Sarah Jansen

Hardware Developer, Transadvocate, Laser Geek

Born in 1970 in Lübeck, Sarah has put her fingers into a socket with the age of three. Since then her great love and passion are tech in general and electronics in specific. She's done a professional training for electronics at Dräger in Lübeck, worked in a house for refugees and studied social sciences in Wuppertal. In 2001 she went back to electronics and jumped into the world of lasers in 2012.

Brandon Hoffman

Thomas Mayer

Interaction Designer, internationally famous for his interactional design projects

Thomas Mayer was born and raised in the marvelous Ober - Swabian countryside. At the age of 28 he is a trained carpenter, achieved his bachelor degree in Interaction design and was able to participate in multiple projects in a broad variety of tasks.

His curiosity is his incitement to proactively commit to design-oriented projects in which he is always eager to learn and enhance his skills. He prefers multidimensional projects in which he can involve his hands and his methodical way of thinking for best results.

www.thomas-mayer.de

www.ttt3000.de 

Brandon Hoffman

Bas Timmers

Genius in business digitalisation, Founder | Neue Signale

Bas Timmers has been fascinated by technology and innovation since buying the Acorn Electron computer somewhere in the eighties. After trying to digitize newspapers and tv stations for a couple of years in the Netherlands, he moved to Berlin. With his recently-founded company Neue Signale (Interference) he helps small and medium-sized companies transform their business models into the digital era.

 

Contact details:

Company website: neuesignale.de
Personal websites: bastimmers.nlbastimmers.com and the blog about Berlin heimatberlin.nl


Talk: New Deal on Data


There is a dangerous development where the big companies monopolize our data within their own walled gardens (and run away with the cash), and on the other hand German authorities who are overtly sensitive to privacy issues and strangulate possible innovations. That’s why he started thinking about a New Deal on Data, a framework for how we could move forward in a sensible way for all parties involved and take advantage of the possibilities of our data.

Brandon Hoffman

Klaus Jäger

Physicist, solar energy researcher | Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energy GmbH

Klaus is a postdoctoral researcher at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energy GmbH, a German national research institute. His research activities lie primarily with the theoretical development of optical structures for solar cells, with the aim to maximize the power output of the solar cells.

Brandon Hoffman

Josh Rivers

LGBTI advocate, co-founder | Series Q

Josh Rivers is the co-founder of Series Q, the network for LGBT+ entrepreneurs. He’s passionate about improving the lives of LGBT+ people around the world, and building communities and networks that support and celebrate queer culture.

Talk: I Am Not Your Negro: Tokenism in Tech


Description:
Josh Rivers confronts techs inability to solve every conceivable problem - at scale - except diversity and inclusion, and how tokenism in tech is doing more harm than good.

Brandon Hoffman

Maria von Känel

Founder | IFED, Co-founder | Swiss Rainbow Families Association, NELFA

Maria von Känel is founder and coordinator of the International Family Equality Day (IFED) and co-founder and General Manager of the Swiss Rainbow Families Association and NELFA (Network of European LGBTIQ* Families Associations).

Maria has been in a registered partnership since 2007, when Swiss law first started recognising same-sex partnerships. She lives near Zurich with her wife and their two children.

Her wishes for the future are: mutual recognition of registered partnerships within the EU and other European countries as the next step toward full legal recognition for rainbow families.

Brandon Hoffman

Alicja Jablonska

Robotics engineer

Robotics Engineer, TEDxer, maker with passion for 3D Printing, tinkering and World of Warcraft. Project Manager juggling multiple social projects (from non-formal education, coding workshops and chalk drawing on the streets, to running with dogs from the animal shelter). What started out as a temporary project in a gaming website, Alicja has now turned into full time hardware hacker job. Since she have worn a number of hats, including: developing the content, writing numerous articles, recruitment, prototyping, 3D designing and building communities - she brings number of hilarious stories of being a unicorn in tech industry.


Title: Making the world a better place one solder joint at a time.


An insight view into tech startup community, a few hilarious stories about being a unicorn in tech industry and useful informations about how to make sure you have made all right flashy things flashing when they supposed to flash and not flashy things not flashing when they are not supposed to flash.

Brandon Hoffman

Jose Rivera Jr.

Well-known visual artist, musician and performer, who combats the stigma through arts

Jose Rivera Jr. is a multidisciplinary recording artist, musician, and choreographer based in Brooklyn, NY.  José's work lies at the intersection of music, dance, visual art, and wearable tech. He is currently creating his latest work, LQQK, The Way I Look, a 15 part recorded and digital music series to premiere throughout 2017.  LQQK was workshopped at performance venues and galleries in Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm, and NYC throughout Summer 2016.  José has performed throughout NYC from Radio City Music Hall, to La Mama Experimental Theater Club, to the mirror in his bedroom.  joseishere.com | @joseishere

In addition to his work as a performer, José is the social media manager at Project UROK, an initiative of the Child Mind Institute.  UROK creates digital content to effectively combat the stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness.  José is the first line of content and conversation at Project UROK, talking to kids and teens (ages 13-28) day in and day out from across the globe. He has extensive experience and a unique algorithm for creating a safe, supportive online community where teens can safely discuss their mental health. José is versed in all current and emerging platforms - you name it, José talks about it!

 

Joseishere.com

Photo credit is to Sasha Arutyanova - http://www.sashaarutyunova.com/

Brandon Hoffman

Humberto Corona

Data Scientist | Zalando (formerly at Verizon, Sony, UVIGO, UCD), advocates for visibility of LGBTI in tech

Humberto is a data scientist with a background in recommender systems, having done research a number of years in four different countries, both in industry (Verizon, Sony) and in academia (UVIGO, UCD). Currently based in Dublin (Ireland), Humberto enjoys working in a team at Zalando that builds customer-centric data products, and he also helps to manage the data science guild. Since 2016, Humberto has been a board member of Intertech Ireland, an organization that promotes inclussion and diversity for LGBTQ+ people in the tech sector in Ireland. You can read more about his research, code, art and words at http://hcorona.github.io

blog: http://medium.com/@totopampin

 

Brandon Hoffman

Dastan Kasmamytov (Danik)

Project Manager | UNICORNS IN TECH

Danik is a terrible nomad: he was moving all around the World, but for the God's sake he had settled down finally in Berlin. He is mostly responsible for web-programming, graphic design and animation, but in the end does many other things 🙂

Brandon Hoffman

Dr. Ana Peleteiro Ramallo

PhD in Artificial Intelligence (2014), 30+ international peer-reviewed publications, Data Scientist

Ana holds PhD in Artificial Intelligence (2014), and she has 30+ international peer-reviewed publications (Scholar). She has spoken at 10+ international conferences and given several invited talks. Ana is currently a data scientist at Zalando, Europe’s leading online fashion platform. At the Fashion Insights Centre in Dublin, she works in the Fashion Content team, where she uses machine learning, NLP and engineering, among others, to provide fashion insights and to generate data-related products. In her free time, Ana is very active both in attending and giving talks at meetups and other different events (ML Dublin, PyconIE, Women Who Code, etc), and she loves to do sports and travel.

Brandon Hoffman

Penelope Kemekenidou

Artivism, digital activism

Penelope Kemekenidou is a Ph.D. student in American cultural history at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany. Her research focus lies on the importance of empathy for activism, while she is primarily interested in artivism, digital activism and the activist potential of virtual reality. She is also deputy chairman at Gender Equality Media e.V., a charitable organization against sexism in German media.


www.pyreastray.com

Brandon Hoffman

Miriam Förster

Founder | Familyship, brings her strong IT knowledge into solving crucial LGBTI issues

Miriam Förster is an IT project manager and founder of the co-parenting platform „Familyship“. She is committed to the social acceptance of alternative forms of family. For this reason, she is also voluntarily involved in NELA by providing the website for the "International Family Equality Day“.

Web: www.familyship.org

Brandon Hoffman

Erik Luengen

Leader | COO & Cloud Services Team for Industry Development SAP

Erik Lüngen leads the COO & Cloud Services Team for Industry Development at SAP. His team provides a broad variety of central services to support the respective industry development organizations. Major responsibilities are 7*24 Cloud Operations for the Industry Cloud solutions in a DevOps approach as well as Trial and Discovery Services. His team’s success is built on highly skilled, diverse and multicultural team members cross multi locations. He joined SAP in 2002 and works on cloud topics since 2005. Erik holds a Diploma of Berufsakademie Stuttgart and an MBA of Mannheim Business School. Erik is also one of the Out Executives at SAP.

Brandon Hoffman

Valere Fedronic

Founder and CEO | Facetts. Expert in mobile and telcos

Founder and CEO of Facetts, Valere values online privacy, starting by its own. Expert in mobile and telcos, he is now an advocate of the #silotech movement.

Talk: Meet the silotech!
Is big data putting you or the people you care about in danger?
Every day, almost everything we do online is being collected, sold to advertisers, and used to sell products and services – and this information can come back to haunt us.
We need to re-create an online environment where people can be themselves, discuss ideas, non-mainstream hobbies, get support in complicated situations without consequence – and it’s within reach right now.

Facetts website

Brandon Hoffman

Benjamin Jones

CTO of Bitwala | the world's first blockchain bank account

CTO of Bitwala, the world's first blockchain bank account. A self-taught programmer who believes blockchain technology will change just about everything. Former technology fellow in MEST, Ghana.


Talk: How blockchain technology will change almost everything

Hype and hyperbole or incipient revolution? From logistics to medicine, Ben believes blockchain will change almost everything. Hear how his startup is fixing the banking system and why this is just the beginning.

Brandon Hoffman

Shermin Voshmgir

Founder | BlockchainHub

Talk: Disrupting Governance, with Blockchains & DAOs

Blockchain allows us to decentralise trust, creating the basis for a P2P society powered by auto enforcable smart contracts. It is the driving force of the next generation Internet, the Decentral Web. The protocol allows us to disintermedie transactions, radically reducing transaction costs with Smart Contracts. The highes form of such a smart contract is a DAOs (Decentraized Autonomous Organizations) or DVBNs (Decentralized Virtual Borderless Nations). Is it just hype, and if not, what are the potentials and pitfalls?

Brandon Hoffman

Jovan Dragelj

Computational chemist at Freie Universität Berlin

Jovan started his scientific quest in Belgrade, Serbia where he obtained MSc and BSc degree in chemistry and where he also worked as a chemistry teacher in public and international schools. Currently, he is working as a researcher and is doing a PhD at Freie Universitaet Berlin. His scientific focus is computational chemistry which he uses to investigate important biological processes. He likes to teach and give talks, which he does both at scientific meetings and in various social meetings and events.


Talk: Where have all the LGBT STEMs gone?


STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are known for having controversial views and numbers when it comes to visibility of LGBT people. Today, in many places around the world LGBT people in STEM are still in the closet and again in many other they have the opportunity to be OUT and be a part of the progressive tolerant society. But how visible are we and is it important? Let’s have a look at some data and opinions.

Brandon Hoffman

Patrick Gruhn

VP Market Development

Patrick is a trilingual serial entrepreneur with experience in both tech startups and large enterprises. Patrick has a MSc in computer science and a Master in International Business Management, combining his ability to connect real business problems with the underlying IT. He is currently the co-founder of a Silicon Valley Start-up called Replex which allows companies to not only regain control of the entire infrastructure and its cost base, but also providing customised automisation strategies to make sure that organisations never waste money on IT infrastructure again.


www.replex.io

Brandon Hoffman

Wojciech Gaca

Engineering Manager | OLX Group

Code craftsman, delivery pipelines plumber, slow runner. Mostly trying to maintain a healthy
automate-to-break-th­ings ratio.


Talk: 8 people, 4 services, 40 countries
OLX has multiple tech teams around the world. Find out how to accomplish successful projects and teams undeterred by timezones and cultural differences.

Brandon Hoffman

Pedro Proenca

Sr. Software Engineer | OLX

Talk: Automate the pain away
The time it makes an idea become real is, in part, related to the success of the company. Find out how OLX avoids repetitive boring tasks and long waiting deployments by automatising parts of the development process.

Brandon Hoffman

Artiona Bogo

Software Engineer | SAP Innovation Center Network

Software Engineer with 5+ years of experience. Blockchain Enthusiast. Working at Innovation Center Network (ICN) – a development unit within SAP - whose mission is to create new growth businesses for SAP by pioneering new markets and disruptive technologies. Member of a newly created technology group, built to creatively engineer new solutions by applying Blockchain technologies to business applications. Artiona holds a MS & Diplôme Grande Ecole in Management from ESCP Europe and a double MS in Software Engineering from the Technical University of Kaiserslautern and the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano