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

Brandon Hoffman

Prof. Lynn Conway

Pioneering electrical engineer and computer scientist, world-known for foundational contributions to computer architecture and transadvocacy | 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

Talk: An Invisible Woman: The Inside Story Behind the Microelectronic Computing Revolution in Silicon Valley

In 2015, US White House Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith raised profound questions about women’s contributions in science, engineering and math being erased from history. In this talk we explore a case study of such an erasure from the history of Silicon Valley, and surface a very counter-intuitive sociological explanatory-conjecture about the underlying causes and effects.

Brandon Hoffman

Julie Shirley

Senior executive banking professional with over 28 years’ experience in Investment Banking, Prime Services and Private Wealth Management operations. 4th place in the 2016 FT and OUTstanding Power Lists as an Executive Ally.

Julie is a senior female managing director with over 28 years’ experience in Investment Banking, Prime Services and Private Wealth Management operations. She has extensive international exposure gained whilst working and living in various locations (Hong Kong, London, Tokyo and India) and managing teams of up to 450 staff in 18 countries/cities across all regions of the globe.
Julie has been a formidable advocate for diversity and inclusion throughout her career. Amongst other achievements, Julie founded and chaired a highly visible LGBT network in Asia for a top tier global bank and launched a hugely successful LGBT Ally program. Julie continuously drives employee education, awareness and engagement on LGBT issues through internal communications, her support of public events and hosting in-house LGBT inclusion and ally training workshops. She was also a leader within the Hong Kong banking community for collaboration on matters that impact same sex partnerships in the city.
In the 2016 Community Business LGBT Inclusion Awards 2016, Julie was named the 2016 Hong Kong LGBT Ally. She was also placed 4th in the 2016 FT and OUTstanding Power Lists as an Executive Ally.

Brandon Hoffman

Jon "maddog" Hall

Key person in development of Linux systems, "Tech Guru of 2012" by OUT magazine, Chairman of the Board | Linux Professional Institute (LPI)

Jon "maddog" Hall is the Chairman of the Board of the Linux Professional Institute (LPI), and the President of Linux International. Since 1969, Mr. Hall has been a programmer, systems designer, systems administrator, product manager, technical marketing manager, author and educator.

He currently works as an independent consultant, and is involved with bringing environmentally friendly computing to emerging marketplaces as well as working on performance and educational issues with Free and Open Source Software via the Linaro Association. He is also closely aligned with LeMaker, a design center located in Shengen, China.

While not a founding member of LPI, maddog helped formulate some of the concepts and donated personal money to allow the first 200 tests be subjected to psychometrics.

Mr. Hall has worked for such companies as Western Electric Corporation, Aetna Life and Casualty, Bell Laboratories, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), VA Linux Systems, SGI, Futura Networks (Campus Party), Linaro and LPI. Mr. Hall taught at Hartford State Technical College (HSTC), Merrimack College and Daniel Webster College. While at HSTC his students gave him the nickname of "maddog", and he developed the skills necessary for talking to university students over pizza and beer.

Mr Hall has worked on many different operating systems (MFT, MVT, VS1, VS2, MVS, CP-67, VM/CMS, RSTS/E, RSX-11M, CP/M) but concentrated on Unix systems since 1980 and Linux systems since 1994, when he first met Linus Torvalds and correctly recognized the commercial importance of Linux and Free and Open Source Software. Mr. Hall obtained a DEC "Alpha" system for Linus Torvalds and organized an engineering team which helped the Linux community to port Linux to the world's fastest 64-bit microcomputer.

Since 2006 Mr. Hall has been working on Project Cauā, allowing students who could not afford to attend university to both attend university and get real-life job experience.

Mr. Hall is the author of numerous magazine and newspaper articles, many presentations and one book, "Linux for Dummies". He currently writes a blog for Linux Pro Magazine.

Mr. Hall has consulted with the governments of China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Brasil as well as the United Nations and many local and state governments on the use of Free and Open Source Software.

Mr. Hall serves on the boards of several companies, and several non-profit organizations. He is currently very active with the University of Sao Paulo's Centro Interdisciplinar Em Tecnologias Interativas (CITI), acting as a member of their advisory board.

Mr. Hall has traveled to over 100 countries, many more than one time, speaking on the benefits of Open Source Software having received his BS in Commerce and Engineering from Drexel University (1973), and his MSCS from RPI in Troy, New York (1977).

In 2008 Mr. Hall joined the battle for Marriage Equality in New Hampshire, having been a Justice of the Peace for over a quarter century. On the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing's birth in 2012 Mr. Hall announced on his blog that he was part of the LGBTQ community. This blog post continues to be the most-read blog article in the history of Linux Pro Magazine. Subsequently he was elected to the "Out100" list of 2012 as "OUT" magazine's "Tech Guru" of the year.

In his spare time maddog is working on his retirement project:

maddog's monastery and marina for math, music, micro-computing, micro-brewery, micro-winery, micro-distilery, and bait shop.

Topic: Making Money With Free Culture

In the English language there is a problem with the word "Free". It can mean both "without cost" and it can mean "freedom". This talk will interweave elements of computer history, the computer industry, issues of the industry today and how "Free Culture" can sometimes make more money than closed source software, and how this fits in with the LGBTQ community.

Brandon Hoffman

Martin Wezowski

Futurist, Chief Designer | Innovation Center Network | Chief Innovation Office SAP

I have been loving and living design and tech my whole career. I moved across a broad range of design disciplines from visual, interaction, usability, service to system design and to be leading design as a strategic endeavor. Right now, I am on the mission to map, build and inspire a future we want to live in. As Chief Designer and futurist for SAP's Innovation Center Network & Chief Innovation Office I craft future outlooks, strategies and products, define and run innovation frameworks to find out what’s next for SAP and the future of work.

I frequently share my passion for the future of technology and design (TEDx, SXSW, WEBIT, Singularity University Summit, CES, Ada Lovelace, CeBIT, MOBx, Grace Hopper, SIME, MLOVE etc.) I build on my international adventures stretching from Poland, Sweden, China to Germany and across companies like SAP, Sony and Huawei, working with consumer electronics, media services and business software. There are probably very few Sci-Fi movies I have not yet seen, there are hundreds of forests I would love to mountain bike in and miles of coral reefs to dive on. Ask me about anything of the above and you will catch a spark in me eyes and possibly an interesting conversation.

Talk: Let's design a future we all want to live in

We talk about change, but what are the mechanics behind it? How are the dynamics of change, well, changing? How fast? What it means to be an innovator and designer is transforming faster than before, from classic product definition and styling of the superficial to system design of everything, including social and political systems, deeply rooted in a space of challenges and promises between cutting edge tech and humanism. In an increasingly exponential and converging digital change, we design a relationship, a behavior, that the product will follow. This exponential change is our most important innovation brief and the stakes are high. It is just too important to be left only to designers. I believe that everything can and should be given a purpose through innovation and design, including the innovation systems themselves. Let’s open our minds with some examples of change and a couple of visions that might just become true, if we want to.


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!).

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: The Changing Roles of Software Engineers
Computing technology has advanced and spread faster than educational systems and industry culture has been able to adapt to it.  How have the roles of software engineers changed and where are they headed?  How can engineers work and communicate better with businesses, organizations and with each other to address and acknowledge these new realities?  From code review to organizational dynamics, Tom will discuss these issues and offer some insight into workable solutions.

Brandon Hoffman

Lea Böhm

Inspirational expert in people management, CEO & Founder |

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:

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, 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, 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. 

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:
Personal websites: and the blog about Berlin

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

Josh Rivers confronts techs ability 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

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.

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

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!

Photo credit is to Sasha Arutyanova -

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



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.

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“.


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.

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

Prof David K. Smith

Prof David K. Smith

Renowned nano-chemist at Department of Chemistry | University of York, one of the most visible LGBTI scientist and Youtube star with over half a million views

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. Talk: From Strength in Diversity to Smart Nanoscale Technologies Diverse scientists will have diverse ideas and approaches – essential for cutting-edge research. Furthermore, happy, fulfilled scientists will perform better and achieve more. Indeed, if we only care about the science, and not the people who do it, we won’t generate the best results. Inspired by the power of combining the diversity of individual scientists, we will explore soft materials which combine the diversity of individual molecular components. In our labs, we create soft gel-phase materials using the self-assembly of molecular building blocks to form nanoscale structuring – a ‘bottom-up’ approach to nanofabrication. Each of the individual molecular components brings its own ‘personality’ to the resulting gel, which becomes endowed with high-levels of functionality as a result. By harnessing many components, we create materials with precise spatial and temporal control, with different regions performing different jobs. As a result, our soft materials have potential applications ranging from pharmaceutical formulation and pollution control to nanoscale electronics and tissue engineering.
Brandon Hoffman

Thomas Klingbeil

Developer | SAP Innovation Center Potsdam

Thomas Klingbeil's focus area is the exploration of new and innovative technologies, such as 3D printing, Internet of Things and Virtual Reality. For those topics, he coordinates activities for innovation enablement and knowledge sharing at the SAP Innovation Center in Potsdam. Before joining the SAP Innovation Center in Potsdam, Thomas has been with SAP Labs in Palo Alto, CA, where he developed iOS applications for medical research and real-time data analysis. He enjoys hiking, winter sports and video games.

Workshop: Introduction to IoT - Making your home a Smart Home

This workshop covers the basics of how to develop applications for the Internet of Things, using the ESP8266 and the Arduino IDE. Basic aspects, such as the upload of measured sensor data to the cloud, as well as how to communicate between devices will be covered and inspiration for the creation of a smart home will be given.


Brandon Hoffman

Masha McConaghy, PhD

co-founder and CMO | BigchainDB

Masha McConaghy, curator and researcher, is a co-founder and CMO of BigchainDB, a scalable blockchain database and, a service enabling immutable attribution for artists and clear provenance for digital and physical art. She has a PhD in Arts from Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Paris and a Museology Degree from Louvre School, Paris. Her PhD explored the distinct relationship between art and commerce over the centuries. She has organized exhibitions throughout the world and has worked with curators at the Louvre Museum, Paris and directed a commercial gallery in Vancouver. Her current pursuits are at the intersection of art, IP and applications of new technology.

Brandon Hoffman

Sebastian Kliem is a woking student at the SAP Innovation Center in Potsdam. There he supports the exploration of new technologies like the Internet of Things and 3D printing.
He studies IT Systems Engineering in the master’s programme at the Hasst Plattner Institute in Potsdam.

Prof David K. Smith

Claudia Stuetzel

CIO | DB Systel

Claudia is a mathematician by training and by heart, holding degrees from universities in Germany and the US, who started out as a software developer in the financial services industry, back in the early 2000s.

Quite a few years and positions later, she eventually decided she had seen enough of the finance world to last her for a lifetime (or more), spent a few months in Latinoamérica and finally joined Deutsche Bahn following her strong believe in the ecological and social importance of top-notch public transport services. Since the beginning of 2017, she holds the position of CIO of DB Systel, the Deutsche Bahn group's IT provider.

Talk: Doing it differently - a short history of people reinventing the company they work for

We all know about startups where working in self-organized teams, employing agile methods and everyone's taking part in building their company's future is the most natural thing in the world. Now consider DB Systel, a subsidiary of the Deutsche Bahn Group, a long-established, usually rather traditional group. Self-organization, agility and responsibility for the future were things happening to other universes.
This talk outlines the history of DB Systel, now finding itself well on the way towards becoming an agile organization bursting with energy despite the aforementioned, less than promising starting position. How did we do it? What is the secret? Where are we now and where are we heading? Some answers will be provided, others we are still working on and probably will be for quite a while.

Brandon Hoffman

Chris Brzuska

Mathematician and computer scientist, Professor for IT security | TU Hamburg

Chris Brzuska is a mathematician and computer scientist and a professor for IT security at TU Hamburg (Germany) since October 2015. Before, he worked as a post-doc at Microsoft Research Cambridge (UK) and Tel-Aviv University (Israel). And before, he received his PhD at TU Darmstadt (Germany) in the area of cryptography.

Workshop: "Crypto - what do we need to know?"
Cryptography is a useful technique for systems security. Unfortunately, cryptography is complicated, and even professional cryptographers can only be aware of a small fraction of their field. This is not very encouraging for system engineers for whom security and crypto in particular is only one building block out of many. In this lecture, we will see that the situation is not so dire. In fact, to use cryptography, we don't need to know how or why crypto systems work. We only need to know *when* cryptography works and when it doesn't. Knowing the attack scenarios where cryptography is useful, we can safely use cryptography in a black-box way. In the lecture, we will cover when it is safe to use hash-functions and encryption schemes and how to use them.

Brandon Hoffman

Allan Cudicio

Game Design | King

Half European, half African. Half dreamer, half maker. Previously in business and now in product development.
Currently Game Designer at King. Storytelling, prototyping, live operations & diversity.

Title: Do not Fear the Black Girl in the Slum
When we create a product, or make art, we tend to subconsciously restrict ourselves to a few familiar themes.
This talk will analyse our biases and suggest a few ways to think out of the box and get inspiration from more cultures.

Brandon Hoffman

Nicole Abramowski

Moderator | Inclusive Meetup for Queer Women

A queer nomad and coder in progress. Blogger at Unsettled Down, trying to bring honesty back to the internet one blog post at a time. Currently working in Higher Ed.

Brandon Hoffman

Robin-Boris Kasper

Strategy Consultant

Strategy consultant with a passion for the business challenges of digitalisation and Service Design. 13 years expertise in several consulting and marketing firms.

Talk: Adding the Gender Perspective to A.I. driven UX Design
In her book "Zeros and Ones", Sadie Plant has created a brilliant metaphor of the digital web as a female body.
We used to manipulate this "body" by hacking on our keyboards or touching the surfaces of our phones. Today we engage with new A.I. based services (often female like Siri, Alexa) in conversations. This means for all UX designers, that they gain the opportunity for advocating a discrimination free society. Are you up for this responsibility?

Brandon Hoffman

Mareike Kroschel


Mareike Kroschel is a musican/harpist/vocalist from Hildesheim; she lives 5 years in Berlin and started her music project -das einhorn- (now Léel) in 2008 in Berlin. Since that she has played at several festivals, like fusion festival or avantgarde festival schiphorst and others. She has also played many times at warschauer brücke, where people could get the unicorn-cds.

The music she creates is a mix of experimental, electronic and archaic sounds of old instruments; she is giving soundmeditation in several yoga studios in Hannover and Hildesheim and producing soundscapes for app games and films.

Currently she studies alternative medicine and music therapy and just founded her own music label

Quote: "I am happy to be able to perform my music at #UNIT2017; when I started to create music in Berlin, no one talked about unicorns, and I thought most of the people wouldn't like to be reminded at unicorns,.. and now we are here"


Brandon Hoffman

Cate Lawrence

Freelance tech journalist

Cate Lawrence is a tech journalist and writer based in Berlin, Germany. She writes primarily for IoT website ReadWrite in San Francisco and modular IoT company nexpaq in Shenzhen. She is passionate about IoT, biohacking, robotics, wearable tech, gin, and health tech.

Talk: Sex tech of the future: Would you have sex with a robot?
Sex robots, connected pleasure products, and VR porn have become reality. This talk looks at some of the most interesting sex tech that has emerged over the last few years and looks at its impacts on sexuality, sexual identity and relationships. Expect lots pictures, video and food for thought.

Brandon Hoffman

Bryony Cooper

Founder of 4 startups

Bryony Cooper is a seasoned startup CEO, having co-founded 4 companies since 2009. In her latest [ad]venture leading IXDS labs, she launched a platform for connected hardware startups out of IXDS, Europe’s leading UX & Service Design studio. Here she also served as interim CEO of HINT, a digital health startup, and Fritzing, a platform and community for electronic prototyping.


Prior to her joining IXDS in September 2015, Bryony spent 4 years as CEO and co-founder of T Dispatch, a global SaaS startup for transport fleet management. During this time, the company raised over €2 million in investments, acquired an international client base across 6 continents and grew the team to 20 staff. She co-founded her first company, Mochii Ltd, in 2009. The London-based digital agency specialised in web design, web development and SEO for SMEs.


Bryony has mentored several early-stage startups in business development, communications and strategy, and has guest-lectured at Potsdam University for Applied Sciences. In her early years, Bryony trained as a professional singer and toured the UK, whilst studying Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London. She has a love for vintage music, film and fashion from the 1940s and 50s, and plans to someday open a Speakeasy jazz bar. Bryony is an advocate for gender diversity in tech and was recently featured the book ‘Dear Female Founder’ - a collection of letters to the next generation of female entrepreneurs.

Brandon Hoffman

Hayley Sudbury

Founder and CEO | WERKIN

Hayley Sudbury is the founder and CEO of WERKIN. Compelled by the need for a commercially-driven diversity solution, WERKIN’s technology accelerates inclusivity in the workplace by challenging the social and cultural barriers at the heart of the diversity talent pipeline debate. An LGBT+ entrepreneur and former Barclays senior executive, she actively mentors young women into STEM careers and sits on the steering committee of LB Women. Hayley is well placed to understand and develop solutions to the challenges facing global organisations and is committed to make companies more inclusive.

Brandon Hoffman

Andra Bria

Product & service designer | Gender mainstreaming, creative comms, AI politics | EGALES - University of Bucharest

Brandon Hoffman

Dominika Korol

Medical Neuroscience | Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Dominika is finishing her Master's degree in Neuroscience. She was interested in natural sciences since high school but only after a summer school had she discovered how fascinating and still unexplored the brain and nervous system are. After doing her Bachelor's degree in Neurobiology at Jagiellonian University in Cracow she moved to Berlin to continue on with her study being part of international Medical Neuroscience Program. In her free time Dominika loves cooking and baking as well running and cycling.

Brandon Hoffman

Marie Dedikova

IT Support | Bosch Service Solutions

Marie is a programming enthusiast and a community manager of LBTQ events for ELLA Global Berlin. Marie graduaded in totally different field but as soon as she saw the first line of code in Python, she got excited about programming and new technologies. She attended DjangoGirls workshop, started to build her own web app written in Django, created her tech team for Rails Girls Summer of Code and became an occasional coach for PyLadies in Berlin. All doing in her free time for nearly 2 years. Marie loves her husky dog, sport and travelling.

Brandon Hoffman

Sara Bucci

PhD Student in Mechanical Engineering | OVGU Magdeburg.

Sara is an enthusiastic person, interested in science and in particular in mechanics. She has studied around Europe to become an engineer, and finally, end up in Magdeburg for her PhD.

She is also a very active person, she loves nature, sports and all the activities that can be made at the open air.