Information Artist, Bio-Hacker
Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, European Commission
Historian, Executive Director of the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial Foundation
Photo: Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen/Arthur Schmidt
Writer, Broadcaster, Journalist, Documentary Filmmaker
MEP, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Heather has shown work internationally at events and venues including the World Economic Forum, Shenzhen Urbanism and Architecture Biennale, the New Museum, the Centre Pompidou and PS1 MOMA. Her work has been widely discussed in the media, from the New York Times and the BBC to TED and Wired. Heather has a PhD in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, she is an Assistant Professor of Art and Technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and a 2016 Creative Capital award grantee in the area of Emerging Fields.
Věra Jourová is European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. Her responsibilities include ensuring swift adoption of the EU data protection reforms and negotiations with the United States to protect the privacy of EU citizens.
Before coming to the European Commission in 2014, Jourová held the position of Minister for Regional Development in the Czech Republic. Previously, from 2006 to 2013, she worked in her own company as an international consultant on European Union funding and consulted in the Western Balkans about European Union Accession.
In 2003, Jourová was appointed deputy minister for regional development, a position she held for three years. Previously, she worked as head of the Department of Regional Development in the Vysočina Region, from 2001, and before that as secretary and spokesperson of the Třebič Municipal Office from 1995 to 2001.
Ms Jourová holds a law degree from Charles University, Prague and a master's degree in the theory of culture from the Charles University, Prague.
Dr. Hubertus Knabe was born in 1959 in Unna. From 1978 to 1983 he studied history and German studies in Bremen and subsequently worked for two years as a press speaker of the Green Party's parliamentary group in Bremen.
Knabe did his Ph.D. on environmental protests in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and Hungary at the Freie Universität in Berlin and spent two years in Budapest for his research project. From 1987 to 1988 he worked as lecturer at the University of Bremen, and from 1988-1990 as a study director of the Evangelische Akademie Berlin (West). In 1991, he completed his doctorate with a dissertation on "Possibilities and Limitations of Problem Articulation in Socialist Systems. A Comparative Analysis of Environmental Discussions in the GDR and Hungary".
From 1992 to 2000, Knabe worked as research assistant in the research department of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records in Berlin. From 1993-1996, he was a guest lecturer at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. He did intensive research about opposition movements in the GDR and Eastern Europe and published several studies. On behalf of the German Bundestag, he researched the Stasi´s operations against the western world, especially the Federal Republic of Germany. His work resulted in the publication of several books.
Since 2001, Knabe has been the scientific director of the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial Foundation on the site of the former central remand prison of the Ministry of State Security. He continues to publish books on GDR history, the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, and the aftermath of the dictatorship in the reunited Federal Republic of Germany. He also publishes reports from victims of the GDR regime. In the year 2009 Knabe was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit.
Born in Cardiff and now living in New York, Jon Ronson is an award-winning writer. His non-fiction books including: So You've Been Publicly Shamed, The Psychopath Test, Them: Adventures With Extremists, Lost At Sea and The Men Who Stare At Goats have all been international and New York Times bestsellers. The Psychopath Test spent nearly two years on the UK bestseller list and ten weeks on the New York Times list.
The Men Who Stare at Goats was adapted into a film starring George Clooney. In 2014, his first fictional screenplay—Fran—starring Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal met with great critical acclaim.
In the U.S., he’s a regular contributor to the PRI show This American Life and GQ magazine and has appeared twice on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
In the U.K., he writes regularly for The Guardian and his many documentaries include Stanley Kubrick's Boxes, The Secret Rulers of The World, and seven series of the multi-award-winning BBC Radio 4 programme Jon Ronson On…
His two most recent projects are the Netflix movie Okja, which he co-wrote with Bong Joon Ho and was released to critical acclaim in June, and The Butterfly Effect, an Audible series about the adult entertainment industry.
Birgit Sippel is a member of the European Parliament and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). She became Coordinator of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in LIBE after her re-election in 2014.
Through the LIBE committee, Sippel has been involved in privacy and data protection issues such as the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme and Passenger Name Record data (PNR). She is also involved in the EU asylum policy, migration, and has supported the advancement of police and judicial cooperation at the EU level (Area of Freedom, Security and Justice) through adoption of directives on procedural safeguards.
Sippel also serves on the Delegation for Relations with the Mashreq countries and as a substitute member in the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. Since 2017, she has been a member of the Special Committee on Terrorism.
Sippel’s political career began in 1982 when she joined the Socialist Youth of Germany, ‘Die Falken’. She joined the Social-Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) the same year, and was soon involved in the local party branch in Neheim. In 1983, she became member of the German Industrial Union of Metalworkers (IG Metall), in which she served as employee representative. From 1994 to 2004, she served as member of the city council of Arnsberg for the SPD. Sippel was also a member of the SPD's Federal Party Council from 1996 to 2010 and, since 2010, of the party's council and presidium in the federal state of North Rhine-Westfalia.
Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud
Christoph Wachter and Mathias Jud were both born in Zurich and live and work in Berlin. They have participated in numerous international exhibitions and have been awarded many international prizes. Their works include open-source projects that uncover forms of Internet censorship, undermine the concentration of political power, and even resolve the dependency on infrastructure. Online tools that artist provide are used by communities in the USA, Europe, Australia, and in countries such as Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Iran, India, China and Thailand. Even North Korean activists participate. But not everyone is fond of these projects.
When their project HOTEL GELEM won the Council of Europe cultural event label in 2012, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls organised a nationally broadcast counter-manifestation against it. China has denied Wachter and Jud entrance to the country since 2013.