Introducing Propeller: The conference without speakers.

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 18.41.52
Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 18.41.52

While we are used to attending a lot of conferences and events with similar people, similar talks and similar speakers, Propeller presents a new format. One that let’s everyone be part of the ‘conference’.


A lot of times the most interesting part of a conference is not taking place when speakers talk, but when attendees interact with one another. That’s where people meet, where they discuss ideas and innovation, introduce each other and have inspiring conversations.

Realizing that, Thomas Schindler, one of the organizers of Propeller, started to question the concept of speakers at conferences. He teamed up with Andrea Kolb, founder of a social business in the fashion sphere, Daniel Young, an entrepreneur in the field of mobile health, and Philipp von Roeder, owner of a PR-agency for the digital industry. They all shared the same experience and thoughts on conferences.

 With Propeller, they aim to disconnect the idea of knowledge coming from the speaker only and want to encourage people to think freely by conversing with each other.

How it works

During the sign-up process, people get the chance to describe themselves. This helps get people with similar interests and backgrounds into groups. The process is supported by the same algorithms used at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to assemble groups of people who are most compatible for thought-provoking discussions.

On the day of the conference, each group will be giving a different topic: Education, City Planning, Food, etc.

The groups (ca. 30 people) will later divide into progressively smaller groups (2-6 or 8 or however many are needed) with people whom you may not normally encounter. Discussion pilots will assist to curate conversations and to add on to discussions.

“The communication and the making process is more important than the basic idea.”

The thought is that in many times you need different people to develop new ideas and think outside the box when it comes to how to implement new things.

It helps to have experts on your side, but it’s also important to engage with those from a different field so that new ideas can be developed.

“Leave your business cards at home,” says Schindler. “This is clearly none of the so-called ‘networking events’.”

The goal of this event is to connect different but like-minded makers who want to get involved and have an impact.

 Ideas and, in some cases, prototypes will be presented by the end of the day to the other participants.

The event will take place at the Tempelhofer Flughafen, a former airport in the middle of Berlin.

Unlike many other expensive events, tickets to this one are €50.

Prices will soon rise to €100 soon. VentureVillage readers using the code VVP14 until August 3rd will be able to enter this event for €50.