What do a talk entitled “Deep Learning for Dummies” and a reply to a question about the benefits of coloured cells have in common with a call for more party-political activity? Well, they all last exactly 12 minutes at 12min.me – a hit event that originated in Hamburg in 2013 and has spread all over Germany and beyond meanwhile.
The rules are simple – each participant talks about a random issue for 12 minutes maximum. A bell sounds loudly to signal the end. Then the audience has 12 minutes maximum to ask questions. Three talks per evening are held and the intermission leaves plenty of time for networking.
Building bridges between disciplines
The 40th round of the original event, Ignite Talks, was held recently and normally on every second Thursday of the month in Absolute Software GmbH on Jungfernstieg. The issues are not limited to any particular sector, but often focus on digitalisation in society. The event aims to build bridges between disciplines and the old and new economy. Oliver Rößling of Absolute Software is the man behind 12min.me.
Golden anchor for winner
Various offshoots focus on health and medicine and are held in the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf. Yet another offshoot called Code Rouge focuses on money and finances and is backed by Haspa. Another event called “In Flagranti” focuses on legal issues. Virtual reality, the Internet of Things are other issues at 12min.me. During an exciting slam that mixes poetry and talks, start-ups present amusing presentations and vie for the audience’s attention. The volume of the applause after each presentation decides the winner who gets a golden anchor.
Cities without emissions and traffic jams
Several new offshoots have been added to the 12min.me series in the past months including the 12min.MOVE. The third round of the event gets underway on May 24, 2017 with short talks on mobility in future, cities without emissions and that are free of traffic jams. An entirely new event follows on June 15, 2017 called 12min.IOT which is being held in co-operation with PricewaterhouseCoopers. The focus will then turn to the “Internet of Things” with special emphasis on the energy sector. Robert Heinecke, founder of the Hamburg-based Breeze start-up, which develops environmental sensor network, is among the first speakers.
Bridges between old and new economy
A new format called 12min.COM – Caps’n'Collars recently entered the second round. “Caps’n'Collars” is synonymous with a new kind of start-up network between the new economy and established firms, mid-sized companies and corporations in Hamburg. The event is being held in co-operation with the Chamber of Commerce Hamburg and the Hamburgische Investitions- und Förderbank (IFB) as partners. During another new event called 12min.LEAD, speakers will give talks under the theme “Leading from any chair” and highlight new and traditional approaches to management and outline their personal experiences.
Growing number of fans
12min.me is increasingly popular and attracting fans and in Munich as well. Six other cities including Budapest also host the free events, which anyone can attend. The organising team does not make a profit, as the series of events is the reward. The 12 minutes have been chosen at random, said Rößling. The European flag sports 12 stars, there are 12 months in a year and on the clock – anything can be divided by 12, he noted.