The Backstage

Billie Banks

Billie is our Ring Master; the keeper of secrets, the manipulator of minds, the guardian angel and our ultimate Office Manager. They’re the one who knows how to get things done, no matter what the cost. And they’ll never let you forget it. Brrr, horror, knife-throwing plus a comic freak show, all in one.

But beneath their cynical exterior, there’s a bright flicker of humanity. Billie will do whatever it takes to protect us all, even if it means getting their hands dirty. Be aware of Billie!

Peter Mechels

Mother of (this) invention. Open, honest, secure, caretaking, but still ‘staying hungry, staying foolish’, according to the Whole Earth Catalogue principles.

Background in restoring pinball machines, woodworks, up-cycling lightning objects a.o. curiosa, in between guiding organisations into the digital future of the collaborative: Keen meaningful NGO/NFP society services & corporations, illuster academic institutes in Art, Media, Society, Business & Technology, governmental administrations and quite some captains of industry in all possible business sectors looking for change, innovation, adventure and loads of fun.

Victoria Neumann

Father of this initiative. I leave most work to the mother, but I’ll show up for rehearsals and install discipline when needed.

Background within academic circus, always juggling too many balls with an interest of the intersection in social, political and technological developments.

Special skill: Spending too much time online thus having approximate knowledge of many things without having anything profound to say.

Daniele Turra

Warm aunt of the circus, once upon a time in libraries and digital jungles, Daniele Turra embarked on an odyssey living among friendly library animals and teaching computers to dance. Always showing off his techno-circus outfit, he battled code monkeys and left behind his days as a nerdy rookie. We can say that he finally learned how to juggle encryption keys, privacy wizardry, policy impacts, and the difference between GNU and Linux.

Since 2018, he has transformed into a digital activist, spreading cheer and wisdom at tech conferences worldwide. He applies his unique gift in bridging the technical with the communal, like that old aunt everyone has that wants to introduce you to a girl, but for computers and local communities.

Alain Reul

Alain Reul is a background stakeholder of a bookshop cooperative named “Quartier Libre“, and an open-source enthusiast. With his background in library and the publishing business, he has experience of organisation, access, collection, and regulation of information, in both digital and physical forms. He is particularly interested into open source alternatives and expansion of Fediverse projects impacting the cultural sector. These include Hubzilla, Bookwyrm, Bonfire, and Takahē.

Mira Schienagel

She is a researcher at University of Munich (LMU) in the field of German Didactics with special interest in developing digital lesson designs. Her current PHD topic examines the use of social media by generation z and what we can learn from it for teaching. Besides that Mira is also in the performance class of Alexandra Pirici at Academy of Fine Arts (AdBK) in Munich. Her art works are mainly created by using open source software and combining scientific theories or tools used in science.

Michael Smith

He is a a freelance computer programmer, system administrator and IT consultant, experienced in operating several Fediverse instances. He has 20 years of IT experience in multiple fields, operating around the globe. Besides this, he is as well a renown retro computing and gaming enthusiast.