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At LineUpr, there is no room for racism or anti-Semitism. We are proud of our multicultural team and we welcome everyone and anyone who wants to change the event industry for the better with us. Unfortunately, there are people both online as well as offline who are against tolerance and democracy. These tendencies must be confronted as soon as possible. Many foundations make a very valuable contribution in this area.

One of them is the Amadeu Antonio Foundation. It is named after a teenager who was beaten to death in 1990 because of his dark skin color. Their goal is to strengthen civil society. For this reason, the Amadeu Antonio Foundation organizes the Civil Society Online event. Here, in 2019, a LineUpr app was used for the first time. Oliver Saal will tell you what advantages an event app offers in comparison to a program booklet, how to inform the participants entirely about the app and how surveys can motivate the participants. Really worth reading. 😊

LineUpr: Hello Oliver. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Please introduce yourself and the Amadeu Antonio Foundation.

Oliver: Hello Eric, my name is Oliver Saal and since 2017, I have been working for the Amadeu Antonio Foundation as a consultant for digital topics. Our foundation aims to strengthen a democratic civil society that consistently opposes right-wing extremism, racism, and anti-Semitism. The namesake of the Foundation, Amadeu Antonio, was beaten to death in 1990 by right-wing extremists in Brandenburg Eberswalde for racist reasons because he was black. He was one of the first of today’s at least 194 deaths by right-wing extremists since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

LineUpr: You used LineUpr for the Civil Society Online event. Please tell us more about this event.

Oliver: Our foundation has been working for many years on the topics of hate speech and right-wing extremism online and gives tips and advice to organizations and individuals for digital civic engagement against hatred. Last but not least, the murder of the Kassel regional president Walter Lübcke has shown how important this is – because these misanthropes feel that their assumptions are being confirmed and they can even be radicalized to murder, if no one contradicts them and if the state and the social networks do not set limits through efficient sanctions. With our event # ZGO19 – Civil Society Online: Under Pressure, we wanted to bring together all those who deal with these issues, from the civil society, journalistic or scientific perspective, because they are all affected by hate speech or want to fight it in the future. We wanted to ask which solution strategies the government and the civil society have developed so far – and where do we need to improve.

LineUpr: What makes this event special? Which target group did you want to address and what added value did you offer the participants?

Oliver: Besides the many members of the press, political education, and politics, we had prominent panel guests such as Michel Abdollahi, Renate Künast, and representatives from Facebook and Google. About 200 people visited the ZGO and it was broadcast live on television, YouTube and Facebook by ALEX BERLIN, who kindly provided their services.

Picture by Max Threlfall

LineUpr: If you compare a printed program with an event app, what are the advantages and disadvantages of both variants?

Oliver: The app gave us the opportunity to provide registered participants with all the relevant information in advance. Besides, the app, of course, has the advantage that there is no editorial deadline. When planning a lavish event, experience shows that things can change up until the very last second – a sponsor wants a different text in the description, a speaker has to cancel, a designated room or the time schedule needs to be changed. With the app, unlike with a printed program, we were able to take such developments into account.

The app gave us the opportunity to provide registered participants with all the relevant information in advance.

LineUpr: Did you present your speakers with individual profiles in the event app?

Oliver: In the event app, we introduced all panels, speakers, and supporters of the event with pictures or logos and short texts. We also linked our partner organizations.

LineUpr: Did you point out (the use of) the event app during the event?

Oliver: Before the event, we pointed out the app as part of the registration confirmation and suggested that all participants use it because we also wanted to use it for announcements on short notice. On the day itself and on-site, we gave out small leaflets to all guests, which contained the QR code for the app, the URL, and the hashtags of the day for social networks. Our great presenter Teresa Sickert also relied on the app to open the event.

They could simply use the “survey” function in the app and our presenter then asked the questions for [the participants].

LineUpr: How has your event or event organization changed by using an event app?

Oliver: In addition to the opportunity to keep the guests informed in advance and the possibility to react to current developments in the organization of the event, we found the survey function useful to obtain feedback from the participants. Experience has shown that many guests have very good questions that they do not dare to ask in a setting with TV cameras and several hundreds of other listeners. They could simply use the “survey” function in the app and our presenter then asked the questions for them.

LineUpr: Thank you for the great interview, Oliver. Unfortunately, hate speech is a growing topic online, probably because most people feel anonymous and safe here. As you have already described, verbal violence can also turn into physical violence. This makes your work to counteract this early on all the more important. We’re happy to help your essential mission with our app.

You can find much more interesting information about the Amadeu Antonio Foundation on their website. Also, the foundation is also active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Have a look over there.

We wish you continued success in your work and are more than happy to help wherever we can.