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iCEE.fest 2017: Record number of female speakers

The most important festival dedicated to digital technology and the Internet in the region, Interactive Central and Eastern Europe Festival, takes place next week in Bucharest, on Thursday and Friday.

Most global companies, starting with Google and Facebook and continuing with The New York Times, Shazam, Yahoo, AOL and many others (over 140 names in total) will be in Bucharest on June 15 and 16. Such an important event, where there are almost 4,000 participants from over 10 countries expected has unusual elements as well.

Here are 10 of them:


1. For the first time, the number of female speakers at the festival is of 30%, more precisely, there are 39 female speakers out of 130 speakers. As a comparison, the number and percentages evolved over time like so: female speakers @ iCEE.fest: 2013: 19 out of 90 (21,11%) 2014: 10 out of 83 (12,04%) 2015: 10 out of 101 (9,9%) 2016: 18 out of 135 (13,33%) 2017: 39 out of 130 (30%). This year the festival will also have a section especially dedicated to this topic: women in tech.

2. This is the first edition to have a speaker that is yet to turn 20: this is Jordan Schwarzenberger, Creative Strategist la LADbible. Only five years (older), Steve Bartlett founded SocialChain at the age of 24, one of the most successful social media agencies in Great Britain, and he is already a ”veteran” of the industry.

3. 90 hours in 2 days. The six stages of the festival will add over 90 hours of presentations in the two intense days, where over 140 experts and guests are to talk. To these, parties and live concerts with Delia, Macanache, Lori Ciubotaru, DJ Kriss, as well as stand-up comedy shows and fun in the Summer Playground area will be added.

4. Actor, comedian and star of gaming platform Twitch, Jeff Leach, animator of the festival, has Romanian origins. His mother is the sister of famous Romanian actor Ion Caramitru, director of the National Theatre in Bucharest.

5. Since we are talking about famous actors, Stela Popescu is one of the guests at this year’s iCEE.fest. The 82-year-old actress will participate in the event alongside famous vloggers such as Matei Dima at an intriguing discussion moderated by Andi Moisescu (Apropo TV), regarding the evolution of Romanian humour from the New Year’s Eve programmes on the national TV to the Facebook and YouTube generation.

6. For the first time in Romania there will be an open discussion in an official context about the use of marijuana for medicine purposes. On the stage at, a satellite-event within the festival dedicated to the impact of technology in medicine, Thomas Mershon, xMed21, will approach this topic directly.

7. A new job appeared: social media coach. Alex Khan, a sex-symbol and online celebrity, will give a presentation on this topic at iCEE.fest.


8. Another first for Romania will be a presentation showing how virtual reality can change the way complex surgical interventions are perfomed. World class surgeon and international speaker Shafi Ahmed, the first surgeon to use VR technology in the operating theater, comes at to share his story and tell us how technology can change the current medical system.

9. New domains directly impacted by technology. When it comes to domains that will feel minimum technological impact, agriculture was often given as an example. Nothing could be further from truth, though. This is shown on stage by Romanian entrepreneurs Mihai and Stefan Stanescu, the ones behind AgriSo, a revolutionary app.

10. Two new events within the festival. After last year the festival expanded towards medicine and debuted with the first event dedicated to VR and AR technologies, this year iCEE.fest approaches two new domains.

The tickets that are still available can be purchased on the official website, Students and pupils that are interested benefit from 50% discount at all ticket categories, and 10% of the tickets value will be donated to the project Copăceni Tree House, aimed at helping children with terminal illnesses enjoy the latest technologies.

Colin Carter