October 9 — The fourth annual Go Viral Festival launches today. Almaty Akim Bakhytzhan Sagyntayev, U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan William Moser, and U.S. Consul General in Almaty Eric Meyer opened the festival, welcoming more than 30 speakers and 1,900 registered participants representing 23 countries from all five Central Asian countries, USA, UK, France, Germany, Montenegro, Hungary, India, Serbia, Latvia, Israel, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, China, Zimbabwe, South Korea.
This year’s festival will take place from October 9-18 on Zoom, YouTube and Facebook live. Our theme this year is ReThink. ReDesign. ReConnect. The full schedule of speakers and events can be found at goviral.kz.
The mission of the festival is to connect journalists, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, and musicians, leveraging social media and technology to strengthen networks and collectively address shared challenges. The Go Viral festival features music, films, keynotes, discussions and workshops from leading trendsetters from the United States, Central Asia, and Europe, who will share their secrets on reaching global audiences and motivating people to take action on issues of importance.
“I am convinced that expansive ideas of the festival participants will Go Viral to inspire, create and cooperate without any restrictions and borders. It is very important that Almaty became the place of origin of the festival; it is a place of ideas attraction and networking. As a matter of fact, our city is moving forward thanks to creative and positive people. That is why the Development Strategy “Almaty 2050” adopted by us is aimed at developing the megapolis as a global city — a center of innovation and new industries, providing opportunities for growth and implementation of the most advanced ideas and initiatives,” said Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Akim of Almaty.
“Today, more than ever, it is important to connect and find shared solutions. Although our current circumstances require us to go virtual instead of hosting the festival here in beautiful Almaty, this also means participation isn’t limited by travel or the size of a venue. COVID-19 may have disrupted many plans, but in this case, it’s only making our network bigger, stronger, and more motivated,” — said U.S. Consul General in Almaty Eric Meyer.
Here are some of the notable speakers for this year:
- Gerald Holubowicz, a media expert from France, will talk about Deepfakes and how to identify them.
- Olga Yurkova from Ukraine will discuss the evolution of disinformation.
- Anton Outkin from Russia will conduct a workshop on virtual reality as a form of storytelling.
- Anastasia Valeeva, professor and journalist, will talk about data journalism in the era of COVID-19.
- Alexander Amzin, media expert from Russia, will forecast the future of media and journalism post-pandemic.
- Anna Polonyi, American writer and journalist, will host a workshop on creative writing.
- A panel session on Central Asia will unite Go Viral speakers from the region, who will discuss trends in post quarantine business development.
- The program also includes the finalists of the Startup Go pitching session for technology entrepreneurs from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. Experienced mentors will support the winning teams within a month after the final. The Top 3 startups will receive $6,000 financial support from the Eurasia Foundation and the Civil Society Support Program in Central Asia.
- Brandon Andrews, an entrepreneurship guru from Shark Tank, will talk about how to pitch for investors and will hear pitching from Central Asian startups.
- Vladimir Vulic, a businessman from Montenegro, will talk about “How to reinvent a company for the digital age?”
- Radhika Malpani will share her 20 years of Google experience in technological projects and talk about how to create great teams and products.
- Priyanka Gariba, who heads the Artificial Intelligence Development Department at LinkedIn, will discuss how to help business and IT professionals of Central Asia.
- Kathy Giori from Silicon Valley specializes in Smart Home technology and will share how this technology will change the way we live.
- U.S. developers Nazgul Shorukova and Aidana Omurbaeva will conduct workshops on “Introduction to AWS Cloud” and “Introduction to DevOps Engineering”.
- Additional workshops for teachers will be devoted to online education. Speakers will talk about how to use gamification in distance learning and designing your own plan as an “edupreneur.”
- Regional theatres’ performance REC.ON.ACT. is a collaboration between ArtiShock (Kazakhstan), Ilkhom theatre (Uzbekistan), Mesto D (Kyrgyzstan).
- There will be three film screenings online by Frank Popper (USA) “Gentlemen of Vision”, by Saodat Ismailova (Uzbekistan/France) “Two Horizons” and by a silver winner of Locarno Film Festival 2020 Jannat Alshanova “History of Civilization”.
- Several music performances and concerts are planned this year with American hip hop singer Jaci Caprice, who will also host a workshop on songwriting. Kazakh singer Dequine and Kyrgyz singer Zere Asylbek will also perform.
- Markus J. Buehler will share his unusual musical project, where musicians play a melody based on COVID’s DNA on the Japanese string instrument koto, bells, and flute.
- American artist Marisa Moraen Jahn, a specialist in creative technologies from MIT, will talk about how to use art to drive action in society.
Registration to the festival is free via goviral.kz.
Please keep in mind that some workshops will be on a “first come first serve” basis.
Check the festival program on our web site: https://goviral.kz/schedule.