The fifth annual Go Viral Festival launches today

June 11, 2021 — On Go Viral 2021 opening day U.S. Ambassador William Moser and the U.S. Consul General Eric Meyer welcomed more than 2378 participants, representing 18 countries from all five Central Asian republics, USA, Netherlands, China, Ukraine, France, Italy, UAE, Russia, Germany, South Korea, Colombia, Switzerland, and etc. This year more than 50 speakers will present keynotes, performances, films and workshops in a hybrid online and offline format, taking place in Almaty (Hide Park), as well as in Dushanbe, Tashkent, and Bishkek.

“I’m honored to congratulate you all on the 30th anniversary of independence of five Central Asian countries and Go Viral on its 5th anniversary. In our 30 years of bilateral partnership and cooperation we have achieved much together. The pandemic is a reminder we are stronger when we work together, and we need young, motivated people and creative ideas to help find answers to shared problems not only locally, but also regionally and globally. I hope Go Viral 2021 empowers journalists, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, and musicians to leverage social media and technology to strengthen networks and collectively address shared challenges,” said U.S. Ambassador William Moser.

The theme of Go Viral 2021 is (un)discovered Central Asia. This year Go Viral will showcase numerous documentary films, music collaborations between the United States and Central Asian countries, panel discussions on women in tech, tech in healthcare, how Central Asian startups entering new global market as well as a panel with future leaders of Central Asia born since 1991. Keynotes will touch on advocacy & science journalism as well as issues that are important to our region such as environment, climate change, education and women empowerment.   There will be quests, quizzes, competitions and more.

Speakers at Go Viral 2021 will present new ways of reinventing ourselves, tell how to invest wisely, and share what are the best intercultural negotiation strategies. The StartUp Go 2021 pitching session, supported by Chevron Kazakhstan, is showcasing Central Asian top 10 startups that will compete for a 6000 USD prize to make a social impact in their countries. Overall 56 startups applied from Central Asia. The ten finalists are from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and will have an opportunity to train with Astana Hub mentors before their final pitching session. Their projects are focused on education, health, finance for youths, air pollution, copywriting and delivery. 

Here are some more of the notable speakers and topics of this year: 

Business: 

  • Chris Burry from the U.S. on Secrets on how to Leverage the Silicon Valley Network for Global Market Entry
  • Mark Young from the USA/Germany Rational Games, Inc. will show the festival participants what it means Negotiating Playfully. 
  • Azerbaijan Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Rashad Bayramov will share five secrets on fantastic presentations.  

Media: 

  • Ed Kashi and his colleague Julie Winokur will cover Advocacy journalism around the world through keynotes including “Creating Short Documentaries“, which will showcase how to work alone with a camera and create brilliant stories. 
  • Youyou Zhou will cover the Covid-19 pandemic as a data science journalist. 
  • Aiganysh Aidarbekova will present how journalists verify and investigate through open sources (offline in Almaty and online).
  • “Teacher” movie premiere on education in Central Asia by Binocle Media Kanat Bisekeyev and Kairat Nurmagambetov (screening and discussion in Hide Park).
  • Farkhod Kalonov “The Tajik that Vlogged the World “.

Technology: 

  • Offline discussion with Renat Alimbekov — “Tech in healthcare.” 
  • Data science in presidential elections, and the role of social media in politics
  • Facebook machine learning practitioner Valeriy Babushkin, who also worked at Yandex, Alibaba, and X5 Retail Group, on why data scientists are so in demand, and many more topics and speakers. 

Culture:

  • On June 18th the U.S. Diplomatic mission in Central Asia initiative “48 Hour Film Race Big Day!” was integrated into the Go Viral 2021 program. 
  • Online theatrical performance Qyrq Qyz by Saodat Ismailova.
  • On June 16th participants from Almaty are invited to rediscover their own city in support of international Bloomsday — urban quest “Almatian Navigation” will be organised by Walking Almaty.
  • Workshop with a veteran Hollywood sound editor and filmmaker Midge Costin, who also presented her documentary “Making Waves: the art of cinematic sound”.
  • On the last day SubRadio music band (USA) will showcase a collaborative work with local musicians from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as well as perform online for Go Viral Festival. 
  • Film discussions with several Central Asian and U.S. film makers Kuanish Beisekov (KZ), Adilkhan Yerzhanov (KZ), Midge Costin (USA), Kanat Beisekeyev (KZ), Anisa Sabiri (TJ), Istedod Usmonov (UZ). 

The full schedule and free registration can be found at goviral.kz, plus the newly launched Go Viral mobile application is available for its users starting from June 11. 

To learn more check out Go Viral social media: Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, and YouTube.

Please keep in mind that some workshops will be on a “first come first serve” basis.

Visuals, photos and videos about the start of Go Viral 2021 can be downloaded here. Hashtags: #GoViralCA2021 #GoviralCA

Go Viral 2021 Festival Press Center

Dalida Nakupova, mob.: +7 701 222 2850; dalida.pr@gmail.com, media@goviral.kz