Germany’s FuturePublish 2021 Conference: ‘Agile Is the New Normal’

In News by Porter Anderson

The FuturePublish conference in Berlin was one of the last physical events of its kind in 2020, and will be a digital show in January 2021.

At the 2019 FuturePublish event. Image: Literaturtest, Sandra Ratkovic

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Sixth Annual FuturePublish Event
One of the earliest events in international publishing in 2021 will the January 14 and 15 FuturePublish digital program from Berlin, produced again by Literaturtest.

An extended early-bird ticketing period for the program ends on Wednesday (December 16), with the main entry price coming in at €199 (US$242).

And while many of us are looking at how to pull off a strong recovery from this year of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the opening keynote on the 14th will feature Hunter Bliss on “How German Publishers Can Save the Next Century.”

Update, December 17: The program in Berlin has contacted us since our publication of this story to say that they don’t plan 14 keynotes, after all–something we’d noted in our original write–despite the fact that the program listings for the two days do indeed include the information that they do.

It appears that this is likely a problem in translation in the listings on the FuturePublish site. The German term–one for which we could surely use a good English equivalent–is impulsreferat and indicates a short lecture of 20 to 25 minutes followed by a discussion. More about the program is below, “keynote”-free.

2021 FuturePublish Sessions by Topic

At the 2019 FuturePublish event. Image: Literaturtest, Sandra Ratkovic


“Real Insights Into the Streaming Audiobook Market” with Kathrin Rustig from BookBeat

“The Competitiveness of Small- and Medium-Sized Publishers” with Ulrich Becker, Friedrich Figge and Laura Sophie from HTWK Leipzig


  • “Storytelling in Marketing” with Gabriele Schmidle from Literaturtest
  • “Mission Truffle Pig: Trend Radar for Publishers” with Okke Schlüter and Linda Vogel from HDM
  • “A Bit Like Christmas: How a Book Subscription Becomes a Model for Success” with Ingmar Weber (Gutenberg Book Guild)
  • New Ways of Communication: New Ways to Content” with Phillip Jacob from Publishers of the Future


  • “Current Legal Issues in the Book Industry” with Ralph Graef
  • “Agile Project Management in Publishing” with Haeme Ulrich from Morning
  • “Remain Maneuverable: Recognize and Eliminate Corporate Crises in Publishing Houses Early On” with Inci Bürhaniye and Dieter Durchdewald from BerlinHorizonte
  • “Agile Reorganization of a Publishing House” with Philipp Lindinger (Herder) and Börn Mahler (PONDUS)
  • “About Restart Culture” with Stefan Salamonsberger from the Börsenverein
  • “Specialist Publishers in the New Normal” with Ehrhardt F. Heinold von Heinold, Spiller & Partner and Christian Kohl


  • “Systemic Conflict Management and New Authority” with Frank H. Baumann-Habersack
  • “What Does Agility Have To Do With Burnout?” with Edgar Rodehack
  • “The First Year of Open Publishing” with Nikola Richter from Mikrotext
  • “Digital Events: What the Book Industry Has Learned in 2020 and How It Could Use It in 2021” with IG Digital of the Börsenverein
  • “New Work After the Pandemic” with Hermann Eckel from Tolino Media
  • “Team Architecture as a Success Factor” with Stefan Kermas and Mario Reis


  • “Community Building in the Book Trade” Round table with Emilia von Senger from She Said; Ragna Lüders from Buchhandlung Lüders; and Olaolu Fajembola from Tebalou
  • “AI in Publishers: What Is Already Working Now and What Could Make Everything Easier in the Future” with Dr. Julia König von Ehrenmüller
  • “Who Still Founds a Publishing House Today?”: Round table with Gunnar Cynybulk from Kanon; Philipp Scharff and Niclas Rohrwacher from Mentor; Christian Dettler from KOCMOC
  • “Stone Paper: How German Publishers Can Save the Next Century” with Hunter Bliss from the Pebble Printing Group
  • “Accessibility: Best Practice for Publishers” with Carsten Schwab from Diogenes; Kristina Kramer from the Börsenverein; and Tobias Ott from Pagina
  • Technical Innovations in Publishing” with Michaela Philipzen


  • “Opportunities for a Racism-Free Publishing World” with Teresa Sommer from Der Audio Verlag and Nadine Salha from Argon Verlag
  • An icebreaker event in cooperation with ContentShift

At the 2019 FuturePublish event. Image: Literaturtest, Sandra Ratkovic

Included in this year’s FuturePublish program is the presentation of the Deutscher Buchtrailer Award.

More from Publishing Perspectives on Germany is here, more on FuturePublish is here, and more from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.