re:member: Jörg-Olaf Schäfers (1972 - 2011)

The 10th re:publica is an occasion for celebration. The past years have given use so many success stories, meetings of minds and memories. These are being collected and presented in our big #rpReview. However, the last years have also given us moments for pause and reflection. Along with celebrating, the re:publica community has mourned untimely losses.

On 1 August 2011, news of Jörg-Olaf Schäfers' passing circulated (here and here) - he was only 38 years old.

His tireless engagement was evident in numerous ways. Jörg-Olaf studied media science and worked at the University of Paderborn. By the early 2000s, he was already establishing himself as an internet activist long before that description became popular. He was an active netzpolitik.org blogger from the very beginning. By the end of 2006, he was writing his “Notizblog” column for the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung. His works, outspoken ways and “the rare ability to think things through to their end” garnered a lot of respect for him within the community.

Jörg-Olaf was not a fan of public appearances but in 2008, co-founder Markus Beckedahl managed to persuade him to attend re:publica. Otherwise, he continued the fight from Paderborn.

We miss Jörg-Olaf Schäfers and his work to this day.

Photo credit: Urban Explorer Hamburg  (CC BY-SA 2.0)