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Year of the Goat 2015 - a festival with a difference

posted on:8 February 2016

Happy Year of the Monkey everyone! Lively, quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous, the monkey is about to make the coming year interesting and exciting.

To ring in the new year and say a proper goodbye to the old Year of the Goat, we want to introduce you to the eponimous festivals:

On 19th November 2015, Frankfurt am Main was host city to a festival with a difference – Year of the Goat (YOTG). Despite a last minute location change, the group behind it managed to pull off a fantastic and engaging event. Funnily enough, this corresponds to one of the key messages of the festival – agility, a vital mindset for anyone involved in or touched by digital transformation. YOTG’s aim is to build a community with a difference – one that covers more perspectives of digitalisation than the usual attempts to simply build a copy of the analogue world in a digital format.

So what makes this festival different from other events?




Markus von der Luehe is the festival’s founder, and after years in digital marketing he decided it was time to add some more meaning and purpose to his world of work. I am really glad he turned that idea into action – YOTG emerged and became a great experiential event to connect with new people and learn from a diverse group of speakers. Markus wanted to build an international community of change makers who inspire positive change in response to the digital transformation around us all.

They have also built a social cause into the DNA of the company: for every paying conference attendee, they train a young person in entrepreneurship and digital skills for free – one of the reasons why Freeformers have invested in this venture.






Year of the Goat was all about the goat within every one of us. In the Chinese calendar the goat – yáng in Chinese – is described as a peace-loving, kind and popular animal. On the other side, they are natural born worriers who will always predict and expect the worst. What we were all particularily interested in was the goat’s stubbornness, since most of us exhibit a stubborn trait whenever we are faced with change.






All the ingredients put together, like e.g. a focus on gender balance, social purpose, embracing change and empowering innovation, made it a memorable event. And there is more to come: now it’s the monkeys’ turn, and their curiosity and thirst for knowledge are sure to inspire yet more captivating insights. Visit the new website here – #YOTM, apply for an invitation now and see you there in April 2016!

For all German speakers, here is a great summary by David Hirsch about YOTG from the FAZ on medium.



Also published on Medium.