While the IAA premiered in the Bavarian capital Munich, around 200 invited guests gathered at the BMW World, to discuss one of the most pressing topics of our time: sustainability.
Extraordinary times require new (event) formats: The international conference network DLD (Digital, Life, Design) launched a new interactive online event series called DLD Sync in April featuring one selected DLD speaker in each episode. In typical DLD manner, the Corona pandemic and its impact are examined from a variety of perspectives together with business leaders, innovation champions, world-class scientists, and brilliant thinkers to exchange ideas and insights. Because who could be better suited to tackle a global crisis than such a diverse group of bright minds?
“Our new online format DLD Sync is aimed to inspire the discussion about the challenges of the pandemic. We need new solutions and ideas to overcome the current crisis. As an international, interdisciplinary network, the DLD Community can contribute unexpected perspectives and food for thought.”
Steffi Czerny, DLD founder
What is DLD Sync?
DLD Sync are interactive digital round-tables, each focusing on one speaker from the DLD community. Experts from various fields give us their take on the most pressing issues of our time, across a broad range of subjects. These digital round-tables are for free, max. 60 minutes long and are hosted by DLD Founder Steffi Czerny and DLD Chairman Yossi Vardi. Along the lines of this year’s DLD theme “What are you adding?” the conversation is interactive. Attendees are invited to ask questions live during the event or in advance as part of their registration.
Carl Benedikt Frey: Future of work & Covid-19
The renowned economic historian and author Carl Benedikt Frey started with the first edition of DLD Sync, talking about “Future of Work – What Can History Teach Us About the Impact of Covid-19?”. He directs the program on the Future of Work at the Oxford Martin School and is the author of the book “The Technology Trap”. At the first DLD Sync, he discussed amongst others the following questions: How does the economic fallout from the Corona crisis compare to the 1918 flu pandemic and the 2008 financial crisis? And which key technologies and which jobs will be most demanded in the near future? If you missed DLD Sync with Carl Benedikt Frey, you can check out the session here.
Scott Galloway: The 4 horsemen post Corona
The second DLD Sync speaker was Scott Galloway – longtime DLD friend, marketing professor at NYU and bestselling author. Galloway updated his tech forecasts for the current year and, as always, focused on “the four horsemen” – Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Galloway talked about how the Coronavirus pandemic is likely to accelerate existing trends, make powerful companies even more powerful and create entirely new disruptions in existing markets. Watch the session with Scott Galloway here in case you missed it.
Sir Martin Sorrell: The beginning of the world as we don’t know it
Sir Martin Sorrell, Executive Chairman of S4 Capital and previously the CEO of WPP discussed with DLD Chairman Yossi Vardi, how to not only survive in the coronavirus crisis but thrive in the aftermath. Sir Martin is convinced that the digital transformation will speed up after the crisis: “Before Covid-19, many CEOs were reluctant to disturb the status quo. Now all bets are off.” In case you missed DLD Sync with Sir Martin Sorrell and Yossi Vardi, you can check out the session here.
Brian Eno & Hans Ulrich Obrist: Reflections on Art, Earth and Humanity
Brian Eno is a pioneer of electronic music and an advocate of humanitarian causes. Born in Britain, he co-founded the band Roxy Music before embarking on a solo career of more than four decades that has included art installations, videos and collaborations with many other artists. Eno is a co-creator of the Long Now Foundation and Advisory Board member of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose in London. In conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries, Brian Eno explored the role of art and artists in a world facing many challenges, from climate change to the current Covid-19 pandemic. Watch the video of their DLD Sync session here.
Klaus Hommels & Stefan Oschmann: Digital Europe After Covid-19 – Hotspot or Notspot?
In conversation with Sebastian Matthes, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Handelsblatt, Lakestar founder Klaus Hommels and Merck CEO Stefan Oschmann took a close look at Europe’s digital economy – and where the continent is heading due to the coronavirus crisis. How can world-class science lead to world class companies? What are Europe’s competitive strengths, where is the continent’s place in a digital economy increasingly dominated by U.S. and Chinese companies? How can investors strengthen the ecosystem and foster a productive cooperation between founders, established companies and governments? If you missed DLD Sync with Klaus Hommels and Stefan Oschmann, you can check out the session here.
Isabell Welpe & Albert Wenger: Covid-19 – The End of Capitalism?
Isabell Welpe, Chair for Strategy and Organization at the Technische Universität München, and Albert Wenger, Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures, had a fascinating discussion about the state of the globalized economy. What can Covid-19 teach us about capitalism and its limits? How badly will the pandemic hit the economy, what can be done to limit the damage? What chances for a better future does the current crisis hold? Watch the DLD Sync session with Isabell Welpe and Albert Wenger here in case you missed it.
Margaret Heffernan & Niki Kolev: Prediction Addiction
Uncertainty is a fact of life. We may try to calculate what’s to come but the future remains ambiguous. The complexity of modern life simply does not allow precise predictions – no matter how much we may crave them, say renowned British author Margaret Heffernan in her most recent book. In conversation with WeWork’s Niki Kolev, she elaborated on these thoughts and applied them to business and the economy. They discussed the questions: How can business leaders better prepare for future crises? Which changes are needed to make society more resilient? If you missed DLD Sync with Margaret Heffernan and Niki Kolev, you can check out the session here.
Elle Jorgensen & George Church: The Machinery of Life & The Future of Human Evolution
Moderated by Jamie Metzl, author of Hacking Darwin, scientists Ellen Jorgensen and George Church discussed the possibilities of biotechnology and gene editing in medicine and health. Ellen Jorgensen is the Chief Science Officer and co-founder of Aanika. She holds a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology and has spent more than 30 years in the biotechnology industry. George Church, a pioneer of genomic science, leads Synthetic Biology at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute. The institute aims to transform medicine by developing innovations based on biological design principles. Watch the DLD Sync session here in case you missed it.
James Ludwig & Carlo Ratti: The New Code of Cities
Architect and engineer Carlo Ratti and James Ludwig (Steelcase) discussed questions like how do we need to design office spaces for a world after Covid-19? Is home office a sustainable concept for tomorrow? What does this change mean for mobility and transportation? Does the pandemic spell the end of megacities and decades of urbanization? If you missed this interesting DLD Sync session, watch it here.
Margot & Richard Edelman: Trust, Tech & Covid 19
How has the corona pandemic affected our trust in certain institutions? And what role should companies play in the anti-racism debate? At DLD Sync, Richard Edelman and his daughter Margot Edelman from the world's largest owner-managed communications agency Edelman gave exciting insights into their renowned international study – the Edelman Trust Barometer. Watch the DLD Sync session here to learn about the trust felt worldwide in governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), business and the media.
Kenneth Jacobs & Swaha Pattanaik: After the Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic affects all areas of our life and our world order. The crisis has hit hard and reveals the fragility of our globalized economy. At the same time, some forgotten or neglected truths have resurfaced which open up the debate about the future of our world. Are we at the cusp of a new world order? Kenneth Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Lazard, shared his Covid-19 learnings for the post-pandemic economic landscape with Swaha Pattanaik, Global Economics Editor at Reuters Breakingviews. Watch the DLD Sync session here in case you missed it.
Marietje Schaake & Douglas Rushkoff: Democracy And the Global Economy
Society and business are facing many challenges right now – from political instability to recession and the global disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Marietje Schaake (Stanford University) and Douglas Rushkoff (Laboratory for Digital Humanism at CUNY/Queens) looked at these challenges through the lens of digital transformation. They answered questions like: How can social media platforms fight misinformation more effectively – and who is holding them responsible? Are tech giants becoming even more dominant when remote workers, Internet users and online shoppers rely ever more on their services? Watch the DLD Sync session with Marietje Schaake and Douglas Rushkoff here in case you missed it.
Mariana Mazzucato & Hans Ulrich Obrist: Rebooting Capitalism
The corona crisis has shown the importance of government as a guardian, protecting and supporting their citizens. What will happen when the pandemic is under control? Will Western capitalism return to its previous state? Will governments take the back seat again and let global giants lead the way? Or is this a turning point? A historic opportunity for a reboot, as Mariana Mazzucato argues when she writes that the Covid-19 crisis is a “chance to do capitalism differently”. Mariana Mazzucato is a highly acclaimed professor and economist at University College London (UCL) and author of several best-selling books. In the DLD Sync session ‘Rebooting Capitalism, she was joined by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of London’s Serpentine Galleries. If you missed the session, you can watch it here.
Suzanne Lee, Mitchell Joachim, Ellen Jorgensen & Drew Endy: Grow Your Phone! The Age of Biological Manufacturing Is Here
If the 20th century was the Age of Physics, the central technology of the 21st century will be biology. Despite marvelous advances in areas like health care, we have only seen a tiny part of what this powerful technology can do. Multiple industries are turning towards biological manufacturing as an integral part of their business strategy, particularly if they are concerned about sustainability. Imagine bacteria making supply chains more transparent, shoes and clothing made of mushrooms and algae, and maybe even houses with living walls. How will this trend affect your business area? What will become obsolete, replaced by this inherently sustainable technology? This biological manufacturing revolution was explored during a DLD Sync session with four experts who discussed what you need to know, and how to separate hype from reality. Watch the session with Suzanne Lee (Biofabricate), Mitchell Joachim (Terreform One), Ellen Jorgensen (Aanika Bio) and Drew Endy (Stanford University) here in case you missed it.
Steve Case & Yossi Vardi: Entrepreneurship In Times of Crisis
It’s hard enough to build a successful startup when times are good. But now? How will the Covid-19 pandemic impact entrepreneurs, investors and startup ecosystems around the world? What are the partnerships that matter, what should governments do to support young businesses? Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution, and DLD Co-Chairman Yossi Vardi took a close look at entrepreneurship in a time of crisis in this wide-ranging DLD Sync session that also touched upon issues of management, digital transformation, society and politics. If you missed the interesting session, you can watch it here.
William Li: Transforming Our Food Culture In Our New Future
Food is more than energy for your body – it also has an enormous impact on your health. Dr. William Li is CEO and Co-Founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based organization that is researching the role of nutrition on health defense systems in the body for its impact on disease prevention, modification of drug responses, and restoration of function and homeostasis. In his DLD Sync session, he talked about the vital connection between food and your body’s immune system. Watch his DLD Munich 20 talk here and his DLD Sync session here in case you missed it.