About one year after the installment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Burda's DLD innovation conference in Brussels staged by DLD founder Steffi Czerny started with a wake-up call.
"Courage and optimism is the opposite of fear! It is the fuel that helps us to overcome our limits." With these words, DLD founder Steffi Czerny, together with DLD chairman Yossi Vardi, opened the 15th Innovation Conference in Munich, thus attuning the participants to the motto of the DLD Munich 2019: "Optimism and Courage" in the completely filled main hall of the old congress hall.
In view of the developments in recent years, it seems difficult to look to the future with optimism. But it is more important than ever.
"We have two options: Either we pessimistically give up and thus ensure that the worst comes to the worst. Or we use the opportunities that are definitely there and make the world a better place. And that's the message of DLD."
Steffi Czerny, DLD founder
"In search of the 'next big thing', we're not limiting our view to Silicon Valley alone. New innovation ecosystems are developing outside the United States. They are more agile and creatively hungry. China is making big leaps and is about to overtake Europe and the USA," explained Steffi Czerny.
The Asian Century?
Will Asia dominate the 21st century, just as the USA did the 20th century? Are we in the "Asian century"? Parag Khanna, managing director of Futuremap and geopolitics expert, also pursued these questions in an interview with the author Andrew Keen on the DLD stage. Khanna described how economic growth has led over 600 million people in Asia out of poverty. At the same time, trust in governments is therefore much greater than in the Western world. This experience has changed people's view of the future. The basic attitude is largely optimistic. Globalisation, migration and trade are seen positively. In many Western countries, on the other hand, pessimism and globalisation scepticism prevail. Above all in the USA and Great Britain. And finally, Khanna stressed: "When you think of Asia, many people first think of China - but Asia is much more than that. Two billion people in Asia currently live in democracies and not in totalitarian systems."
In the fast lane
A tangible example of the innovative strength of this new generation of visionaries from Asia was shown by Abe Chen of the Chinese mobility newcomer Byton. The company is preparing to ring in the future of electric vehicles. Last year, Byton unveiled the world's first electrically powered SUV, which will be able to travel up to 400 kilometers with a fully charged battery. "Our philosophy is 'digital first'. We first develop the digital technology and then design the car. Many car makers still think very conservatively by designing a classic car and then packing it full of high-tech," Chen explained, adding, "Our approach turns a car into a smart device."
Born out of necessity
"Air pollution is very high in Chinese cities and as a mother I am naturally worried about my child," explained Weiwei Hu, founder of Mobike, a rental bike company. This concern drove her to bring more bicycles onto the streets. Her courage and optimism have paid off. After four years, the rental bike provider has 200 million customers worldwide, who rent 30 million bikes a day.
After a very short time #dld19 was trending on Twitter on the first day of the conference. Use the Hashtag also in the coming days and discuss with us!
During the next two conference days, speakers from Asia, such as Kai-Fu Lee (CEO Sinovation Ventures), will be on the DLD stage along with many others from all over the world, sharing their visions and innovations with the participants. Via this link you can follow all panels via live stream on your computer.
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