DLD Munich 18

Optimism, trust and values


Taking place in Munich this weekend, the 14th DLD has “Reconquer!” as its slogan. As DLD founder Steffi Czerny explained in her opening speech, this is less a declaration of war than a call to stop and think. Over the past years, digitalisation has quickly influenced every aspect of our society. The time has now come to remember our values, to recapture our optimism and trust.

“Digital Wild West”

In his opening keynote on the DLD stage, Elliot Schrage (Facebook) was surprisingly open and self-critical. Facebook has received a lot of criticism in the past year; the spread of fake news on the platform has made users critical and suspicious. Schrage emphasised that, for example, around 99% of all messages uploaded by ISIS via Facebook were quickly deleted. However, he also conceded that Facebook has not been quick enough to identify fake profiles intended for political manipulation. Nevertheless, Facebook is no “Digital Wild West”, and he vowed to improve. Facebook needs to regain its users’ trust.

Digital Cold War

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also appeared at this year’s DLD, and on Saturday evening he warned of a technological race. Europe is competing not only with the USA, but also with China. Warning attendees, he asked: “Do we want to be spectators in a new Cold War for technological leadership? Or do we want to provide better answers than before?”

Dreams of the future

The future may not yet have happened, but author Andrew Keen offers solutions to problems generated by the digital transformation. He lent the title of his book to a DLD panel with Burda CEO Paul-Bernhard Kallen: “How to Fix The Future”. Click here to watch a video of the panel session.

“Investors United”

“Our consumers’ passion for lifestyle and everything that makes life better is part of our company’s DNA. This is why we like to invest in start-ups that focus on and are passionate about this area”, said Martin Weiss (Board Member at Hubert Burda Media) in a panel discussion with Howard Morgan (B Capital), Maximilian Kuss (EMH) and Frederic Court (Felix Capital). Entrepreneurial legend Yossi Vardi (DLD Chairman), who has himself invested in around 86 companies, moderated the session.

Blockchain superstar

With a beaming smile, Brendan Blumer (block.one) took to the DLD stage with Christian Angermayer (Apeiron Investment Group). Having already written a piece of blockchain history, Blumer has every reason to be happy. His EOS tokens, which he launched last June, catapulted him into the top ten cryptocurrencies and are making him a fortune.

More than a cryptocurrency

Blumer emphasised that when most people think of blockchain, they think of cryptocurrencies; however, this technology can do so much more. Blockchain will truly revolutionise the internet, allowing content and social media interactions to be transmitted securely.

Meltem Demirors (Digital Currency Group), Albert Wenger (Union Square Ventures) and Oliver Bussmann (Crypto Valley) also took part in the “Blockchain & Crypto Killing Venture Capital” panel.

Smart cities and air taxis

The “Reconquer (Smart) Cities” panel at DLD Munich 18 considered how technology can enrich urban life. Investor and author David Rowan discussed the issue with Francesca Bria (City of Barcelona), Jaana Remes (McKinsey Global Institute) and Daniel Wiegand (CEO of Lilium). According to Francesca Bria, we must focus on citizens’ needs, not the needs of technology. Autonomous mobility, using data and artificial intelligence, and changing our own behaviour will be central topics of the future.

Before the discussion, Daniel Wiegand presented the Lilium Jet, an electric air taxi that aims to enable air travel on demand. "It’s the same price as an Uber, but with 300km/h of speed and a range of 300 km,” he explained.

Reading thoughts

Mary Lou Jepsen (Openwater) is one of the world’s 100 most influential people according to “Time” and can read thoughts: to be more precise, she has developed a magnetic resonance imaging device that will allow her to transmit thoughts in future. Today, MRIs can indicate which words or images a person is thinking about. The DLD audience was mesmerised by her visions of the future.

Waking up each day with pride

“You have given a voice to so many women. Your attitude is remarkable. You can wake up each day with pride”. With these words, actor Sibel Kekilli presented the DLD Impact Award to Rose McGowan for her dedication in the #metoo debate. The American actor was visibly moved as she accepted the award and called out to the audience: “I never want to say the word ‘woman’ again. I never want to say the word ‘man’ again. I never want to say the word ‘gender’ again.” McGowan wishes for a future in which we are all equal.

Watch more videos from the conference on the DLD livestream: www.dld-conference.com/dld18

More images & downloads

Actresses Rose McGowan and Sibel Kekilli (c) Dominik Gigler

Sigmar Gabriel, German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, with Almar Latour, Dow Jones (c) Dominik Gigler

Sigmar Gabriel, German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs

DLD founder Steffi Czerny with Sigmar Gabriel, German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs

Timotheus Höttges, CEO Deutsche Telekom (c) Andreas Gebert

Timotheus Höttges, CEO Deutsche Telekom (c) Andreas Gebert

DLD Impact Award winner Rose McGowan (c) Dominik Gigler

Hans Ulrich Obrist, Serpentine Galleries, Hito Steyerl, artist, and Evgeny Morozov, writer (c) Andreas Gebert

Ilse Aigner, Bavarian Landtag (c) Matthias Balk

Jeff Jarvis, Cuny (c) Andreas Gebert

Kara Swisher, Recode (c) Andreas Gebert

Hilary Rosen, SKD Knickerbocker, Megan Murphy, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Tammy Haddad, Haddad Media (l.-r.) (c) Jan Haas

Founder Steffi Czerny on stage at DLD (c) Dominik Gigler

Almar Latour, Dow Jones, Paul-Bernhard Kallen, Hubert Burda Media, Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures, und Megan Murphy, Journalistin (v.l.n.r.) (c) Dominik Gigler

Elliot Schrage, Facebook (c) Andreas Gebert

German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel and Burda CEO Paul-Bernhard Kallen (c) Jason Andrew

DLD founders Steffi Czerny and Yossi Vari, publisher Hubert Burda and politician Ilse Aigner (c) Dominik Gigler

Author Andrew Keen (l.) with Burda CEO Paul-Bernhard Kallen (c) Andreas Gebert

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