The digital success series of Europe's major innovation conference DLD continues: After eleven exciting DLD Sync sessions, Marietje Schaake and Douglas Rushkoff discussed the status quo of our democracy last week.
While Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi spoke at DLD Munich 18 in the Alte Bayerische Staatsbank, outside taxi drivers took to the roads in a chorus of car horns. Fearing for the future, they want to reclaim their industry. On the DLD stage, Khosrowshahi answered questions from Tanit Koch, editor-in-chief of “Bild”: “When will you conquer the German market?” The CEO paused briefly before replying: “I would never use the word ‘conquer’. We are planning to launch in more German cities this year.” He also predicted that Uber Eats will become the world’s largest food delivery service in the coming months.
Sitting with the future above your head
As the audience listened to Khosrowshahi, a “Volocopter” hung from the ceiling. This vehicle, which looks like a drone that has grown too big, is soon to be used to transport people. “The aircraft is so easy to operate, even a five-year-old could do it”, said Florian Reuter (Volocopter) with visible pride. This will also enable autonomous flight.
Horse and rider
Christoph Grote (BMW Group) also spoke about autonomous mobility. He compared driverless cars and the role of the “motorist” with the trust a rider places in their horse. The horse is independent, trusts the rider and allows itself to be corrected when necessary.
Dirk Hoke (CEO of Airbus Defence and Space) also announced an aircraft currently being developed with Siemens and Rolls Royce that will run on electricity. The passenger aircraft makes much less noise and can therefore fly at night. In the future, this would also allow people to land in cities. All three project partners are based in Munich and are just one example of the mobility work currently underway in the Bavarian capital. Helmut Schönenberger (UnternehmerTUM, Technical University of Munich) underlined this with facts and figures.
Adapt to survive!
As Burda Board Member Stefan Winners asked Professor Bharat Anand (Harvard Business School), who will win the battle? Anand recalled the development of the music industry. Nobody buys CDs anymore – instead, the industry makes its money through concerts. The “battle” will be won by whoever manages to stay flexible, adapt to new situations and does not cling to old formulas.
Prosperity, safety, peace
“He wrote the best book I read last year”, Bill Gates once said about DLD speaker and Harvard Professor Steven Pinker. Pinker discussed his new book in a panel session with Julian Nida-Rümelin (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich) and Andrian Kreye (Süddeutsche Zeitung), confronting perceived cultural pessimism with the weapons of enlightenment. With the aid of facts and figures, he illustrated the constant global upswing in areas such as life expectancy, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge and satisfaction.
The “big four”
Scott Galloway (L2) also set a contemplative tone on the DLD stage: “Take our markets back from the four dominating tech firms – Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google!” he called to the DLD Munich audience. “The advantages offered by their products allow society and politics to forget how much these ‘big four’ dominate the press and the markets. We are drawing closer to a future in which corporations take on the role of governments.”
Who bears responsibility for the consequences of digitalisation? Governments? Major corporations? Perhaps both? Alexander Birken (Otto Group) and Andrew McAfee (MIT) discussed this question with David Kirkpatrick (Techonomy). Andrew McAfee believes that society has a role to play here. We cannot simply place responsibility in the hands of large companies or governments. We, the people, must decide what we want.
Focusing on the Balkans
Ana Brnabic (Prime Minister of Serbia) has a great vision: She wants to lead her country into digitalisation – and later, in a chain reaction, the whole of the Balkans. With determination, she said: “The previous government laid the foundation for healthy economic growth. Now Serbia must take a leap forward – and this won’t happen without digitalisation and corresponding measures in the education system.”
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, visited DLD Munich 18 to speak about the European domestic digital market. Regulatory barriers must be eliminated, the many national markets must be merged into one and the same conditions must be created for all. “For online shoppers or readers, it should make no difference which side of the border they are currently on”, she explained. In Europe, borders should not prevent us from using services, consuming content or buying goods.
Start-ups that quickly go through the roof and earn millions are known on the scene as “unicorns”. In Germany, legendary entrepreneur Marc Samwer is the forefather of the start-up unicorns. His panel session with Robert Gentz (Zalando) and Christopher Muhr (Auto1) brought a small group of unicorns to the DLD stage.
FC Bayern, star of the south
At the end of the day, FC Bayern footballers Jerome Boateng and Sven Ulreich joined the DLD community to announce the winners of the first FC Bayern hack day, which took place alongside DLD Munich 18 in the Allianz Arena.
More videos from the conference can be found here: www.dld-conference.com/dld18
Free press material can be found on Flickr.