Dec 7, 2016
What ordinary conference can turn into
Today, German car manufacturers don’t enjoy a truly good reputation any more. Nor does Google or even top sports men. The first are cheating with technology, the later not paying taxes properly. Is this a mega trend or just coincidence?
Two weeks ago I was invited to speak at a conference about the future (‘Zukunftssymposium’). About technology, creativity and the exploration of a new mobility. The speakers list was curated accordingly: Google’s Chief Innovation Evangelist, General Manager from Porsche and Mercedes Benz as well as Matthias Horx, the German Trend Guru, among others.
That is going to be exhaustingly funny, I thought, especially when 300 people are sitting in the audience not at all interested in the typical corporate PPT frenzy. And indeed, the presentations were as expected… But: the moderator triggered questions and conversation that turned the entire event.
Suddenly we were not talking about technology, about drones delivering parcels or brands being electrified. We were talking about human-centricity, about how to use all the knowledge and power at hand to put us, human, in control again. And not just a few of us but most, if not all. There was a big red ribbon of valuable questions being prompted: How can we transform workspace in order to work longer in life, with joy and ease? How can we use digital technology to experience new physicality and analogue interaction? How can we use design thinking to democratize innovation?
And most importantly: how can we, the technology savvy, transform society to reach the lost ones, to bring back the feeling of being human in this computational age.