Uncertainty is a central category in the conversation about the much discussed digital transformation. There is uncertainty as to which technical innovations will actually have a lasting influence on economic and social contexts, which are only a short-term hype or which will soon be obsolete. What strategic decisions should be made and on what basis? This uncertainty can lead to misjudgements, bad investments and in the worst case to an ostrich attitude. The question therefore arises as to how uncertainty can be managed. Which strategies, which "mind-set" and which know-how is needed to develop future-oriented business models, social concepts and future scenarios from ever more rapid technical progress?
Marion Weissenberger Eibl of the Institute of Technology opened the discussion with a short keynote: “Digital transformation offers many great opportunities. I'm an optimist. But Germany is a developing country here; we are way behind other nations, currently on place 17 out of 35 nations.” To bridge that gap Germany needs a high performing infrastructure, innovation friendly conditions and more readiness to take risks in the economy and science. “We need to prepare strategically for the future. The future does not approach us slowly. The future starts today”, concludes Weissenberg- Eibl.
Gerhard Kreß of Siemens Mobility and Olaf Zeitnitz of VisualVest join the stage, moderated by Patrick Bernau from the Frankfurter Allgemeine. Kreß: "Entrepreneurship means taking risks" If you analyse too much, you don't necessarily get any closer to the answer. He emphasises how lifelong learning is more important than ever. Occupations are changing not only for companies, but also for society. Many will no longer exist in 10 years, as we imagine them today. Olaf Zeitnitz concludes: “Innovation without risk is hardly possible. We need room for manoeuvre and flexibility, which we must not restrict by too strict planning.”