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Bucerius Lab © Frederika Hoffmann / ZEIT-Stiftung

Learning from Silicon Valley - new info series in Bucerius Lab

"Individual strengths, taking on challenges and being able to deal with surprises are key factors for shaping the digital future successfully". Next talks in May

For 90 per cent of firms in Hamburg, digitalisation is crucial to the future of their businesses and work processes, a recent survey found. Digitalisation is also an important catalyst of change in culture and society. A new project by the Zeit Foundation called “Bucerius Lab” is focusing on digital change.

The Bucerius Lab Lectures began on April 12, 2016 in the Bucerius Law School after the successful, opening symposium in February. Wolf Lotter, author and co-founder of the Brand eins economic magazine, gave a talk entitled “Creative revolution or what we must learn from Silicon Valley to reach the knowledge society”.

Changing world of work

Commenting on the current situation, Lotter said 60 to 70 per cent of today’s work places could fall victim to digitalisation and automatisation. He added: “A look at history teaches us that each technology hitherto has created more jobs than it cut.” However, that is a long-term process.

Individuality as a key success factor

Lotter’s well-attended talk also offered thorough economic, sociopolitical analysis. Individual strengths, taking on challenges and being able to deal with surprises are key factors for shaping the digital future successfully. Germany’s current economic success is almost dangerous, Lotter said, as it could be misleading to stay on the present course instead of risking a new direction.

More conferences on subject

Lessons to be learnt from Silicon Valley and what should not be imitated are a common theme of events in Bucerius Lab. The objective is to discuss the meaning of digital change for democracy, economy, culture, as well as the chances and the design possibilities offered in an independent manner and without prejudging the outcome.

Daniel Opper, Project Manager, said: “We are still in the founding phase of the Bucerius Lab. Our opening two-day symposium in February looked at California and dealt with the kind of digital future that we wish to live in. Now, more conferences, workshops and these Bucerius Lab lectures will deal with the issue in-depth.”

Next talks scheduled for May

The first of two more talks will be held on May 9, 2016 when the historian, Andreas Rödder, will talk about “Man and technology. A historic, triple A rating.” On May 25, Yvonne Hofstetter, a lawyer and essayist, will talk about “How algorithms challenge law and our democracy.” Both experts have spent years focusing on big data and the impact of the rising flood of data on people. Both will outline their views of digital change and encourage a discussion about developing questions on the future, as the Bucerius Lab hopes.

Sources and further information:

Digitalisation in Hamburg

A “Medium Sector 4.0 Competence Centre” is due to be set up in Hamburg’s Chamber of Commerce by late 2016 to support firms with digitalisation issues. The chamber aims to foster the positive attitude towards digital change in Hamburg’s economy. Last December, a survey entitled “Hamburg’s Economy 4.0” of over 1,000 firms across all sectors and irrespective of size found that 90 per cent of firms in Hamburg say digitalisation is crucially important to developing their businesses and work processes in future.

Over every second firm hopes to increase turnover through digitalisation. At present, the average across Germany means only every third company achieves this. Hamburg is increasingly becoming a free Wi-Fi zone. By late 2017, there are due to be 180 access points, the first of which have already been activated, for free WLAN in the city. The HVV is also planning a WLAN offensive.
Study “Hamburger Wirtschaft 4.0.2 (Hamburg’s Economy 4.0):

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