The Hammerbrooklyn.Digital Campus can now swing into operation after its official opening on Monday (October 21, 2019) and may yet see representatives of Silicon Valley come to Hamburg, said Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics during the ceremony. The campus should pioneer fundamental change to the world’s digital economy, according to Dr. Nora Cavara, Managing Director. Interactive ideas for topics will be gathered to make Hammerbrooklyn a meeting point of the analog and digital world.
Meeting point for digital transformation
Westhagemann expressed hope that traditional companies, start-ups and digital natives will network at the new campus to master digital transformation. The Hammerbrooklyn.Digital Campus is likely to change the perception that Hamburg does not have to hide from other digital hotspots, he added. Data are fundamental to digitalisation and increasingly higher amounts are being gathered via the Urban Data Platform and other projects. Yet, the data “belong to the city”, said Westhagemann, and stressed, “We must implement digitization together – integrate the potential of the metropolitan region and include rural regions and our neighbouring countries at eye level in all our future projects. This is the only way to successfully implement major digital projects.”
Objectives and framework conditions crucial
Prof. Dr. Henning Vöpel, Managing Director of the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) and co-initiator of the campus, said citizens are the owners of data and noted that digitisation and disruption should not be taken for granted. Society must instead outline goals that it wishes to achieve. Digitisation is not an end in itself, but must improve the quality of life. In this context, Vöpel recounted a trip with students to Shenzen in China, which has a high level of digitization. However, none of the students wanted to live there for fear of constant surveillance in public spaces.
Broad range of topics
Around 150 guests attended the opening talk in the Hammerbrooklyn Box marking the start of debates on wide-ranging issues at the campus. The upcoming agenda features talks on developing the hydrogen sector, artificial intelligence and modern mobility. This comes as Hamburg gears up to host the ITS World Congress under the theme “Experience Future Mobility Now”, from October 11-15, 2021. Some of the mobility projects currently being developed will be presented in Hammerbrooklyn.Digital Campus backed by Hamburger Hochbahn, which is one of the founders.
Managing Director aboard from October
The neuroscientist, Dr. Nora Cavara, 37, is now Managing Director of Stiftung Hammmebrooklyn. Cavara was previously Director of Business Development & Project Management for Evonik in Canada with responsibility for new business and integrating start-ups into corporate culture. A native of Essen, Cavara also worked for a group of companies there and as a strategy consultant at Roland Berger. Cavara completed her Masters in biochemistry at the Ruhr University in Bochum. Speaking during the ceremony, Cavara said: “We will have ‘citizens’ here in Hammerbrooklyn who are building a new digital civil society. They will generate added value for the future of the society in which we live. This is what distinguishes this place from all other digital locations in the world. It creates a projection surface for the digital future of the north.” The five-storey pavilion at the “heart of the DigitalCampus” will host workshops, symposia, congresses and various events on digital transformation and is due to open in May 2020.
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