Rapid, technological change is impacting life in the 21st century, learning, communication and work. Anke Nehrenberg, co-founder of kommitment GmbH & Co. KG, helps companies with these processes of change both professionally and privately. Nehrenberg, 37, is the head of the Hamburg chapter of Digital Media Women (#DMW) and succeeded Christiane Brandes-Visbeck last November.
Hamburg News: Anke, what excites you about #DMW?
Anke Nehrenberg: The great openness and the dynamic network in which strong men and women have come together. #DMW focuses on visibility at all phases of life. Carolin Neumann founded the network in 2010 with other women because she was incensed that men outnumbered women on stage during the NEXT conference. She wanted to alter that and meanwhile far more women take to the stage. Yet, there is still room to increase their numbers. Also, DMW has expanded it’s objectives and now wants to see more women in commerce and managerial positions and to achieve equal pay at long last. We also support and link up women and push ahead with digital change.
Hamburg News: We are presently in the throes of digital change. How can transformation be achieved?
Anke Nehrenberg: Gradually. We live in a technology-driven era and must ensure that we take people on board. Otherwise, it will not work. We must try and shape digital transformation successfully as it really impacts everyone and is gaining ever more pace. We encounter buzzwords like Internet of Things, artificial intelligence or automatisition everywhere and although they may be dreams of the future, we must change our (working) life and future now.
Hamburg News: Which changes should we concentrate on?
Anke Nehrenberg: Those in communication – but I may be thinking of that because it is my profession. At kommitment, we help companies to change and/or to react to external and internal changes. That also applies to technical changes, but perhaps even more to corporate culture. Communication is almost always a key element – and establishing intelligent communication is often the most difficult task. Digitalisation is facilitating new kinds of communication.
Hamburg News: We can be reached, for instance, 24/7 on a multitude of communication channels.
Anke Nehrenberg: Right. We communicate on portals, messenger services, per email, Twitter and SMS. Then there is a flood of apps and an entirely new kind of transparency means we are being evaluated and evaluate online. That can easily feel overwhelming. So, it’s important to remain time sovereign and a champion of one’s own data. As much as I like digitalisation, I am sceptical of the technical developments. I am, for instance, a member of the Chaos Computer Club, which has long since become a non-governmental organisation focusing on computer safety and our progression towards an information society.
Hamburg News: So the Chaos Computer Club is anxious about the right path to our digital future. I would like to hear three arguments on how digital change can be fun.
Anke Nehrenberg: Whittling down such a complex topic to three points is a problem. But I’ll try.
1) Simply try out something new: New technology may seem complex initially, but the Internet is full of knowledge. Instructions on how to use new applications can be found anywhere. And caution is often followed by the Aha effect “Hey, that wasn’t so hard.” New talents can be uncovered in that way or enhanced and we broaden our horizons in the process.
2) Do not be overly ambitious: I do not have to become an expert on every new application and I do not have to learn about new trends immediately. I can bide my time and watch. Then I can learn in my network about the most suitable new applications. And the diversity of networks that have resulted from digitalisation can be used wonderfully to meet new like-minded people. That can be great fun.
3) Developing an image of the future: A working world, for instance, that is characterised by meaningfulness, sustainability and eye-level contact. Everyone has talents that deserve respect. On top of that, digitalisation has led to free access to information and we can now implement the old ideal image of humanism with this knowledge.
Interview by: Yvonne Scheller