Lena Gaede

Can we save the planet through digitalization? Where new digital technologies can improve sustainability

Most of the time, digitalization is the solution to everything, isn’t it? So why shouldn’t it be a solution to the world’s energy problem? But how can digitized processes help to save the planet? Their biggest advantage is helping to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, while they minimize the need for some resources (i.e. paper) in manufacturing as well as in logistics. The digital transformation of industries can help to avoid an estimated 26 billion metric tons of net CO2 emissions and this only from three industries: electricity, logistics and automotive. So it’s high time we went for it! Since every increase by 1 percent of the global gross domestic product, the world’s carbon emissions rise by an estimated 0.5 percent.

Digital innovations should therefore be taken on account and used against this trend. Because, applied in the right way, digital technology can save lots of energy, even if it sometimes consumes much. Based on some examples, we show you here how easy can it be for a company to save energy and thereby to make the world a whole lot better.

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Lena Gaede

Pillars of leadership in digital transformation: why managers need IQ, EQ and DQ to succeed

Digital transformation is not just about technology. Even access to the best tech doesn’t ensure digital success. Instead, successful digital transformation requires an overall cultural change! What companies really need to face the challenges of digitalization are flexible and proactive employees. And ahead of them: managers embracing the cultural change and driving digital transformation forward. But, as you might have noticed, many traditional managers struggle to keep up with the fast-changing environment and new working styles. So, let’s see what makes the difference for leadership in digital transformation!

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Lena Gaede

Digital Darwinism: why companies must step up to digital transformation to survive

We witness a mass extinction. Only the ones who adapt to their environment will survive. No, we are not talking about birds on the Galapagos Islands – we are talking about companies everywhere! The laws of nature equally apply to the business world: digitalization rapidly changes technology and society and forces companies to adapt fast enough – or die. Corresponding to Darwin’s principle of natural selection, we call this phenomenon Digital Darwinism.

Digital Darwinism is a threat for the “business as usual”. In fact, only 71 companies remain today from the original 1955 Fortune 500 list. The one thing that the failed companies have in common: a missing or miscarried digital strategy. No threat, you say, as most modern companies already went digital? So far so good, but the crux of the matter is the very fast pace of digital change: it is not some innovation now and then that companies need to react to. It is digital disruption that completely revolutionizes business models and consumer expectations – and it won’t end. It is possible because technology is now approachable by anyone with an idea to do something different or better. This constant innovation leads to disruption: everything can change and everything is changing. More…

Messe Karlsruhe

Guest feature | Karlsruhe’s platforms for innovation: LEARNTEC and IT-TRANS

Digitization has arrived! Digital solutions have become integral parts of daily life in education, mobility, and other fields. Where is this evolution headed? How will we learn and travel in the future?

Learning with digital media revolutionizes the culture of learning

LEARNTEC

LEARNTEC is the number one in digital learning – for school, university and corporate settings.

The implementation of digital media has evolved into a fixed feature of integrated educational concepts in schools, universities, working life, and leisure time. Now and in the future, practical lifelong learning is unthinkable without the use of digital media. Mobile education, i.e. learning and teaching via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, has been an observable trend for several years already. Thanks to Big Data and Learning Analytics, each learner receives an offer that’s individually tailored to suit that person’s specific needs. Learning based on the “watering-can principle” is obsolete. As increasingly many people make their know-how available, existing knowledge becomes more open and more freely accessible. Another important trend is game-based learning: the objective here is to playfully achieve one’s learning goals. This also involves developments in the field of 3D learning worlds and virtual reality. More…

Accenture

Guest feature Accenture: Digital individual

When standardized work is increasingly taken over by computers, it is individuality and creativity that enable us to do truly meaningful work. This offers huge opportunities to the individual – we can now choose how to shape our careers, we can structure our work more flexibly, and our talent, ambition and ingenuity are the keys to success.

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Pamela Maruschke, Managing Director at Accenture

Looking back at the beginnings of my career, I am amazed at how rapidly this change has progressed in the course of just a couple of years. When I started my first job 16 years ago, little did I assume that I would end up at a consulting company. Building fancy slides was not really my thing, what I wanted to do instead was to work hands-on by implementing software for different customers. I believed that the best way to achieve this was in a traditional software business, so I started work for a software vendor in the telecommunication industry after my studies. In the early 2000s telecommunications companies were moving towards a more client-focused business and were far away from a digital one. Some of my most challenging projects took place during this time. One of them was the biggest customer care and billing implementation at a larger mobile operator. I was part of the ‘war room’ experts who managed and monitored this migration in a 24/7 shift over days. After this huge project, I worked in other implementation projects as an expert in the field. Working for software vendors gave me a wide range of experiences around the end-to-end project cycle while always being dedicated to the software that needed to be implemented.

After quite some internal struggle on whether this was all there is, I decided to dare the leap into the consulting world in 2004. And what an experience it was. I jumped straight ahead into an assignment in Moscow, in an expert role. Suddenly, I was confronted with the slides I dreaded so much, in a city so unlike what I was used to. While it did indeed take me some time to adjust to things, my work proved more rewarding than before. In the years to come, I had the pleasure to work in countries such as South Africa, the Nordics, the UK and Switzerland. I got to know different cultures that immensely enriched my life. As I was always working hard and travelling a lot, this forced me to be quite strict when it came to my personal life and quality time management. Establishing travel rituals and ensuring to re-charge my energy level were key to handle the challenges I had to face in my work environment. Sports has always been a part of my life, therefore there is nothing better than a great mountain bike ride in summer and an intensive snowboard run in winter to get my energy level back and my mind clear for new tasks that lie ahead. The more challenging the ride, the better I feel. More…

Svenja von Bartenwerffer

Guest feature | Karlsruhe – here is where the tech startups are

Karlsruhe is excited to welcome the CODE_n new.New Festival including this year’s 52 finalists of the startup contest. The whole city is known for influencing the industrial history of the German southwest – not only by inventing bicycles and cars some decades ago, but also by shaping today’s digital transition. The universities located in Karlsruhe combined with one of Europe’s highest density of ICT-SMEs involved in research and development and quite a few renowned research institutes produce a unique number of interesting emerging startups, especially in the field of hightech and ICT. Unsurprisingly, two of the 52 CODE_n finalists are from Karlsruhe.

We would like to introduce some of the most promising young companies based in the “Fächerstadt” to you:

CODE_n finalist otego – revolutionizing the sensor market

otego is poised to be the first manufacturer of low-cost thermoelectric generators (TEGs) that are suitable for mass use. By avoiding batteries in IoT devices, otego TEGs are a sustainable solution for harvesting energy using wireless sensors and actuators. otego aims to sell its generators directly to sensor manufacturers and smart home OEMs. To achieve this, the team is setting up its own production line (capacity 1 million TEGs per year) and is already in regular contact with many potential customers.

CODE_n finalist Kinemic – gesture control at a new level

Kinemic develops software to control and interact with digital devices – from smart watches, to smartphones, AR glasses, and PCs. All it takes is a few hand and arm motions. Kinemic is currently developing its first finished products with major German enterprises. Later, the plan is to license the patented technology to OEMs and other software developers.

ArtiMinds Robotics – redefining the way of robot programming

ArtiMinds fills the gap between autonomous and self-learning robots and classical industrial robots by providing software that is widely applicable and specialized in extremely fast and intuitive generations of complex, sensor-adaptive motion programs for robot arms, grippers and tools. This allows the industrial use and application of robotics even for varying processes and products and small production lots.

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Christian Birnesser

Guest feature | Digitalization: 11 reasons why Karlsruhe is ready for the future

Digital solutions are finding their way into all areas of life and work. With this digital transition, we are seeing disruptive technologies present the old economy with staggering challenges. Entire industries are being forced to redefine themselves from one day to the next – and traditional business strongholds are following suit. Christian Birnesser from our CODE_n new.New Festival partner Cyberforum has summed things up for us in a feature called 11 reasons why Karlsruhe is ready for the digital transition. And what kinds of things the city should focus on despite – or maybe because of – its terrific starting point:

1. Lead through IT

The “fan-shaped city” already got a head start in the race to introduce digital solutions. As a bastion of Germany’s IT industry, Karlsruhe is inherently digital: The region is home to roughly 4,200 IT companies providing 36,000 jobs. A 2014 EU study of the most important ICT hubs on the continent listed Karlsruhe as a frontrunner thanks to its strong foundation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – right behind metropolises like Munich, London, and Paris.

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(Image Source: KTG Karlsruhe Tourismus GmbH)

Where other locations have to start at square one, Karlsruhe already has a great footing. Now it’s important to keep up the momentum and not give out just before the finish line.

2. A new IT generation is up and coming

Karlsruhe is a college town with 43,250 students at 9 universities and schools of applied sciences. Nearly 20% of these students are enrolled in IT-related programs. The renowned faculties at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HsKA) attract talented students from all across the country. IT and informatics have never before been in such high demand: In the winter semester of 2015/2016, there were 730 first-year students enrolled in informatics courses, just at KIT alone. That’s more than were registered back in 2012/2013, when double the number of high school graduates headed off to college. So this is know-how that has come to be very important in the age of digitalization.

It might sound like a broken record but: Today’s students are the specialists and managers of tomorrow. If they can be attracted to stay put and not move away, that’s great for the local economy – for the long term.

3. Breaking ground for business

The fan-shaped city has cultivated a very attractive startup scene. There’s a good level of exchange and people meet up regularly at events like the founders’ BBQ. The support that’s on offer is also exemplary: The Center for Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship (CIE) is an ideal first port of call for business founders. It’s located directly on the KIT campus. With its CyberLab, the CyberForum runs its own incubator or accelerator especially for IT and high-tech startups. And both the city and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) are in a great position to offer consulting services. Beyond this, all key stakeholders have become involved in the network of founders in Karlsruhe. More…