“Global Challenges” was the title of the opening panel at the digital conference DLD in Munich last Sunday. In its fifth year, the synergy exchange mainly focused on developing visions for markets and industries following a tumultuous year. This is why the 2009 conference was run under the motto “New Realities”.
Diversity and demographics, risk and future markets, but also sustainability—these are the challenges faced by multinational companies today. Ernst & Young boss James Turley, Ferdinando Becalli-Falco, Board Member of Generel Electric International, Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted and three other top managers discussed how these issues could remain on top of the agenda in times of crisis.
“We must not lose sight of these long-term issues when dealing with the current problems,” said Becalli-Falco. “We have to continue our investment in the future.” The greatest assets in times of crisis were a company’s employees and the company’s management had to make sure that they felt more confident, added Hermann Ude, a Director at Deutsche Post.
The event’s co-sponsor Dr. Hubert Burda presented Esther Dyson with the “Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership” to honor her successful entrepreneurial activities. The prize is awarded to women in the media who develop outstanding visions and implement them. Dyson is an Internet pioneer and an investor in start-ups like Flickr and the Huffington Post. The sheer scope of her visions became clear when she told everybody: “I have to be on my way to Moscow tonight.” This is where Dyson is undergoing cosmonaut training to prepare for her flight to the international space station ISS.
The second major panel of the first day was “Philantrocapitalism”. The discussion centered on the question why it was suddenly cool again to do good. Social concerns and big business were moving closer together again, panel host and author Matthew Bishop commented.
Sean Parker is a co-founder of online communities like Facebook and Napster. He takes advantage of the global community to raise awareness and money for charity projects. Abigail Disney, a great-niece of the Mickey Mouse inventor, serves as the President of “Daphne Foundation” which supports anti-poverty projects in New York and Western Africa.
Entrepreneur Arend Oetker considers the creation of jobs his most important charity project. “The best philanthropy is to give people work,” he stated. And Edwin Moses agreed: “Giving people work and education has to be our top priority,” said the two-time Olymic hurdles champion and Chairman of the “Laureus World Sports Academy”.
About 800 international guests—among them internet gurus, Nobel prize laureates, philosophers, inventures, adventurers, athletes and a conductor—followed the invitation of Hubert Burda Media and came to Munich last Sunday to Tuesday to discuss interdisciplinary issues.
All panel discussions are available on the Sevenload video portal of the DLD website at www.dld-conference.com.