Home Menu

2b AHEAD ThinkTank Future Congress 2015 Program

Below you will find the program for the 14th Annual 2b AHEAD ThinkTank Future Congress.

Tuesday, 16-06-2015

starting at 7:00 a.m.

Welcome lounge for red-eye flyers and early birds

Common ideals: coffee, croissants and free WLAN


The early risers of the day can meet in the Welcome Lounge before the opening of the congress. Feel free to come directly to Wolfsburg Castle from the airport or train station! We will be here to welcome you with coffee, croissants, and complimentary WLAN access. For arrivals from the south, we recommend the morning flights to Hannover (6:45 a.m. from Frankfurt; alternatively, 7:05 a.m. from Munich or 8:20 a.m. from Stuttgart). For arrivals from the east or the west, we recommend the ICE directly to Wolfsburg (5:44 a.m. from Cologne, 5:53 a.m. from Düsseldorf, and 7:46 a.m. from Berlin). For arrivals from the north, the ICE via Hannover (6:53 a.m. from Hamburg) is the best option.


9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Welcome address & Opening panel discussion

The technological road maps of the next ten years


Your host, the noted trend researcher Sven Gábor Jánszky, will greet the congress participants and introduce the various aspects of the congress program with reference to his own theses. 


During the first years of digitalization, technology has become the most important driver for economic and social development. Technology is changing everyday life more and more rapidly; for: Every industry that comes into contact with digitalization seems to irreversibly adopt the innovation velocity of Moore’s Law: Every 18-24 months, the performance of computer processors doubles at the same price; every 18-24 months, the price of processors is halved at the same performance. For numerous traditional, non-digital business models, this phenomenon will have catastrophic consequences. Better start preparing now!


This panel will unveil the technological road maps of various key industries through 2025. The strategy- and technology boards of major German and international corporations will debate the question: To what emerging technology culture will we have to adapt the business models of our companies in the next ten years?


Futurologist and trend researcher Sven Gábor Jánszky


Frank Gassner, T-Systems

Customer Experiences Automotive Management


Til Fabio Schäfer

Diversity Drives


10:45 – 11:30 a.m.

Business speed-dating


In business speed-dating, congress participants get to know each other in relaxed, but compact conversations over coffee. In 30 minutes, you will get to know 30 interesting personalities, including potential customers and business partners. Business speed-dating will give you an overview of the congress participants that are of interest to you—and give you the opportunity to continue and deepen initial acquaintances in later conversations. Don’t forget to bring plenty of business cards!


Four weeks in advance of the congress, the 2b AHEAD organizational team will ask every participant about his current questions, projects, and contact requests. The team will then match the answers provided into exciting networking constellations. The more authentically you answer the questions, the more valuable contacts you will make at the congress.

11:30 – 12:00 a.m.

Keynote speech

The Big Picture


During the opening panel discussion, experts in various key technological industries will have shown you a technological road map through 2025. But how will this technology change our living environments and business models? The opening keynote address will provide a portrait of our world in the year 2025 and explain how companies will have to react to this reality today.


Dr. Eric W. Brown, IBM Watson Group, Director Watson Algorithms
How Cognitive Computing will Change Business

12:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Lunch / conversations / future lounge


Here participants will have 60 minutes for conversation with the contacts made in business speed-dating – and for new conversation partners – at our buffet lunch. Be sure to take a look inside the future lounge, where you can test those future projects hands-on that are ready for presentation today! If you have booked a VIP ticket, our organizational team will ensure that you get to know the five contacts you have requested for personal conversation. We wish you lots of fruitful conversations and: Bon appétit!


In parallel to above

Press conference

The highlights of the 14th 2b AHEAD Future Congress

1:00 – 2:00 p.m


The digital customer: Whom can we trust in the networked world?


The most prominent characteristic of the digital customer is her faith in numbers. People are beginning to measure their lives: in medicine and food, using step- and calorie counters; in information management, through Twitter and Facebook; at home via smart home controls; in mobility using Quicar, UBER and co.; in production, through Industry 4.0. “What you can’t measure, doesn’t exist!” will be the motto of the digital business model. The consequences are evident: Human experts who have made a living selling their expertise in the unquantifiable will be the new losers!


But whom will the customers trust? Who will define “truth”? How will our world change, when our decisions are based less and less on subjective impressions, and more and more on the self-measurements of our lives? How can the human being retain his supremacy in the world? And how will politics need to help? Will the “digital eraser” lead to more self-determination, or to a subsequent loss of the truth?


Stephen Scott, CEO, Starlin Trust Sciences

A world without strangers


Dr. Rudolph Schmidt, Director of Corporate Development and Product Management, ERGO Direkt

Customer Expectations for "Digital Insurance Products"




2:00 – 2:30 p.m.


Thinking bigger – The big visions


Only crackpots dream up flying cars? Other planets are only colonized in science-fiction novels? We’re the only ones dreaming of the “big thing” that will change the world?” After this talk, you will begin to doubt your preconceptions. Big visions are not frowned on here, but welcomed! In a series of short talks, scientists, inventers and entrepreneurs will show you how they want to change the world. Get ready to shake your head…or get carried along by the excitement! Either way, the 2b AHEAD ThinkTank VisionTalk will expand your definition of the possible. Think bigger!


Prof. Dr. Guihua Yu, University of Texas at Austin

Electronic gels for energy, environment and health


Thorsten Nahm, Cryonicists

Cryonics - time travel into the future


Chris Hoffmann, CEO, Ryno Motors

Innovation in transportation


Prof. Harald Haas, Chair of Mobile Communications, University of Edingburgh

Li-Fi: Optical wireless communication




2:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Keynote speech

After the singularity: What will happen when machines become more intelligent than humans?


Futurologists have a new favorite word: singularity. Many future experts are predicting that the human race is heading more and more rapidly towards the situation where artificial intelligence will achieve – and quickly exceed – the level of human intelligence. This is the moment when machines will begin to evolve without human assistance. Can machines give themselves meaning and purpose? And what role will humans play in that world? Will we use technology to optimize our bodies so that we can remain competitive with machines?


This keynote speech sketches a path into the future of technology, and asks what role the human being will play in the world of transhumanism and posthumanism.


Prof. Dr. José Cordeiro, Futurologist, Singularity University
What will happen when machines become more intelligent than humans?

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Break / coffee / future Lounge


One thing definitely belongs at the future congress: The XXL breaks! These give participants more time for conversation and meeting new people. If you have booked a VIP ticket, our organizational team will ensure that you get to meet your five most important contact requests for some personal conversation. If you would like to relax for a bit, take a look inside the future lounge! Do a live test of the future products that are ready for hands-on presentation today!

4:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Elevator pitch

Entrepreneurship – The business models of the future


Five hand-picked founders of successful organizations will present their business ideas competitively at the elevator pitch. Each has exactly two minutes to convince the audience of the merits of his business model. An expert jury will rate the pitches. The best of them will be presented with the 2b AHEAD Future Award that evening. Additionally, congress participants and venture capitalists will be given the opportunity to meet with the presenters. The business models pitched at the congress are sought for and chosen using a nationwide call among entrepreneurial initiatives.

4:30 – 5:00 p.m.


Tomorrowing! – Innovation methods demonstrated live!


The future!LAB takes place parallel to the speeches and discussions. During both days of the congress, a team of innovation managers headed by Dr. Jörg Wallner, Director of Innovation Management & Consulting at the 2b AHEAD ThinkTank, will develop new business models and the implementation plans needed to make them a reality. Feel free to drop by, to join in, and to experience the exclusive innovation methods of the 2b AHEAD ThinkTank in action. Now, at the end of the first day of the congress, the future!LAB team will present the status of its work so far and give a preview of what will happen during the second day.

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.


Digital knowledge: How human resources- and leadership strategies will change by 2025


We will experience one of the biggest changes in the year 2025 in our working environment. Currently, the information available worldwide in important fields doubles every five years. If you hire a university graduate today, he would have to study again in five years…and again after ten years, but then not five years, but rather ten years long…and in 15 years, he would have to study for 20 years... no human being can do that. But our computers can! What will we have to learn when the answers to all of our questions can be flashed across our displays faster than we can find them in our heads? There, where the human being has become part of the operating system, he will function at the same hierarchical level as his technology. He will be sensor, henchman, and decision maker in future conflicts between competing IT systems. And how will our working world change when not only knowledge has become fluid, but also the employees? Trend researchers predict a 40% employment share of project workers in 2025 – and with it the loss of long-term working relations as well as loyalty and continuity in the workplace. This panel will debate how digitality will continue to change our working environment – and how the human resources strategies and leadership cultures in our companies will need to react.


Katharina Borchert, CEO, Spiegel Online

Radical Transparency in "Jobbnb"


Hermann Arnold, Chairman & Co-Founder, Haufe-umantis AG

The Democratic Company: Voting Systems and Other Organizational Innovations


6:00 p.m.

End of the panel sessions

8:00 p.m.

Awards evening


On the evening of the first day of the congress, the innovation leaders attending the congress will meet together with business people, politicians, and other prominent personalities from the host region of Wolfsburg for this year’s awards evening. In a relaxed atmosphere, the congress’s two awards will be presented: The Innovation Award 2015 will be given for the most outstanding innovative work of the past year, and the 2b AHEAD Future Award 2015 will be presented for the most convincing business model from the elevator pitch.




Wednesday, 17-06-2015

starting at 7:00 a.m.

Teamwork lounge

Common ideals: coffee, croissants and free WLAN access


Early risers can meet at the Teamwork Lounge to have breakfast, to plan joint projects, to confer with their colleagues from Asia, or to answer their most urgent e-mails before the start of the congress.

9:00 – 9:45 a.m.


Thinking bigger – The big visions II


The second day of the congress will again begin with this year’s big visions. Scientists, inventors, and founders of successful organizations will explain how they want to change the world in a series of short talks. They will again challenge your preconceptions of the doable and the possible. Once more, you will find yourself shaking your head—or getting caught up in the excitement! Just like its predecessor, the second 2b AHEAD VisionTalk will be sure to broaden your horizons. Think even bigger!


Dr. Illan Kramer, University of Toronto

Invisible spray-on solar cells


Bastian Ringsdorf, Michulke & Ringsdorf S.a.r.l.

The future of Drone Use in the Civil Sector


Dr. Maria Nunes Pereira, Head of Adhesive Technologies, Gecko Biomedical

Shining light on tissue repair: a multidisciplinary approach


Michel Vandenberghe, LENR Cities SA

Manage discruptive technologies impact: LENR


9:45 – 10:00 a.m.

Break / coffee / future Lounge

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Keynote speech

The optimization of life (and death!)

The health industry is an ideal field for today’s innovators: its business models are still lying in deep slumber while technology is rapidly expanding the possibilities for optimizing the human body, and customers are apparently coming even closer to humanity’s great dream of extending human life and health. The optimization of the human body has often been featured at 2b AHEAD’s future congresses, be it by neuro-enhancement via ampakines, by personalized medical food based on genetic analysis, or by the implantation of computer chips in the body.


During this keynote speech, a further kind of body enhancement will come to light: You will have the chance to meet a person who wants to postpone their death until its cause has become curable. This is entirely possible…through cryogenic freezing! Thousands of people across the world have already signed contracts for the freezing of their bodies after death. Hundreds are already lying in liquid nitrogen.


What drives these cryogenics enthusiasts? What future will there be for the freezing of egg cells, stem cells, brain cells…or even entire bodies? How will being human change when humans can radically change themselves?


Joseph Kowalsky, Cryonics Institute, Director and CIO
How will being human change when humans can change themselves?

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.


Successful on the road in digitization: The trust concept


Parallel to the panel sessions of the future congress, a team of innovation managers will be working on developing concrete new business models. Now, in this session, all guests of the congress will participate in the future!LAB. Using the sought-after “non-customer method” of the 2b AHEAD ThinkTank, congress participants will help the lab to take its first simple, quantifiable steps towards prototype creation. This segment of the congress has high entertainment value and activity potential. Current business models will be turned upside down through the use of bisociation- and breaking-the-rules questions. Or is it turned right-side up? Live and actively in small teams, congress participants will develop meaningful prototypes for future products, give them tangible substance, and prepare the results in story form. Experts from the 2b AHEAD ThinkTank will be there to accompany and coach congress participants in this work.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Lunch / conversations / future lounge


Take an hour for conversations with new contacts and potential customers over a buffet lunch in the future lounge. Test the future models that are ready for presentation so far – with your own two hands! If you have booked a VIP ticket, our organizational team will now ensure that you can converse with the five contacts that you requested to meet. We wish you fruitful conversations and, of course, Bon appétit!

12:30 – 1:00 p.m.

Keynote speech

Sixth-generation warfare – The role of the human being in the military


It is nothing new that major technological developments first appear in the military sector before spilling over into business and the civil sector years later. For that reason, this year’s future congress will take a look at the military’s current visions for the future. What will the much-discussed “sixth-generation warfare” look like? How will the combatant of the future act? And what role will the human being play in armed conflict in the future?


Prof. Dr. Holger H. Mey, Airbus Defence and Space, VP Advanced Concepts
On the Role of the Human Being in the Contect of Technologized Warfare

1:00 - 2.00 p.m.


Digital responsibility: How we can live in the world of probabilities


The digitalization of the world is providing us with more and more “intelligent” devices. Even today, it often seems better for humans to give up the control to machines: be it with the autopilot in an airplane, with day trades on the stock exchange, or when compiling the information flow on Twitter or a personal TV schedule at home. Human beings are giving up control to machines more and more! But are they giving up moral responsibility as well? Will machines have responsibility? Will we need criminal law for machines? Or, will the phenomenon of responsibility disappear from portions of our lives, where a backup insurance policy is enough?


But digitalization is not only changing the sovereignty of interpretation in the field of law, for computers know no GOOD and EVIL, no BLACK and WHITE. Instead, they calculate probabilities. How will human beings act when GOOD and EVIL are no longer subjective ideas, but rather quantifiable probabilities? What would you do if your computer informed you that there was a 75% probability that your neighbor abuses his children? And how would your perspective change, if the same computer told you that it there was a 45% possibility that you abused your children? What would remain of the concept of self and of human responsibility for criminal suspects, when their actions could be predicted in advance?


Dr. Michael Feindt, CEO, Blue Yonder

Automated Data-Based Decisions: Blessing, Curse, or Simply a Necessity?


Karl Geyer, Chief Director, Crimes Division, Police Headquarters of Middle Franconia

PRECOBS - Experiences with Using Analytical Software to Combat Home Break-Ins


2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Break / coffee / future lounge

Common ideals: Conversation


If you haven’t taken a look inside the future lounge – it’s high time to do it now! Test the future models that are ready for hands-on presentation so far! If you have booked a VIP ticket, our organizational team will ensure that you can now have the chance to meet your remaining contact requests.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.


Digital Products: How products and services will become adaptive


Whether in commerce, banking, insurance, tourism, mobility or engineering—the rapid transformation in business models will primarily follow one principal: between established "hardware producers" and the end customer, a software layer of data aggregators will appear. The effect is treacherous: previously, it was the ownership of infrastructure (production, logistics, and shops) that automatically secured power over the market. The new digitalization, however, severs hardware owners from the sovereignty of interpretation in purchase decisions. Those who have the data, make the rules. And this “software layer” will change products as well. In the world of algorithms, differentiation will no longer take place between the standard products of different manufacturers. On the contrary, products will become increasingly similar in terms of price and performance. The big chance for differentiation will lie in the adaptation of the individual product: these will be customized individually for each customer and situationally adapted to fit his changing usage situation. In 2025, there will be no more standard customers who buy standard products…with standard data protection levels…for standard prices…to meet standard target-group needs. This is the operating principal behind the emerging “adaptive economy.” But how will “production as a service” function? What standard raw products will be needed? Where and when will customization take place? How can individual products adapt to changing usage situations? And what role will the human being play in Industry 4.0?.


Jürgen Schmid, DesignTech

The Digital Industry Product: How Production and Service are Adaptive


Stefan A. Jenzowsky, SVP New Products, Siemens Convergence Creators

How the Consumption and Distribution of Entertainment and Digital Content is changing


4:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Break / coffee / future lounge

Common ideals: Conversation


4:30 – 5:00 p.m

Closing keynote address

The digital human: How our concepts of living and working will become adaptive


We not only live in the digital era, but also in a time when the old, anxious life plans of the insecure post-war generation are being finally replaced by the angst-free live experiences of a sedate and saturated society that only knows existential crises from the history books. Our life expectancy is now rapidly increasing, and this phenomenon is changing our perception of life itself. Out of the three definitive life phases our grandparents knew (youth, work, and retirement), eight phases have emerged. These phases will be traversed more quickly by “young families” than by “late families.” People are becoming no longer loyal and true for life, but rather for individual life phases…in their relationships with employers, brands, and spouses. The conception our parents’ generation had of a linear existence of constantly climbing the ladder of life is making room for another notion: life as a patchwork of many short, steep upwards spurts and new starts from scratch. The most important driver behind this development is the disappearance of the basic core anxiety of our society.


The digital human will no longer fear the loss of employment – she will enjoy it. She will know that she can never win the competition of knowledge against computers…and she will give it up. The digital human will understand her life as an opportunity for personality development… and she will view companies as suitable – or unsuitable – helpers in this process. This final keynote address presents the vision of a worthwhile life in the year 2025 that uses technology proficiently, constantly questions its values, and has made adaptivity in life, company, and state its mantra. 


Sven Gábor Jánszky, 2b AHEAD ThinkTank, CEO
How our ideas of life and work will become adaptive

5.00 p.m.

End of the 14th Future Congress


For departures to Frankfurt and further south, we recommend the evening flight from Hannover (6:40 p.m. to Frankfurt with ICE connection to Stuttgart, or 8:25 p.m. to Munich). For departures to the east and west, we recommend the ICE directly from Wolfsburg (5:55 p.m. to Berlin, 6:21 p.m. to Cologne and Dusseldorf), and for departures to the north, the ICE via Hannover (6:21 p.m. to Hamburg).

Innovate yourself!

Over 40,000 readers are following our newsletter.

Join our community

Stay in Contact

Register for the newsletter here to receive all analyses free of charge. Please enter your personal information as follows:



All Events

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree. Further information can be found under Privacy Policy.