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Program for the 2b AHEAD ThinkTank Future Congress 2016

Näher werden Sie der Zukunft nicht kommen


The program flyer, list of speakers, impressions from the congress, and the application form can be found here: Program Flyer (PDF)


The flyer contains all of the relevant official information on the 2b AHEAD Future Congress on June 14-15, 2016 in Wolfsburg.


All information on this page is subject to change without notice.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Starting at 7:00 a.m.

Welcome lounge for red-eye flyers and early birds

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

Future Vision: Technology in 2026


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 analysis.


During the first years of digitalization, technology has become the most important driver for economic and social development. It 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. The margin of error between one's pet predictions and actual developments is growing larger and larger! Those who are able to let go of their biased predictions and view the unpredictable as an opportunity rather than a threat will be the winners in tomorrow's business. For everyone else, this dynamic will lead to the worst-case scenario. Better to number among the prepared!


This panel will unveil the technological road maps of various key industries through 2026. The strategy and technology boards of major German and international corporations will debate how we can adapt our business models over the next ten years.



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 or her 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 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Opening keynote address

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.



12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Lunch / Conversations / The 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 the above

Press conference

The highlights of the 15th 2b AHEAD Future Congress



1:00 - 2:00 p.m

Strategy Arena

Future Vision: Customer Needs in 2026

The Power Question: Who wins when we lose control over the customer?


Many established companies will experience the next ten years as life lived between a rock and a hard place: Loss of control or loss of relevance! Which would you choose? The reason is: Digitalization is inserting itself as a kind of software layer between established "hardware producers" and customers. Previously, those who owned good production lines, efficient logistics, and shops in ideal locations automatically had power over the customers. The more customers come to trust, however, in new data aggregators, digital platforms, and intelligent assistants, the more powerful this "software layer" becomes. Those who have the data will make the rules-and set the prices! The new digitalism severs those in possession of the hardware from sovereignty over the purchase decision.


The "old economy" will be degraded to the status of a supplier! If it plays along in this hated new game, it will lose its control. If not, it will lose its relevance.


The only way out: Established firms must themselves become digital companies. They will give their customers the possibility of quantifying their lives: In medicine and food through step and calorie counters. In the area of information, through Twitter and Facebook; at home through smart-home controls; in mobility through Quicar, UBER & Co.; in production through Industry 4.0. Thus they will nullify the power of the consultants, brokers, and salespeople they previously partnered with. But they will also gain the trust of their customers.


How will the lives of customers change when their decisions are based less and less on subjective feelings and increasingly on the data that measures their lives? Will the digital customer have more or less sovereignty as a consumer? What will the customer segments of the digital age look like?



2:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Vision Talk

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!



2:30 - 3:00 p.m.


Harvesting Raw Materials in Space


The Earth's resources are running out. Visionary scientists, however, already have an idea for how the problem could be solved: mining rare metals from asteroids. In addition to the possibility of transporting the raw materials to earth and monetizing them, a second use is conceivable — spaceships may no longer have to take with them from Earth everything they need for their journey, but could process the raw materials harvested in space into fuel and building material. For even car drivers don't take everything that they need for a long trip with them from home, but simply pull into the nearest service station to fill up...


This keynote will reveal how the first "gas stations in space" may soon become reality. The technologies needed to make this possible are likely to be ready for operation as early as 2020. 



3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Break / Coffee / The 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 or her business model. An expert jury will rate the pitches. The best one will then 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 invitation among entrepreneurial initiatives.



4:30 - 5:00 p.m.


Tomorrowing your business! - 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.

Strategy Arena

Future Vision: Brands in 2026

The Faith Question: Who Can We Trust When the World Is Constantly Measured in Real Time?


There was once a time when I didn't have access to all conceivable information all the time. There was once a time when my mobile phone, my watch, and my glasses didn't play the suitable information across my field of view during every conversation, with every glance at an object: What topics is my conversation partner interested in? What's the right answer to his last question? Is that product recommended for someone with my lifestyle? Where can I get it cheaper? How can it be adapted to my situational needs at exactly this moment?


... In those good old days, people used brands in order to make quick and effective decisions. They chose brands that they trusted and wanted to believe in-without always checking if a specific product was really the best for them. Faith in brands served as a substitute for dealing with gaps in information. It made things GOOD or BAD when we really didn't know if they were actually GOOD or BAD.


But these "dumb" times will come to an end within the next ten years. With big data and predictive analytics, digitalization is presenting us with increasingly "more intelligent" devices. Even today it seems better to surrender human control to machines, be it with airplane autopilot systems, with day trading on the stock exchange, or when compiling an information flow on Twitter. But technology will not merely become another vehicle for our trust. Rather, it will come to replace our concepts of GOOD and BAD-because computers know nothing about GOOD and BAD, or BLACK and WHITE. Instead, they calculate probabilities.


How will we humans behave when GOOD and BAD are no longer based on subjective opinions, but rather quantifiable probabilities? Was trust in brands only a valid vehicle in "unintelligent" times? Will faith in brands give over to faith in the omniscience of technology in the future? Will we come to trust machines more than other people? Will machines, then, themselves take on accountability? Will there by criminal laws for machines? Or will the phenomenon of responsibility disappear from parts of our lives, with the difference covered by insurance back-ups?



6:00 p.m.

End of the panel sessions



8:00 p.m.

Awards ceremony


On the evening of the first day of Future Congress, the innovation leaders attending the conference will meet together with business people, politicians, and other prominent personalities from the host region of Wolfsburg for this year's awards ceremony. In a relaxed atmosphere, the congress's two awards will be presented: The Innovation Award 2016 will be given for the most outstanding innovative work of the past year, and the 2b AHEAD Future Award 2016 will be presented for the most persuasive business model from the elevator pitch.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Starting at 7:00 a.m.

Teamwork lounge

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 those urgent e-mails in their inboxes before the start of the congress.



9:00 - 9:45 a.m.

Vision Talk

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 as in the first round, the second 2b AHEAD Vision Talk session will be sure to broaden your horizons. Think even bigger!



9:45 - 10:00 a.m.

Break / Coffee / The Future Lounge



10:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Decoded genes - How decoding genetic makeup can help fight disease


Can you take a genetic selfie of an entire nation? The answer is Yes. This keynote details the most comprehensive analysis of human genes to date. Icelandic researchers are working on decoding the individual genes of all citizens of Iceland. They believe that the results will give insight into which genetic constellations lead to which diseases and how these can be prevented. A true quantum leap for medical research.



10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Hands-on session

Tomorrowing your business! Innovation methods demonstrated live!


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 / The 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.




1:00 - 2.00 p.m.

Strategy Arena

The Fear Question: How Can We Gain Security in Decision Making When No One Gives Predictions With Guaranties Anymore?


Don't trust anyone who gives you a guarantee about the future! Currently the amount of available knowledge in important fields doubles every five years. The probability is extraordinarily high that the world's leading expert in a given area today will no longer hold the title in three years. How is someone supposed to be able to give any real guarantees about anything? At the same time, how should business leaders make decisions today when they can no longer safely predict the consequences of those decisions? It is precisely this question that is the greatest obstacle to innovation in our companies. But perhaps the belief that both problem and solution must be known prior to a decision is a false belief. Perhaps what US entrepreneur and author Ric Ries describes as the "lean start-up" method is right for our leadership strategies as well: "In a start-up, both the problem and the solution are unknown!" This is a nightmare scenario for established managers! How can they cover the risks of decisions for which they cannot predict the consequences? What results is fear: The fear of making mistakes! Fear of their own courage! Fear of fear itself, fear of burnout!


But there is hope: For some time now, there have been leadership strategies and innovation methods that are adapted to fit the needs of the faster years to come. They distribute risk through the simultaneous decision for several (and even competing) projects. What will the agile company structure of the future look like? How will our strategies change when loyalty, continuity, and the sense of the long-term vanish from our companies? How can we get the fear out of the heads of our leadership staff?





2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Break / Coffee / The Future Lounge


If you haven't taken a look inside the future lounge - it's time to do it now! Test the future models that are ready for hands-on presentation up to this point! 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.

Strategy Arena

Future Vision: Products in 2026

The Speed Question: How Will Products Change in the Coming "Faster-Than-Real-Time" World?


The rising speed of the world can be determined very accurately by the types of data used to make key decisions in business and society. We have all grown up in a world of static data: words and numbers in endless spreadsheets. We call those "databanks." This was the world of the 60s and 70s of the last century.


Those who today are still making decisions based on static data are sure to hopelessly fall behind. Today real-time data is king, bringing information that can be used the exact moment it is obtained. Google, UBER and company have inflated public consciousness about this type of data. But time won't stand still: Real-time data will no longer be king in 2026. In the future, our data will have to be faster than real-time! This, and nothing else, is what we are dealing with when we competently use BIG DATA and PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS. We will know what our counterpart wants before she mentions it herself!


In this "faster than real time" world, differentiation will no longer occur between the standardized products of various manufacturers. Instead, the real future opportunity for differentiation lies in the adaptation of every product-individually to each customer, and situationally to her changing usage situations. In 2026, there will no longer be cookie-cutter customers, with cookie-cutter target-group needs, who buy cookie-cutter products, with cookie-cutter data protection levels, at cookie-cutter prices. This is rule #1 for the coming "adaptive economy."


But how will the production of adaptive products play out in practice? What standard base products will it require? Where and when will individualization happen? At which point will the individual product be adapted to the user's current situation? And what remains of our responsibility and sense of self, when our actions have all become predictable?



4:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Break / Coffee / The Future Lounge



4:30 - 5:00 p.m

Closing keynote address

The Future Question: How Will Our Children Live in the Next Hundred Years?


My son's name is Benneth Gábor Jánszky. He was born in 2015. Just like 715,000 other children in Germany alone. Every second of these children will probably live to be over 100. Can we - today - say anything about what Benneth's life will be like in 10, 20, or 30 years? Whether today's rapid changes will still be so rapid then, or if things will slow down again? Or if you yourself will be considered "normal" or "everyday" in the future? Do we have a realistic picture of 2025, when Benneth starts school? Or his career in 2040? How he founds a family in 2055? And cradles his own son in his arms in 2060? Will he retire in 2080 and go on vacation for 35 years? How will he view his homeland at the next change of centuries on January 1, 2100? And what thoughts will he have in 2116, when he looks at the documentation for this Future Congress at the age of 101?


We live in an age where the old, anxious life plans of the insecure post-war generation are finally being 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. Our parents' generation thought in terms of a linear existence of constantly climbing the ladder of life. This is making room for another notion: life as a patchwork of many short, steep upward spurts and new starts from scratch.



5.00 p.m.

End of the 15th 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).

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