Mopia Kamdoum and Aline Trautmann were invited to attend this year’s hub.berlin. The event is hosted by Bitkom, the industry association for the German information technology and telecommunications sector, and attracts speakers, multinational companies, and mainly European start-ups. The central topic was digitalization and innovation across all industries, especially in Germany. In particular, the focus was on cyber security, FinTechs, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility (CSR). hub.berlin aligned with several other events taking place at the same time in Berlin, the capital of Germany.
Here are our key takeaways:
- An excellent setting and good networking: The event in Berlin attracted high-level speakers such as Dr Herbert Diess (CEO of VW AG), Ricarda Lang (member of the German Bundestag and Co-Leader of Germany’s Green Party), Lisa Jackson (Vice President Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple), and Christina Raab (Market Unit Lead at Accenture ASG). Combined with various booths of multinational companies, start-ups, and institutional organizations, the setting enabled the tech community to meet up and experience creativity, inspiration, and innovation.
- Digitalizing the public sector, especially in Germany: Set at the heart of Germany, the conference has shown the importance of digitalization for the public sector in general and the extent to which the German government is interested in digitalization per se. With German administrative headquarters close by, you meet a large variety of politicians and their staff at the conference. Politics is certainly one of the major topics at hub.berlin.
- Interesting and diverse exhibitors: Thanks to its awareness, Bitkom was able to attract many tech giants as exhibitors, such as IBM, Google Cloud, Atlassian, and Sopra Steria. At the same time, hub.berlin provided the opportunity to meet start-ups from various fields of expertise. Amongst those, neXenio and Psoido in particular caught our attention, both of which operate in the cybersecurity area. The former is a spin-off from Hasso Plattner Institute and specializes in the development of cybersecurity and collaboration applications (one of its major projects was the development of the luca app, which is used in Germany for contact tracing to track and break up potential chains of COVID-19 infection). The latter is a spin-off from Fraunhofer Institute that has developed a method to create anonymous IDs that cannot be traced back to real identities.
- What we missed: As mentioned before, hub.berlin 2022 had the ambition to address several subjects that are highly relevant for the ICT industry. However, in our opinion, ambitions were set too high. While there were many presentations by notable speakers and interesting panels, none of the announced subjects were addressed in-depth and most topics were discussed only superficially. In addition, there was no possibility for the audience to ask questions and interact with the speakers. This was surely a hurdle when it comes to encouraging exchange between the participants of the event.
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