DLD Summer 2021, DLD conference
Annette Jung

DLD Summer 2021 Preview: Speakers and Topics

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This was a great event. Please take a look at our dedicated DLD Summer page, which has videos, photos and speaker biographies, to revisit this exciting day.

Find out what the future holds, join us for our DLD Summer online conference on July 1, 2021: Following our theme “It’s Only the Beginning…” expert speakers will give us their insights into the trends shaping technology, society, business, politics and arts.

We’ll be live streaming from the newly opened Munich Urban Colab, with a mix of on-premise and virtual sessions. Registration is free. All you need to participate is a browser.

This overview of speakers and topics will give you a general idea of what to expect. For program details please visit our conference page.

Frontier Technologies

The digital revolution has only just begun. Quantum computing, health tech and blockchain are likely to bring the next wave of disruption to business and society. We’ll take a look at these technologies from different angles, but will also discuss why it’s ever more important to better explain the benefits of science and research to the general public.

Laura Matz, Merck Group

Laura Matz

Merck Group

Precision medicine promises a much more effective way to treat illnesses – personalized to each patient’s needs. On her first day on the job, Merck Group’s new Chief Science and Technology Officer Laura Matz will explore the many possibilities of digital health with Brainlab founder Stefan Vilsmeier, in a conversation moderated by Techonomy founder David Kirkpatrick.

Joe Lubin, ConsenSys

Joe Lubin


Ann-Kristin Achleitner, TUM, Technische Universität München

Ann-Kristin Achleitner

Technical University Munich

Robbert Dijkgraaf

Institute for Advanced Study

NFTs are the newest hit in the blockchain world. These cryptographic tokens are becoming especially valuable for artists, as ConsenSys founder Joe Lubin will explain in his presentation of the recently launched platform Palm.io. TU Munich’s Ann-Kristin Achleitner, meanwhile, will discuss with Robbert Dijkgraaf (Institute for Advanced Study) how scientists can help us to better understand a complex world driven by the relentless pace of innovation.

Niko Mohr, McKinsey

Niko Mohr


Quantum computers derive their power from going beyond zeroes and ones. By tapping into the fundamentals of physics, tomorrow’s computers promise to speed up science and business in many ways. Leading IBM researcher Heike Riel and McKinsey Partner Niko Mohr will discuss the current state of this groundbreaking technology.

Exploring Europe’s Opportunities

The circular economy, e-mobility, IoT, renewable energy – all of these developments create new markets and new opportunities for Europe to innovate and make up for lost ground, as a number of DLD Summer sessions will illustrate.

Helmut Schönenberger, Unternehmer TUM, TU Munich

Helmut Schönenberger


Jochen Engert, Flixbus, FlixMobility

Jochen Engert


Innovation ecosystems are key to building successful businesses. But what does it take to bring scientists, entrepreneurs and investors together in productive new ways? Helmut Schönenberger, the driving force behind Munich’s successful UnternehmerTUM accelerator, will share insights with FlixMobility founder Jochen Engert. Investor Hendrik Brandis will give us an Earlybird’s-eye view of Europe’s startup scene.

Steffi Czerny, DLD, founder

Steffi Czerny

DLD Founder

Martin Weiss, Burda

Martin Weiss

Hubert Burda Media

Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission

Ursula von der Leyen

European Commission

Leading the way: With its New European Bauhaus initiative, the EU Commission aims to supercharge the continent’s economy through collaboration and innovation across borders, business sectors and cultural boundaries. DLD has been supporting this effort from day one, and to kick off DLD Summer, we’re going to announce an exciting project about bringing Europe together in new ways. Tune in early to find out more.

Paul-Bernhard Kallen, Burda, CEO, DLD

Paul-Bernhard Kallen

Hubert Burda Media

After working at Apple and Amazon for more than 20 years, Diego Piacentini returned to his native Italy in 2016 to become the country’s Commissioner for Digital Transformation. In conversation with Burda CEO Paul-Bernhard Kallen, he will share insights about what he learned and how governments all around the world can successfully manage a digital transformation.

Daniel Metzler, Isar Aerospace

Daniel Metzler

Isar Aerospace

Alexander Gerfer

Alexander Gerfer

Würth Elektronik

Joachim von Schlenk-Barnsdorf, CEO, Schlenk

Joachim von Schlenk

Schlenk Group

Europe’s hidden champions are essential to making tomorrow’s technologies a reality. Some companies are young, like Munich’s Isar Aerospace, others have been an integral part of the global economy for decades, like Würth Elektronik and Schlenk. Hear more from Daniel Metzler, Alexander Gerfer and Joachim von Schlenk-Barnsdorf about how their companies are helping to power the future.

Innovation in Motion

It’s not just electric cars that are dramatically changing the car business. The whole mobility sector is being reinvented – with vehicles becoming computers on wheels, and next-generation technologies enabling entirely new design concepts.

BMW’s MINI unit has big plans for urban mobility. DLD Summer will see the premiere of a novel concept car which aims to make the most of the available space in tight places.

Hildegard Müller

Hildegard Müller

German Association of the Automotive Industry

Markus Haas, Telefonica

Markus Haas


Your car may have six gears, but how about 5G? In many ways, the new telecommunications standard is key to future mobility, as car industry expert Hildegard Müller and Telefónica Germany CEO Markus Haas will discuss in conversation with moderator Fabian Billing.

Humans & Machines

Artificial intelligence and robotics have become everyday technologies, and their use has profound effects on society, business and the future of work.

Ross Anderson, University of Cambridge

Ross Anderson

University of Cambridge

Ulrike Hoffmann-Burchardi, Tudor Investments

Ulrike Hoffmann-Burchardi

Tudor Investment Group

Zayd Enam, Cresta

Zayd Enam


Yes, robots can stress out, too, as Ross Anderson observed in a recent research paper. And when they do, they may become quite annoyed with humans. At DLD Summer, the University of Cambridge security expert will explain his findings further. In most cases, machines are extremely helpful to us, of course. Zayd Enam, co-founder of Cresta, discusses the potential of AI in the workplace with investor Ulrike Hoffmann-Burchardi.

Carl Benedikt Frey, Oxford University

Carl Benedikt Frey

University of Oxford

Azeem Azhar, Exponential View, DLD

Azeem Azhar

Exponential View

China is often seen as the future superpower of AI, ahead of the United States. Oxford researcher Carl Benedikt Frey, an internationally acclaimed expert on AI, automation and future of work, will put this theory to the test in conversation with Azeem Azhar, publisher of the popular Exponential View newsletter.

Iyad Rahwan, Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Iyad Rahwan

Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Andrian Kreye, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Andrian Kreye

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Axel Voss, European Parliament

Axel Voss

European Parliament

For Amazon, Facebook, Google and many other technology platforms, machine learning algorithms have become the perfect tool to “target users” – and better understand what we like, respond to and what makes us click. The benefit to big tech is obvious, but what about society? Max Planck researcher Iyad Rahwan and journalist Andrian Kreye will discuss whether we need a new social contract for the age of surveillance capitalism. And Axel Voss, member of the European Parliament, is going to present a “European Framework for AI”.

Go Green and Prosper!

Economic growth, well-being and sustainability don’t need to be mutually exclusive. In fact, protecting resources and moving from destructive to constructive business models may well be the best strategy for future prosperity.

Cristiana Falcone

Cristiana Falcone

JMCMRJ Sorrell Foundation

Andrew McAfee, MIT, robotics, AI, future of work

Andrew McAfee

MIT Sloan School

Michael Diederich, HypoVereinsbank

Michael Diederich


Companies don’t need to square the circle to become more sustainable – but they should follow certain practices and principles. Bestselling author Andrew McAfee (More from Less) and digital transformation expert Cristiana Falcone will discuss details with HypoVereinsbank CEO Michael Diederich and Lufthansa board member Christina Foerster.

Fighting climate change is a global task. On a planet with more than eight billion people every action counts, and none of us can solve the problem alone. Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, will examine the challenge of better international cooperation in protecting the environment with Hotnest co-founder Fabian von Heimburg.

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