CeBIT 2009, 3 to 8 March Successful debut of CeBIT VISION press event

CeBIT 2009, 3 to 8 March Successful debut of CeBIT VISION press event

20.12.2008: The debut installment of CeBIT VISION was a thorough success. Staged on 9 December at the Convention Center located at the Hannover showgrounds, this media event was introduced by Deutsche Messe to underscore the special social relevance of CeBIT. And the

    * Big-name speakers from research, government and business enliven Webciety discourse
    * Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, energy and climate advisor to the European Commission, sets forth disaster prevention options
    * Kajo Wasserhövel presents digital opportunities for SPD election campaign

The debut installment of CeBIT VISION was a thorough success. Staged on 9 December at the Convention Center located at the Hannover showgrounds, this media event was introduced by Deutsche Messe to underscore the special social relevance of CeBIT. And the response was impressive.

'The topics covered by 12 top-notch speakers captured the mood of our times and conformed with the 'Webciety' leitmotif which will be occupying center stage at CeBIT 2009,' reported Ernst Raue, Managing Board Member at Hannover-based Deutsche Messe and executive director of CeBIT.

The speakers at CeBIT VISION revealed the potential future scenarios resulting from the integration of digital solutions in all areas of our lives. Sebastian Moleski, a board member at Wikimedia Deutschland e.V., set the tone as keynote speaker for the 'Webciety': 'Due to the lack of traditional 'gatekeepers', the conscientious citizen of the 21st century must be willing to assume more personal responsibility for filtering and classifying the relevant information,' he stated, adding that CeBIT VISION was making a contribution to supporting the necessary classification process.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hoffmann and Prof. Dr. Björn Bergh both capitalized on the opportunity to sensitize the broader public to their issues. 'The acceptance of all parties involved is decisive for the practical effectiveness of telemedicine and telecare - this includes patients, doctors, medical personnel, lawmakers and cost bearers,' explained Hoffmann, who is keen on exploiting the advantages of IT to make a substantial contribution to rural medical care.

His colleague Dr. Bergh addressed the widespread horror scenario of the growing digitalization of medicine resulting in 'transparent patients,' explaining: 'The need for more information in this area is considerable, which is why it is exemplary that this press event has made it a key topic. Today we have also all received a comprehensive overview of the major topics CeBIT is going to be covering.'

One of those topics also involved the issue of Internet security. Sven Türpe, a member of the IT security testing team at the at the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT), put it bluntly: 'Attacks on online banking are not a game, but rather a form of organized criminality undertaken by a professional underground economy.' This is why Türpe felt it was important to present several solutions approaches involving data security at CeBIT VISION: 'For us at the Fraunhofer Institute, CeBIT VISION represents an ideal opportunity to present our findings to the broad public.'

According to Marco Biewald, Vice-President of BvD, the German association of data protection specialists: 'Internet security is the fundamental issue of the future! We need a society which is capable of secure Internet usage. CeBIT VISION is an excellent idea because it hooks up with CeBIT. People can discuss all the relevant topics during the run-up to the event.'

Kajo Wasserhövel, who in his capacity as secretary general of the German Social Democrats (SPD) will be organizing his party's next federal election campaign, used his appearance at CeBIT VISION to present an analysis of the political culture in the United States: 'The challenge in the German federal elections in 2009 will consist of translating Obama's epochal breakthrough in digital campaigning to German conditions, where the political framework is very different But the desire to reach as many voters as possible via the Internet and inspire them to get involved is identical.'

The Head of Electronics and Vehicle Research at Volkswagen, Dr. Markus Lienkamp, spoke on 'The Car of the Future', even bringing a complete future car with him to the Hannover-based event. Lienkamp was impressed by the variety of topics covered at the media conference: 'CeBIT VISION has succeeded in illuminating the subject of IT from many different angles, including in a broad array of application areas.

The diversity of topics was exciting and gives us companies a chance to test the waters in advance of CeBIT. Our future car exhibit was particularly popular among technology enthusiasts attending the press event, and we are now considering presenting it at CeBIT 2009.' Continental AG was also represented with several exciting exhibits that impressively demonstrated the new options for automotive engineering opened up by IT.

Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber demanded no less than a reinvention of the modern age at CeBIT VISION. Schellnhuber, the Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, which advises both the German federal government and EU Commission President Barroso on energy climate-change issues, sketched out some new opportunities for climate disaster prevention: 'At the core of our considerations - apart from centralized climate policy under the umbrella of the United Nations - is the worldwide conversion of all our systems for energy generation, storage, distribution and use.'

Schellnhuber was particularly appreciative of the commitment displayed by the CeBIT organizers to highlighting green IT issues: 'CeBIT VISION has demonstrated where things are headed. I hope that, on the one hand, the event has helped inject these topics into the mainstream debate. On the other it is a good test run for the CeBIT organizers to see which topics are netting what kind of response.'

Dr. Reinhard Höhn, Head of Corporate Environmental Affairs at IBM and a member of the BITKOM steering committee, had a similar take on the event: 'CeBIT VISION provides a good introduction to the topics covered at CeBIT, giving journalists an opportunity to become familiar with new areas and developments before covering them in depth at the exhibition.' And the first port of call for anyone interested in green technology is the 'Green IT World' special display in Hall 8, which is being greatly expanded in 2009.

The lively press event was wrapped up by a discussion panel consisting of three young startup entrepreneurs whose clever ideas have already turned them into successful shapers of the 'Webciety'. Alexander Artopé, founder and Authorized Managing Director of smava GmbH, presented his online market for private loans, while Michael Pütz, Managing Director of DaWanda GmbH, illustrated the diversity of self-made products offered on his social commerce trading platform by pulling an extravagant felt case for cell phones out of his pocket.

Produced by Antje Schmitt from the Bavarian town of Gangkofen, this phone case visually resembles fried strips of bacon and has taken the world by storm, netting the biggest customer response in Japan and Russia.

'The term 'Webciety' describes very well what I experienced at CeBIT VISION,' concluded Martin Gaedt, Managing Director of, an eRecruiting portal for students and trainees, continuing: 'It is no longer a question of 'whether', but merely of 'how'. Our entire society is becoming Web-integrated in all areas of life. This includes of course the jobs focus of for the younger generation, which is growing up in a Webciety and for whom the Internet has long been the primary medium. Companies will find the right trainees and career novices at - i.e. people who are already part of the Webciety.'

All of the topics covered at CeBIT VISION - plus many more - can be explored at CeBIT in Hannover, running from 3 to 8 March 2009.

- Gabriele Dörries-


20.12.2008 / MaP

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