Visionary Thinking: Technology and Change in Awareness
Organizer censhare AG and its partners Serviceplan, Media Service Providing, w&co MediaServices, Motor Presse Stuttgart and Juwi Macmillan Group held Futureday on September 20 which was attended by over 300 guests at Munich’s brightly-lit Kesselhaus. An afternoon of fascinating presentations and inspiring debate awaited them.
One of the day’s provocative topics was “Are we at risk of digital dementia?” Brain researcher Prof. Dr. Dr. Manfred Spitzer and mathematician and former IBM CTO Prof. Dr. Gunter Dueck were divided in their opinions on whether early computer and internet usage by children increases the risk of senile dementia. There were heated behind-the-scenes exchanges upon the first meeting of these best-selling authors. Our host Richard Gutjahr captured backstage events on his camera: http://gutjahr.biz/2012/09/dueck-vs-spitzer-digitale-demenz/
Manfred Spitzer warned of an “intellectual decline if we spend too much time with digital media.” He is not opposed to computers or the internet per se, but has to highlight its “side-effects” as a doctor of psychiatry. “Everything that has an impact ultimately also has side-effects,” he remarked emphatically. He gave a crash course on the human brain to provide a better understanding of his argument.
“The problem lies with you (all), not the seven-year-old!” Gunter Dueck Gunter Dueck retorted. His presentation was entitled „Jäger, Bauer, E-Man“ – man changes his environment and must consequently adapt to adjust to new circumstances. “The internet does not give us dementia, it makes us superfluous,” he warned with a smile. “I come from a farm near Heilbronn. We grew spinach and carrots. Carrots still exist but the farm does not,” he quipped. “The smooth automation of simple processes has now become commonplace,” he added.
censhare CCO Dieter Reichert was evidently impressed by the “presentational skills of the previous speakers” but easily maintained the standards set with his presentation entitled “software acquires awareness”. Besides insights into nanotechnology and the human brain, he also provided a fascinating look ahead to 2040. Will buildings, means of transport and advertising billboards be communicating with us directly and on a personal level by then? Will private as well as government systems be gathering and using knowledge about all aspects of our lives?
Josephine Götz , the 26-year-old publisher of Päng!, gave an indication that women may play a greater role in shaping the future with her new magazine for the Facebook generation. “Print is not dead – you have to modify the content and adapt accordingly,” she explained with refreshing sincerity outlining how she cleverly deploys social networks to advertise her printed magazine.
The Galli-Businesstheater rounded off Futureday as an event catering for the “heart, spirit, soul and intellect.” The young e-band MIT from Cologne performed a high-tech musical set among others with the title: „High Tech verpflichtet“.
Futureday 2012 once again showed that major scientific and social upheaval lies ahead of us which requires a new perception of the structure of our globalized world.