Who can imagine what the Rhein-Erft district will look like in 2030? What role will artificial intelligence play? To what extent will routine business and everyday tasks be automated? Who will communicate with customers in future: people or robots?
Around 110 local business, political and civil-society figures, along with interested representatives from associations and trade chambers, came together to explore these questions at the invitation of the economic development body Wirtschaftsförderung Rhein-Erft GmbH (WFG). The occasion was the 3rd innovation conference, entitled “Automation/AI as innovation drivers?” held on 14 May 2019 at MEDIO.RHEIN.ERFT in Bergheim.
Keynote speaker Kai Arne Gondlach, futurologist and trend researcher at Germany’s most innovative idea incubator Denkfabrik 2b AHEAD Think Tank, put the topic in context, pointed to concrete international examples and provided exciting intellectual stimulation.
The subsequent podium discussion with district government representatives and local business figures zeroed in on the question of what this means for the Rhein-Erft district specifically. The panel included: Claudia Schwan-Schmitz (Head of Strategic Urban Development for the City of Bergheim), Jens Wunderlich (entrepreneur, Wunderlich Bauunternehmung, Kerpen), Dr. Phil Friedrichsmeier (Innovation Project Head at wfg) and Kai Arne Gondlach.
Further inspirations from practical experience and an interactive exhibition rounded out the conference. A successful event that made the future a little more comprehensible. The bottom line: artificial intelligence and automation are drivers!
Source and photos „© WFG Rhein-Erft / photos: Ralph Müller, Dr. Achim Stegmann”