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Get to know the pioneers of our time! Build a shared vision for the future! Co-create the new!

  • Asking major questions, and the right questions, about technology and its social implications is what digital innovation strategist Alissia Iljaitsch helps her clients do. A co-founder of IQ Gemini and an expert in the fields of virtual reality and digital innovation, she draws on scientific findings from the fields of anthropology, behavioral psychology and cognitive research. And she applies analogous insights to the present and future. How do we make the best use of our creative potential in a digital world? Alissia Iljaitsch will explain.

    IQ Gemini
    “Roll up your sleeves and start innovating.” Source: Twitter.com/ailjaitsch
  • Ambarish Mitra grew up in humble conditions in India. These days he’s running a start-up with more than 300 employees and a company that qualifies him as a unicorn (a valuation of over $1 billion). Ambarish is the CEO and co-founder of Blippar, a disruptive technology company that aims to create the ultimate augmented reality browser by recognizing everything in the physical world. He was named UK Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young (2016), a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (2017), and surely has been called Slum Dog Millionaire before.

    Blippar
    "The language of code is universal.“
  • On July 20, 1969, Dr. Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong secured their place in history with their Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. An estimated 600 million people watched the Apollo 11 landing live on television, for many years a world record. Dr. Buzz Aldrin received his Doctorate in Astronautics from MIT in 1963. He was the first astronaut with a doctorate. The docking and rendezvous techniques he devised for spacecraft became critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs and he pioneered underwater training techniques to simulate spacewalking. His ShareSpace Foundation is focused on STEAM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and in 2015 he launched the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute at Florida Tech to develop his vision of a permanent human settlement on Mars. He has kept at the forefront of developing future technologies and in March of this year released the “Cycling Pathways to Mars” VR experience in partnership and developed by 8i on the TIME LIFE VR App. Since retiring from NASA, Dr. Aldrin calls himself a Global Statesman for Space and has remained a tireless advocate for space exploration. At me Convention he will speak about NEW REALITIES.

    „Let's be certain that we've developed a sustainable plan to stay on Mars. No flags and footprints this time.“ Source: dailymail.co.uk
  • Christian “Mio” Loclair is an internationally renowned artist who has made it his mission to break down established ways of thinking. He is a breakdancer who can program code; a programmer who choreographs plays. Loclair virtuously combines information technology and dance to create a surreal duet between man and machine. His choreographies center around the collision of digital aesthetics with the natural, harmonious beauty of human movement, allowing his audiences to witness the creation of a new human identity. Loclair’s stage performance at the me Convention will be based on the topic of NEW CREATION.

    Waltz Binaire
    "The clash of human needs and mathematical precision is a contemporary reflection of our society."
  • Every four months, readers of Colin Wright’s blog “Exile Lifestyle” can vote on where he should travel to next. Wright is a full-time traveler, a globetrotter, a digital nomad. Always at his side: his trusty notebook and his iPhone. During his eight years on the road, he has written around 30 books and created a blog that is now read by over two million people a year. He hosts the weekly podcast “Let’s Know Things” and co-founded the publishing company Asymmetrical Press. Before this, and up until 2009, he headed a brand agency in Los Angeles. Commenting on this period of his life he says: “It’s remarkable to me how good I was at convincing myself that professional success was equal to happiness, and how long I believed it.” At 32 years of age, Colin Wright is member of Generation Y and, as such, a so-called millennial. His speech at the me Convention will be on NEW LEADERSHIP.

    “My MacBook doesn’t define me. But it helps me do the things that do define me better. In this way, stuff can be wonderful — we just have to make sure we’re acquiring the right stuff.” Source: MacLife.de
  • Doug Newcomb has been covering car technology as a journalist for over 25 years and is a recognized expert on the subject of the connected car and mobility. He has been sought out for his opinion by media outlets as USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Boston Herald, Detroit Free Press, Reuters, Agence France Press and others. Doug has appeared on CBS News, CNBC and the Los Angeles affiliates for ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox News to talk about car technology and is a frequent speaker at automotive and consumer-electronics industry events. In 2013 Doug cofounded the Connected Car Conference (C3) at CE Week in New York and co-producer the inaugural Connected Car Expo at the LA Auto Show. In 2014, Doug coproduced successful events under the C3 banner at SXSW, CE Week and in Silicon Valley. In the same year he formed the Connected Car Council, made up of top industry thought leaders, and launched the C3 Report to provide news and analysis to the fast changing car technology and mobility space. He’s also a columnist for PCMag.com’s NextCar, Forbes.com and writes for Wired, Automobile, Popular Mechanics and other outlets. At me Convention he will speak about NEW URBANISM.

    C3 Group
    "Driverless cars are likeable to change everything in a city.“ Source: PCMag.com
  • To ask Gelong Thubten how he makes a living is to be told: “I don’t have to make a living. When I travel around the world and teach people about Mindfulness, they then pay for my flight tickets, my accommodation and my food. My personal needs are very modest. I wear only my robe, and I never need to go to the hairdresser’s.” It’s this subtle humor that makes the Buddhist monk so instantly likable. Gelong Thubten teaches meditation and mindfulness. He is often invited by well-known companies such as Google and HSBC to teach their employees established meditation techniques. But he also teaches in less illustrious places: in hospitals, schools, prisons and rehabilitation clinics, for example. His goal is - in this world full of constant real-time messaging and 24-hour exposure to media - to help his listeners reduce stress, sharpen their focus and improve their sense of inner harmony. Gelong Thubten has lived as a monk for the past 25 years and is among the world's foremost meditation trainers. His topic at the me Convention will be NEW VELOCITY.

    Kagyu Samye Ling
    “According to neuroscientific research, people who meditate live healthier, happier, more empathetic lives.”Source: trendingtopics.at
  • Architecture, landscape architecture and design form the crucible in which the multiple award-winning Norwegian firm of Snohetta, named after a 2,286 meter-high mountain of the same name, works. Since 2005 trained architect Jette Cathrin Hopp has been a member of an interdisciplinary team comprising graphic designers, artists, researchers, and others, in addition to architects. As a project director at Snohetta, Hopp was and is responsible for various, for the most part sustainable, architectural projects, an example of which is Powerhouse One in Trondheim, a building that produces more energy than it consumes. Hopp will be speaking on the topic of “NEW URBANISM”.

    Snøhetta
  • Katherine Maher, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, worked around the world in various capacities, nearly all directly related to advancing fundamental rights and open and free societies. Before joining the Wikimedia Foundation, she was Advocacy Director for the international digital rights organization “Acces” in Washington DC, where she worked on global policy issues related to freedom of expression, access to information, and privacy. Previously, Katherine held roles supporting the efforts of citizens and governments around the world to embrace transparency and civic technologies, working with activists and human rights defenders on the use of technology to support democratic reforms and human rights, and designing ICT4D programs (Information and communication technologies for development) in support of community development. Katherine is a fellow at the Truman National Security Project, and her writing on human rights, technology, and foreign policy has appeared in various publications. Katherine will speak at me Convention about NEW REALITIES.

    Wikimedia Foundation
    “What I'm really seeing from many outlets is a conversation that they're having with their readers around what do we need to do in order to regain your trust?” Source: abc.net
  • As the Chief Innovation Officer of WirtschaftsWoche, Léa Steinacker develops strategies, products, and live experiences for the brand in close coordination with the publisher and the newsroom. She is responsible for assessing experimental formats and innovative business models and is a speaker on various digital topics. In her bi-weekly column, she analyzes the interaction between technical innovations, humans, and the economy. Until March 2017, she served in the role of Digital Scout. Prior to joining WirtschaftsWoche, Léa worked for a number of human rights organizations in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she coordinated the evaluation of crisis interventions and analyzed extremists’ propaganda activities in social networks. At me Convention she will act as a moderator.

    WirtschaftsWoche
  • Martin Weber is the CFO of INFARM, a start-up in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin that aims to revolutionize the urban landscape in just a few short years. To help realize its vision, Infarm has researched processes and developed technologies that completely redefine growing food in urban areas. The goal? To introduce mini greenhouses and larger vertical cultivation areas (with tall, transparent shelves) in restaurants, malls, hotels and private homes in order to guarantee maximum freshness and eliminate packaging waste for the consumer. In his career to date, Martin Weber has made a name for himself, primarily as a start-up coach. He was a start-up accelerator at Startupbootcamp Tel Aviv as well as Marathon Artists in London. Before starting at INFARM, he worked as a program manager at EuropeanPioneers, an EU body that supports start-ups. Weber will talk about the topic of NEW URBANISM at the me Convention.

    Infarm
    "We are the new farmers and the city is our farm."
  • Mike Horn has a very clear philosophy when it comes to adventure: get to know the unknown, see things you could never imagine, do things that have never been done before. The 50-year-old thrill seeker has practiced this philosophy when hiking to the North Pole in the dark, arctic winter at temperatures reaching negative 50 degrees Celsius, swimming nearly 7,000 kilometers from the source of the Amazon to its mouth in the Atlantic, climbing eight-thousanders without oxygen, and circumnavigating the world along the equator – without the aid of a motor vehicle. The German newspaper DIE ZEIT once called him “the Creator’s toughest badass”. But Mike Horn is more than that. Not only is he a hard-working and dedicated extreme athlete who takes risks whose consequences cannot be predicted, he is also a modern explorer, perhaps even the greatest explorer of our time. This is evidenced by his latest expedition, in which he aims to highlight the earth’s environmental problems. It’s called “Pole2Pole” and will see Horn travel around the world. Beginning in Europe, the expedition will take him through Africa, Antarctica, Oceania, Asia, the Arctic, North America, and then back to Europe.It will see him reach both poles in one trip and cover nearly 40,000 kilometers. This is an unprecedented feat; as is so often the case, Horn is set to be the first to achieve it. Mike Horn will be speaking on the topic of NEW LEADERSHIP at the me Convention.

    “For me, no adventure is difficult as long as I survive.”
  • A communication studies graduate, book author, publisher of the German weekly business news magazine Wirtschaftswoche, and director of the Institute for Media and Communication Management at the University of St. Gallen, Miriam Meckel has been addressing the topic of new leadership for years. She will be talking about just that, and about digitalization processes in the media sector, as well as ideas in the membership community, at the Me Convention—but not only as a feminist, which Meckel describes herself as being. As a feminist, to be sure, but one whose understanding of the term is not limited to the traditional sense relating only to women. For her, feminism is defined as a mindset that, disentangled from considerations of sex, rightly assumes that all people have equal rights and should be treated accordingly. That this notion is not self-evident even in 2017 is something she cannot understand.

    WirtschaftsWoche
    “Fortune cookie feminism is satisfied with outward appearances. That is the problem.”
  • Natasha Jimenez is an artist, engineer, and designer. Her work focuses on people’s connection to the natural world and each other. In her latest piece, The Last Conservatory, she creates a multi-sensory installation constructed out of foraged wood, moss, and fragrant herbs. Music and poetry emanate from inside the trunk of a tree, coercing the audience to physically connect to the soothing properties of nature. Natasha is the co-founder of the humanitarian design agency Outside, where she designs things that promote peace, health, and wellbeing. She has developed projects with various NGOs including IRC, UNHCR, and MercyCorps. Natasha is the lead developer for Translation Cards, an award-winning app that enables field workers to communicate with refugees effectively. At me Convention, Natasha will give a workshop titled “Humanitarian Design Summit” (topic: NEW CREATION) in cooperation with Oliver Blank. In this intense hands-on workshop, you’ll learn how to use design thinking to prevent suffering and save lives.

    "By selling my belongings and travelling the world with only a bag on my back I am looking to find a minimal, peaceful, and happy life."
  • Great Britain’s first state-recognized cyborg. That is something that might appear in Neil Harbisson’s passport, were the authorities to allow such an unwieldy title. An artist who lives in New York and is active on the lecture circuit, he wears an antenna on his head. He had it implanted thirteen years ago. All perfectly normal, in Harbisson’s opinion. “In psychological terms, most of us are already cyborgs anyway. We are no longer capable of living without our smart phones. In 30 years it will be normal for everyone to wear such implants in their bodies.” His antenna enables Harbisson, who suffers from the disorder achromatopsia, to detect both visible and invisible colors, such as infrared. And because he is connected to the Internet, he can also receive videos, music, and telephone calls, among other things. And what does this technology do to the co-founder of the Cyborg Foundation, who uses his art to promote an expanded concept of reality and champion the rights of cyborgs? That he will tell you from the stage.

    “When we expand our senses, we expand our knowledge.”
  • Nick Foster is Head of Industrial Design at X (formerly Google X). X’s mission is “... to invent and launch “moonshot” technologies that could someday make the world a radically better place”. Nick is also a partner at the Near Future Laboratory, pioneering work in the field of Design Fiction. He has been a designer and futurist for 20 years and has worked in advanced design roles for Sony, Nokia and Dyson, amongst others. Nick is a co-author of “TBD Catalog: The Near Future’s Normal Ordinary Everyday”, and launched the zine "TUXSAX - The user experience will be as shitty as expected". His written work has been published in the Alpine Review, Core77, Blueprint, BoingBoing, Wired and Stylus. Nick will be speaking on the topic of NEW CREATION.

    X - the moonshot factory
    “Every designer is a cultural voyeur—a perpetual sponge for inspiration and a running faucet for ideas.” Source: hellofosta.com
  • Oliver Blank is an English artist and designer, currently at Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google. Blank’s artwork is about intimacy and affection in public, and his design projects focus on the prevention of suffering. Coaxing his audience out of the quotidian, Oliver’s artwork induces unforgettable experiences that instil a shared romance and sense of community. Past installations include composing orchestral music for long forgotten buildings and hosting a phone-line that collects messages for lost loves and forgotten friendships. Oliver’s artwork has appeared across the world in countries including Japan, Mexico, Spain, Finland, and the USA, and venues including Tate Gallery, London's Design Museum, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. At Google.org he has collaborated with Lego, Nokia, HP, Marvel Comics, and many others. Oliver is a regular speaker and workshop leader at SXSW, Oliver is also a member of the advisory board of SXSW Eco, and a Practitioner-in-Residence at Berkeley, University of California. You may also have caught him on the BBC, The New York Times, or CNN. Over the years Oliver has lived in Helsinki, London, Manchester, New Orleans, and San Francisco. At me Convention Oliver will give a workshop titled “Humanitarian Design Summit” (topic: NEW CREATION). In this intense hands-on workshop, you'll learn how to use design thinking to prevent suffering and save lives. “From refugee camps in Europe to hurricanes across the United States, design thinking can make a difference in the most critical situations”, says Oliver Blank.

    Google
    "My work exists on a spectrum of compassionate action: from design to prevent suffering to art about affection in public."
  • Tim Leberecht is the author of “Business Romantic” - an international bestseller that was selected as one of the “Forbes Top 10 Creative Leadership Books”and translated into eight languages. His recipe for success? Leberecht reminds us that, while the world of business is increasingly focused on maximization and optimization, we should be concentrating more on the things that make business successful in the first place: on creativity, emotional and social intelligence, and – yes – on business romanticism. Leberecht believes that the only way we can respond to the rise of artificial intelligence is to rediscover a humanist perspective and to focus on the beauty of things and of the creative process. This is why we invited Tim Leberecht to speak at the me Convention. His topic will be NEW LEADERSHIP. Leberecht, 45, is the founder and CEO of “Leberecht & Partners”, a consulting company that helps companies develop their visions and strategies, and assists them with transformations. He was previously Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at NBBJ and, before that, held the same position at Frog Design from 2006 to 2013. He has provided strategic advice to many well-known companies over the course of his career, including Amazon, Disney, GE, Samsung, Microsoft, Starbucks and Siemens. His TED Talks “3 Ways to (Usefully) Lose Control of YOUR Brand” and “4 Ways to Build a Human Company in the Age of Machines” have been viewed by over two million people.

    Leberecht & Partners
    “To be innovative, you have to waste time” Source: t3n.de