Taking the Stage


What the future should bring. And what it shouldn’t.
© Dan Taylor / Heisenberg Media
Ireally enjoy

being up on stage. It’s a great feeling to be part of a conversation with an audience that’s as curious as I am about how we should live in the future. Wherever I go, from tech conferences like Tech Open Air, re:publica and Codemotion to design festivals to TEDxBerlin, all of my talks relate to big topics of being human in an increasingly digital world.

From my experience attending hundreds of such conferences and events, I know what separates a good talk from a great one. The best talks are a transformative venture into a new topic, picking up the listener, taking them on a wild ride and returning them home safely, touched and moved, richer in insights and experiences. Just like a rollercoaster.

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The best talks are structured like rollercoaster rides.

Creating a talk is about crafting a story. I stick to the metaphorical structure of a rollercoaster ride: the high peaks – the long view, the big, philosophical questions – and the fast, unexpected parts: thought-provoking ideas that may provide glimpses of answers to the big questions. Surprises, laughter, perhaps even tears. The audience walks away with new perspectives, sparked conversations, the impetus to act, and thoughts to chew on in the long run.

Speaking at NEXT Conference, together with Gesche Joost and Tom Bieling.

A great talk isn’t about information. It’s about transformation. Audiences shouldn't find themselves in the need to take notes — they should simply be touched. Below is a compilation that gives a sense of the style and beat of my talks:

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»Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.«
— Richard Feynmann
The following

are the topics I’m most fascinated by. While the big questions may defy easy answers, the goal is to start a discussion about what kind of future we wish for. I’m a strong believer in the endless potential of human creativity, and if I inspire people to share my belief, the effort will be worth it. Let's go for a ride.

Staying Human in a Digital World
  • Rethinking our relationship to technology
  • What makes us (in)human
    • A brief history of humanness
    • Learning from science fiction
  • How to not turn into a machine
    • The fast-food age of information consumption
    • House rules for digital addicts
Turning Ideas into Realities
  • How the new enters our world
    • Systematizing ideation
    • Cultivating creation
  • Managing ideas
    • Ideas are like plants
    • Creative habits
  • Prototyping
    • Crafting narratives
    • Building experiences
    • Designing the future
Digital Ethics
  • Right and wrong?
    • Values versus algorithms
    • Hard decisions
  • Reinventing Work
    • Time is money?
    • Automation and its consequences
  • Artificial Intelligence
    • Thinking vs. consciousness
    • Our relationship to artificial beings

'These are the topics that I am personally most interested in. There can be no answers to the big questions. However, we can discuss — over concrete examples — what future we would wish for, sharpening our cognitive tools for shaping the future. I am a strong believer in the endless potential of human creativity, and if I inspire people to share my belief, the effort will be worth it. Let's go for a ride.

Upcoming Talks

September 28, 2020
Wenn R2D2, Wall-E und Nr. 5 zu Kollegen werden
Invited Talk at Deutscher IT-Leiter-Kongress.
Düsseldorf, Germany
May 6, 2020
Arbeit im Zeitalter der Automatisierung
Invited Talk at Deutscher Arbeitssicherheitskongress.
Leipzig, Germany

Past Talks

November 13, 2019
Digitale Sucht
Invited Talk at Fachtagung Suchthilfe.
Essen, Germany
November 11, 2019
Multisensorische Mensch-Computer-Interaktion
Invited Talk at Affiliate Conference.
Munich, Germany
April 2, 2019
Designing the Unknown
Keynote Presentation at Im/Possible Futures.
Berlin, Germany
November 21, 2018
Geräte von Morgen
Keynote Presentation at Leuphana Night of the Startups.
Lüneburg, Germany
October 25, 2018
Future Spatial User Experiences
Invited Talk at User Experience Conference.
Ulm, Germany
August 22, 2018
Digital-Physical Play
Invited Talk at Gamescom Congress.
Cologne, Germany
June 27, 2018
Protecting Our Creativitity from the Side-Effects of Technology
Invited Talk at TEDxBerlin 2018.
Berlin, Germany
March 15, 2017
Information Spaces: Building Bridges between the Digital and the Physical World
Keynote Presentation at 15th International Symposium on Information Science.
Berlin, Germany
February 19, 2017
Shape-Changing Interfaces
Invited Talk at Schloss Dagstuhl.
Wadern, Germany
October 10, 2016
Navigation: Der Weg nach vorn
Invited Talk at BMVI Navigationskonferenz.
Hamburg, Germany
September 27, 2016
Future Interactions with Games
Invited Talk at BizPlay Gamification Congress.
Karlsruhe, Germany
July 29, 2016
Digitalisierung vs. Menschlichkeit?
Invited Talk at Sommerfest Mensa in Deutschland e. V..
Berlin, Germany
July 3, 2016
IoT Kitchen Talk: Cyborgs
Keynote Presentation at Telefónica Kitchen Talks.
Berlin, Germany
April 26, 2016
Invited Talk at Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag.
Berlin, Germany
February 24, 2016
640TB sollten für jedermann genug sein.
Invited Talk at Microsoft Explained.
Berlin, Germany
January 30, 2016
Digitales Theater
Invited Talk at Prisma-Festival.
Berlin, Germany
December 10, 2015
Staying Human in the Internet of Things
Invited Talk at Hub Conference.
Berlin, Germany
November 12, 2015
Mensch Bleiben
Keynote Presentation at World Usability Day.
Berlin, Germany
November 3, 2015
Shape-Changing Mobiles
Exhibit at Culture Interface: Numerique et Science Fiction.
St. Etienne, France
November 2, 2015
Tomorrow's Computers are Invisible
Invited Talk at Digital Science Match.
Berlin, Germany
October 4, 2015
How to Ruin your Creativity using the Powerful Tools of the Digital Age
Invited Talk at Maker Faire.
Berlin, Germany
August 29, 2015
Staying Human in the Internet of Things
Invited Talk at People in Beta Festival.
Berlin, Germany
August 28, 2015
Erfinder gesucht!
Keynote Presentation at KidsCraft Summer Camp.
Wolfsburg, Germany
July 9, 2015
Screenager und Smartphone-Zombies
Invited Talk at HLS-Tagung »Mediensucht«.
Frankfurt, Germany
June 30, 2015
Digitale Inhalte (be-)greifbar machen
Invited Talk at BMBF-Zukunftskongress.
Berlin, Germany
May 5, 2015
The Fast-Food Age of Information Consumption
Invited Talk at Re:Publica.
Berlin, Germany
March 3, 2015
A day in the Future: Wearables
Presentation with Uwe Jäger and young Deutsche Telekom Talents at Mobile World Congress.
Barcelona, Spain
January 20, 2015
Dress/Code: Interactive Textiles
Keynote Presentation at FashionTech.
Berlin, Germany
December 4, 2014
Human-Technology Interactions: What's Next?
Invited Talk at Online Educa.
Berlin, Germany
November 30, 2014
Staying Human in the Digital Age
Invited Talk at CodeMotion.
Milan, Italy
July 29, 2014
Analog is the new Digital
Keynote Presentation at Designit Open Inspiration.
Munich, Germany
July 16, 2014
Rethinking our Relationship to Technology
Invited Talk at TechOpenAir 2014.
Berlin, Germany
July 9, 2014
Mein Handy und ich
Invited Talk at IFA Innovations Media Briefing.
Berlin, Germany
June 3, 2014
Staying Human in the Digital Age
Keynote Presentation at Webinale 2014.
Berlin, Germany
May 22, 2014
Bodily Experiences of the Digital
Invited Talk at UX Lausanne 2014.
Lausanne, Switzerland
May 15, 2014
The Fast-Food Age of Information Consumption
Invited Talk at Typo Berlin 2014.
Berlin, Germany
May 6, 2014
Smartphone Zombies
Invited Talk at Next 2014.
Berlin, Germany
January 31, 2014
Computer von morgen
Invited Talk at Handelsblatt-Tagung »Strategisches IT-Management«.
Munich, Germany
January 22, 2014
Hello, real world
Invited Talk at Tomorrow.Berlin.
Berlin, Germany
December 3, 2013
Feeling the Digital
Keynote Presentation at BDigital.
Barcelona, Spain
November 20, 2013
Der Mensch in der vernetzten Gesellschaft
Invited Talk at 4. IuK-Tag Nordrhein-Westfalen.
Paderborn, Germany
October 25, 2013
The Physical Frontier
Invited Talk at Frontiers of Interaction 2013.
Milan, Italy
October 17, 2013
Wie unser Körper die digitale Welt begreift
Invited Talk at Science Slam Berlin.
Berlin, Germany
September 6, 2013
How our Body Understands the Digital World
Invited Talk at TEDxBerlin 2013.
Berlin, Germany
August 22, 2013
Bodies of Information
Invited Talk at Media Evolution: The Conference 2013.
Malmö, Sweden
June 29, 2013
Physical Killed the Digital Star
Keynote Presentation at RadioHackDay.
Berlin, Germany
June 20, 2013
In Touch
Invited Talk at MLove ConFestival 2013.
Castle Beesenstedt, Germany
April 23, 2013
Interwoven and Connected: Prototyping a Networked Society
Invited Talk with Gesche Joost and Tom Bieling at Next 2013.
Berlin, Germany
November 23, 2012
Physical Interfaces of the Future
Invited Talk at push.conference.
Munich, Germany
October 26, 2012
Research Through Design in Embodied Interaction
Keynote Presentation at Dutch Design Week Goes Digital.
Eindhoven, Netherlands
September 11, 2012
Embodied Interactions
Keynote Presentation at Physicality.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
August 22, 2012
Design Research
Invited Talk at Science Slam at Campus Party Europe.
Berlin, Germany
June 28, 2012
Mobile Innovation
Jury Member at HTC Tomorrow Talks.
Innsbruck, Austria
June 7, 2012
Research Through Design
Keynote Presentation with Tom Bieling at DMY Design Festival.
Berlin, Germany
April 5, 2012
The Future of Human-Computer Interaction
Invited Lecture at Miami University Local IXDA Chapter.
Oxford, Ohio, USA
March 11, 2012
Designing Tomorrow's Digital/Physical Interfaces
Panel with Leah Buechley and David Merrill at SXSW Interactive.
Austin, Texas, USA
February 23, 2012
Democratizing Innovation
Presentation at Lift.
Geneva, Switzerland
January 30, 2012
Hack to the Future
Keynote Presentation at Interaction.
Dublin, Ireland
November 20, 2011
Erfinder gesucht!
Presentation at TEDxYouthBerlin.
Berlin, Germany
October 27, 2011
In Touch with the Digital
Keynote with Ezri Tarazi at The Calcalist Mobile.
Tel Aviv, Israel
July 25, 2011
Mobile Phones of the Future
Keynote Presentation at Mobile Marketing Association CEO / CMO Summit.
Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic
June 27, 2011
We Must Not Grow Up
Keynote Presentation at Technology Meets Talent.
Darmstadt, Germany
May 5, 2011
Tangible Future Visions of Multi-Sensory Mobile Communication
Keynote Presentation at EuroVision TV Summit.
Lucerne, Switzerland
November 15, 2010
How can we make Telecommunication more Emotional?
Invited Talk at TEDxBerlin.
Berlin, Germany
October 1, 2010
How can we make Mobile Phone Calls more Polite?
Invited Talk at TEDxSalzburg.
Salzburg, Austria
July 12, 2010
In Touch with the Digital
Exhibition at TEDGlobal.
Oxford, United Kingdom
May 7, 2010
Making Computers Stiff, Scratchy and Stubborn
Invited Talk at Lift 2010.
Geneva, Switzerland
March 2, 2010
Anrufe mit Fingerspitzengefühl
Exhibition at CeBIT 2010.
Hannover, Germany
December 28, 2009
Haptic Displays in Mobile Phones
Lightning Talk at Chaos Communication Congress 2009.
Berlin, Germany
November 30, 2009
How Can we Make Digital Content Graspable?
Invited Talk at TEDxBerlin.
Berlin, Germany