Saturday, March 29, 2014

All is Possible - Sometimes we Have to Look Back to Really See

First of all it may sound odd, but most often you step across the most amazing things, paths or learning while searching intensively for something else. That is called SERENDIPITY (I personally didn't know about it until coming back from a conference on organizational learning in Muscat, Oman, in April 2008).

Around the time of the making of the video below (actually it is more something like a full-version movie, which carries lots of learning along the two hours) I was studying economics at the University of Bamberg. The "Iron Curtain" had fallen just some years earlier and as Bamberg is only 50 km away from the closed former East German border quite a few visits pulled me "over the border".

What I could see in the villages, and towns as well as talking to locals there was a social and economic system almost on the edge of collapse (quite what is topic of the conversation in the movie with the makers of "Limits to Growth" (published in 1972, the link is to the original version) Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows and Jørgen Randers). 

20 years later living now in Eastern Germany, to be more exact in Dresden, now one of Europe's major hotspots for semiconductors (two major chip factories are found within city limits) and other emerging technologies such plastic electronics, nanotechnology, life sciences, the mind flashed back to the days back in 1992 sitting in lectures, and hearing on how the economy of former East Germany could be sustainably transformed. Lots of effort was put into place, money flowed, and companies pushed out their products which the people eagerly bought as they lacked to have them over decades. All seemed possible.

Where do we stand now over 20 years later?

A question everybody of us has to ask her-/himself.

For me the flow of action was as follows: while still in Bamberg I caught a copy of "The Machine that Changed the World" by Womack/Jones and somehow combined with what I had learned in my economics studies was hooked on what is called "Lean Thinking". The essence in short is to create more value with the given resources in a sustainable way, and at the same time enable all members of the workforce (from C-level to shopfloor) to cross-collaboratively learn to achieve the goal (more value with given resources) together.

Over the years I found myself in Dresden, where I moved right in the midst of the Economic Crisis 2008/2009 with a dream my Finnish friends (whom a had met earlier in 2008 in Muscat, Oman) sort of whispered over via their blog. Google just had started a global competition, and people were asked to hand in their visions of the vision. I handed in what in version 1.0  was called Team Lea(r)ning Experience (something similar to what I had seen in Finland at Team Academy, a "management school without teachers" (as Peter Senge uses to call it). Just a few months later in spring 2009 this vision became a name that sticks since then:

Vision: bringing together citizens, students, business men, researchers to give their special skills/ knowledge/ networks to enabler something similar what Singularity University has established in 2008 and to make a difference. This could be to create a startup with the help of others, bring new knowledge back to their companies, share the challenges that they face in their organizations and get new innovative solutions from the teams at LockSchuppen

Mission: create a place where the emerging future can be seen, touched, and used (through prototypes of new technologies an applications) - moving the learning from reading to "tactile learning" across all genders, ages and disciplines

How can it be achieved?

It probably needs more than just a group of dedicated people eager to work on the vision, some tools and structure. A framework on how to achieve such bold goals is what is useful to set the course. An example of such an approach called gives Otto Scharmer who started in a similar direction also in 2008 first on his blog, and then with Presencing Institute.

Currently running is a MOOC called "Leadership MOOC" which is co-organized by the Presencing Institute and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH), is free of charge and has the title:

"Leadership for Global Responsiblity"

Feel free to attend (it started just this week, and we are already three attendees from Dresden - maybe you are the next). In case you are more orientated to learn for yourself new ways to tackle really complex challenges have a look at "The Systems Thinking Playbook on Climate Change" that can be downloaded free of charge from the website of the GIZ.

Have a relaxing Sunday, and enjoy with your friends, look out on a bright future, and appreciate the diversity around you. We will meet Egypt tomorrow here in Dresden, quite by another serendipity encouter, a call from Cairo yesterday. 

Everything is connected, and everybody makes it valuable together.

Friday, December 27, 2013

The 1000 Small Steps - Accelerating by Sharing

The Web is really the hot bed of serendipity - just watching the latest Tatort with hilarious screenplay, seeing a message by Gunter Pauli, founder ZERI, then read on Facebook about a new mobile technology that will be presented by Samsung at upcoming CES 2014 in Las Vegas I stumbled across the following:

The 1000 Small Steps

Wonderful to read, and once again I got encouraged that what my role models in life, and education Jay W. Forrester, Ronald Coase, Edgar H. Schein, John D. Sterman, Peter Claussen and Peter Diamandis have taught me over the past 20 years is there to become reality in the near future. ... also got its seeds in 2012.


Happy New Year 2014 with amazing things to happen to all !!!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Così fan tutte ossia La scuola degli amanti

In a few days Szene12, a young music-theather experiment, brings on the stage of the Hochschule für bildende Künste (Günzstraße 34) Mozart's opera buffa "Così fan tutte".

© Szene12
A young team of professionals will guide the public into a modern-setting of an opera which premiere is dated back in 1790. The stage looks like a modern sitcom, and cameras are capturing moments of life on stage, and behind it. All is displayed for audience visibility at a large screen which will hold other surprises on the performance days. A new way to discover Mozart suited to everybody (opera lovers and non). An experience to share with the whole family. A chance to see how "Così fan tutte"'s life is seen through today's eyes.
The expectations of those who are used to a traditional performance could perhaps remain unfullfilled, or opened for new levels of art enjoyment.

© Szene12
Actually, in young director Toni Burghard Friedrich's "Così fan tutte" there is not only Mozart, but a lot more. As per Mr. Burghard Friedrich, "In my 'Così fan tutte', the American sitcom meets the European Opera". From this meeting come out funny scenes, hilarious moments and a new interpretation of an opera not yet seen here in Dresden.

In the true Mozart spirit, "Così fan tutte" by Szene12 shows in our today's world that time passes by but the human nature does not change. 

Bring your mobile phone, get on Twitter, adjust your camera, and do not lose the chance to play with!

Così fan tutte con be follwed on Twitter  and on Facebook . Twitterstream on #Cosifantutte

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Philipp Rösler pulling the Silicon Valley Spirit to Dresden

On Tuesday September 10, 2013 German State Minister for Economy and Technology, Dr. Philip Rösler had announced on Twitter his coming to Dresden, to discuss with Silicon Saxony e.V. (the cluster initiative of the microelectronics industry around Dresden) the impact and relevance of #Industrie4 at GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 1

Dr. Rutger Wijburg, senior vice president of GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 1 (Dresden, Germany), and Fab 8 (Malta, USA) mentioned in his welcoming speech to the crowd, made of several dozen representatives from education, business, politics, and to the media that the immanent role of microelectronics will be combining economics, and technology as a boundary object. There is no field in daily life which is untouched by microelectronics, making this field even more relevant in the future than it is already today.

State Secretary Hartmut Fiedler mentioned Minister Rösler's visit to Silicon Valley earlier this year, and also the visit of Peter Thiel (here video about his visit [German]) to Berlin on September 2, 2013 on Minister Rösler's invite. Together with mentioning his own visit with members of the Saxon State Government to the "Tech Valley" in upper New York State, where GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab8 is located, it became quite clear in the room that "speed of innovation is not an option".

Helmut Warnecke, CEO of Infineon Technologies GmbH and vice president of Silicon Saxony e.V., emphasized in his presentation the relevance of the microelectronics for the industry in Germany, and especially its economic leverage potential for other downstream of the economic value chain. The prominent gathering of not only larger microchip producing plants and their suppliers but especially the closeness to the university research institutes, and Fraunhofer, Max-Planck, Leibniz-, and Helmholtz-Society institutes in the region around Dresden built on a legacy over a century in electronics. Since 1961 microelectronics has made the region the perfect place to foster innovations. Helmut Warnecke's quote "Is microelectronics everything? No, but without microelectronics is everything nothing" made clear what the emphasis of the meeting was: stating a clear commitment to the future relevance of this specific industry part in Germany.

With the most recent decision by SEMI International Association, San José, to split the most prominent trade fair about microelectronics, SEMICONEuropa, between the clusters in Grenoble and Dresden on rotating yearly basis, it became ever more relevant to hear what Minister Philipp Rösler had to offer.

Minister Philipp Rösler
Philipp Rösler pointed out his own recent experience with the startup scenes in Silicon Valley, London and Tel Aviv. He ensured the audience that German technology and entrepreneurial spirit bears the capacity to compete at highest levels with those other tech regions in the world. What he had seen however, especially around the example of Stanford, is the not yet fully used potential to create fast, and smoothly business models to transition from university (studies or research) to startups. Though the upcoming German elections lowered the impact of his words, he emphasized on the strong government will to keep the German-based complete value chain of microelectronics intact, and even thinks of bringing investor role-models like Peter Thiel or Marc Andreessen closer to the German technology and entrepreneurial communities.

His main points however, especially in respect to the big players in the microelectronics field in Germany, were on the EEG (Renewable Energy Sources Act). In its current version it's forcing energy prices to go up, harming energy intensive industries in their competitiveness with the world market. Which once was meant to accelerate the renewable energy production has led to a misallocation of money. His second focus point was on making the startup conditions for entrepreneurs and innovators in the "non-apps world" easier in Germany, not only on the financial side (which some voices from the audience were drawing attention to) but also on the surrounding conditions. These are by far, concerning transparency, speed, interdisciplinary, not similar today to what can be observed in Silicon Valley, which btw also started very much as largely public project funded.

In the follow-up public discussion financing issues for scaling startups, and the lack of a viable, and visible VC capital (venture capital) scene especially in Saxony came up. These questions could not be answered in this round, but set a clear signal. Silicon Saxony as the main European hotspot in microelectronics, including adjacent fields like nanotech, life sciences, computer science, and organic electronics has the potential to reach up to the envisioned future by enabling the entrepreneurial spirit to flourish in the region once again.

Ralf Lippold

Saturday, August 24, 2013

CARTOGRAPHY - The Boundary Object of Our Time

With the 26th International Cartographic Conference about to start from Monday on officially and pre-conference workshops such as on the field of geoinformation, infrastructures and standards led by Antony Cooper running this week already there is coming up the question on the WIFS ("What's in it for Society?") of cartography in general.

Cartography for most of us is seen only, and by far in the form of maps that we use for specific usage in traveling, land/ sea surveying, air traffic control, military, city planning, architecture, sewage infrastructure, disaster management, mobile computing, etc.

Is that really all?

By far not, and yet we have to dig deeper, as we try to find out and learn. Yesterday we had a chance to have a short conversation with Antony Cooper and his colleagues, and learned more.

Team of the workshop
The Commission on Geoinformation, Infractucture and Standards of the ICA is working, similar to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) or the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), to set the standards so exponentially increasing data provided by different stakeholders, and information gatherers can be jointly used in applications such as maps.

One thing that became immanently clear was that for creating the colorful maps it needs a grounded framework to build soundly error-free maps, and other spatial data using applications, across land, sea, and air space. Collaboration across different constituencies, stakeholders, institutions, cultures is needed to create sound quality maps that provide

Cartography, and especially around the field of spatial data information is acting as a boundary object to bring different stakeholders across national, and cultural boundaries together in a collaborative way, sort of "smoothforce" them to work together on one shared goal: making efficient use of given resources through mapping (paper, digital, institutionalized, crowdsourced, static, dynamic, interactive, ...)

If you got curious - just check the conference's website at or follow on Twitter #iccDD2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Was bedeutet es exzellent zu sein, und wie sieht man es?

Was bedeutet Exzellenz für die TU Dresden? Was für die Stadt Dresden und Sachsen im Allgemeinen und Speziellen? In erster Linie geht es darum, die TU Dresden als einen "Magnet für wissenschaftliche Fachkräfte aus aller Welt" zu entwickeln und somit den Wissenschaftsstandort Dresden noch sichtbarer als bisher zu machen.

Was haben Kultur, Wirtschaft und Bürgerschaft davon? Einen ersten Einblick konnte sich der Interessierte bereits im Januar auf dem von der Landeshauptstadt Dresden jährlich auf der 'Karrierestart' stattfindenden Unternehmerfrühstück (Bericht) verschaffen.

Über die Exzellenzinitiative kann man sich hier informieren (auch ein Newsletter ist abonnierbar).


Am 22. Juli 2013 standen Ausführungen zu den aktuellen Entwicklungen im Zusammenhang mit der Exzellenzinitiative der TU Dresden an und man konnte gespannt sein.

Rektor Prof. Hans Müller-Steinhagen begrüßte an einem mehr als sonnigen Nachmittag die ca. 80 Anwesenden im Dülfer-Festsaal der Alten Mensa mit den Worten, "… heute möchte ich Ihnen einige sonnige Informationen mitteilen."

Auch wenn in den vergangenen Monaten die Presse über die TU Dresden eher von holprigen Projekten, wie der Einführung von SAP geprägt waren, ist nicht zu verkennen, dass die Veränderungen seit dem Erlangen des Exzellenztitels sich mehr als unauffällig positiv entwickeln.  So sind z.B. die Drittmittel um mehr als 30 Mio € im Jahr auf 230 Mio € in 2012 gestiegen. Die Mitarbeiterzahl der TU Dresden ist von ca. 6.700 in 2009 auf ca. 7.900 in 2012 gestiegen.  70 laufende Professurausschreibungen (Neubesetzungen und Nachfolgen) sind ohne die noch on Top kommenden Open Topic und speziell im Rahmen der Exzellenzinitiative Ausschreibungen zu verzeichnen.

Wie die DNN und die Sächsische Zeitung in der vergangenen Woche berichtet hatten ist die TU Dresden in zwei der im Projekt Zwanzig20 ausgewählten Projekte für die Umsetzung neuer zukunftsweisender Technologien direkt als Projektpartner involviert (in den Bereichen Textilbeton und Mobilkommunikation), was wiederum Gelder und Wirtschaftskontakte an die TU Dresden bringt. Besonders erhöhen die anstehenden Projekte die öffentliche Sichtbarkeit des Standorts Dresden und der TU Dresden insbesondere.

Auch die aktuell laufenden Baumaßnahmen auf dem Campus wie z.B. die Sanierung des Fritz-Förster-Baus, der Rechenzentrumneubau an der Nöthnitzer Straße, der Erweiterungsriegel für das Cfaed am Barkhausen-Bau und weiterer bringen die Voraussetzungen für exzellente Forschung auf einen höheren Stand als er bislang bereits ist.

Neben diesen aufgrund der schieren finanziellen Größe öffentlich wahrnehmbaren Entwicklungen in den einzelnen Bereichen, die im Rahmen der Exzellenzinitiative Unterstützung erhalten, zahlreiche positive Veränderungen und Erfolge zu vermelden, die für die Zukunft wegweisend sein werden. So sind z.B. an der DIGS-BB zahlreiche Programme aufgelegt worden, um den medizinischen Nachwuchs für die Forschungsaktivitäten an der TU Dresden zu binden. Das Cfaed kann u.a. mit der Entwicklung des weltweit ersten chemischen Mikrochip aufwarten.

Prof. Hans Müller-Steinhagen betonte, dass das Zukunftskonzept der Synergetischen Universität das "strategische Zugpferd" darstellt indem die Potenziale der Volluniversität umfangreich erschlossen werden und durch Kooperationen mit außeruniversitären Forschungsinstituten die künftige übergreifende Zusammenarbeit als Erfolgsfaktor verstanden wird. DRESDENconcept, Kernbestandteil der synergetischen Universität ist nicht nur ein Zusammenschluss Dresdner außeruniversitärer Forschungsinstitute sondern inzwischen ergänzt um kulturelle Einrichtungen wie dem Deutschen Hygienemuseum Dresden, der SLUB und weiteren Partnern. Grundgedanke ist es Kunst und Wissenschaft enger zu verzahnen und nach den Worten des Rektors ist die "Zusammenarbeit in DRESDENconcept keine Kür. Sie ist eine Pflicht."

Alles in allem gute Aussichten die Ziele der Exzellenzinitiative des Bundes und der DFG in Dresden zur Umsetzung zu bringen und den Universitätsstandort vom gegenwärtigen Rankingplatz in internationalen Rankings von knapp unter 300 (z.B. Rang 288 im 2012 Report QS World University Ranking) weiter nach oben zu ziehen. Noch kennt die Welt Dresden und seine wissenschaftlichen Fähigkeiten nicht in dem Maße, wie es einmal der Fall war.

Dies zu verändern ist Ziel des Handelns.

Doch was haben die lokalen Akteure in den Fakultäten (bald Bereiche/Schools genannt) davon? Die anschließende Fragerunde machte einige Bedenken im Publikum deutlich, nach den Erfahrungen mit dem ERP-System von SAP für die Verwaltung der Universitätsabläufe nicht verwunderlich.

Wie in jedem Verbesserungsprozess in einer Organisation und Unternehmen wird es unabänderbar zu "fühlbaren" Verschlechterungen kommen bevor die gewünschten Verbesserungen auch für jeden Systembeteiligten merkbar werden. Auch wird es sich nicht vermeiden lassen, dass es einige Akteure geben wird, die beim Status Quo bleiben möchten, wie gegenwärtig die Prozesse laufen (und möglicherweise sogar einen Vorteil im gegenwärtig funktionierenden System haben).

Gewonnen haben alle, nicht nur Unileitung, Verwaltung, Professoren, Fakultäten, Unternehmen der Region, die Landeshauptstadt Dresden wenn die "Kunden" der Technischen Universität Dresden - die Studierenden oder StudentInnen wie es noch zu meiner Studienzeit an der Uni Mainz 1988 hieß - die Chance dieser Exzelleninitiative für sich und ihren späteren Werdegang erkennen und selbst aktiv werden, um diesen Lern- und Wissenschaftsstandort in Europa zu etwas ganz Besonderem machen. Die Verschlankung der Verwaltungsprozesse, die durch den Gewinn des Exzellenzstatus erst richtig an Fahrt gewonnen hat, wird eines der maßgeblichen Erfolgsfelder sein als TU Dresden nicht nur international zu punkten, sondern auch weitere Impulse für hiesige Wirtschaft und Verwaltung bringen. Denn wenn eine Organisation mit über 7.000 Mitarbeitern über einen mehrere Quadratkilometer sich erstreckenden Campus inmitten der Stadt und über 35.000 Studenten aller Fachrichtungen diesen Kraftakt der Verschlankung und Vereinfachung von Geschäftsprozessen bewerkstelligt, dann ist das Exzellenzvorbild auch außerhalb der Wissenschafts-, Forschungs- und Lehrlandschaft des kommenden 21. Jahrhunderts.

Dem Rektorat und seinen visionären Köpfen und Unterstützern sei unbegrenzte kreative Energie gewünscht, auch den künftigen Herausforderungen in der Entwicklung zur Exzellenzuniversität innovativ und sächsischem Entrepreneurspirit zu begegnen. Auf dem Laufenden kann man sich hier über die Exzellenzinitiative informieren.

Ralf Lippold

Saturday, July 20, 2013

MobileCamp - Die Fünfte

Vor einigen Wochen zog es wieder fast zwei Hundertschaften enthusiastischer Mobile-Entwickler und sonstiger Kenner der Mobile Computing Szene nach Dresden (fast in den hintersten und doch eine der überraschend innovativsten Ecken der Republik).

Man traf sich bereits 5. Mal zum MobileCamp Dresden, das nicht nur lokales Publikum sondern auch weitgereistes aus allen Ecken der Republik und auch Abkömmliche fernab Europas wie Sascha Pellenberg (der diesmal nicht kommen konnte) anzog.

Für alle die nicht dabei sein konnten und erfahren möchten, was sie sich für 2014 im Terminkalender vormerken sollten:


Mobile ist nicht nur für das MobileCamp Dresden ein Thema, mehr und mehr nehmen auch andere Konferenzen in der Stadt Dresden dieses Thema auf, so die 26. Internationale Kartographie Konferenz (25.-30. August 2013) oder die #SEMICONEuropa 2013, die mit Spezialvorträgen zu PlasticElectronics, OLED und dergleichen mit internationalem Publikum aufwartet (ein Blick auf die Anmeldekonditionen lohnt auf jeden Fall, auch für den Studenten mit klammen Portemonnaie).

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Maria Stuart am Rande der Stadt auf Schloß Altroßthal

Schloss Altroßthal (Schlosshof)
Am 11. Juli fand im Schlosspark von Schloss Altroßthal die Premiere von Maria Stuart frei nach Friedrich Schiller statt. Eine wunderbare Location für eine wahre Geschichte, die wirklich in einem Schloss geschehen ist.

Gestern fahren wir zur zweiten Vorstellung - mit der Linie 90 der Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe AG nicht nur direkt vor Ort (Neunimptscher Straße) nach einer Viertelstunde ab Tharandter Straße sondern auch noch mit überraschenden Blicken über die Stadt Dresden. Bevor der Schlosspark vor uns liegt, erhaschen wir einen Blick auf den Schlosshof hinter uns (Eingang übrigens rechts neben dem Tor mit den Ähren).

Junge und alte Leute, Studenten, Familien mit Kinder sind alle dabei. Wir nehmen Platz auf einer der  Bänke, die direkt vor der Szene stehen. Eine Frau auf der spartanisch ausgestalteten Bühne mit dem Rücken zum Publikum ist sehr beschäftigt, Namen mit Kreide auf eine Wand zu schreiben. Die Leute schauen sie an, niemand aber versteht genau, was sie da macht. Vielleicht bereitet sie noch etwas vor.

Pünktlich um 20:30 Uhr erklingt dezenter Trommelwirbel. Die Vorstellung beginnt!

Ein Mann mit Unterhemd und Lederjacke, tritt auf die Szene. Er guckt mit großem Interesse in eine  Holzkiste und holt weibliche sexy Lingerie heraus. Von der Königin keine Spur. Das Spiel fängt mal an - die verschiedenen Charaktere betreten zum geeigneten Zeitpunkt die Bühne und kaum dass man sich's versieht ist man im Spiel der Gefühle und Dynamiken gefangen. Theatralische Gespräche, lustige Situationen, Gesangseinlagen und kurze Marathonlaufeinlagen überraschen das Publikum von allen Seiten (nicht nur auf der Bühne). Der umliegende Schlosspark wird Teil des Geschehens.

Violine und Schlagwerk begleiten zusammen mit Musik vom Tonträger die Show und ermöglichen so eine Verbindung zwischen Altem und Neuem. Das gleiche passiert auch mit den Kostümen. Die politischen Spielchen, die auf der Bühne gespielt werden, sind nur der Zeit weit voraus, nicht jedoch in der Substanz, die auch in der Welt von heute noch ihre Gültigkeit hat - trotz aller sozialer, gesellschaftlicher und technologischer Entwicklung über die letzten fünf Jahrhunderte.

Die Inszenierung ist sehr zu loben, insbesondere weil es nicht den bekannten klassischen Erwartungen entspricht und Raum für neues Denken und der Verbindung mit dem heutigen eigenen Erleben eröffnet.

Die Professionalität der SchauspielerInnen, Musikern und dem ganzen Regie- und Unterstützungsteam, die mit einfachen Mitteln für zweieinhalb Stunden das Publikum wunderbar amüsiert haben, ist an dieser Stelle zu loben.

Vor Ort besteht auch die Möglichkeit, sich was zum Essen und zum Trinken zu holen - apropos Trinken, mit dem Wort "Bowle" hat es etwas Besonderes auf sich, doch davon mehr, wenn Ihr/Sie vor Ort seid/sind.

Nächste Vorstellungen Maria Stuart (übrigens auch auf Facebook zu finden): heute 13. und morgen 14. Juli jeweils um 20:30 (Einlass ab 20 Uhr)

PresencingStatus - vier kurze Fragen und ihre Beantwortung:

1. Gut - eine wunderbare Inszenierung in passendem Ambiente, einfache Möglichkeit, mit den Protagonisten ins Gespräch zu kommen
2. Tricky - nur ein paar Stechmücken später am Abend (doch nicht der Rede wert)
3. Gelernt - wieder eine innovative Inszenierungsumsetzung außerhalb der üblichen Vorstellungsperspektiven (Theater im freien Raum (Park), am Rand der Stadt, Auftritt der Personen aus unterschiedlichen Richtungen), siehe auch Review zu Simplicissimus an der Semperoper Dresden
4. Next Action - mehr von diesen Inszenierungen erleben

In Zusammenarbeit von Angela Incampo & Ralf Lippold

Friday, May 31, 2013

Smooth Acceleration - Energy, Fuel Cells, Cultural Heritage

"What do the three quite different parts have in common? What makes them so prominent to put them into one article?"

"The United Nations estimates that one and a half billion people live without electricity and three and a half billion still rely on primitive fuels such as wood or charcoal for cooking and heating." ['Abundance - The Future is Better Than you Think', page 155]. Extracting the worlds energy resources at very crude ways, either by pumping oil of depleeting oil fields, starting to bring the last natural gas reserves up through intensive fracking, or chopping forests for charcoal or firewood might leave us not just with an empty planet but also puts lots of the cultural heritage out of our collective mind as climate change accelerates.

Lots of research efforts, and finding new fast adaptable ways to use energy that is abundant in existent, such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and others are under way. As a region "on the edge" [of Germany] Saxony is strong not only in automotive, semiconductors, but also in (sustainable) energy. As a result of this status it was only natural to see from May 28-29, 2013, the 2nd Dresdner Conference on "Energy in Future" organized by Fraunhofer IWS take place in this city where cultural heritage and technology meet seamlessly.

What during these two days became clear is that even though technology is at very high stakes in this region there is vast opportunity space into practicable implication, new business models around new emerging energy technologies, and the use of exponential information technologies to spread the word, and enable future collaboration connections with end users, and clients to kickstart the 'Power of Pull' and economic strive for the region's organizations.

Only a day later the constituting workshop of "energy saxony", a network on decentralized energy production in Saxony, took place at Fraunhofer IKTS in Dresden. Fuel cells are a large part of the work of this network in order to generate electric power by use of available other means of fuel such as natural gas especially due to its high energy density. This also make this form of energy transformation into electricity of high interest for remote areas.

The third point of the beginning, "cultural heritage" comes into play in the row of events, as just today at the SLUB Dresden, the State and University Library of Saxony, the conference "Climate Change as a Threat to Peace: Impacts on Cultural Heritage and Cultural Diversity". As it became quite clear during this conference our behavior, as humanity, on using the world's resources, especially energy-related, have a huge impact on our cultural heritage. With rising sea levels, changing weather conditions, increasing pollution levels not only tangible heritage as artifacts, buildings and such are threatened. Especially we have to focus, and articulate on intangible cultural heritage loss due to accelerating climate we observe all around the world.

Reflecting on what draws the three conferences together, it is the common thread (man-made climate impact), and the urge to preserve the cultural heritage, and diversity in the future. At the same time we have to, even though we are embedded in our disciplinary silos (to my knowledge there has been nobody at all three conferences) we have lost the ability to perceive, see, and act upon the larger system we are embedded, and part of, even though we are unaware of it as our cultural (intangible) heritage has shaped us that way.

1972 was not only the start of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, it also was the year of the widely acknowledged 'The Limits to Growth' by Jay W. Forrester, Dana & Donella Meadows, and Jørgen Randers with a 40-year update lately.

Where are we today?
Where are we heading?
How do we know that we are on track?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Saxony - A True Global (Emerging) Attractor

Saxony establishes itself as an immigration country - best saldo since 1995

Saxon State Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour and Traffic, Sven Morlok, presented on 2013-04-25 during a press talk at GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 1 the most recent developments of the immigration status (from inner Germany, and abroad) towards Saxony. The meeting also took the chance to gratulate Mr. and Mrs. Trepte a couple with Saxon origins that relocated to Saxony, after working three years in Schleswig-Holstein and in 2012 both relocating to Saxony, and working at GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 1 now.

The positive overall message that emerged from this morning on the edge of Dresden is that Saxony attracted more people in 2012 (triple the number of 2011) to move into Saxony than Saxons moving out of the state. This is especially valuable in times of the developments of overall workforce (in the tradional sense employment) due to aging demographics.

As the presented data (presentation, in German) showed the strongest inflow of people into Saxony had been from outside German. This indicates the rising awareness of the attractiveness of the region in the world on the one hand, especially in the hightech arena. On the other hand other economic dynamics in the Southern parts of the European Community, and Eastern Europe fall into place.

The cities Dresden, Leipzig, and Chemnitz which have drawn in the most incoming people, and their saldo is mostly positive, are thriving economically. Quite different is the situation on the edges of the Free State of Saxony such as the Ore Mountains, or the Lausitz region that still face a braindrain even though their industries are at high levels of quality.

Several questions by other press members in the round at the end of the presentation made clear that a deeper distinction of the returning people (presently a large number of incoming people is due to students starting their studies at of Saxony's universities), and the intentions of them may lead to further insights on acting towards future labour incentives in Saxony.

Concerning the question on the overall impact of the significantly lower transfer payments by European Community, and the finish of the Solidarpakt II in 2019 State Minister Sven Morlok drew attention to the newest report by ifo Dresden from 2012. He also mentioned that the impact on BIP (Brutto Inland Product) due to this development will be between -0.5% and -1% for Saxony (as stated by a recent research study by ifo-Institute Dresden, ifo Dresden berichtet, from page 21 on, in German)

This drew out another question on whether a specified model of an X PRIZE for job creation as proposed by  Peter Diamandis in the Huffington Post could be put to action in Saxony to not only create jobs, but also draw interest towards Saxony on global scale. At the same time enabling local companies, and uprising startups to generate future economic, wealth, social, eduction, and business innovations that once were famous for Saxony.

Saxony clearly has advantages in comparison to other regions in Germany, even though being on the edge, and only more recently capturing rising global interest. GLOBALFOUNDRIES and other internationally active, and connected players give a more than positive sign on which to build on in the coming future.

May the region further strive, and take the chance of diminishing public funding streaming into Saxony as the driver for lasting economic wealth creation across all disciplines, and levels of business.

Ralf Lippold