Mobility and climate protection provide theme for acatech Annual Meeting
Berlin, 15 October 2019
How can technology and innovation help to protect our environment and climate? This was the key question addressed at acatech’s 2019 Annual Meeting.
In his introductory speech, acatech President Karl-Heinz Streibich underlined the following message:
We need a new phase of social and technological progress that enables humanity to grow and enjoy higher living standards without destroying the very things that make this possible.
acatech President Karl-Heinz Streibich
In his keynote address, Helge Braun, Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks, stressed that:
Current technological advances offer huge opportunities for adding new value in industry, for increased mobility and for a more sustainable future. We must shape this transformation together, with ingenuity, by embracing the future, and through a close dialogue between science, industry, government and civil society. acatech plays an important role in this context.
Helge Braun, Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks
Technological innovation and social progress
Whatever the field, be it mobility, digitalisation and AI, the energy transition or the supply of resources, it became clear during the course of the evening that sustainability and climate protection will only ever be compatible with growth, prosperity and decent jobs if technological innovation goes hand in hand with social progress. acatech is working with a range of partners to develop scenarios and recommendations to this end.
If the technological sciences can manage to attract both older people with their wealth of experience and younger people with their creative and innovative new ideas, then I for one will have no concerns about our country’s future.
acatech President Dieter Spath
Mobility and climate protection survey
Renate Köcher and Henning Kagermann addressed the Annual Meeting on the subjects of climate protection and mobility. Ms. Köcher presented a representative survey on mobility and climate protection carried out on behalf of acatech, which found that although people in Germany take climate change very seriously, they also want attractive and affordable mobility solutions in both urban and rural areas. As in other areas of industry and our everyday lives, smarter solutions will be key to making this possible.
Henning Kagermann stressed that you can never have a mobility transition without an energy transition. He highlighted both digitalisation and decarbonisation in the shape of alternative propulsion systems and fuels as two potentially disruptive challenges.
Winners of the 2019 PUNKT prize for technology journalism
The winners of the PUNKT prize for technology journalism were selected at the Annual Meeting. This year, the prizes were awarded to a team from broadcasters Bayerischer Rundfunk for their “Smart-Home-WG” (smart home flat share) experiment, and to photographers Volker Crone and Hannes Jung. The awards speech was given by Christiane Riedel, Chief Operating Officer at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (Center for Art and Media).
The winning entry from the team at Bayerischer Rundfunk involved an experiment to see whether a €350/month smart home flat share was possible and how secure it would be. It included content on YouTube and Instagram.
In his photo series “Vom Ende der Dunkelheit” (From the End of Darkness), freelance photographer Volker Crone shows how people use artificial light in different areas of their everyday lives and work. The result is that they seemingly no longer depend on the rhythms of the Sun.
Volker Crone: Vom Ende der Dunkelheit (From the End of Darkness)
For the first time, acatech’s PUNKT photography grant invited entries on a specific theme. Applicants were asked to present concepts for addressing artificial intelligence through the medium of photography. Hannes Jung’s photography project won over the judges by asking how the virtual world is changing the nature of love, a question that is both personal and socially relevant. Jung will use the grant from acatech to explore this question more closely by travelling to Japan. Once there, his plans include an investigation of the dating simulation game Love Plus, in which players engage in a relationship with a virtual partner.
Impressions of the meeting