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Futurist Gerd Leonhard’s Keynote at IAAMobility 2021: Digitisation, Decarbonization and Reformation

This was Gerd Leonhard's first large REAL-LIFE (i.e. not virtual) event since late February 2020 (when the Covid19 crisis started). It was a blast for him to be back on the stage, and the location / stage was amazing as well (check out the gifs below). The talk was held in what Gerd now calls The Future Show format — extra wide designs that look amazing and really make a difference for the audience (see more gigs like this, here)

At this event, Gerd remembered eight years ago when he and a few other futurists were invited to a big event near Stuttgart, for a leading German car company. They talked about electric cars, shared vehicles, autonomous driving, and the future of mobility. And in the room of some 50 leading executives … they were practically laughed-off. Who would want to share their car? In Germany? Share my car… you must be joking! Not own a car? What?? And yet, here he was eight years later, and the biggest topic at this event was NOT the car – it was mobility as a service (MaaS). Turns out, after all, FORESIGHT is mission-critical.

As Gerd keeps saying: Business as usual is dead… or dying. And again, that is scary, but it's also invigorating. Obviously the people who run this show have started to understand this; otherwise, it wouldn't be called IAA Mobility.

This was also one of the first talks on a new topic that Gerd calls ‘The DDR' (German readers will understand the pun): Digitization, Decarbonisation, and Reformation (defined as “the art of making an improvement, change your behavior, changing the structure*) – this is quickly becoming a core topic for him (see Gerd's new talk in Moscow, a week later).

Watch the full keynote on ‘The future of mobility' below, or watch / download it on Vimeo.

“Science fiction is becoming science fact. The flying taxi – that's it's going to show up here at this event shortly. The fully recyclable car, also presented there by BMW: that sounds like straight from science fiction…”

“As machine learning is exploding, on the flip side, we have this: we have the things that make us human. Try for machine to do those things. To have empathy? For a machine? Machine doesn't exist. Values, consciousness?… This is our future – awesome humans on top of amazing technology”

Listen to the audio-only version of this keynote on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts and Spotify


Watch Gerd Leonhard's new film: The Good Future

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