48 Forward – A Munich Innovation Event

Last week I attended 48 Forward.


Munich Artists went to the  48 Forward to see what innovations, trends and visions would be shared at the event held at the Freiheiz in Munich.

The event was well planned and well executed but Munich Artists wanted 48 Forward to push more boundaries and inspire innovative and visionary creative people.  The conference felt geared towards people who want to be innovative, want to be creating trends.

What would inspire visionaries?  A speaker like Simon Sinek.


Here is what I learned at 48Forward:

  1. Not all Germans are careful and worried about their privacy. The first speaker admitted that he didn’t have a security code on his phone. There are so many apps out there you can use to make this process more fun. I wanted to jump up and give him my iphone to play with so he could see how fast it was to use. I later found out that Samsung also has fingerprint security so there is no reason not to secure the phone data and your privacy.
  2.  Germans would not mind being told what to do by a computer.


53% of the people who logged in to vote at 9:39 on Thursday morning at the 48 Forward conference would have no problem having a computer tell them what to do.   (I would have an issue with this.)img_0721


3. There are quite a few hurdles to digitisation of the workplace in Germany

  1. Many Germans don’t want digital. They like paper. (Can’t fix this. I love paper too but I love digital and it works great.)
  2. Many Germans have no clue how to use digital devices including a computer.
  3. German companies and their employees are not ready for the flexibility offered by the digital world nor are the German labor unions or legal systems ready for this.(complicated but fixable.)
  4. Germans don’t have enough security on their digital devices. 64 percent of German do not have a password on their phone.
  5. I don’t remember the 5th hurdle…

4. I am bored when not engaged. This may not be news to many of you but I’m always surprised how quickly I lose interest when sitting in marathon lectures.  I was not trained to sit and quietly listen to other people discussing problems for such a long period of time.  This part of German business culture makes me jumpy and on Thursday I jumped to the back of the room, got a coffee and then stood so I wouldn’t fidget and be disruptive during the lectures on German business innovation.

Now, for their 3rd year, I would love to have:

  • Clusters organised in the beginning to make people mingle with people they don’t know maybe by industry. I am an introvert. Help me a little bit please. I have met lots of other introverts who would also love a little bit of a push.
  •  A German business problem that everyone can spend 20 hours trying to hack in an innovative and visionary way.  Have a company sponsor this and then utilise one of the hacks presented.  I love solutions and would like to see what they come up with during the day.
  • Sign up lists for break out groups that can discuss topics brought up by the speakers so you can see who is interested in what topic. You used digital to gather questions, use digital to gather people.  I really wanted to talk about this computer that is going to boss around 53 percent of the visionaries in Germany.  I had to wait until Saturday to talk to a computer expert about this.

You can see all last year’s lectures from 2016 on Youtube and they will have 2016 on soon.

NOTE: If you are looking for a place to hold an event, the Freiheiz in Munich is easy to reach and holds a few hundred people.




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