It was 18 years ago, that a Berliner bought the castle with the morbid romantic appeal, Schloss Beesenstedt, in the middle of Saxony-Anhalt and far away from everything. The video for Rammstein’s „Liebe ist für alle da“ as well as parts of the movie „Honey Baby“ of the Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki where shot here. MLove conference took part there for the fifth time and the tech community knows and values the mixture of Bohemian hippie culture, inspiring talks, vegan slow food, all spiced up with a pinch of Rave-nostalgia.
We were invited to talk about our initiative and where more than happy to take part in a very well-done panel: „Maker Movement & Internet of Things“ with Prof. Reto Wettach, Design Director IXDS and inventor of Fritzing boxes that should be available for every pupil from grade 7 on, Dr. Alexander Pöschl, Head of Corporate development, Conrad Electronic – THE shop for makers and DIY craftsmen, René Herzer, Founder of MaketechX and CEO of neulandherzer GmbH, Sylvie Chin, CEO ClearKarma who is convinced that you business can only be made with love and responsibility. Extraordinary and interesting: in the middle of her presentation, there was a meditation pause! And, last but not least, Jackson Bond CPO & Co-Founder, relay, who presented „Wunderbar“:
When Qype founder Stephan Uhrenbacher asked if all this was not only something nice to play with, but something „tangible“, i.e. that something that can be monetarized will come out of this, everyone was on the same page: „Yes! Nowadays, you don’t need a lot of money to create prototypes, but even if we do not much more than play it means that we are dealing with technology, and maybe a useful development will be the result of this play. Either way, if we only think about making money first, innovative ideas will never come out of this. Without leisure, fun and freedom, there is no creativity and hence, no business.
In the castle, we listened to a Cisco talk about smart cities…where everyone is interlinked. In this kind of city, you are not alone anymore. Everyone knows, what, when and how you’re doing something. The Cisco representative: „the prohibition of cameras in the cities is still an issue“ — *uhem*….Cisco argues that many resources could be used more efficiently, the trash could be organized in a more clever way as well as the traffic. Yes, fine and fair, but the thought that they want to optimize everything and everyone (even our jogging round in the park that can be analyzed and optimized) gives us the shivers. It makes me think of one of my favorite authors, Michel Houellebecq and his novel form 2006, „The Elementary Particles“. In the end, everything is smoothened over, even the sufferings about sex and love have vanished in the smart new world. How convenient.
Priya Prakash, CEO & Founder of design 4 Social Change, has quite a different perspective on this matter. She says, that we (in the Western, modern world), should not forget that in our world, the biggest part of people are not living a glossy „Getty-Images“ life, but have to fight in order to survive and find solutions all by themselves. She calls on everyone to make change possible directly at home, in the immediate environment. She knows that it is important that people do not lose the capacity to repair, to change and to invent and, above all, the will to do so. This is why she founded a workshop in the middle of her suburb in London, an area with serious problems and issues. This is how she changes her own world and the one that surrounds her, day by day. She is my heroine of the day and I hope to win her as an ambassador for MaketechX one day.
The evening culminated in a lavish dinner in the ballroom with a great singer and very charming, pretty, stylish and energetic ladies, who are, fundamentally, the event itself. I was seated next to the very funny Sascha Pallenberg, founder of Mobilegeeks, from Taipeh, who was happy when I finally made space that he was able to talk to the beautiful Anne Philippi from „Krautreporter“, who was sitting to my left.
An opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world in a very nice atmosphere. Openness and transparency is a fundamental principle. Philistines and stiffs have to stay out. Some of the subjects are not brand new – others are. The vegan food tasted delicious.