UnConference 2018: Collaboration, convergence and co-creation in action

Let´s make it clear: the technologies and dynamics that will shape future energy systems are already here. There is no turning back; disruption through digitalisation and the convergence of industries, technologies and people lies ahead of us. This became especially evident today at our fourth annual UnConference in Berlin.

Around 400 guests from our global innovation network joined us to hear and share thought-provoking insights on unlocking innovation from top industry business leaders and experts. Taking place at Café Moskau, our network of business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and startups from various industries had the opportunity to engage with our investment portfolio of over 80 global start-ups and explore how their innovative solutions can grow and transform their own businesses. Multipic UnConference 2018 The UnConference starts with the innogy Innovation Hub vision; that the energy industry will be fundamentally redefined as new technologies, business models and consumption patterns begin to replace the existing system. In the future world of decentralisation, digitalisation and democratisation, we have identified four focus areas that we believe to be the main drivers of disruption. For this year’s UnConference we started by posing a question in each area:

Digital Disruption and Artificial Intelligence: Will the digital revolution and artificial intelligence make utilities redundant?

Moderated by Thomas Birr, SVP Innovation & Business Transformation, innogy SE and CEO of the innogy Innovation Hub, Tim Kock, Co-Founder of the US based start-up Jungle AI and Nicolai Wadstrom, Founder and CEO of BootstrapLabs and applied AI investor, the panel discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by emerging technologies and their potential impact on the decentralised energy system of the future. The panellists agreed that, despite popular belief, the largest issue in AI is not about collecting massive amounts of data, but the quality of data. The organisations that can solve this are well positioned to drive innovation.

Utilities that don’t figure out AI simply won’t survive, and they won’t be allowed to operate by governments.

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Nicolai Wadstrom, Founder and CEO of BootstrapLabs

Interview: Thomas Birr about the impact of the UnConference

Smart and Connected: At what point will our living and working environment begin to govern our lives?

Coen van Oostrom, Founder and CEO at EDGE Technologies and CEO of OVG Real Estate, in a conversation with Alina Prawdzik, Head of ‘Smart & Connected’ at the innogy Innovation Hub, discussed the latest innovations in the property technology industry. According to Mr. van Oostrom, the industry is “at a tipping point”, where developers will soon be able to create innovative buildings that are more sustainable, safe and secure, that can create healthier lifestyles, and empower and inspire tenants to do their best work. All of this is done, of course, with the use of new technology.

There’s a new generation; it’s not just 25-year olds but older generations as well that want to feel empowered in their space. Leveraging new technology and data, we can create a positive feedback loop where we can learn from our own buildings to achieve this.

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Coen Van Oostrom, Founder and CEO at EDGE Technologies and CEO of OVG Real Estate

Check out our Social Wall from the UnConference

Curious about what the participants and guests said about the event? Find all comments from the Social Media here on our social wall.

Human-Machine Interaction: Machines become more human than humans.

Trent McConaghy, founder of Ocean Protocol & BigchainDB and Marco Richardson, CEO and founder of Inclusify, joined Kerstin Eichmann, Head of Machine Economy at the innogy Innovation Hub, to examine the current state of human-machine interaction, including the “internet of things” (IOT), artificial intelligence, and blockchain. In the future, the energy industry will be completely automated and decentralised with little human interruption, they argued.

We can think of autonomous machines as nature 2.0. We are used to autonomous trees. We will get used to autonomous machines, too.

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Trent McConaghy, Founder of Ocean Protocol & BigchainDB

Cyber Security: Is tech advancement making it easier to bring down the energy system?

Moderated by Christof Kortz, Head of Strategic Cyber Security Venturing at the innogy Innovation Hub, Thomas Krauhausen, Head of Cyber Security at innogy SE and Liran Tancman, primary investor and board member of Aperio Systems, considered the implications of new technology on energy security systems. In order to ensure protection of future energy networks, start-ups and large corporations need to work together. While this is easier said than done both Mr. Tancman and Mr. Krauhausen noted that partnerships will be the only way forward and establishing clear lines of communication will be critical.

The most important thing it to set expectations and agreed upon KPIs.

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Christof Kortz, Head of Strategic Cyber Security Venturing at the innogy Innovation Hub

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