May 9 & 10, 2017, ZURICH, SWITZERLAND


#DEF16 - The Speaker-Line-up with Erik Qualman, Douglas Rushkoff and Mr. Andreas Krebs


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The Digital Economics Forum (DEF) has announced three more highly renowned speakers for the 2016 Forum in Zurich. The American authors and visionaries Douglas Rushkoff and Erik Qualman form a perfect blend of thought leadership, digital trends and innovation, while at the same time taking a critical look at the digital age and network-specific topics. In his emotive and interactive presentation, Andreas Krebs, a German and Chairman of MERZ Pharma, reveals the enormous untapped potential hidden in large companies. 

The media theorist, author and visionary Douglas Rushkoff has shaped network-specific topics such as viral media, digital natives and social currency since the 1990s, and is taking an increasingly critical stance on many current developments. He has authored 12 books on the relationship between media, technology, society and the economy, including the works "Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus - How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity", "Program or Be Programmed", "Life Inc", "Coercion", "Cyberia" and "Media Virus". His documentaries "The Merchants of Cool", "The Persuaders" and "Digital Nation" explore the changing technologies and media that are defining marketing and the business world. Rushkoff is a forceful advocate of human values in the digital age and is regarded as a protagonist of the cyberpunk movement. In 2003, Rushkoff was briefly a keyboardist with the British-American techno and rock band Psychic TV.

Erik Qualman is the author of the international bestseller "Socialnomics". His 2012 release "Digital Leader" earned him the runner-up accolade in the Most Likeable Author Award behind Harry Potter author JK Rowling. Qualman highlights the characteristics of leadership in today’s digital world and explains how ‘word of mouth’ gains global proportions and becomes ‘world of mouth’. Qualman is an entertaining speaker who succeeds in demystifying the topic of big data and shows how leading organizations and companies achieve excellent results by transforming unstructured data into utilizable information. He demonstrates how big data needs to be used in synergy with small data (through the development of customer relationships) in order to achieve optimum outcomes. Qualman is one of the Top 50 MBA professors and sits on the board of directors of a number of companies.

Andreas Krebs has made it as a German onto the executive board of a major American player in the pharmaceutical industry. Besides his role as Chairman of MERZ Pharma, Krebs runs his own venture capital business Cologne Invest together with a friend and partner. The company invests in young start-ups and growth companies in many industries as well as the New Economy. On his core topic of "Healthcare 4.0 – digital strategies for a booming industry" he reveals in a highly emotive, interactive and practice-oriented manner the incredible hidden potential of employee and CEO commitment in companies. This mainly because – according to studies – some 60% of employees "just do their job" and a mere 5 – 10% are willing to go that extra mile, even though they have abundant energy to invest in their leisure time.

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