Leading in the Digital Age



Disruptive technologies, global interconnectedness, big data, exponential change - these are major trends of the Digital Age. They change the very fabric of our societies and our economies – and they change the way we lead: Thanks to digital technology and social medialeaders are more exposed. But not only that: In the future, we will also lead organizations fit for the Digital Age? And how can we make sure they are places for people to thrive?



  • Markus Witte
    Markus Witte

    Markus Witte is CEO and founder of Babbel, the world’s leading language learning app. He is responsible for business management marketing and product development. Babbel has more than 1,000,000 paying subscribersand employs more than 450 people in Berlinand New York.

    Before Babbel, Markus worked at Native Instruments, a leading manufacturer of Music Software. Markus began his career in 1998 as a lecturer at New York University, following almost two years working as a lecturer at the Institute for Cultural Studies of the Humboldt University in Berlin. His special interest is media and communication development and the future of learning. He started programming computers in 1984.
    Markus: “We are a learning company on the inside as much as on the outside. A team in which each and every person is constantly learning new things is incredibly thrilling.”

    Twitter: @babbel | Website:

  • Annika Grosse
    Annika Grosse

    Annika Grosse has been with IBM since 1997. She has a background in Business and IT Consulting and became Executive Partner in 2011. Three years later, Annika took over her current responsibility as Leader for Cognitive Business Solutions in Europe (GBS). Her industry background is primarily in Banking, Insurance, Healthcare and Public. She is passionate about successfully implementing innovative and value-creating strategies and solutions, as well as accompanying businesses through their transformational journey. Originally studying Computer and Information Sciences, Annika also has an M.B.A. as well as a Diploma in Strategy & Innovation from the University of Oxford.

    Twitter: @annikagrosse | Website:

  • Adrian Reyna
    Adrian Reyna

    A leader in the fight for immigrant justice in the United States, Adrian started organizing immigrant communities in 2010 when he joined a local group organizing young people at the University of Texas at Austin. Now, six years later, Adrian leads the digital and technology programs at United We Dream, the largest organization of immigrant youth in the US. He is a key strategist for the organization’s membership engagement. Adrian specializes in movement technology, and develops strategies that leverage digital media, communications, and technology to achieve movement goals. With 5 years of experience under his belt, Adrian has developed technology applications and digital strategies that have impacted thousands ofyoung immigrant people to find community in the country they call home.

    Twitter: @isaiasreyna | Website:

  • Kübra Gümüşay
    Kübra Gümüşay

    Kübra Gümüşay, born in 1988 in Hamburg, is a freelance journalist, blogger and social media consultant – recently based at the University of Oxford. She writes and speaks on the topics internet, feminism, racism, Islam and politics. She co-founded the ‘Zahnräder’ network for social entrepreneurship (www. in 2010 and in 2011 her blog ‘’ was nominated for the Grimme online award. In 2013, Kübra co-launched the hashtag and action group #schauHin against everyday racism, and consequently the hashtag #ausnahmslos against sexism and racism in 2016.

    Twitter: @kuebra


  • William Binney
    William Binney

    William Binney is a former high-level National Security Agency intelligence of cial who, afterhis 2001 retirement after 30 years, blew the whistle on NSA surveillance programs. His outspoken criticism of the NSA during the George W. Bush administration made him the subject of FBI investigations that included a raid on his home in 2007. Even before Edward Snowden’s NSA whistle blowing, William publicly revealed that NSA had access to telecommunications companies’ domestic and international billing records, and that since 9/11 the agency has intercepted some 15 to 20 trillion domestic communications. The Snowden disclosures confirmed many of the surveillance dangers William — without the benefit of documents — had been warning about under both the Bush and Obama administrations.

  • Lawrence Lessig
    Lawrence Lessig

    Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School. Prior to re-joining the Harvard faculty, Lessig was a professor at Stanford Law School, where he founded the school’s Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. Lessig serves on the Board of the AXA Research Fund, and on the advisory boards of Creative Commons and the Sunlight Foundation. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries. Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale.

    Twitter: @lessig| Website:

  • Peter Bostelmann
    Peter Bostelmann

    Peter is on a mission to inspire a culture of mindfulness in organizations. He is the Founder and Director of the Global Mindfulness Practice at SAP, the world’s largest provider of business software with over 83,000 employees globally. Along with a global team of 25 internal mindfulness teachers and many more volunteers, Peter brings mindfulness-based trainings to SAP employees around the world. Thousands of employees have already been trained and Peter has demonstrated measured business impacts including a 200% return on investment and over 5,000 colleagues are on the training waitlist. Peter is also an executive coach and trained as an Industrial Engineer at Hamburg University. He brings more than 20 years of international business experience as a Consultant, Program Manager and Executive with SAP to his current efforts to bring mindfulness programs to scale globally.

    Twitter: @PeterBostelmann | Website:

  • Joana Breidenbach
    Joana Breidenbach

    Joana has a PhD in cultural anthropology and is the author of numerous books on the cultural effects of globalisation. Including Tanz der Kulturen (Rowohlt 2000), Maxikulti (Campus 2008), and Seeing Culture Everywhere (University of Washington Press, 2009). Joana is co-founder of, Germanys largest donation platform. In 2010 she founded the betterplace lab, a think and do tank researching the use of digital technologies for the common good.

    In line with her interest in digital-social innovations, she supports initiatives such as the Redi School, CRCLR and Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft.

    Joana also invests in mission-driven start-ups such as Stadtfarm, DeepL and


  • Jackson Dyer


12:30pm - 2pm Registration
2pm - 3:30pm Session 1
Stephan Balzer Welcome
Annika Grosse Leading Algorithms
William Binney An effective alternative to mass surveillance
TED Talk Tim Leberecht 4 ways to build a human company in the age of machines
Joana Breidenbach New Work needs Inner Work
Peter Bostelmann Mindfulness – The unexpected organizational revolution
3:30pm - 4:30pm Break
4:30pm Session 2
Jackson Dyer Performance
Tobias Leipprand Welcome Back
Kübra Gümüsay Organized Love
Markus Witte From leading to learning
Adrian Reyna Leadership from the Margins
Lawrence Lessig Political leadership in times of digital polpulism
Tobias Leipprand & Stephan Balzer Thank you and Goodbye
4:30pm End




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