The OMR Festival for the Digital Universe took place in Hamburg again this year. And we from Format D were there! In search of new inspiration, exciting industry insights, and the trends of our time and the future, we experienced and took away a lot during the two days of the event.

Since 2011, the Online Marketing Rockstars conference has established itself as Europe's largest platform for knowledge and inspiration for the digital and marketing scene. It offers up to 70,000 visitors a colorful, two-day program of keynotes, panel discussions, trade shows, seminars, and masterclasses.

This year, two topics were particularly prominent: Artificial Intelligence and sustainability.

#The AI Transformation

The columnist, author, and podcaster Sascha Lobo spoke, among other things, about the opportunities and challenges that come with the use of artificial intelligence. According to him, Germany must continue to evolve, especially in the technology and web sectors, to successfully master the AI transformation. He gave a clear mandate to the attendees from the marketing and communications industry to be courageous and enable investments in this area, for example, by establishing AI departments in companies.

Markus Lanz and Richard David Precht discussed the question of how people change in the age of digital intelligence and highlighted the differences between humans and AI. While emotions always play a certain role in human decisions, AI can only recognize and respond to feelings through affective computing. However, they also discussed possible risks that can arise from the increased use and expansion of AI, such as job losses and the threat of deepfake forgeries.


#Digital Technologies in Europe

Like many other speakers, Hanno Renner, founder and CEO of Personio, criticized the fact that the digital technology sector still occupies too little space in the overall economy of the EU. Building and expanding European technology companies also gives us the opportunity to spread European values to the world and become more independent of major powers like the USA and China. Joe Kaeser, former CEO of Siemens, shared a similar view. He spoke about the EU requirements for companies, the migration of organizations to other markets, and the urgent need for technical solutions for pressing issues such as maintaining economic strength, preserving prosperity, and fighting climate change.


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#Transformation & Environmental Protection

Maja Göpel, economist and transformation researcher, also emphasized the importance of involvement from entities such as politics. In her view, to preserve prosperity and supply security in Germany, there is a need for balanced measures that also align with the rhythm of nature. For this transformation and the underlying structural change, the fields of economy, finance, and government must focus more on impact investing, enabling actions and economic activities that contribute to global environmental protection goals.

Luisa Neubauer, one of Germany's most well-known climate activists, made a special appeal to the marketing audience. To truly make a difference, she urged everyone to carefully question the company they invest their labor and efforts in and the associated values. Only then can greenwashing be avoided and a sustainable working and economic world be built and supported in the long run.

For us, it was particularly exciting and enjoyable to see the diversity of the topics and the consensus that can still be found. For those who are curious, some of the talks and keynotes can be found on Youtube.