A NOTE ON THE DRAFT AGENDA
Below you will find the preliminary panel titles and discussion topics of the four festival days. The topics will be divided across our two stages, Global and Deep Dive Stage. Please note that the agenda is tentative, so timing, panel descriptions and final speaker lists are still in motion, and some panels may still switch between stages. Thank you for your understanding!
4PIONEERS Day, March 31
The 4PIONEERS Day offers a varied and rich program on two stages for and with students, entrepreneurs, business angels, investors, comapanies and pioneering personalities.
Pro & Contra Debate: Do startup valuation practices need to be reformed?
First, the moderator will provide a quick 5-minute presentation on how startups are valuated prior to their IPOs these days, and with what consequences. This will be followed by an exciting head-to-head about valuation practices.
Back to Myth, Back to Reality: The death of unicorns.
WeWork’s IPO misfire, the sinking market cap of Uber and the postponement of AirBnb’s planned IPO. Are unicorns still real? What effect will market realities have on tech investment strategies? What does a responsible startup valuation look like?
Killing Cash, Saving Money: Fintech for everybody.
How are digital wallets, mobile banking and investment services changing the way we move money, save, spend and invest? What are the positive and negative effects, and what do we not yet know? How will consumer behavior change? How do these solutions affect people who have less money? Does financial education for the masses need to change? Which situations (still) require actual human consultation and interaction?
Purpose-Driven Tech: Scaling Sustainability.
New innovations keep emerging to help us protect the planet. What needs to happen so that these startups can scale to where their products are having a global impact?
Blockchain for Humanitarian and Development Aid.
Representatives from international organizations, tech developers, others discuss ways blockchain technology is revolutionizing aid delivery, increasing efficiency, accountability, transparency – and what the risks are.
Women Who Wow!
Women who found, women who fund. Women-led businesses vastly outperform others in many VC portfolios, yet women-led startups still struggle to find financing. Can people not do math, or is something else going on? How do we fix it?
4FUTURE Day, April 1
The 4FUTURE Day is all about the next generation. Thrilling topics like Education 4.0, Gender Equality, Climate Change and Generation Z will be discussed on stage through talks, interviews and panel discussions.
Digital Patients: Digital tech, privacy and global health.
What happens to the data we create with the range of new health apps and tools that help people track and optimize their bodies. Are these apps making us more or less aware of our own needs? What are the psychological effects in the short and long term? Are these apps really making us healthier? Are we sliding into a society that prizes “optimized” people above everyone else? What are the implications for social equality?
Fast fashion and climate change:
We know fast fashion is an environmental killer. To prevent major market disruptions – which would most affect those at the very top and the very bottom – how do we ensure that fashion supply and consumer demand are both shifted in a green direction at the same time? What are the roles of tastemakers, fashion houses, clothing manufacturers, the media and others? Is external regulation necessary, or can the market regulate itself?
How To Do Even Better. Austrian public education remains excellent, but PISA studies have shown that Austrian students are falling in global rankings. Education reform has been a hot topic for decades. What is the actual problem? Is our political system holding our children back?
Teen mental development, digital technology and best practices for schools:
We know more than ever before about how the minds of young people develop, and the impacts that technology can have on their minds. What are researchers discovering, and what are the lessons for school policy and school reform — especially when it comes to the use of technology?
Tourism & Tech:
The future of travelling and moving – especially in light of climate change.
The Future of Meat, the Planet, Our Bodies, Our Souls.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN says 14.5% of annual greenhouse gas emissions created by humanity come from livestock, of which 65% come from cattle raised for milk and meat. That means everyone needs to start eating much less meat – immediately. Major players are offering lab-grown and plant-based alternatives. Are these better for the planet, and how are consumers responding? Can the supply of alternatives meet demand? An exploration of ethical and sustainability questions.
A Curriculum for Gamechangers?
The current wisdom is that parents who want their kids to have a bright future should steer them toward Science, Tech, Engineering and Math (in German: MINT). But focusing only on marks in school can stifle creativity. What should schools do and teach to best encourage children to identify and grow into their talents? Is there a gap between employment-targeted education and the knowledge you need to be a happy adult able to fulfill their social and civic duties?
Parents, schools and the state:
Whose job is it to make sure that children receive support outside of the classroom, with their homework or in subjects where they require extra support? Whose job is it to teach children manners? Who teaches children to become responsible, active participants in our democratic society?
4GAMECHANGERS Day, April 2
The 4GAMECHANGERS Day consists of sessions, panels and keynote talks from gamechangers of all ages, start-ups and companies, stakeholders from business, industry and politics, art and culture and the media industry, as well as great personalities from all over the world.
Terms and Conditions: Surveillance capitalism and the right to privacy.
Our homes are getting smart, and our phones and watches are helping us stay healthy, informed and plugged in. Where is the line between convenience and intrusion? The rights of the individual, the rights of the company, the rights of society. I agreed to your terms and conditions – does that mean my privacy protections are gone? Who has the right to track your behavior? Who makes money from our personal data – and do I get a cut? How do we participate in modern life while still having privacy?
International Smart City Revolution:
Why ever more cities are developing smart strategies, how Vienna is leading the way, and where we are going in the future. Do smart cities shape our behavior or respond to our needs?
European Democratic Discourse in the Digital Era:
What kind of public-private partnerships and policies are needed to ensure free expression, quality media diversity and trustworthy information in the age of global conglomerates and national identity politics? In Europe, most markets are regulated to ensure fairness. Regulating media content– like that on the giant “platforms” – is tricky; can they self-regulate, and what are the consequences if they don’t?
Change the Game: Publically-funded (social) media in the digital age.
Europe’s excellent national public broadcasters were founded in the wake of two world wars in which fascist governments used radio to spread propaganda, hate and lies. This taught us the value of using public (not state) funds to create independent broadcast media that offer entertainment and reliable journalism for all, free from political and commercial influence. These days, the propaganda isn’t limited to radio: It’s online, and on some of the biggest global platforms. How should societies respond?
Climate Action vs. Democracy?:
Man-mind climate change is a fact, whether or not voters “believe” in it – just like vaccines are safe, and there’s no health-related reason for most people to eat meat. How should democratic societies obtain the best outcomes when voters cannot or will not accept facts – how do we change society without resorting to undemocratic measures or coercion? Who is accountable for disinformation and misinformation, and who is responsible for combatting it – again, without violating human rights or democratic norms?
Building the Future:
Construction is responsible for huge percentages of climate change emissions, energy use, landfill waste, pollution and habitat destruction – but innovative thinkers are changing the game by re-using materials from old buildings, creating eco-friendly buildings, using green construction practices and supporting sustainable building operations. Austria’s big players and big thinkers discuss the way forward with policy makers and environmental experts.
Is Capitalism the Enemy of the Climate?
Traditional economic models don’t account for wellbeing and tend to treat future outcomes as less important than the present, making assumptions about the ability of tech advancements to make up for diminishing resources. On a limited planet, what does value really mean? Some climate activists argue that we cannot have net neutral carbon emissions by 2050 without overthrowing capitalism: It’s “the rich vs. everybody else,” as the online meme goes. We ask CEOs, investors and thought leaders to show us how the best parts of a meritocratic, competition-driven system can help us preserve the environment – and the future.
The Awakening of Sustainable E-Commerce.
Shopping online is paradise for consumers, but now we have boxes, boxes everywhere, shipping emissions and increasing concern over labor conditions that make our convenience possible. How are forward-thinking e-commerce companies changing their game to ensure social and environmental sustainability? How do we know it’s not just greenwashing?
Is There a Speed Limit for Green Mobility?
We all have to go green – NOW. Let’s assume the political will is there. Specialists from various industries share their insights into how quickly the change can be made: financially, operationally and in terms of earth’s limited resources. Something to consider: the threat of fossil fuels vs. the environmental cost of e.g. battery-operated vehicles.
4JOBS Day, April 3
For the first time in 2020, we are introducing a fourth day, “4Jobs”. We will look at the labor market and how the digital transformation has changed the way we work. On-stage discussions will focus on topics such as Future Jobs, Women in Tech, Employer Branding and Leadership in the age of rapid digitalization.
When Gen Z Gets a Job:
People aged 20 and under were born into a world of interconnectedness and smart tech, on the other hand they can seem to lack the same work ethic that earlier generations had. How does this (and doesn’t this) change the rules of engagement for employer branding and recruitment? Are Gen Z workers the result of overworked Gen X parents?
A World Without Work:
Machines can do ever more of our jobs – maybe even those that are knowledge or soft-skills based. What does a future with less jobs to do look like? How do we ensure fairness and give people purpose?
All-In, Burned Out – Or Bored Out.
Who we are at work is who we are. We take our whole histories with us to the office, and who we are depends on the context in which we work. How should managers recognize and honor the different selves of their employees in order to promote efficiency, delivery and loyalty? Early recognition programs and mental health preventive insurance and work.
21st Century Employment Outside the City.
How are technology and the changing job market affecting the so-called rural/urban divide? Can people living in small towns or rural areas still participate in future jobs? What kinds of policies do we need to see – from companies and political leaders – to encourage more highly skilled workers to live full-time in small towns?
My Big, Fat, Diverse Office.
Data shows that companies are more competitive when teams are multicultural and diverse – but hiring practices that result in bland teams continue. Indeed, many large companies would rather pay an annual fine than employ people with mental or physical disabilities. Why is that? What are regulators’ and companies’ most promising practices for creating job profiles and work places that encourage diversity?
Top Manager or Top Parent?
Do the demands placed on middle and top managers today still allow them to spend enough hours with their children each day? Can great parents have great careers? Should people who want to climb the career ladder have to sacrifice time with their families, or can there be another way?
Women in the C-Suite.
What framework conditions do companies need to put in place to ensure that equal numbers of women and men are in the funnel, and that women also rise to top leadership positions? As the saying goes, men are judged on their potential and women on proven performance – how are companies improving equality and ensuring gender diversity at the top?
The System is Lagging Behind: From apprentices to top managers.
Particularly in Austria, much has been made of the labor shortage in some sectors and the glut of graduates in others. The changing future of work requires changing the education system. How do we align these and speed up system reform and the creation of new education paths and programs?
Austrian Labor Law and the Lives of Self-Employed and Part-time Workers:
Ever more jobs are being outsourced to self-employed experts and consultants, in fields ranging from graphic design to photography to sales and much more. But many who are self-employed find the tax and social security burdens unmanageable. What reforms are needed?
Problem? Solved. The Power of Women’s Networks.
Women’s networks provide a space to share information, exchange experiences and empower each other – and bridge the power and pay gaps that are still part of our society. Why are these networks so important to their members? What makes them so effective? How can the power of these networks be brought offline? Do men do this?