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11: Challenges of the digital economy: Pioneer or fast follower

Breakout / Working Group
german language

Adapting and constantly evolving an organisation is critical for its long-term resilience. Nowadays, the speed of change is increasing drastically due to digitalisation. Is it important to lead this transformation or is a ‘fast follower’ approach sufficient? How do businesses, politics and science encounter the digital age?

Chief Executive Officer, RHI Magnesita, Vienna
Global Leader, McKinsey Analytics, McKinsey & Company, London
Austrian Federal Minister of Finance, Vienna
General Manager, Microsoft Austria, Vienna
Editor, ORF Eco, ORF - Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, Vienna Chair


Chief Executive Officer, RHI Magnesita, Vienna

Graduation in Business Administration, University Saarbrücken MBA, University of St. Gallen-HSG Marketing, Sales and Logistics, Qualitiy Management, BASF Group, Ludwigshafen Various leadership positions, BASF Group, Ludwigshafen Chief Executive Officer, Lonza Group, Basel President and Chief Executive Officer, Israel Chemicals Ltd., Tel Aviv
 Since 2017 Chief Executive Officer, RHI Magnesita, Vienna

Array Nicolaus HENKE

Global Leader, McKinsey Analytics, McKinsey & Company, London

 Nicolaus Henke, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, advises leading companies on improving decision making and performance through advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and end-to-end data enabled transformations.
 He is global leader of McKinsey Analytics, with more than 2000 analysts and translators and Chairman of QuantumBlack, a company operating at the intersection of strategy, technology and design, acquired by McKinsey in 2015. He is also a member of McKinsey's global Board, the Shareholders Council and a founding member of the Board of the Innovative Healthcare Delivery at Duke Medicine. He serves on the Dean's Advisory Council, Harvard Kennedy School.
 Nicolaus frequently speaks on big data, analytics and healthcare topics at global fora such as the World Economic Forum and Forbes.
 He graduated with distinction with a Master’s and Doctorate degree in Business from the University of Münster and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University.

Dr. Hartwig LÖGER

Austrian Federal Minister of Finance, Vienna

Bundesheer inkl. Offiziersanwärterausbildung und Pilotenaufnahmeprüfung Kundenbetreuer, AON Jauch & Hübener Versicherungsmakler GmbH, Graz Versicherungswirtschaft, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien Verkaufsleiter, Allianz Versicherung AG, Graz Assistent der Geschäftsleitung, Grazer Wechselseitige Versicherung AG, Graz Leiter Vertrieb, Stammorganisation Donau Versicherung AG, Wien Internationaler Managementlehrgang (IMEA), Universität St. Gallen Geschäftsführer, UNIQA International Versicherungs-Holding GmbH, Wien Leiter Exklusivvertrieb Konzern UNIQA Versicherungen AG, Wien Vorsitzender des Vorstands (CEO), UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG

Dr. Dorothee RITZ

General Manager, Microsoft Austria, Vienna

Journalist, Süddeutsche Zeitung Studies, Law, University Munich Journalist, Gruner + Jahr, Madrid LL.M., Master in European Community Law, University of London Trainee, Bertelsmann AG, Gütersloh Business Manager, VP AOL and Bertelsmann New Media, AOL Bertelsmann Online Europa GmbH and BAG New Media, Hamburg Promotion in European Online Law (Dr. jur.), University Würzburg Director Business Affairs and Member, Executive Board AOL Australia, AOL Bertelsmann, Online Services, Sydney Executive Vice President Bertelsmann Capital, Strategic Alliances & Marketing and Board Member Bertelmann Capital Division, Bertelsmann AG, Munich, London Founding Member of the German Xchanging Business, Xchanging GmbH, Frankfurt Director MSN and General Manager, Online Services Group, Microsoft Deutschland GmbH, Munich General Manager Deutschland, Consumer & Online and Member, Executive Board Microsoft GmbH, Microsoft Deutschland GmbH, Munich Senior Director Business Strategy, Microsoft International

Mag. Katinka NOWOTNY

Editor, ORF Eco, ORF - Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, Vienna

 Katinka Nowotny is an engaged and enthusiastic TV journalist based in Vienna, Austria. She has worked for two decades for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF, reporting and producing documentaries for the foreign news magazine "Weltjournal". Currently she is working for the economics program "Eco". She also regularly produces English-language reports on Austria for CNN "World View".
 Katinka grew up in Cairo, New York and Vienna. In her professional career, she has repeatedly reported from crisis zones: North Korea, Sarajevo during the Balkan wars, the war in Kosovo, Ground Zero, the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, and from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She now specializes in reports on the current economic stories, successful Austrian companies, innovative ideas and personal finance.
 Katinka studied economics and sociology at the University of Vienna and then received a master`s degree in journalism at New York University. She has worked for ABC News and the German TV network ZDF. Since 1991, she produces and reports for various news magazines at ORF. She has received numerous prizes and awards in Austria and abroad. In 2005, Katinka became started as one of the first women to do her own camera work for her television reports. "The most important point in my job is to show a lot of respect to the people I encounter and to listen carefully to every nuance of their story", she says.
 Katinka is married to a newspaper journalist and has two children. She loves rowing and mountaineering in her free time.

Economic Symposium

show timetable


08:00 - 10:30Charity Soccer Match – Good Game, Good PurposeSocial
12:00 - 12:30OpeningPlenary
12:30 - 13:30“I have a dream”: I dream of a diverse and resilient EuropePlenary
14:00 - 15:30The future of data economyPlenary
16:30 - 18:00ecoplus and “So schmeckt Niederösterreich” Lower Austria EveningSocial
18:00 - 19:30Innovation 101: The “diversity” factorPlenary


06:00 - 07:00Europe BreakfastPartner
06:00 - 07:00Swiss Country Breakfast: RicolaPlenary
06:00 - 07:00Swiss Country Breakfast: logitechPlenary
06:30 - 09:30Talk on the Mountain – Diversity: A moral responsibility or a tool to maximise profitsPartner
07:00 - 08:30Agility and resilience: Superpowers to handle complexityPlenary
09:00 - 11:30Breakout Session 01: Digital Future Game: Requirements for a digital societyBreakout
09:00 - 11:30Breakout Session 02: An unpredictable future – Digitalisation in individual trafficBreakout
09:00 - 11:30Breakout Session 03: Digital leadership – How states and businesses lead through the digital transformation successfullyBreakout
09:00 - 11:30Breakout Session 04: Demographic change and its effects on the future working lifeBreakout
09:00 - 11:30Breakout Session 05: Republic of fake news – How civil society and businesses become resilient to manipulationBreakout
09:00 - 11:30Breakout Session 06: Class conflict or social partnership in wage negotiations: What guarantees stability and flexibility?Breakout
09:00 - 11:30Breakout Session 07: On the green grass and in business: If you don’t shoot, you will not score.Breakout
09:00 - 11:30Breakout Session 08: Specialisation and diversification – What businesses can learn from natural sciencesBreakout
09:00 - 11:30Breakout Session 09: The rising of “TECHNIUM”: Is it real, fantasy or artificial?Breakout
11:30 - 13:00Lunch receptionSocial
11:30 - 12:45WERIETY LUNCH LAB: Innovate diversity and co-create new concepts for resiliencePartner
13:00 - 15:30Breakout Session 10: Playmaker or match ball – Resilience in times of disruptionBreakout
13:00 - 15:30Breakout Session 11: Challenges of the digital economy: Pioneer or fast followerBreakout
13:00 - 15:30Breakout Session 12: Transparency instead of discretion? HR as a key for equal payBreakout
13:00 - 15:30Breakout Session 13: Strategic big data management: How to deal with the “new oil”?Breakout
13:00 - 15:30Breakout Session 14: We don’t need no education! Economic education as a business-location factorBreakout
13:00 - 15:30Breakout Session 15: Blockchain and the new cryptoeconomics: Are economy and society facing the next revolution?Breakout
13:00 - 15:30Breakout Session 16: Cyber security – Is resilience an utopia in a digital economy?Breakout
13:00 - 15:30Breakout Session 17: Differences that make a difference: Cooperatives vs. PLCsBreakout
13:00 - 15:30Breakout Session 18: Start-up spirit @ big corporation – how much is too much?Breakout
15:30 - 17:30WU CryptonightPartner
16:00 - 20:00Vienna Wednesday society of trade – Alpbach edition: How digital is our work?Partner
16:15 - 17:45Working in the age of overload – Better thrive than survivePlenary


Magenta NightSocial


06:00 - 07:00Breakfast ClubPartner
06:30 - 07:30“Kater” BreakfastPartner
07:00 - 08:30New mobility: Electric, shared or autonomous?Plenary
09:00 - 10:30Shock resistance: Downfall, intervention, resurrection?Plenary
14:30 - 18:00Economic DialoguePartner