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Innovation 101: The “diversity” factor

Plenary / Panel
english language

Diversity – from gender to ethnicity, from cognitive abilities to interdisciplinarity – is a key factor for solving new, complex problems and for achieving innovation. Why is diversity key to innovation? Where does diversity reach its limits? These are the questions that will be answered in the evening session.


Professor and Chair in Digital Economy, University of Surrey, Guildford Key Note
Partner and Diversity & Inclusion Consulting Lead, Deloitte Australia, Sydney
Director of Human Resources, KUKA AG, Augsburg
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, 361 Extended Reality GmbH and Inspired World GmbH; PhD Student, University of Munich
Head, Institute for Strategic Management, WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business), Vienna Chair

Prof. Annabelle GAWER

Professor and Chair in Digital Economy, University of Surrey, Guildford

 A French citizen, Annabelle is a graduate of MIT and Stanford and Université Pierre & Marie Curie Paris 6. An award-winning researcher, author, and educator, Professor Annabelle Gawer is an expert on digital platforms, and on platform-based innovative business ecosystems. She is a highly-cited author of two books (Platform Leadership, and Platform, Markets and Innovation) and over a dozen articles in top international journals. Annabelle has great experience in teaching strategy, high-tech strategy, digital platforms economics and strategy and innovation, and reliably receives top lecturer evaluations. She consults top management in major international corporations in the US and Europe, as well as to digital start-ups and internet businesses. Prof. Gawer advises the European Commission, the UK Parliament House of Lords, and the OECD on issues related to the future of ICT research directions in Europe and on the question of regulation of online platforms.


Partner and Diversity & Inclusion Consulting Lead, Deloitte Australia, Sydney

 Juliet leads Deloitte Australia's Diversity and Inclusion Consulting practice and co-leads the Leadership practice. She has over 25 years' experience in human capital, management and law. Juliet works with Executives and global organisations to improve workplace performance through cultural change, focussing on D&I, leadership and culture. Her latest book, the 2016 bestseller entitled ‘Which two heads are better than one?: How diverse teams create breakthrough ideas and make smarter decisions’, helps leaders understand how to systematically create diverse thinking and take team performance to the next level.


Director of Human Resources, KUKA AG, Augsburg

 After graduation from technical University in Vienna where she studied computer science Silvia Buchinger has worked in different positions in IT and HR at Alcatel und also lead the IT department. From Alcatel Austria she moved on to Hewlett Packard where she started as HR Director for Austria and later on held various international HR positions. After that she joined Telekom Austria Group with the responsibility to build up a corporate HR function and to implement state of the art HR processes.
 Since June 2015 she is leading Human Resources at KUKA AG in Augsburg and responsible for all corporate HR topics.

MA Jonathan SIERCK

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, 361 Extended Reality GmbH and Inspired World GmbH; PhD Student, University of Munich

2013 Co-Founder, Inspired World GmbH
2014 BA, Munich School of Philosophy, Munich
2016 MA, Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich
2017 Co-Founder, 361 Extended Reality GmbH
2017 PhD Program under supervision of Prof. Harald Lesch, University of Munich

Dr. Univ.-Prof. Werner H. HOFFMANN

Head, Institute for Strategic Management, WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business), Vienna

1988 Sponsion zum Magister der Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften an der Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
1988-2011 Geschäftsführer, Österreichisches Controller-Institut
1990 Promotion zum Doktor der Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
seit 1991 Gründer und Geschäftsführender Gesellschafter, Contrast Management-Consulting
2001 Habilitation zum Universitätsdozenten, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
seit 2001 Vorsitzender der Geschäftsführung, Contrast Management-Consulting
seit 2008 Professor für Unternehmensführung, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
seit 2011 Institutsvorstand, Institut für Strategisches Management, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
seit 2013 Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrats, Österreichisches Controller Institut

Economic Symposium

show timetable


10:00 - 12:30Charity Soccer Match - Good Game, Good PurposeSocial
14:00 - 14:30OpeningPlenary
14:30 - 15:30"I have a dream": I dream of a diverse and resilient EuropePlenary
16:00 - 17:30The future of data economyPlenary
18:30 - 20:00ecoplus and "So schmeckt Niederösterreich" Lower Austria EveningSocial
20:00 - 21:30Innovation 101: The "diversity" factorPlenary


08:00 - 09:00Europe BreakfastPartner
08:00 - 09:00Swiss Country Breakfast: RicolaPlenary
08:00 - 09:00Swiss Country Breakfast: logitechPlenary
08:30 - 11:30Talk on the Mountain - Diversity: A moral responsibility or a tool to maximise profitsPartner
09:00 - 10:30Agility and resilience: Superpowers to handle complexityPlenary
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 01: Digital Future Game: Requirements for a digital societyBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 02: An unpredictable future - Digitalisation in individual trafficBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 03: Digital leadership - How states and businesses lead through the digital transformation successfullyBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 04: Demographic change and its effects on the future working lifeBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 05: Republic of fake news - How civil society and businesses become resilient to manipulationBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 06: Class conflict or social partnership in wage negotiations: What guarantees stability and flexibility?Breakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 07: On the green grass and in business: If you don’t shoot, you will not score.Breakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 08: Specialisation and diversification - What businesses can learn from natural sciencesBreakout
11:00 - 13:30Breakout Session 09: The rising of "TECHNIUM": Is it real, fantasy or artificial?Breakout
13:30 - 15:00Lunch receptionSocial
13:30 - 14:45WERIETY LUNCH LAB: Innovate diversity and co-create new concepts for resiliencePartner
15:00 - 17:30Breakout Session 10: Playmaker or match ball - Resilience in times of disruptionBreakout
15:00 - 17:30Breakout Session 11: Challenges of the digital economy: Pioneer or fast followerBreakout
15:00 - 17:30Breakout Session 12: Transparency instead of discretion? HR as a key for equal payBreakout
15:00 - 17:30Breakout Session 13: Strategic big data management: How to deal with the "new oil"?Breakout
15:00 - 17:30Breakout Session 14: We don't need no education! Economic education as a business-location factorBreakout
15:00 - 17:30Breakout Session 15: Blockchain and the new cryptoeconomics: Are economy and society facing the next revolution?Breakout
15:00 - 17:30Breakout Session 16: Cyber security - Is resilience an utopia in a digital economy?Breakout
15:00 - 17:30Breakout Session 17: Differences that make a difference: Cooperatives vs. PLCsBreakout
15:00 - 17:30Breakout Session 18: Start-up spirit @ big corporation - how much is too much?Breakout
17:30 - 19:30WU CryptonightPartner
18:00 - 22:00Vienna Wednesday society of trade - Alpbach edition: How digital is our work?Partner
18:15 - 19:45Working in the age of overload - Better thrive than survivePlenary
22:00 - 00:00Magenta NightSocial


08:00 - 09:00Breakfast ClubPartner
08:30 - 09:30"Kater" BreakfastPartner
09:00 - 10:30New mobility: Electric, shared or autonomous?Plenary
11:00 - 12:30Shock resistance: Downfall, intervention, resurrection?Plenary
16:30 - 20:00Economic DialoguePartner