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Anna Stadie und Sven Wiesner, Neon Gold Innovations GmbH, Initiatoren von SayWhat?! © Yvonne Scheller

"SayWhat?" - fit for future with digital changers

Best cases show desire for digital change in urban and traditional companies

Smaller companies can become hubs of digital change and set up innovation processes faster and more efficiently than larger, possibly rival firms. Size matters and can give them a cutting edge. The event series “SayWhat?” held on June 13, 2019 under the theme “Companies need digital changers“ demonstrated how unwieldy firms can kick-start new ways of thinking and innovative ways of working. The event organised by the technology consulting agency, Neon Gold Innovations, and the Hamburg Media School (HMS) in the Häkken club on the Reeperbahn, provided the ideal setting for out-of-the-box thinking. Keynote speakers included experts in the retail, banking, mobility and tourism sectors. Hamburg News outlines two best cases.

Dr. Britta Oehlrich, Hamburger Hochbahn, Projekt HEAT

Hamburg Hochbahn – prototyping projects

Dr. Britta Oehlrich, Head of Business Development at Hamburg Hochbahn AG and her colleague Christian Langrock, Manager of Innovations, described how the much-vaunted error culture is practiced in urban companies. The space light was one of Hochbahn’s first ideas developed as a prototype in co-operation with users i.e. passengers, but proved a flop. At first, passengers came out in favour of the idea. Yet most people on the platforms did not board the metro where the lights indicated free spaces. Passengers wanted optimised individual routes instead. “Nothing beats doing. We learn from every project,” said Langrock. However, the experience proved beneficial and will help with many other research and development projects currently undertaken by Hochbahn e.g. the HEAT project and autonomously-driven e-shuttles. “We are working on the future to create new sustainable transport offers,” he added.

Stephanie Möller, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Hapag-Lloyd’s new app for exploring ships

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises also asked customers about their demands on products e.g. new ships. Potential passengers in the (expensive) cabins requested WLAN and iTablets as well as spots for cool photos. “We then developed an extendable, glass balcony,” said Stephanie Möller, Sales & Marketing. And to stir up enthusiasm among customers, Möller launched a pioneering app. “We have developed an augmented reality app for our new ships.” The virtual tour takes people through cabins and restaurants through the ship to the upper deck, where the folding roof opens and passengers can get nighttime virtual glimpses of nature, if they wish. Asked about problems introducing the new technology in a traditional company like Hapag-Lloyd, Möller said: “Perhaps there were initial concerns here and there. But in view of the obvious advantages of the innovative methods, these were quickly silenced.”

HMS three-day course on “digital change

But what actually distinguishes a digital changer? How can the current innovation print be used constructively? And are flexible working methods the answer to everything? The three-day compact course “Digital Change” at HMS aims to provide orientation. One day each is dedicated to the topics of Digital Thinking, Digital Leadership and Digital Experience. The course targets managers, personnel managers and all those who deal with change processes. The next course will be held in mid October 2019. More information can be found on:

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