MQ! Virtual Innovation Summit: the creators of tomorrow’s mobility

With the first exclusively digital installation of the MQ! Innovation Summit on 10th & 11th November, Audi pushed their renowned innovation conference to the next level, inviting the brightest minds of the digital and automotive world to a 25-hour online event.

11/19/2020 Reading Time: 3 min

The MQ! is a platform for global thought leaders and experts from the fields of electric mobility and autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, and sustainability. Once again, the MQ! radiated a future-positive energy.

“With all the challenges – and opportunities – that we face, there is a lot of space to realize your own visions,” stressed Sabine Maassen (Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG Human Resources and Organization) in her keynote.

This courage to change, to move away from certain things – that’s the spirit we need right now.

Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management at AUDI AG

The future live for us to see

The MQ! team managed to make a virtue of a pandemic-induced necessity, using a dedicated XR stage to seamlessly merge the analog stage activities with digital content. This approach emphasized MQ!’s standing as a place for innovation and surprises, transporting this passion for novelty into the digital experience.

W#at’s up, future? – focus on digitalization

And so, everything in front of the cameras and behind the scenes was about the opportunities, benefits, and challenges of digitalization. MQ! participants got to enjoy impulses on virtual learning worlds and „serious games“ in education as well as an admonition about the machinations of digitalization’s big players. Leading keynote speakers such as media expert Ethan Zuckerman, hacker and futurologist Harper Reed – “No industry is safe from displacement and deskilling through A.I.” – delivered food for thought, as did “The Social Dilemma“ protagonist Tristan Harris, co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology and former Google Design Ethicist. His demand: “Social media must change its business model from extracting knowledge about you to be able to manipulate you in a toxic way. We need to be aware and redesign the platforms in a more beneficiary way.”

Fresh ideas from mobility to purpose by a diverse speaker lineup

Other speakers also dealt with the topic of change. Like urbanist Anthony Townsend, who called for changing the concepts about our living environments through smart city planning. Meanwhile, Sebastian Grams (CIO SEAT S.A. & CUPRA - BoD of SEAT:CODE) presented novel ways to connect mobility solutions, and Michael Kruppa (AUDI AG’s Head of Rear Lamp and Light Function Development) thrilled his audience with the many benefits of Audi’s digital OLED lights.

Robotics expert Anna Nixon

Robotics expert Anna Nixon

After robotics expert Anna Nixon had stressed the importance of asking the right questions, Florian Gschwandtner, founder of “Runtastic” and angel investor, took the same line: “Show me the execution and tell me your why?”

Detached? As if! About airborne taxis and startups


Prof. Sebastian Thrun

Prof. Sebastian Thrun

After Stanford professor Sebastian Thrun had taken his audience on an entertaining ride into the future of mobility by flying taxis, he appealed to the MQ! community: “I want all of you to think about what’s possible. In Silicon Valley we are dreamers. It has always been dreamers who moved the world forward.” How to make dreams come true was also a core topic of the panels surrounding the requirements of the European startup culture, as well as the necessary changes to transform established industries in a startup-like agile spirit.

To foster this transformation, Tim Miksche (Head of Audi Denkwerkstatt) demanded a mind change: “Money alone doesn’t solve any problems. You must be able to open yourself, open your organization, and open your processes to actually work with the startups and entrepreneurs that you give your money to.” City planners, too, had a lot of catching-up to do, remarked Jessica O. Matthews, Founder and CEO of Uncharted Power. “We have focused on the intersection of infrastructure. The silo development of infrastructure previously has essentially put us in a situation where we have sexy, smart products, but don’t really have smart cities. Instead we have piecemeal solutions that can’t scale.”

Gaming as a game changer

Following the Digital Music Session by sound magician Simon Moritz Geist, the MQ! Gaming Night dealt with the astonishing developments and possibilities in the world of gaming. After a meet & greet with FOKUS CLAN members Mohammed “MoAuba” Harkous and Danny “Proownez” Liepolt, who later got to show off their skills in the Let’s Play, Sandro Odak (Xbox), Gamercampus founder Elham Nizam, and live streamer LPN05 talked about the USP of the brand-new Xbox generation. Onward it went with insights into game storytelling, commented gameplay with DoktorFroid’s Olli, plus exciting peeks into the colorful world of Cosplay with cosplayer and gamer Farbenfuchs.

Danny „Proownez“ Liepolt, Mohammed „MoAuba“ Harkous and Daniel Cronin.
Danny „Proownez“ Liepolt, Mohammed „MoAuba“ Harkous and Daniel Cronin.

Innovation marathon

It was 25 thrilling, inspiring, thought-provoking, and simply entertaining hours at the MQ! Virtual Innovation Summit 2020. 1500 participants from more than 70 countries participated or followed the live stream to learn the latest from a variety of highly relevant topics surrounding future mobility. In any case it was enough input to utilize these fresh impulses to tackle a range of challenges from a new perspective, following the MQ! motto #neverstopquestioning.

Further information about the MQ! Virtual Innovation Summit


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