Throwing microphone at Telefonica

Those who always wanted to throw something at their colleagues found this unique opportunity at Telefonica's annual kick-off 2020. The person who got the throwing microphone was allowed to determine the next topic of the talk. I really enjoyed not knowing what I was going to talk about next.

The idea behind my "micro-keynotes

After a short introduction to my talk and the procedure, I asked the 200 Telefonica participants to look for the pieces of paper attached to the bottom of their chairs. On this sheet of paper I had prepared 22 thought experiments:

Society without a state

  • Habitat: Why do we still need cities when everyone has a mobile phone? (4 min.)
  • Post-national state: What does Facebook lack to be a real state? (5 min.)
  • Privacy: Is total digital surveillance even possible? (5 min.)
  • Responsibility: What is ICT's contribution to Brexit and Trump? (2 min.)
  • eGovernment: What will the complete automation of bureaucracy bring? (4 min.)
  • Trust: Why do Honduras, Ghana and Georgia refrain from checking their land register? (6 min.)
  • Transformation: How does the programming of society work? (4 min.)

Markets without money?

  • Money: Why doesn't the captain of the Enterprise, Jean-Luc Picard, have a wallet? (2 min.)
  • Markets 2.0: Which markets without money already work? (2 min.)
  • Power: Why is market leader Walmart forcing all suppliers onto the world's slowest database? (4 min.)
  • Smart Contracts: What are business relationships without people? (4 min.)

Economy without companies?

  • Transaction costs: Why do companies still exist even though we now have the internet? (5 min.)
  • Future without a company: What can we learn from the automotive industry? (3 min.)
  • Organisation: What can we learn from Winnetou about the future of organisation? (5 min.)
  • Productivity: What does humanity have more of: a washing machine or the internet? (1 min.)
  • Industrial Revolution: What is Mortification 4.0? (2 min.)
  • Platform killer: When will platforms like disappear from the market? (5 min.)

Trends in technology

  • Digitisation: What does the software tsunami really do? (3 min.)
  • Machine Learning: Who invented it and was its first fatality? (3 min.)
  • Artificial Intelligence: Is the extinction of humanity by A.I. a man's fantasy? (3 min.)
  • Exponential lie: War is not the absence of peace, but of growth. Right? (4 min.)
  • Quantum computers: If you can calculate everything, what is the point of research? (5 min.)

The participants were given enough time to choose the thought experiment that interested them the most. Then they could request the throwing microphone and ask the question. Those who asked the question were also my dialogue partners.

On my iPad I have prepared a short presentation for each of the questions, which I can select directly. I can call up these so-called "micro-keynotes" at any time, but I don't know in advance which topics I will discuss and in what order. So my ever-new challenge is to find the transitions between the individual presentation modules through improvisation, and to keep the thread going.

Within a few minutes I had dealt with my issue and the throwing microphone was passed on. If someone volunteered, they got it directly. Otherwise, it could just be thrown into the crowd - after all, it was well wrapped in foam. The alternation of humorous and serious topics, the interaction with the audience and the sometimes funny throwing exercises created a great unique atmosphere in the hall.

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