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TransatlanticSync – Germany & Silicon Valley: Shaping a shared digital future

Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Made in Germany inspiring the US

TransatlanticSync – Germany & Silicon Valley: Shaping a shared digital future

The TransatlanticSync Conference was held on October 27th to 29th, 2019 at Computer History Museum, Mountain View, California, USA, to build a new transatlantic bridge based on shared values and cooperation in new technologies and the digital economy.

“The Future of Work” campaign organized also various events besides the Transatlantic Conference.

  • ZEIT Stiftung Event on 29.10.2019: Do Humans have rights in the digital Era?
  • Country briefing with the participation of the AHK, the Consulate General and Germany Trade & Invest
  • Innovation Ecosystem San Francisco Bay Area
  • Silicon Valley Robotics, Oakland
  • Informal exchange with researchers from Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab and Partnership on AI, Berkeley
  • Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Standford
  • Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (Stanford
  • Tempo Automation and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)

ZEIT Stiftung Event: Do Humans Have Rights in the Digital Age?
A Transatlantic Dialogue
Repost from Hanahaus

AI, autonomous robots, social scoring, mass surveillance, and concentrations of power among corporate platforms and political states. Digital technologies have created huge challenges to our democratic rights, freedoms and values. Must we sacrifice these to “progress”?

Europe has been at the forefront of efforts to regulate internet-based platform companies and their use of our private data. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has become a model for other countries or states, such as California’s own Consumer Privacy Act.

Now, a group of renowned German net activists, civil society experts, lawyers and politicians has drafted a “Charter of Fundamental Digital Rights.” Like a “Bill of Rights” for the Digital Age, it is based on the principle that “Human dignity shall be inviolable” (here’s a link in English). The Charter has been widely discussed in Germany and the European Parliament. Could this proposal shape our digital future for the better? How would you regulate our digital future?

Come join this dialogue between US and German leaders, and be prepared to offer your own ideas about digital rights and the challenges to ensure that society benefits from technology and innovation.

More information on the project and the full Charter text:


Lenny Mendonca, Chief Economic and Business Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom of California, and Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. He is a Senior Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company and a lecturer on inequality at the Stanford Business School.

Tim O’Reilly, founder, CEO, and Chairman of O’Reilly Media, a technology learning company that inspires innovators through books, articles, conferences, and online learning. He is a partner at early stage venture firm O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV), and is the author of WTF? What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us.

Dr. Jeanette Hofmanndirector of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (in Berlin), head of the research group Politics of Digitalization at the Berlin Social Science Center, and Principal Investigator of the research group “Democracy and digitalization”, Weizenbaum-Institute for the Networked Society in Berlin.

Rebecca MacKinnon, director of Ranking Digital Rights at New America in Washington DC, advancing global standards and incentives for companies to respect and protect users’ digital rights. A 2019-2020 University of California Free Speech and Civic Engagement Fellow, she is the author of Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom,and was previously CNN’s bureau chief in Beijing and Tokyo.

Dr. Heinz Bude is one of Germany’s most renowned sociologists. He holds the chair of Macrosociology at the University of Kassel, and he has received the Prize for Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Public Sociology by the German Sociological Society. Two of his books were recently published in English, “Society of Fear” and “The Mood of the World.” Dr. Bude is one of the co-authors of the Charter for Fundamental Digital Rights.

Moderator: Katharina Borchert is Chief Innovation Officer at Mozilla, and former CEO at Spiegel Online, one of Europe’s most influential magazines.

Country briefing with the participation of the AHK, the Consulate General and Germany Trade & Invest

– Patrick Heinz, Deputy Consul General
– Annika Höltje, Director of Innovation Solutions and Innovation Scout for the State of Baden-Württemberg in Silicon Valley
– Heiko Steinacher, GTAI Office Director, San Francisco (tbc)

– General political situation in California (USA). Where is California different from the government in Washington DC?
– Role of the Consulate General in San Francisco
– What can German SMEs learn in Silicon Valley and how best?
– What is attractive about Germany for companies from the San Francisco Bay Area?

Innovation Ecosystem San Francisco Bay Area

– Stefan Heuser, until recently VP Operations & Innovation, Samsung
– Thorsten Kröger, Director Robotics Research and Engineering, X
– Andreas Hofmann, CEO, German Accelerator Silicon Valley
– Kathrin Wiesner, Head of Marketing, German Accelerator Silicon Valley
– What is different here in the San Francisco Bay Area (Silicon Valley) than in Germany? Why are start-ups so successful here?
– How can a German company/research institute make successful contacts here?
– What happens in the Bay Area in the Robotics/AI sector?

Contact: Dr. Sabine Blankenship, Science Officer, Consulate General
Location: Consulate General, 1960 Jackson St, San Francisco


Silicon Valley Robotics, Oakland

Informal exchange with researchers from Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab and Partnership on AI, Berkeley

– Mark Nitzberg, Berkeley Center for Human Compatible AI
– Lisa Dyer, Partnership on AI

Location: Revival Bar and Kitchen, 2102 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Standford

– Future Work 360
– TransAir

Location: Stanford Campus, in the Main Quad, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford


Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (Stanford 

Contact: Prof. Sabine Remdisch, University of Standford
Location: Stanford Campus, 416 Escondido Mall, Building 550, Room 169, Stanford

Tempo Automation and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)


Contact: Shashank Samala, 
Location: 2460 Alameda St, San Francisco



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