On 25-26 In October, over 50 board members and managing directors of large medium-sized technology companies met for the CTO autumn forum at the digital consulting company MHP of Porsche AG in Ludwigsburg. Under the motto: “The CTO as a future designer – people, skills, organizations”, the roles and understanding of leadership of the technology directors in their companies and in society were discussed in the one and a half days.

The CTO Forum is a series of events organized by the Diesel Board of Trustees, the electoral body for the oldest German innovation award, the Diesel Medal, under the motto: “The CTO is responsible for the company’s technical vision”. In order to discuss the current challenges of the CTOs across all industries, to exchange experiences, to network better personally and to evaluate solutions from experts, the members of the Diesel Board of Trustees invite colleagues twice a year to the CTO forum at the German Institute for Invention (D.I.E.).

The managing directors and board members from Abus, Claas, Miele, Jenoptik, Goldbeck, Fritz Dräxlmaier, Schott, Osram, Arri, Krones, Festo, Fresenius Medical Care, Hansgrohe, Hilti, Wilo, Windmöller & Hölscher, Hettich, Schattdecor, were present. Felix Schoeller, Heraeus, Dehn + Söhne, Empolis, Carl Bechem as well as the presidents and chief executives of the technical-scientific advisory board, including Mr. Prof. Dr. Dieter Spath German Academy for Technical Sciences, Mr. Dr. Klaus Mittelbach from the Central Association of the Electrical Engineering and Electronics Industry and Mr. Hartmut Rauen from VDMA. The moderators of the Industry Council Strategy | Organization, Mr. Johannes Spannagl and Mr. Dr. Dirk Artelt from Wieselhuber und Partner and the Future Industry Council Mr. Prof. Dr. Gunther Herr from the WOIS Institute were also present and presented their work results.

Also there were representatives of the Advisory Board of the Diesel Board of Trustees, such as Mr. Urban August from Siemens Industry Software, Mr. Dietmar Bichler, Bertrandt AG and Dr. Markus Kirchler, MHP Management and IT Consulting GmbH, who, as host, also designed the welcome and the supporting program.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Bauckhage, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Bonn and Lead Scientist for Machine Learning at Fraunhofer IAIS, introduced the current topic of artificial intelligence under the title “Quo Vadis KI 2018”, as one of the leading experts on this topic, he also showed possible ones Future scenarios for society and industry that result from the further development of technology. Prof. Bauckhage works in particular on hybrid cognitive systems that not only learn on the basis of data, but also use expert knowledge to come to understandable decisions. In industrial projects, such solutions are used, for example, for automatic quality control or for the automatic analysis of business reports.

Board member Dr. Stefan Kampmann, Chief Technology Officer at OSRAM AG, gave the keynote under the title: “Respectful disrespect – my management mantra as CTO in times of exponential change at OSRAM”. Osram is a world market leader in lighting technology with sales of 4.1 billion euros and more than 26,000 employees in 120 countries. Applications that will shape the future of the company are lighting, sensing, visualization and treatment. Osram is in a profound process of change. In phase 1 in 2015/2016, there was a fundamental realignment with the outsourcing of the classic lamp business. Phase 2 as a transformation phase has largely been completed. The lighting business was sold and Osram made targeted investments in digital growth markets. In Phase 3, which is currently beginning, the company wants to focus more strongly and position itself as the global photonics champion with a strategy update under the heading Osram 2020+. Osram sees itself in a good position when it comes to important trends such as autonomous driving, intelligent front lighting and personalization. On the topic of intelligent companions, which are part of trends such as environmental sensors, displays and AR&VR, Osram supplies photonic sensor systems, narrow pixel pitch and microsystem integration. In the area of ​​intelligent infrastructure under the keywords Industry 4.0, indoor positioning and smart LEDification, Osram offers solutions such as high-efficiency lighting systems, platforms, sensor networks and intelligent lighting components. With Lightelligence, Osram offers its own IoT platform for lighting systems and additional technologies and services. This means that Osram is already an active player in the field of IoT with strong market access through modern lighting systems for the future of digital buildings.

Dr. Kampmann points out the problem coined by Albert Allen Bartlett, physics professor and futurist: “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function”. Because the most important laws in digital development are of an exponential nature: Moore’s law of the performance development of computer chips, Nielsen’s law about the usable bandwidth in networks and Metcalfe’s law about the value of platforms depending on the number of users. These principles are of crucial importance for the digital transformation of companies, because as soon as a business model is digitized, it begins to grow exponentially and this leads to a redefinition and redistribution of the “value” between established and new market participants and the consequence that industries grow together and the creation of new partnerships.

From the point of view of Dr. Kampmann is changing leadership in digitization from a transactional to a transformational approach. In his view, role model and trust functions should be lived by the CTO in the form of the following paradigms:

  • From planning madness to responsible teams
  • Learning from mistakes
  • Agility through transparency with visualization
  • From motivation of employees to avoid demotivation
  • A culture of respectful disrespect

These are the paradigms that Dr. Kampmann to the point in the sentence: “That means … appreciation of the person — clarity in the matter”.

Here you can watch Dr. Download Kampmann: „Respectful disrespect

With the moderation of Dr. Markus Junginger, Associate Partner at MHP, during the panel discussion on the topic: “Of beliefs and (cost) legends in development and production – or  At what point does pure efficiency make us too slow for competition? ” An intensive discussion, which perspective on the current challenges of digital transformation in medium-sized companies is the right one.



It discussed:

  • Dr. Stefan Breit, Miele
  • Prof. Franz Kraus, Arri
  • Dr. Stefan Nöken, Hilti
  • Thomas Ricker, Krones

Since this year, Porsche and its subsidiary MHP have no longer only had their own innovation laboratory in the trendy Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district of Berlin: the Porsche Digital Lab, but now also at the headquarters of MHP, in the middle of Ludwigsburg. The 600 square meter digital lab was only opened in mid-October. The lab head Dr. Oliver Kelkar explains: “The content that we are working on here revolves around the future of mobility and smart cities – in connection with major trends such as the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and artificial intelligence”.

For the new “Diesel Medal for the Best Future Idea” award, an interview with Prof. Dr. Spath and Prof. Dr. Wurzer, which will be published in all media of the Konradin-Verlag at the next CTO forum.

From the work of the exchange of experiences in the industrial councils Competition, Strategy | Organization and Future reported on the topics:

  • Technology report for the analysis of eco-systems,
  • Prepare for the future with agile management and
  • Orientation for directions of potential in times of software-induced business model innovations

The moderators: Mr. Prof. Dr. Wurzer, Mr. Spannagl and Mr. Dr. Artelt and Mr. Prof. Dr. Gunther Herr.


In the Industry Council Strategy | Organization was discussed intensively about the potentials, obstacles and challenges of agile management. The meeting took place on October 18, 2018 in Haiger at the Rittal company. Five design fields for the introduction of agile management in a business context were identified:

  • Strategy and vision: “creating meaning” for employees
  • Leadership and communication: New understanding of roles at the management level
  • Agile mindset: the need for cultural change
  • Structures and processes: self-organization
  • Methods and systems: empowering employees.

Finally there were reports from the future workshop of the Diesel Board of Trustees with the presentation of new initiatives for the Diesel Board of Trustees and the CTO community.

Mr. Dr. Edgar Jochheim, head of department at the German Institute for Invention, presented the open innovation platform for the new award “Diesel medal for the best future idea”. Supported by the deans of the diesel medal Claas, Osram, Rittal, Schüco and Stihl, the open innovation platform has already been filled with questions for interested graduates from the technical faculties. Together with the Hall-of-Fame of German cutting-edge technology, the new award is intended to offer medium-sized technology companies a platform to present themselves to highly qualified graduates of the technical science faculties and at the same time the best ideas for the future are to be publicly awarded a diesel medal. The first final event for the “Diesel Medal for the Best Future Idea” will take place in the MAN Diesel Museum in Augsburg in autumn 2019.

Mr. Prof. Kurt Mehnert and Ms. Junzi Yang presented their initiative to the Diesel Board of Trustees to position and represent the CTO Forum and the Diesel Medal in the People’s Republic of China.

Finally, Prof. Dr. Alexander Wurzer presented the “Innathon for digital disruption” initiative together with Mr. Urban August from Siemens PLC. The aim of the Innathon is to develop new, innovative and creative solutions together in one event.



The inspiring and motivating meeting was celebrated extensively and ended with an intensive exchange of ideas.