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A look back at the 2018 Network Event

Digital transformation is now affecting all areas of the working world as well as society, pushing change in all directions. It brings with itself numerous new tasks and roles. Reason enough for four Steinbeis experts to initiate a networking event called Media in the Digital Transformation Process – Shaping Change! Together with the partners working on the event – Digital Media Women (DMW) from Stuttgart, and Women in Film and Television Germany (WIFT) –, they pulled together an exciting program of events on November 29, 2018. Around a hundred people came to the event to take part in workshops, exchange ideas and know-how, and establish contacts in the Steinbeis House of Management and Technology in Stuttgart.

Teams from the Steinbeis Network work in all areas of technological transformation, as well as research and innovation. This includes looking at impacts on the world of work and employees. The media play a central role here, a factor that was examined in more detail at the event. The aim was not so much to discuss which new media now exist, nor the vocational possibilities they present. Instead, the emphasis laid on the roles opened up by new working environments, the challenges this presents, and in particular how to overcome these challenges by looking at things in a different way. “The thing about transformation is that women’s skills and their way of looking at things are often neglected – not only in how they shape the media but also in how they use media,” highlights Beate Wittkopp, director of the Steinbeis Transfer Center TransferWorks BW, who was part of the team who planned the event.


The event got underway with an entertaining and interesting talk by Christine Regitz, Vice President and Member of the Supervisory Board at SAP and a Steinbeis Trustee. Regitz provided a number of insights into modern working practices at SAP, where digital technology has had a major impact on all areas and the work environment has changed dramatically in recent years. Six workshops followed where experts shared ideas and inspiration as a basis for some intense rounds of discussion and sharing.

The workshop run by Kristin Maier-Müller (G. MAIER Electrical Engineering/Electrical Guild of Reutlingen) was titled Tackling Change: Digital Worlds of Work and Analog Corporate Culture. The workshop focused on her experiences in business, showing concrete examples. Maier-Müller provided an impressive illustration of how a company’s identity and culture lay foundations, not only for collaboration but also for a willingness to bring about change. A further opinion was offered by Dr. Birgit Buschmann, representing the department of Business and Equal Opportunity at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor, and Housing. Buschmann outlined the state’s strategies and activities aimed at supporting companies. These include focusing on opportunity in order to encourage more women to see change as a way to shape the future.

In a workshop on New Media and New Diversity in PR and Social Media, Birgit Nüchter examined the challenges managers face in trying to actively help shape change. As the director of the Steinbeis Consulting Center for Leadership Competence, Nüchter shared her personal expertise not only during the actual workshop, but also beforehand when planning the event. During the workshop, she was supported by Simone Wieland (DMW, BHSG/Continental), who shared her practical experience as a social media manager and showed which trends and emerging technology to follow and take heed of. The study groups engaged in an enthusiastic discussion and a lively exchange of experiences on current issues, the opportunities they present, and potential threats.

The workshop on Gaming and Game Thinking offered guests an opportunity to share their ideas and think up different video game concepts with experts from the business and gaming industry. To help with this, Misti Frantzen (Meister Cody) and Liliya Ivanova (KI Group) were on hand. “Our workshop created enthusiasm among the participants for the overlaps between systems, design thinking, agile methods, the lean user experience, and game design – and this stimulated discussion on the potential and pitfalls of gaming and business. At the same time, it made lots of people curious about new and creative ideas!” concludes Nathalie da Silva, who, as the project manager for Innovation Management and an expert in gendered innovation at Steinbeis 2i, was also part of the concept development team and moderated the workshop.

The focus of the workshop on Augmented Reality and Animation laid on the broad field of video animation. For this workshop, Stefanie Larson, head of the Animation Media business cluster for the region of Stuttgart, joined forces with Regina Welker, creative director and a director at Woodblock.tv and a director of the film production company EAGLE EYE. Together, they provided a glimpse behind the scenes of the working world of animation, also illustrating how omnipresent animation now is in our everyday lives and how much the industry is now changing. Her conclusion: The field is expanding, roles and responsibilities are becoming more specific, and the borders of reality are becoming fuzzier.

One workshop stimulated a lively discussion on a serious and fundamental topic: Digital Transformation as a Challenge to Ethics – Privacy and Responsibility. Dr. Uta Müller and Laura Schelenz, experts at the International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW) at the University of Tübingen, started with background information and an overview view of international and intercultural scenarios. The subsequent discussion showed that the issue of education in dealing with digital media is tremendously important. The anonymity of the internet must not result in fundamental rules of communication being simply swept aside, such that people are widely inapt to stop humiliation, insults, and defamation. Considering the different concerns regarding the world of digital technology – but also its potential – it became evident that further debate is needed in order to clarify aspects such as responsibility. “Society needs to speak up to understand and help shape change, which is a shared task beyond the context of Germany. This is where the social sector can provide important impetus,” says Gerburg Joos-Braun, director of the Steinbeis Consulting Center for IT Service Management working as a consultant in this area who also helped organize the networking event.

Kerstin Heiligenstetter (She’s Mercedes, Daimler), representing the automotive and travel industry, and Nicole Ackermann (WIFT), representing the film industry, looked at The Diversity of Role Models. Despite progress in some areas, there is still much work to be done in both industries to offer a contemporary and suitable platform to women – but something is happening! She’s Mercedes offers events and numerous channels to provide a network for successful women to exchange ideas, develop new concepts, and find new contacts. At the same time, they can address their needs regarding travel solutions. There are more and more women in the film industry working as directors, camera operators, and heroines in front of and behind the camera, and this creates new role models and provides inspiration to others.

After discussing experiences in the workshops and the challenges of different fields of work and aspects of human culture within the digital and media industry –, and after noticing how the abundance of ideas inspired everyone at the event – the get-together moved on to the second key part of the event: networking, especially between people from different backgrounds and fields. A variety of new contacts were made as people exchanged their personal experiences – thus laying a foundation for new partnerships!

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If you’re interested in finding out more about the event, an e-book for browsing through different topics online will shortly be available at www.steinbeis.de/mediwa.


Beate Wittkopp | Director
Steinbeis Transfer Center: TransferWerk-BW (Schönaich)

Birgit Nüchter | Director
Steinbeis Consulting Center: Leadership competence (Stuttgart)

Gerburg Joos-Braun | Director
Steinbeis Consulting Center: IT Service Management (Eningen)

Nathalie da Silva | Project Manager, Innovation Management
Steinbeis 2i GmbH (Stuttgart)