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Time to Talk: Transatlantic Digital Debates

Time to Talk: Transatlantic Digital Debates

Conny Dörfler, in the team of the ARD Chairman at Bayerischer Rundfunk for the next two years, talks to Nunatak about the Transatlantic Digital Debates, which we supported in 2017.

Conny, you participated in the Transatlantic Digital Debates. Can you tell us about what is debated there?

The two Global Public Policy Institute Think Tanks from Berlin and New America from Washington organize the Transatlantic Digital Debates together. Every year, a group of young people spends two weeks taking a closer look at the future of the digital society.

What was the professional background of your group?

Our group consisted of nine Germans and nine Americans from the fields of science, politics and the economy. We spoke to experts and practitioners from different areas in order to understand the challenges of digitalization for transatlantic relationships. In order to do so, two discussion phases took place in Germany and the USA, each lasting one week. The contributors we were able to talk to were extremely interesting. Even more exciting, however, was the networking effect with the other participants. It became clear to us all how fruitful it is when people from different cultures and professional backgrounds discuss with each other. I would also like to integrate this into my everyday work.

What did you find most fascinating during the two weeks?

Of course, I found the topics I also encounter in my everyday work particularly exciting. And this year, both in Germany and the USA, fake news was a huge topic. It was interesting for me to understand that the fake news itself is not the actual problem, as it is possible to “combat” this from a technological or editorial perspective. However, the underlying problem that certain social groups are receptive to such manipulation has not yet been solved. As such, we repeatedly discovered in our Transatlantic Digital Debates that things we observe in the digital world are often just a reflection of or a catalyst for social problems.

During our discussions, we also noticed that technologies do not fundamentally change human behavior, but that expectations change. Thanks to social media, for example, people have become used to the possibility of personalization and interaction and of fast feedback. They now also have these expectations of political processes. As a result, politics – just like companies – are faced with the challenge of completely rethinking the involvement of the “customer”.

During your week in the USA you also went to Austin, Texas – what impressed you most there?

Austin is not only a city with many start-ups. The city administration also wants to go digital. There is an innovation office in the City of Austin for this purpose. Working like an in-house consultancy, the Office of Innovation uses Design Thinking methods and looks for user-centric solutions and services that can improve the lives of the city inhabitants.
And it was the team from the city administration that impressed us most during our week in the USA! I can really recommend applying to participate in the Transatlantic Digital Debates. Not only because I took away many suggestions and ideas for my everyday work but also because of the interesting people you get to know in the program – a network I’m sure to benefit from for a long time to come!



Almost 100 of our clients, contacts from our network and friends came out to Nunatak’s first Networking Night at the Vorhoelzer Forum. The theme of the evening was ‘The Video Revolution’, with three amazing speakers sharing their insights on the developments of the online video world: Fabian Maier, Head of Digital at Vice Germany, Tobias Bauckhage, Co-Founder of Moviepilot and Heiko Hebig, Partnership Manager at Facebook.


Nunatak Networking Night on “The Video Revolution”

Fabian Maier kicked off the evening by joking about our title.. For Vice it would not be a ‘video revolution’, rather a ‘video evolution’ as Vice already began in 2007 to offer premium content online. In a short period of time, Vice has become the digital storyteller of the 21st century, reaching 220 million people globally, catering specifically to a millennial audience.

Tobias Bauckhage shared his view about the content consumption on social media. In other words, there is no such thing as searching for content on social media; rather it needs to be discovered.

Tobias later explained how Facebook has become an important traffic generator for Moviepilot. Before a movie hits the cinema, awareness needs to be created, for him, awareness happens on social media. Social media is the epitome of a consumer market.

Moviepilot empowers fans to take over the conversation and relies on a hybrid model of content creation. Only 20% of their weekly articles are written by their editors, the rest is user generated content.

Heiko Hebig told us about the launch of Facebook’s new product, Facebook Videoplayer and the growth it had experienced since end of 2014. Already one billion daily video views were reached, from well performing content (65% coming from mobile views). Heiko went on to define well performing content as needing to be condensed or better said ‘videos no longer than a cigarette break’.

All three speakers agree that we have only hit the ‘tip of the iceberg’ regarding online video. It will be interesting to continue to monitor the evolution of video.



„Digital tools and services are completely going to change the way we manage our finances. Financial Technology (FinTech) has been growing rapidly over the past few years – global annual investments reached USD 3 billion in 2013 and are expected to increase to USD 6-8 billion by 2018.

Established banks are threatened by trends such as mobile payment, peer-to-peer lending, personal finance management and virtual currencies.

Want to learn more? Check out our latest Nunatak update paper with trends, figures and opportunities.

You can view and download this update in English or in German.

Given below are the links to our previous update papers, covering topics such as Wearable Technology, Native Advertising, Virtual Reality and Multi-Channel Networks. Available for download here:

Virtual Reality

Native Advertising

Multi-Channel Networks

Wearable Technology



We recently released the third version of our Nunatak Update. This edition’s topic is Native Advertising, which is an innovative ad format that is being used by an increasing number of brands, publishers and agencies.

You can download this update in English or in German.

Our previous editions of Nunatak Update covered the soaring market of wearable technology as well as the emergence and importance of Multi-Channel Networks. You can read all about it here:

Multi-Channel Networks

Wearable Technology

Please feel free to leave your comments, give feedback or make further suggestions on our Native Advertising paper. Enjoy reading Nunatak Update.

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