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Digital and more: Our content highlights for the holidays

At the end of the year, our digital experts have once again compiled their favourite reads, podcasts, videos and books on innovation and digitisation that //next readers should definitely know. Here is lots of inspiration for the holidays – an absolutely subjective selection.

Alexa Stenkamp, Innovation & Digital Transformation at ERGO

I read a lot of books and three recommendations immediately come to my mind: Super exciting, what digitalisation can or could influence.

Real stories

Bad Blood: The true story of the biggest scam in Silicon Valley. By John Carreyrou. This is about Elizabeth Homes, who founded the medical start-up Theranos and wanted to revolutionise blood tests. Unfortunately, it didn't work out and ended in a big scam.

The Wirecard Story: The Story of a Billion Dollar Lie (Die Wirecard-Story: Die Geschichte einer Milliarden-Lüge) – the book to the documentary film by ARD and Sky.

Both are very exciting business “thrillers” with digital influence / background!

I can also recommend the podcast series of Süddeutsche Zeitung on Wirecard: 



NSA – Nationales Sicherheits-Amt. Von Andreas Eschbach.
A dystopia about what World War 2 would have been like if the internet had existed back then.


I recently discovered a podcast in which Jessica Koch, Vice President for New Business & Retail Media at Douglas, was interviewed. There she deals with the metaverse. It's exciting to hear how another industry is thinking about it:


Hanno Lenz, Innovation & Digital Transformation at ERGO

My absolute favourite podcast is “Betreutes Fühlen” with Dr Leon Windschied and Atze Schröder. This is not about digitalisation, but about the brain and psyche: https://betreutesfuehlen.podigee.io/

I like as well:




Sabine Saeidy-Nory, Press Officer for Digital at ERGO


“KI Kompakt”. Podcast on the social, political and ethical implications of AI:


“Die Boss” with Simone Menne. Incredibly great women are interviewed here about their views, careers and thoughts:



“The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” („Der Mann der seine Frau mit einem Hut verwechselte“) by Oliver Sacks. Sacks recounts 24 fascinating medical case histories in the field of neurology.

“The Metaverse” by Matthew Ball. The bible for anyone who wants to study this subject.

Nicolas Konnerth, Head of Voice at ERGO

A fantastic article in the Neue Züricher Zeitung, which shows the current capabilities of large language models such as OpenAI's GPT-3 with many impressive examples. These AI systems were trained on unimaginable amounts of data and, for example, the computing capacity for training the GPT-3 model alone cost no less than 4.6 million US dollars. The result is a creative artificial intelligence that can answer questions, write creative texts and even produce graphics. Since each output of these models is unique, questions also arise with regard to the copyright of the works.


Another recommendable article about GPT-3 on the MIT Technology Review site. The article aims at a more specific question: What is the relevance of Large Language Models to privacy? Since these models have been trained on data from several years of the internet, there is also inherent knowledge about natural persons. While this is certainly justifiable and helpful for public persons (to see GPT-3 as a kind of interactive Wikipedia, for example), the discoverability of personal data of private persons is one of the weak points of the system:


Julia Koop, Agile Coach ERGO Digital Factory

I like reading Andreas Diehl's blog on #dno – digitale Neuordnung: https://digitaleneuordnung.de/

He describes methods and strategies from the new digital working world in a way that is always easy to read, understandable and with beautiful examples. He has now started a podcast that will certainly be just as good:


The core of digitalisation is the human being and I find it incredibly fascinating how diverse we humans (can) behave. I therefore find Franca Cerrutti's podcast “Psychology to go” exciting: https://podcasts.apple.com/de/podcast/psychologie-to-go/id1332049198

Once a week she looks at people from a different perspective. Not everything is relevant to the professional context, but there are episodes on high sensitivity, dealing with angry people, how to recognise early signs of depression and burnout in colleagues, and so on.

I collect interesting articles on agile working, corporate culture, organisational models, new leadership and new work that I come across in a small magazine:


Markus Sekulla, freelance Digital Consultant

One German podcast I'd like to recommend these days is “Haken dran“ by Dennis Horn and Gavin Karlmeier, whom I hold in high esteem. Things are getting more grotesque and perceived worse on Twitter every day these days. Dennis and Gavin give a good overview of what's happening and describe where digitalos will be in the post-Twitter social media world. 


AAlso on the topic of Twitter, but also on Facebook and other social media platforms that are slowly mutating into anti-social media platforms. The social divisions can hardly be observed better than in an hour of social media use. According to Vice, social media is dead. I mean, not dead, but well on its way to being eliminated. Except for TikTok... 


The topic I've spent a lot of time on over the last few years is Sustainability. The question of why the topic is not covered much more prominently in the media has been with me at least as long. The Washington Post feels the same way and has hired 30 new journalists to cover the topic. Thumbs up. 


Artificial intelligence is getting smarter. So far, nothing new. But even the creators themselves can't say what's in store for us in the next few years.


One of my favorite articles of the last months. Why? Because I find myself in it. My Streak at Duolingo. The number of days with all rings closed on the Apple Watch. First World problems par excellence. They give us the appearance of continuous improvement. But how do they shape our thinking? 


Since 2020, the question No. 1 has been: remote office or not. Many companies really had to deal with the issue for the first time in the pandemic. Airbnb has announced that all employees will be allowed to do 100% home office. The result: 800,000 visits to the careers page and that in times of an absolute shortage of skilled workers. 


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