Just when you thought 2022 couldn’t be any crazier than 2021, the world surprised us with some more twists and turns. We all hope that 2023 will be somewhat quieter than last year. Yet, it will hopefully be packed with innovation and progress in the digital, social and sustainability sphere. For a second year in a row – that passes as a tradition, right? – our //next columnist Markus Sekulla asked digital experts from a wide range of fields about their wishes for the digital year 2023.
Carla Sophie Erber - Strategic Programmes Builder - Climate-KIC
The global problem of climate change cannot be solved by one start-up or technological breakthrough at a time. We need to identify new values, practices, standards and behaviours across all industrial, social and economic fields to enable the scale and pace of transformation required.
The smart deployment of digital technologies can help accelerate these efforts. We need to see more of these powerful tools developed with positive societal impact in mind and embed innovation into every part of business systems.
To become truly transformative, the digital sector must take a leadership role in building impact transparency and embedding the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) more deeply into their core business and supply chains.
Christian Fahrenbach – Journalist, teacher and consultant, New York
What do you want for the digital year 2023? A new (digital) home!
The short praise for a personally still unknown colleague after a successful reportage; the intro message for the coffee date to the mastermind who actually plays two leagues above me, but lives in the city where I'm vacationing for three days; the best live gags on Oscar night and during Eurovision: Twitter could be all that in the best hours, an online home with a party and the most exciting guests. But now an unpleasant bouncer is there.
For 2023, I would like to see a new place for goodwill, trust and the low-threshold meeting of people who are passionate about the same things. Hope to see you there!
Christine Dingler – Vice President Strategy – FleishmanHillard
I would like 2023 to be a counterdraft to 2022: Fewer waves of outrage, battles for attention, hate speech, one-dimensionality, and content that exclusively feeds the algorithm. I would like to see more diversity in discourse, more participation and empathy, more second sights and reflection, authentic content, and better protection for those who have had to suffer from hatred and incitement up to now. In the words of Johannes Korten, “The net is a good place if we make it so.”
Rob Vegas – Freelance Social Media Manager & Consultant
I may not even wish it, but secretly I still sometimes have the hope that we will talk more about facts in our content again. Preparing relevant information in the best possible way instead of emotionally charged BS. Everything is a surprise now. Everything is a scandal. Everything is MEGA!
If you have to deal with this on a daily basis, you sometimes appreciate simple and clearly understandable advice. Fabric softener is fabric softener and does not need a romantic lifestyle campaign. Sometimes, in a parallel universe, I wish for an advertising poster of “Snapple – We sell juice. Tastes good. Thank you.” – I'd celebrate it!
Jeanne Kindermann – Digital & Communication Manager – L‘Oréal
In Germany, we have the toughest data protection in the world – and unfortunately, it's not just protection, it becomes a barrier at times. I would like to see more creative solutions rather than problem orientation when it comes to data.
For example, a double consent procedure “double opt-in” for newsletter registrations is still a minor evil. It makes it difficult for users to get information and makes it a challenge for companies to reach the customers they want to reach. Or even organizing a blood donation campaign in a company now fails due to data protection. Saving lives is apparently not as important as German data protection. I wish it were different – and with more common sense.
Rouven Kasten – Digital Communication - GLS Bank
For the digital year 2023, I wish above all for less hate and agitation, fake news and outrage, and also a little more serenity. It needs a time of moderation, of frugality. Many digital media professionals in particular should exercise restraint, even if the hunt for the click(bait) is far from over.
Democracy and also digital civil rights are at stake and we were able to see very well with the “Winnetou” discussions last year what wrong dimensions this can have as a result. How an air act can divide a nation. I would like to see more factual clarification, constructive discourse instead of greenwashing, conspiracy and populism. Then we will get the rest right together.
Maike Küper – Agile Coach & New Work Aficionado
For the digital 2023, I wish that a real alternative to Twitter would gain wide(r) acceptance. I am sad about the decline of “my” digital living room and therefore very much hope for another – perhaps even better – option. I would be happy if it became a decentralised solution, but it also has to stand up to the users. And even if I don't believe it will happen, I would like to see a strategy for an overdue, comprehensive digitalisation in the education sector.
Jan König – Co-Founder – Odaline
For 2023, I wish for resilience. Watching the (yet relatively one-sided) Spotify documentary “The Playlist” reminded me of what the world was like when I was a teenager. Access to information was so limited. Why do we always have to fall back into old patterns like the music industry did before the upheaval of streaming? Why do we have to send people back to the office for 5 days? Why do our children still learn to calculate extreme points or interpret Emilia Galotti, but not programming? Why do we have to stop digital development after Corona?
A look at Estonia reveals: anything is possible. 99 percent of all government services are digital. I am tired of taking a number in official buildings. I really hope that the federal government and our country finally want to become “genuinely” digital. And that it doesn't remain with viral election posters on digitalisation that never become real.
Sabine Saeidy-Nory – Press Officer for Digital and Mobility Solutions at ERGO Group
First and foremost, I wish for an appreciative and respectful interaction with each other in the digital space in 2023. That once again arguments count and not volume, that other perspectives are allowed and that people are no longer judged and, above all, commented based on their appearance, origin, or identity. After all, decency also applies in the digital space, and the digital space is not a lawless area.
In such cases, a Persian proverb should apply much more often: “If something burns on your tongue – let it burn”.
Furthermore, I wish that the many positive possibilities of digitalisation would be seen and used even more often. I wish that people would be curious and open to new technologies. And that all digital offers are finally also adapted for mobile devices!
Falk Hedemann – Content-Freelancer
I would like to see the digital return to its original idea of creating connections that know no spatial, temporal or social boundaries. I would like us to use the opportunities and possibilities that digital technologies give us for the common good and to face the challenges together. The digital can make the analogue world better – if we want it and tackle it together.
Nicole Scott – Global TV Series Producer
2023 will be see an explosion of Chatbot generative-AI content.
If you are not familiar with ChatGPT (Generative Pre-Trained Transformer) – you need to be. ChatGPT will power chatbots in 2023 opening up a new segment to deliver content.
A Google executive spoke to the New York Times said AI chatbots could threaten Google’s search business, which relies heavily on ads & e-commerce. We will see brands look to create content delivery concepts via Chatbot, something that was focused on customer service. Imagine a Chatbot that has been trained to imitate your favorite musician! Or bringing Albert Einstein back to life making learning more interactive & engaging.
There is a the danger that the internet will fill with lower quality content that Google isn’t prepared to filter. We will see a response to ChatGPT by Google which will give content creators a look at how to optimize this new style of content dissemination some quality control guidelines!
Mark Klein – Chief Digital Officer – ERGO Group
According to the Bertelsmann Foundation, the willingness of working people to continue their education has recently declined. But if we want to keep up the pace of digitalisation, we have to do just that: lifelong learning.
For 2023, I would like to see greater curiosity and more willingness to learn, no matter how old we are. Thus, we can optimistically dispel the prejudice that 50 percent of all jobs will fall victim to digitalisation. This statement has gained some notoriety, as have its creators. But ten years after the Osborne/Frey study, the unemployment rate is at a low level and skilled workers are desperately needed.
What has taken place, however, is a job transformation! The pace at which job profiles and job requirements are changing in the digital age has increased dramatically. This requires unprecedented adaptability and a willingness to continue learning. Lifelong learning is becoming a core requirement of modern labour markets. However, we have to want it! The curiosity is there, so let's make digital capital out of it! Digitalisation makes life more human.