DLD Munich: New Media Meets the Winter of Love
DLD (Digital. Life. Design.) Munich, the European equivalent to the TED conferences, opens on a Sixties note with folksinger/songwriter Donovan and an updated, and significantly less trippy than the original, rendition of his '66 hit "Sunshine Superman" backed by a jazz trio - but it sends a sign of the "Winter of Love" theme the conference would set in its opening day in Germany.
Dr. Hubert Burda, chairman of Hubert Burda Media and sponsor of the conference, begins the spoken word part of the event by evoking the time of Gutenberg and his printing press as a contribution to a fundamental change in communications.
This continues with a world map that first shows the world's land routes, and later adds sea routes to illustrate that, over time, it is a convergence of technologies that provides growth to economies and benefits to all - here intended to parallel our current shift from traditional to digital communications. "Change your business," he encourages. "Don't stick with your old ways," he reminds the gathering.
Next up the panel of Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Niklas Zennström (Skype, KaZaA, Joost), and Mitchell Baker (Mozilla) ponder the subject of "disruption" in relation to breaking old business models. When asked how he felt about busting the old encyclopedia model, Jimmy Wales responded, "I'm a bad man" - audience laughter - but was also quick to say that the encyclopedia business had never been a very large or profitable one - the collective idea of the panel coming around to the notion that certain things should be basic human rights: information, access to that information, and the ability to distribute it freely.Continued on the next page