2019-03-05

#rp19-Speaker Gunter Dueck on shrinking attention spans

Gunter Dueck is a German book author, philosopher, blogger, business angel and speaker from the Heidelberg region. After working as a professor of mathematics, Dueck spent almost 25 years at IBM, ultimately serving as Chief Technology Officer. He is a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of Göttingen and Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He has published numerous books on the future of work, management, education and innovation.

tl;dr - 3 questions to ... Gunter Dueck.

What will you talk about at #rp19?
I want to search for/give answers to the question why we don’t read or watch long content anymore: Couldn’t it simply be that the pieces aren’t interesting at first glance? There is just so much content that we instantly recognize as nonsense, marketing stunts and claptrap, we just surf off or tune out. It’s essentially the same for a speaker at re:publica: Those whose attention I don’t grasp immediately will look at their smartphones – they have more interesting things than me right there in the palm of their hands. How can we tell something isn’t good? Identifying nonsense quickly is an important skill!

This year's motto is 'tl;dr' (too long, didn't read). Is there a topic you care about that particularly suffers from oversimplification and abbreviation?
We spend so much time talking about such marginal issues like whether Donald Trump will receive a Nobel prize – and how many. Yet we’re in a state of crisis on so many levels: Mobility, internet, pollution, digitization, care work, education, health, the condition of our roads, old-age poverty, the housing crisis, environment, brown coal, a lack of chances for the youth, a lack of ambition in politics – to put it short: many of us are doing well, businesses are doing well, but at the expense of all infrastructures. It’s not enough just to talk, we need to act – which gets more and more expensive the longer we wait.

In the spirit of tl;dr: What are your recent must-reads/must-watches?
I don’t read much but I take time to think about theses. However, I did just finish 600 pages of Kahnemann which made me think of the whole ‘tl;dr’-theme and how I would never ever get a contract for a 600-page book! Publishers nowadays all think that 250 pages are enough.