Head of NEXT, Chief Editor, SinnerSchrader, Hamburg
NEXT is a digital conference that was created for SinnerSchrader’s tenth anniversary. It’s hard to imagine today, but at the time there was hardly anything else like it. Tech conferences and events about technology were just emerging. We occupied this niche with NEXT.
Sure you’d agree, that niche is fairly crowded now!
NEXT has grown so much bigger over the years. It was held in Berlin several times, with a focus on startups. In 2015, we brought NEXT back to Hamburg, and now we’re looking more at people’s living environments. We’re driven by the question of how new technologies affect our lives. How is life changing for people, for consumers, and what does this mean for our clients?
I think it’s exciting for women to work in a technical environment – they’re role models.Ina Feistritzer,Head of Next, Chief Editor
You’re talking about SinnerSchrader clients such as Deutsche Bank, Allianz, and Audi?
Yes, exactly, big corporations whose digital transformation is being supported by our agency. Which products could eliminate existing business models? Which technologies will enable established players to bring new services to the market? How do companies have to transform in order to be more agile? This is what we want to explore with international experts at NEXT.
What role does the human factor play here?
NEXT is a platform where you get to know other fascinating people with a passion for digital technology. You can meet potential collaborators or colleagues here. It’s this networking aspect that we want to develop even more.
- Ina Feistritzer
- Job Title
- Head of NEXT, Chief Editor, SinnerSchrader, Hamburg
- Axel Springer, Jahreszeiten, and many more
- Fun Fact
- WhatsApp status: What’s NEXT?#
You worked as a journalist in New Zealand and studied ethnology in Germany. How did you wind up at NEXT?
I’ve always been interested in foreign cultures – and that’s all that NEXT was for me at the start. I wasn’t really familiar with the issues. Generally, I wasn’t the most technical person on Earth when I took over the PR for NEXT five years ago. But I immediately realised how important the issue was. NEXT has opened up a fascinating universe for me.
What do you personally value about the work?
SinnerSchrader gives you opportunities for personal development. The motto of “still day one” is really put into practice. We can try out a lot of things without worrying about making mistakes. The human interaction here is really something special. And that extends to NEXT.
We want to have the right 1,000 attendees and be able to talk with them.Ina Feistritzer, Head of Next, Chief Editor
How do you create the programme for NEXT?
It’s a mosaic with a lot of pieces. I look at which experts are currently grappling with which issues, and also at what our colleagues and clients are busy doing. I sniff out the topics that are currently in the air. And I visit a lot of conferences abroad – and often discover international speakers that could be interesting to us.
Which topics are hot at the moment?
At the last NEXT one of the main topics was blockchain, which is the technological foundation for cryptocurrency and transaction security on the network. The topic is still exciting. Artificial intelligence will also occupy us for a while at NEXT. These are complex issues, but under the motto of “Go for it!”, we want to make them accessible to people with less prior technological knowledge.
SinnerSchrader gives me the opportunity to continually reinvent myself as well.
Which speakers have impressed you – and who would you like to book?
There are so many highlights, because we’ve had a lot of lovely, competent people – such as Nell Watson from -Singularity University. She has smart, profound insights into AI, machine learning and robotics – but a positive outlook as well. Rana el Kaliouby would be great. She deals with emotional tracking, which involves helping -machines learn to recognise emotions.
It can’t be a coincidence that you mentioned two women.
I think it’s exciting for women to work in a technical environment – they’re role models. But above all, the speakers – male and female alike – have to have a good topic and be able to talk about it well.
What does the future look like for NEXT?
Our goal is to continue offering an excellent conference that is exciting in terms of both the presentations and the structure of the audience. We want to keep it select - we don’t have to turn it into an event for 5,000 attendees. We need to have the right 1,000 and be able to talk with them.
And for you personally?
I can imagine taking the stage at NEXT. I’m comfortable on a small scale and not really so nervous. But generally, I’m not the type of person to make a set of life plans. And maybe this fits with an agency that has to continually reinvent itself and assert itself in an agile environment. SinnerSchrader gives me the opportunity to continually reinvent myself as well.
It sounds like a dream job.
It is. I get to attend conferences and explore exciting topics. Topics that other people haven’t even heard of yet. It’s important to me to keep looking ahead. I want to follow this path into the future and be able to translate and discuss the developments we see on the horizon.
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