The AsiaBerlin Summit 2023 began with a spectacular opening ceremony at the iconic and historical Rotes Rathaus, setting the stage for an extraordinary event. Berlin’s Governing Mayor, Kai Wegner, graced the occasion, emphasizing the power of collaboration between Berlin’s startup ecosystem and Asian startups in driving innovation for a brighter future. The focus of this year’s summit revolves around Mobility and Logistics, Energy Transition and Green Technology, and Artificial Intelligence, all aimed at securing a livable future for the planet.
Warm Welcome and Visionary Speeches
Dr. Feiyu Xu, Chairwoman of the Asia Berlin Forum e.V, extended a warm welcome to all attendees, expressing her enthusiasm for the remarkable advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) while acknowledging the challenges that come with progress. This set an optimistic tone for the summit.
Prof. Dong Sun, the Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry of the HKSAR Government, shared his vision of creating a more livable and sustainable world, stressing the importance of collective efforts and collaboration in achieving this goal.
Exploring Startup Growth and Innovation
Amelie Richter conducted an engaging interview with Shunji Kurita from Mitsubishi, shedding light on the company’s role in promoting startup growth, particularly in energy transition and green initiatives. The conversation highlighted the transformative potential of collaborations in these areas.
In a fireside chat, Clas Neumann and Dr. Annika Hauptvogel explored startup ecosystems and innovation from a business perspective. Their discussion provided insights into the key drivers and challenges faced by startups in today’s rapidly evolving landscape.
Panel Discussions: Driving Innovation and Collaboration
A compelling panel discussion titled “The Battle for Innovation,” moderated by Anandi Iyer, featured panelists Jittrapon Jirakulsomchok, Yiran Li, Atika Nur Rahmania, and Sandra Schulze. They shared their perspectives on the vital topic, underscoring the significance of global collaboration in driving innovation.
The agenda continued with Alexander Görlach, Varun Sridhar, and Shradha Sharma providing a geopolitical view on Germany and Asia. Their discussion highlighted the interconnectedness of these regions and the abundant opportunities for growth and collaboration that lie ahead.
Afternoon Sessions: Lessons Learned and Green Transitions
The afternoon sessions commenced with a captivating panel discussion on “Lessons Learned from Urban Mobility Berlin India (UMBI).” Upen Barve moderated the panel, consisting of Manjunath Sekar, Siddharth Bhasin, and Thomas Duscha, as they delved into the greenification of long-haul transportation and the cultural challenges bridging the two nations.
The focus then shifted to “Startups and Innovation Hubs: Driving Disruption in the Mobility Industry,” featuring Maximilian Schäfer, Tanah Sullivan, Eunseo Yi, Chika Yamamoto, and Timon Rupp. This panel highlighted Berlin’s unique qualities as an attractive hub for startups, including its vibrant culture, thriving startup ecosystem, funding opportunities, and access to the European market.
Green Tech and Energy Transition
The event further explored “Energy Transition & Greentech: Shaping the Twin Transition of Green Tech.” Esteemed panelists shared valuable insights on lessons learned and strategies to propel these important initiatives forward, emphasizing the intersection of green and digital transitions.
Under the theme of “The Green Energy Revolution (And Why We Need Asia),” panelists Kim Ngoc Thanh Nga, Nguyen Hoang Minh, Andreas Bondan Satriadi, Jessica Novia, and Tarek Hassan emphasized the urgent need for efficient energy utilization and the significance of collaborative efforts.
The importance of Global Innovation and Asian advancements
In a virtual appearance, Parag Khanna joined Shradha Sharma on stage to explore the intriguing topic of “Why Asia Will Win.” They showcased the advancements and strengths of the Asian ecosystem, positioning it ahead of Europe.
Additionally, we had the privilege of hearing from Oliver Merlin (IFA) on “The Importance of Global Innovation and Startups to IFA.” He presented fascinating statistics on over 100 startups from Asia as part of IFA Next, underscoring the crucial role of global innovation in shaping the industry.
Entertainment and Reflections
To add a touch of entertainment, the talented Japanese singer, Sunplaza Nakano, treated the audience to a captivating performance, setting the stage for an exhilarating evening ahead.
As the main agenda of Day 1 came to a close, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Kai Wegner, shared his reflections on the day’s proceedings. Recognizing the importance of networking, Mayor Wegner extended a warm invitation to the evening reception he would be hosting, fostering further connections and collaborations.
The first day of the AsiaBerlin Summit 2023 was filled with remarkable insights, inspiring discussions, and thought-provoking panels. Participants eagerly anticipate the upcoming sessions and the transformative experiences that lie ahead. Stay tuned for more updates from ABS2023, including additional photos and a comprehensive recap of the final day’s events.