Handelsblatt Guest Column: Europe is more.

Preparing for the second half of digitisation.

A plea from Johannes Winter & Jochen Werne

1st published in the German newspaper Handelsblatt on January 8, 2020 – translated by DeepL.com. Photos: Pixabay

Looking at the world sometimes gives the impression that things seem to be much better outside Europe. Examples? The world’s largest airport, Beijing-Daxing, goes into operation after four years of construction, while at BER, construction continues after 13 years. The coffee house chain Luckin Coffee, valued at $4.5 billion, will replace Starbucks as No. 1 in the Chinese market by the end of the year, two years after its foundation. Digital platform companies such as Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Tencent & Co. have left the traditional commodity and industrial groups behind in terms of value.

What made these American and Asian companies so big? Absolute willingness to implement at high speed, massive state and private investments, sometimes industrial policy intervention, huge, scalable domestic markets and a just-do-it mentality favour economic and technological development alongside a number of other factors.

Is Europe, on the other hand, in a downward spiral? Is the continent now losing the much-discussed second half of digitisation, which is mainly about the digitisation of industry, now that the B2C race seems to be lost?

The recent history can also be told in a different way. The financial crisis of 2008/2009 has shown how valuable Europe’s and especially Germany’s strong industrial core is. A highly specialised, excellent SME sector and the leading groups from mechanical, plant and vehicle engineering to the pharmaceutical and chemical industries are anchors of stability. With Industry 4.0, the vision for the future of value creation comes from Germany, and there is a worldwide competition for its widespread introduction.

The strength lies in product innovation, especially in complex products such as machine tools, medical devices, vehicles or building services engineering. Germany also has world market leaders in engineering and in production and automation technology. Despite all the negative predictions, Germany has further expanded its strength in networked physical platforms with the integration of IoT, data and services in industrial environments and has secured a very good starting position. The German research landscape also holds an internationally good position in areas critical to success such as semantic technologies, machine learning and the digital modelling of products and users. And let’s not forget that the companies in the country have produced outstanding software products for the fast, reliable and scalable processing of big data and the integration of business processes.

While Germany wants to consolidate its pioneering position as the world’s supplier, the USA is relying on its expertise as a global networker and China is relying on short decision-making paths, capital intensity and a large domestic market in which it can scale quickly. In this situation, it is important that we concentrate on our strengths and resolutely tackle the digitization of industry and SMEs. However, this requires a much faster entry into the emerging B2B platform markets.

In Europe, we stand for a liberal value system, both economically and politically, which, as in the past, has proven to be the decisive differentiating factor in the medium and long term. The debate on the use of data is conducted in Europe in good tradition at an extremely high level and this in the good understanding that digitisation is not coming over us, but is made by people and is intended to serve them.

It is therefore the right moment to take a decisive step towards the future and to open up Europe’s path. To do this, we need a large, homogeneous domestic market that will make us almost competitive with the USA and China. We also need substantial investment in digital infrastructure and cybersecurity, as well as training and further education. Both competitive regions currently have the power to set standards in digitization as well. The goal of the European Union to create a single digital internal market is laudable, but final implementation is still pending. This implementation, however, is the important and very concrete next step in order to be able to achieve the competition-relevant scaling effects and to be able to play a competitive role in data-based business model innovations.

The second half is running and nothing is lost.

About the authors

Jochen Werne (48) is a member of the Executive Board and Chief Development Officer of Prosegur Cash Services GmbH, as well as a member of the Artificial Intelligence Learning Systems Platform and the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jochen-werne-2292507a/
Twitter: @WerneJochen
E-mail: jw@JochenWerne.com

Dr. Johannes Winter (42) heads the office of the Learning Systems Platform and the technology department at the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech).
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johannes-winter-13048629/
Twitter: @jw4null
e-mail: winter@acatech.de

Beyond the cage: Duties of a CVO

GOVERNANCE TODAY: One of the best descriptions about the role of the Chief Visionary Officer can be found on Wikipedia

chief visionary officer or chief vision officer (CVO) is an executive function in a company like CEO or COO. The title is sometimes used to formalize a high-level advisory position and other times used to define a higher ranking position than that held by the CEO. In some cases, the CVO is added to the CEO title (for CEO/CVO status), much in the same way that people with multiple university degrees list them after their names. 

The CVO is expected to have a broad and comprehensive knowledge of all matters related to the business of the organization, as well as the vision required to steer its course into the future. The person in charge must have the core-competencies of every executive, and the visionary ideas to move the company forward, defining corporate strategies and working plans. The role has expanded to include formalizing the company’s strategic-planning processes, forging new working relationships and synergies across the organization, and establishing greater transparency and accountability for those people carrying out the company’s strategy.

Companies add CVOs (or consider doing so), sometimes interchangeable with CSO – Chief Strategy Officer, to their management teams for several reasons. Changes to the business landscape — complex organizational structures, rapid globalization, new regulations, the struggle to innovate — make it more difficult for CEOs to be on top of everything, even in areas as important as strategy execution and vision direction. Strategy development has become a continuous process, and successful execution depends on rapid and effective decision making. Further, as Harvard Business School professor Joseph L. Bower has noted, iron-fisted control of execution often eludes the top team’s grasp, as line executives seek to define strategy on their own terms. (See Bower and Clark G. Gilbert’s “How Managers’ Everyday Decisions Create—or Destroy—Your Company’s Strategy,” February 2007.)

Einar Stefferud, co-founder and CVO of First Virtual Holdings in 1994, is usually recognized as the first CVO. Another early CVO was Tim Roberts of Broadband Investment Group. Roberts said[citation needed] he invented the title to recognize the visionary attributes needed to integrate a complex business with many diverse aspects. Roberts chose the title to define his role in the organization, and didn’t intend the designation to proliferate across the corporate world in the way that it has.

It is with pride to serve PROSEGUR Cash Services Germany as Chief Development & Chief Visionary Officer in one of the most fascinating times of techological progress and transformation

Jochen Werne
Press Release, 18 November 2019

Jochen Werne is the new Chief Development & Chief Visionary Officer of Prosegur Cash Services Germany GmbH

Monday, 18 November 2019
Member press release
° Digital and transformation expert to support strategic development internationally
° Heath White continues to drive forward strategy on innovations and new products

Heath White, CEO – Jochen Werne CDO/CVO
Prosegur Cash Services Germany

Ratingen (Germany), 18 November 2019 – Jochen Werne has been strengthening the C-Suite of Prosegur Cash Services Germany GmbH since 1 November 2019 as a member of the Management Board and Chief Development & Chief Visionary Officer (CDO/CVO).
“With Jochen Werne, we have been able to win an internationally networked and leadership-strong digital and transformation expert for Prosegur. The focus of his work at Prosegur will be the development and implementation of the strategy for Business Development, Innovation, II&S (Innovative Integrated Solutions), Business Process Outsourcing, New Products and International Sales. We expect that his industry expertise will provide our company with further impulses that will enable us to set trends in a market environment that is changing dynamically due to new technologies,” explains Heath White, CEO Prosegur Cash Services Germany GmbH.
Werne’s academic career has taken him to the University of Passau, the J.W. Goethe University Frankfurt a. M., the Helsinki School of Economics and Oxford University. He started his professional career in Global Investment Banking at Bankers Trust and Deutsche Bank AG. After a leading position in a start-up for electronic trading platforms and as a management consultant at Accenture, he joined Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. AG, where he headed various departments of the bank. According to Fintech Finance, during this time the bank transformed itself from an analogue private bank to a driver of innovation in digitalisation.
Werne is a member of the platform “Learning Systems” for artificial intelligence. This platform was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. He is also a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House. He is a keynote speaker, author and co-author of numerous specialist books and articles. He has received several international awards for his commitment to the development of diplomatic relations between nations.

About Prosegur
Prosegur is one of the leading security service providers worldwide with more than 175,000 employees on five continents. In Germany, Prosegur offers comprehensive services in security logistics with 31 branches and more than 4,000 employees. In the cash and valuables transport sector, Prosegur has the largest share of the industry’s turnover. The service portfolio includes automated cash processes and ATM services in addition to cash and courier logistics and cash management. With the automated deposit solutions “Prosegur Smart Cash”, customers optimize their cash handling. Following the acquisition of BaS Solution, Prosegur is one of the few cash and valuables logistics providers to offer technical services from a single source throughout Germany. The company bundles its social and cultural commitment in the Prosegur Foundation, which benefited over 43,200 people in 2018.


Media contact:
Agency komm.passion GmbH
Gernot Speck
Phone: 0211 / 600 46 271
e-mail: prosegur@komm-passion.de

Press Release translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

„All things are ready, if our minds be so.“ Shakespeare and the 3rd ICT International Payment Summit

It was greatly stimulating discussing innovation and the impacts of modern technology on our business and society with international experts from South America, Europe and Asia at the 3rd Annual International Payment Summit, organised by ICT. All in the context of Coined Liberty 2.0

Find highlights here

Natalie Turner & Jochen Werne discussing business transformation at the TechWeek Frankfurt

Natalie Turner, Host of disruptive LIVE and Jochen Werne, CDO/CVO of Prosegur Cash Services, Germany in a lively discussion about the different aspects of change in companies and society. The interview touches aspects of fear and consciousness by giving examples reaching from Shakespeare to the Age of Enlightenment and our modern times of exponential technologies and artificial intelligence.

Find the full interview on DisruptiveLIVE, HERE

History lessons for a digital future: Why are our times comparable to the 1450’s?

On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, Managing Director Dr. Stefan Hirschmann and his team from VÖB-Services organised an inspiring BANKENNETZWERK networking event “Digitisation and digital competence in banks” with an auditorium of 70 banking professionals.

Bankennetzwerk am 5.10.2019 im Holiday in Düsseldorf Digitalisierung und Digitalkompetenz Foto und Copyright Bernd Schaller Kiefernstr. 18 40233 Düsseldorf www.schallerfoto.de info@schallerfoto.de 00491776769111

Learning from history is crucial to understand the current societal changes triggered by technological progress. It‘s the basis to be able to make smart strategic decisions in a fundamentally changing business environment.

Some examples in the keynote referring to Professor Niall Ferguson‘s inspiring book „The Square and the Tower“. Enjoy some of his insights here

Bankennetzwerk am 5.10.2019 im Holiday in Düsseldorf Digitalisierung und Digitalkompetenz Foto und Copyright Bernd Schaller Kiefernstr. 18 40233 Düsseldorf www.schallerfoto.de info@schallerfoto.de 00491776769111

See more impressions HERE

Libra and the Dilemma of Trust

A crypto currency challenges technology, regulation and humans.

Author: Jochen Werne

“Money is perhaps the most concentrated and acute form and expression of trust in the social-state order.”

Georg Simmel


In this clarity, the German philosopher and sociologist Georg Simmel, born in 1858, formulated the value of a currency in his work “Philosophy of Money”. This clear and comprehensible insight also provides a simple basis for understanding why, for example, states rely on the independence of their central banks. And just as simply the question arises, which order do you trust when it comes to crypto currency?

Almost 4,000 of these currencies now exist worldwide. After Bitcoin, Ether, XRP, Litecoin and Co., Libra now wants to establish itself as a future heavyweight in the market – and with a noble goal. Libra is to become the cashless payment option “for mankind” and make international payment easier.

Libra Coin – the currency of the future?

No crypto currency received comparable media attention, triggered only by the announcement of the project. And the emotionality and toughness with which the discussion is already being conducted shows how seriously the topic is being taken. It’s about reputation, influence, control, responsibility and only in the last instance about technology. Central banks and government bodies are sceptical about the “currency of the future” on a broad basis, even though the advancing globalization could argue for a single currency in the long run. A currency that supports a consistent free exchange of goods and services. Also under discussion is whether Libra Coin could be the means of payment for the approximately 1.7 billion people who have no access to banking services and whether the familiarity and the large target group of Facebook, combined with the announced low transaction costs, could make it possible to reach billions of people worldwide.

Challenges at all levels

Technically, not all hurdles have been cleared yet: In order to make a stable coin possible, it is necessary to find the right technology. It is precisely this stability that is supposed to distinguish Libra Coin from other crypto currencies and thus also make it suitable for skeptical end consumers. Members such as Mastercard, Paypal or Ebay should also provide the Libra Association with their names and brand promises additional confidence for the end consumer. But already today the alliance is not as stable as the founding members had hoped and the exits of Mastercard, Visa and Paypal weakens the consortium.

The Libra Association has repeatedly emphasized that it wants to comply with all regulatory aspects, but there are voices at the political and banking levels that are extremely sceptical about the project. The new payment system raises many questions in monetary and legal terms. Central banks and supervisors want to keep an eye on the influence of the potentially new currency and usually share the view that whoever acts like a bank must be treated like a bank. In other words, comprehensive requirements must be met and regulations observed – especially at the international level. This is difficult because current regulations are designed for the classical financial system, with which the Libra system has largely no points of contact. The aim is to keep total regulatory influence and not to allow any possible loopholes.

Despite its American origin, the Libra Coin is to be administered from Geneva by the Libra Association. The idea here is to be regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA. Although Facebook has paid a lot of attention to the underlying technology, the legal issues still need to be clarified. Especially with regard to money laundering, consumer protection and possible misuse of the currency for illegal activities. Within the Association, there will be no special treatment for the founder Facebook, but equal voting rights for all members.

Acceptance and European values

With regard to Germany, it can be said that its citizens are within the international average as far as their affinity for digital is concerned. However, a historical-cutlurell caution can certainly be observed with regard to the topic of money, which certainly explains the well-known love of cash. A more pronounced European awareness of data protection with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) makes many people, especially in Germany, sceptical about the subject. The fact that Libra was launched by Facebook is hardly a confidence booster after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The fear of the transparent customer meets with security concerns about one’s own savings. Every German knows the quote: “Friendship ends with money” and thus new things are always put test. Culturally different in Sweden, where sometimes it’s only possible to pay by card. The same in China, where WeChat Pay and Alipay are no longer just a trend.

As always, changes are taking place step by step. It remains to be seen whether Libra Coin in its current form has future prospects. In any case, any change can only work if it is accepted and used by the end consumer despite all skepticism.

And this stands and falls – also in the digital world – with what Georg Simmel already put in the centre in terms of money in the 19th century: CONFIDENCE.

A more in-depth look at money and value can be found in the article “Coined Liberty 2.0“.

Following the keynote on “Libra in Retail?” at the Payment Summit 2019 in Hamburg, the article “Libra and the Dilemma of Trust” has been published to give participants further insides on the topic.

Quintessenz des Digitalgipfels 2019: Vertrauenswürdigkeit wird entscheidender Erfolgs- und Wettbewerbsfaktor

Es war eine besondere Freude beim Digitalgipfel 2019 die Panels der Plattform für Lernende Systeme gemeinsam mit Dr. Johannes Winter, Leiter der Geschäftsstelle der Plattform beim acatech moderieren zu können.

Moderation Jochen Werne – (c) Plattform Lernende Systeme / Thilo Schoch

Die Diskussionen führender Persönlichkeiten im Bereich künstlicher Intelligenz der deutschen Wirtschaft führten final zu einem gemeinsamen Nenner:

„Wer es schafft Vertrauenswürdigkeit in KI-Technologien und die damit handelnden Personen zu schaffen, wird sich einen wesentlichen Erfolgs- und Wettbewerbsfaktor sichern. Dies gilt sowohl auf Unternehmensebene wie auch im nationalen Kontext.“

Digitalgipfel 2019

Die Teilnehmer und Themen der PLS waren:

Panel „Forschung – KI für digitale Plattformen“ mit

Paneldiskussion Forschung – (c) Plattform Lernende Systeme / Thilo Schoch
  • Prof. Dr. Susanne Boll-Westermann | Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
  • Ralf Klinkenberg | RapidMiner GmbH
  • Thomas Neumuth | Universität Leipzig
  • Prof. Dr. Volker Tresp | Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) und Siemens AG

Panel „Transfer und Anwendung – Digitale Plattformen für neue KI-basierte Services“ mit

  • Wolfgang Faisst | SAP SE
  • Olga Mordvinova | incontext.technology GmbH
  • Dr. Tanja Rückert | Bosch Building Technologies
  • Andrea Stich | Infineon Technologies AG

Moderiertes Gespräch „Vertrauenswürdige KI als Voraussetzung für sichere Datenplattformen“ mit

  • Prof. Dr. Judith Simon | Universität Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ecker | Infineon Technologies AG und TU München

International Understanding. Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce Prize presented for the first time

This prize to be awarded to the person, group or team that contributed the most to the goal of creating international understanding within the year, of the Lord Warden Trophy and it was unanimously agreed by a panel of judges that this should be presented to Jochen Werne (a founder member of GOST as well as a member of RCPYC) for his outstanding work in reaching across national boundaries and promoting and advancing the spirit of sailing around the world both through his work with GOST and the various other organisations he represents, not least his organising the Lord Warden Challenge race. Congratulations to you Jochen.

Geoff Dunne esq., Commodere, Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club Dover
Admiral of the Fleet The Lord Boyce and the Commodore of the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club Dover, Geoff Dunne presenting the Award for special engagement in International Relations to Jochen Werne

It was a great honour to receive the Admiral of the Fleet The Lord Prize, awarded for the first time for international understanding, on behalf of all those who, through their commitment, have helped to unite people from different countries of our beautiful planet. 

A great privilege to receive the prize from the hands of one of the people I greatly admire for his life’s work and especially for his brilliance in bringing people together. The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, Admiral of the Fleet The Lord Boyce is a shining example for so many and a great inspiration.

The four principles of good governance

Author: Jochen Werne | First published in German on September 6, 2019 in the BANK—BLOG

Author Jochen Werne

How banks create stability to survive in change

The “cobra effect” is a prime example of failed incentive structures. Good governance in banks and savings banks must serve stability and flexibility at the same time. Compliance with four principles is indispensable.

Well-intentioned is not well done yet. Science calls this the cobra effect. It goes back to an event when India was still a British colony. In order to control a cobra plague, a British governor placed a bounty on every snake that he killed. With the result that enterprising Indians began to breed cobras to collect the bounty. When the governor learned of this practice, he had the program stopped and the breeders released the snakes. Result: The problem had multiplied.

The Kobra effect is regarded as a prime example of failed incentive structures – and thus of failed governance. This word, derived from the French “governance” for government, is often used today, and with its almost inflationary mention, the blur surrounding it is also growing.

So let us recall: governance refers to the structures and forms of governance that exist in a society. This refers to the interaction between the state, the private sector and interest groups. The aim is to improve the management of an organisation or a political or social unit in order to achieve better results.

Stability as an objective of governance

However, it has become common practice to use governance primarily when it is not a question of state structures. For example, the term plays an important role in practically all companies that deal with the public in the form of customers or stakeholders. As a result of the blurred use of the term, case studies from politics are often used today to explain economic frameworks.

Undoubtedly, there are many parallels between the governance of states and the governance of private companies, in their structure and processes and thus also in their form of governance. The decisive factor for both is first and foremost stability and thus the ability to cope with major crises. For states, the core of stability is the constitution, which enables leadership during the crisis and at the same time serves as the basis for a way out of the crisis. A current example of this is the national crisis in Austria. The government has failed; until the next elections a transitional government of experts will lead the country and thus guarantee stability. Around this core, however, a state structure must also have a certain flexibility in order to be able to react to developments.

Stability plus flexibility

And this is where the differences to the private sector begin. States are not in competition with the private sector and generally continue to exist even after crises, even if in extreme cases the political system and its fundamental form of governance may change. The situation is different for companies. Of course, they also need a stable core. But they must be extremely flexible and adapt to market situations in order to survive in the long term. Their stability is based on the flexibility of the process organisation. When it comes to flexibility, smaller companies often have an advantage over large, difficult-to-maneuver corporations. We see this in the financial services industry with the example of FinTechs and InsurTechs. However, these relatively small companies often lack the stability they need to survive when consolidating.

Let’s take the example of the banking industry: It faces clear challenges – digitization, new competing business models, exponential technology leaps and ever shorter product cycles with lower margins and increasing regulation. Sustainable answers and the resulting strategies will only be found by those houses that are stable in themselves on the one hand, but are also capable of a degree of flexibility that has never been demanded of them in history on the other.

Four principles of good governance

But how does a company obtain the necessary stability? There are four principles for good, i.e. successful, governance, which must always be present:

Accountability: There must be an organization that is controllable and controlled.
Accountability: The company as a whole and each individual employee are accountable for their actions.
Openness: Only when employees, customers and stakeholders understand what is happening is transparency actually lived out.
Fairness: Ethical conduct is one of the foundations for long-term value creation.

Governance must be lived

In order to achieve a satisfactory situation for both sides, the four principles of governance are indispensable. However, it is not enough to lay them down in statutes; they must also be lived by each individual.

In addition, the current major transformation issues, which not only the banks but also the entire economy have seized, should be seen as an opportunity for companies with a consolidated governance structure and remind us of a statement by the Roman philosopher Seneca, who said: “Only the tree that has been constantly exposed to gusts of wind is firm and strong, because in battle its roots are consolidated and strengthened”.