On the 7th and 8th February, the symposium ‚Change Media – Transform Business’ was held at the Magdeburger Schauwerk by the directors of the courses Digital Business Management and Cross Media, both from the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal. The symposium focused on the digital world in lectures, student presentations and workshops along the Breiter Weg in Magdeburg: business models, corporate development, agility and social media were the main topics of the conference.

On Friday, the organizers Michael Herzog, Daniel Nauck and Leonore Franz from the university opened the diverse program at the Schauwerk.

It started directly with the speaker Henrik Rieß from the UID Berlin. Together with his innovation team, he researches on social and technological development that will influence the life in the future. In line with his lecture topic ‘ Agile Agencies – Quo Vadis?’, he advised companies that ‘hic et nunc’ – i.e. in the here and now – go their way.

Not only the technical presentations met with great interest. The students’ presentations were also very popular and encouraged an exchange in the subsequent question and answer sessions. For this purpose , the project supervisor Christine Michtisch first presented the general digital business developments in the social economy and the Dachstiftung Diakonie in Magdeburg. The program seamlessly transitioned into the presentation of the three student projects. Here, suggestions for improvement and solutions for digital fundraising, recruiting and user experience were developed in using the Diakonie website. The main aim was to make it easier for customers and interested parties to access the Diakonie website and to simplify the application process. For the speakers, transparency and the emotional bond of the donors were the main focus of the donation project. The results impressed the audience and of course the practice partner Diakonie, who is now considering how to incorporate these suggestions. Jennyfer Stabingis-Böttcher presented, in line with the previous programme, which new forms of work have already been introduced in companies. She examined new developments beyond telecommuting and from which level in the company the changes are being pushed forward.

The concluding presentation by Stefan Weißwange (Teleport GmbH Halle) on ‘Digital Transformations in Administration’ was very well received by the audience thanks to the professional slides and humorous anecdote. In concrete terms, Weißwange not only dealt with the technical questions of transformation but also with questions of communication, recruitment of staff, data protection and legal requirements.

On the second day of the symposium, self-initiative was required in the workshops ‘Agile Methods’ and ‘Podcast’. Before that, there was an exciting lecture by Daniel Krüger. He established his own digital business ‘Korrektur NachOben’, which deals with digital and political communication. In addition to client consulting, he specializes in moving image content and podcasts. With his podcast ‘Digitale Provinz’ he was also a guest at the MDR podcast ‘Digital leben’ in December 2019. In turn, Julien Bremer, moderator from the MDR podcast, was another guest of the symposium. After the theory-part, groups developed and discussed their own podcast ideas. At the same time, the ‘Agile Methods, workshop led by Michael Metzger of d-network in cooperation with Daniel Krüger took place at the Schauwerk. Here as well, ideas for an own podcast were collected diligently. The goal was to develop an own business idea with agile methods.

Insights were gained into the approach of an agile design process and in groups, recommendations for the business development around the project were developed. Tools and methods such as user testing, persona, customer journey and value proposition were presented and value proposition were presented and tested within the workflow. Even those who did not attend a workshop on Saturday were not disappointed. In the main room, there were presentations by students from the study courses Digital Business Management, Cross Media and Risk Management of the University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal as well as the Johannes Kepler University Linz. Topics such as Cookies, Digital Divide, E-Health, IoT for smart home appliances, were important subject matters as well as a poster session in the break room that contribute to discussions.

Finally, Christian Franke, a student of Digital Business Management, was able to draw the audience out of its shell once again with his research on John Cook’s meta-study on man-made climate change. After the successful and very well attended Symposium 2020, the organizers are already looking forward to the next conference, with a lot of exchange, new food for thought, workshops, lectures and innovative ideas.