CEO of Google Belgium and Luxembourg inspires audience at EU Business School, Munich, to embrace the digital revolution

Posted on 5th Apr 2019 in University Study, Germany

On Monday, April 1, EU Business School (EU) welcomed CEO of Google Belgium and Luxembourg, Thierry Geerts, to the Bayerischer Hof Hotel as part of its inspirational ‘Learning from Leaders’ series.

During a captivating two-hour session, Mr. Geerts delivered a powerful and engaging presentation to the audience, whom he addressed as “citizens of Digitalis, a new country of 4 billion people connected to each other thanks to the internet”.

Mr. Geerts described how technology has transformed society dramatically over recent decades. For example, the smartphone – which has only been around for little more than a decade – now provides everything from our morning alarm to our GPS; it has become, in fact, our “window on the world”. But the rapid pace of change often provokes unease and fear, particularly with regard to the effects of technological advances on jobs. However, Mr. Geerts suggests that we should reject the fear, and embrace instead the enormous possibilities for improving the world that technology can provide.

For Mr. Geerts, it is essential that Europe takes a leading role in the digital revolution and its potential for impacting society positively. He warned that “in Europe, we are living in a paradox: people are using technology in their day-to-day lives and business doesn’t. This is a risky place.” However, he notes that Europe are already the “world champions in B2B technology” and points out that the new generation of talented engineers and developers are not in Silicon Valley but in Europe. “We are only at the beginning of the digital revolution,” he enthused, “there are so many things to do.” He urged the audience to consider the life-saving potential of using bots to assist surgeons and how self-driving cars could reduce traffic jams and accidents.

Following the presentation, Peter Vanham, lead writer and US media lead at the World Economic Forum, interviewed Mr. Geerts, who expanded on the tech optimism he describes in his book Digitalis. Guests had the opportunity to put their questions to Mr. Geerts during a Q&A session, in which Mr. Geerts responded thoughtfully on a range of topical issues from data ownership to blockchain.

The evening culminated with a book-signing session and cocktail reception, where guests mingled and were able to network and exchange ideas.

Luc Craen, managing director and vice president of EU Business School Munich, declared that the event “provided an excellent opportunity for students to be introduced to new concepts and ideas that are highly relevant for their future careers in this digitized and global world”. He highlighted that “this thought-provoking talk was part of EU Business School’s influential ‘Learning from Leaders’ series, which plays a key role in the hands-on, experiential business education we provide.”

The next event in this series takes place in Barcelona on Monday, April 29, 2019, when EU Business School will welcome chairman of Siemens and Mærsk, Jim Hagemann Snabe, to share insights gleaned from a career at the top of some of the world´s largest companies.

He will also explain how his professional experience has contributed to the innovative management model he co-designed with Mikael Trolle, CEO and partner of the Dreams & Details Academy. Mr. Snabe and Mr. Trolle will be interviewed about their professional trajectories and the topics raised in their book by Peter Vanham, lead writer and US media lead at the World Economic Forum.