Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht and the thinking “out of the box”

Daily routine without digital footprint? Almost unimaginable today. For this very reason, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht and Heinz Bude brought analogue ideas in a more prominent position.

“TimeOut” kick-off in Berlin welcomed renowned American professor for literature and feature writer Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht. In dialogue with well-known German sociologist Heinz Bude both sketched a creative mental sphere beyond digital premisses – at least temporarily.

At the beginning, Mark Speich, Vodafone Institute’s Executive Director, greeted aproximately 30 invited stakeholder from politics and economy.

Grumbrecht at "TimeOut"

Feature writer Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht took the participants on a mental journey through the philosophical heritage of mankind – David Deißner and Mark Speich are listening (f.l.t.r) (Photo: Vodafone Institute/Matthias Schoebe)

For some hours a mentally refuge area was created, in order to face the digitisation of arts, culture, science, economics and not the least everybody’s daily routine “out of the box”. Especially the concious deceleration of being got into the centre of discussion.

Gumbrecht and Bude literarily and philosophically explored several centuries – starting with ancient Greek mythology to Camus and Luhmann concluding with current American president Obama’s impact on the 21st century. Always close-by: Implications for modern society, today’s customs, ideals and forms of interaction in the view of digital acceleration.

The final open discussion enabled all participants to actively shape the mental experiments. Pointed remarks and questions alternated. It was by purpose that more questions were raised than could be answered, as Gumbrecht more than once stressed out. Definite answers for today’s global problems can’t be taken for granted – sometimes it’s even the right question that is more essential than a possible answer.

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