Hamburg News talks to designer Jeremy Abbett about the power of creativity

Creativity is the first step towards innovation as a basis of digitisation. Thus, creativity and digitisation are closely linked. The upcoming “Mind the Progress” in the Oberhafenquartier from June 14-15, 2019 is set to trace the special relationship between creativity and digitisation and offers all those who wish to have a say orientation, impulses and ideas to help shape digital change in an increasingly

Thirty speakers

The 2019 Mind the Progress – Congress on Creativity and Digitisation is organised by the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft and is being held under the theme “Facing Complexity”. Egbert Rühl, Managing Director of the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft, said: “The digital revolution brings contradictory phenomena. A longing for orientation as a result of complex developments parallel to a simultaneous loss of trust in all institutions that could provide orientation. Increasing complexity and speed is being met with brutal simplification.” To counteract this, “Mind the Progress” will bring together around 30 speakers who will present different strategies for permeating complex systems in a bid to control and design them.

Jeremy Tai Abbett – designer and creative evangelist

Jeremy Tai Abbett, 48, a designer and creative evangelist, will give a keynote on the Power of Creativity in a Complex World. Abbett will go into questions about the essence of humanity as the world becomes increasingly digital. Why is creativity so important today and especially against the background of complexity and buzzwords such as artificial intelligence, disruption and innovation? What does future-orientated leadership look like in the digital era?

Have no fear of failure

Abbett believes that some form of vulnerability is important in both society and companies. “It’s about having the courage to try out new things in the knowledge that failure is possible.” People know the old adage “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. The highest possible levels of corporate diversity are a good basis for innovation. A workforce consisting of employees with different backgrounds means that more experience and varying points of view are inputted towards creative solutions or developing new products and services.

Curiosity as a key

This year’s “Mind the Progress” strives to meet the goals, wishes and challenges of different employees and customers in a rapidly changing world and poses a huge challenge. Abbett recommends “curiosity”, the essence of which is a desire to penetrate and understand both structures and facts. However, this is time-consuming and requires energy, but is absolutely worthwhile.

Conquering the world like a child

Abbett urges people to think back on their own childhood. Children are barely able to satisfy their curiosity and have an unbridled desire to try things out, to conquer the world and learn playfully. Abbett expressed hope that everyone can rediscover this joy as “our world is changing so quickly that we have to keep learning, rethinking and adjusting to new situations.”


Dr. Carsten Brosda, Senator for Culture and Media, will open the conference. Then Armin Nassehi, a professor of sociologay at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich will launch the agenda, said Rühl. “The professor will talk about why our society functioned according to complex, digital patterns long before the invention of computers and the internet.” This will be followed by breakout sessions, discussions and lectures with different focal points. Rühl mentioned, for instance, “Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius, Director of Kaospilot, an alternative business and design school, will teach creative methods in a workshop. Dr. Ina Schmidt, author and freelance philosopher, will talk about the virtue of serenity for redefining scopes of action. Stephan Dörner, Online Editor-in-Chief of t3n, and Antje Kruse-Schomaker, Design Principal and Studio Director IMB iX, will discuss the growing complexity amid increasing digitalization.”

Sources and further information: