3rd Max Planck Symposium for Alumni and Early Career Researchers "Advances in Digitalization"


  • Start: Sep 20, 2018
  • End: Sep 23, 2018
  • Location: Harnack-Haus (Haupteingang), Ihnestr. 16, Berlin-Dahlem
  • Host: Max Planck Society
  • Contact: birgit.adam@gv.mpg.de
3rd Max Planck Symposium for Alumni and Early Career Researchers "Advances in Digitalization"
Following up on the successful 2nd Max Planck Symposium in 2017 focusing on "Sustainability and Social Engagement", the Harnack-Haus will once more be transformed into a "home away from home" in the course of 3rd edition with the title "Advances in Digitalization" -- with interdisciplinary talks, panel discussions and workshops.

Update: The image slideshow is now available

Please note that the available programme is constantly updated as speakers are confirmed and workshop topics and abstracts are finalized by the attendees. We invite you to view last year's programme for reference.

Note to alumns, especially when travelling from abroad: We have a limited number of travel grants available to all alumns* travelling from abroad. If you choose to apply for a travel grant during registration, we suggest to spend extra care on filling out the motivational questionaire. If you need an invitation letter for your visa application, please contact directly.

Note to participants travelling with children: We highly enourage you to make use of our on-site daytime childcare. After you've checked the corresponding box during registration we will get in contact with you to arrange the details.

There is no registration fee.

* To include all genders and facilitate transparent communication, alumni and alumnae will be referred to as alumns, henceforth and throughout the conference.


Thursday, September 20th 2018
Arrival and Welcome Dinner

16.00 | Registration Desk opens (Harnack-Lobby)

16.30 - 18.30 | Optional City Tours "Women in Science" or "German Oxford" (Start at Harnack-Lobby)

18.30 - 19.00 | Welcome Reception with Cocktails and Snacks + Meet and Greet with members of the General Headquarters (Harnack-Lobby)

19.00 | Welcome Dinner (Harnack House Restaurant and Garden)

Friday, September 21st 2018
Career Path Highlights and Networking

9.00 - 10.00 | Registration (Harnack-Lobby)

10.00 - 10.30 | Opening and Welcoming Address by Angela Friederici (Goethe-Saal)

10.30 - 11.00 | Friedhelm Bertelsmeier

Keynote on "Digitalization in Transportation"

11.00 - 11.30 | Coffee Break (Harnack-Lobby)

11.30 - 12.00 | Tosja Zywietz

"Digitalization -- Megatrends: Industry 4.0, 5G and Mobility – what is the effect on our society" (Goethe-Saal)

12.00 - 12.30 | France Vehar

"Artificial Intelligence in the Legal Industry" (Goethe-Saal)

12.30 - 13.00 | Monika Lessl

"Innovation in life sciences in the digital age" (Goethe-Saal)

13.00 - 14.30 | Lunch (Harnack House Restaurant and Garden)

14.30 - 15.00 | Thomas Wilckens

"Precision Medicine driven by Artificial Intelligence : Disrupting biomedical R&D & healthcare" (Goethe-Saal)

15.00 - 15.30 | Pooja Rao

"Artificial intelligence- Teaching machines to read X-rays, CT and MRI scans" (Goethe-Saal)

15.30 - 18.00 |  Interdisciplinary Networking Sessions

Digitalization in Healthcare (Goethe-Saal)

Digitalization in Law (Meitner-Saal)


Ursula Budnik

AI-based Test for Early Detection of Brain Tumors

Uday Shankar

Convergence of Technology and Law: Digitalization of the Indian Legal Industry


Amal Kasry

Digitalization of Biosensors as a platform for quick diagnosis          

Giulio Peroni

Big Data and the Role of International Law




Panel Discussion with Chenchao Liu and Ihor Zahanich (facilitated by Filippo Guarnieri)

Digitalization in Germany and abroad

Katarina Krapez

"Publish or Perish" Paradigm in the Digital Era -- An Impact of the Digitalization on the Academic Journal Publishing


Glenn Lawyer

Computational Biology in Finance

Ben Hartwig

"Prepare to be unprepared - what leaders in science can learn from applied improvisation"

15.30 - 18.00 | Exclusive Workshop for Alumni Relations Officers at the MPIs with Ronny Repp

"Data Protection in Alumni Management -- learning from best practices to create an MPG-wide Alumni Registration Form for the MPIs" (Ruska-Saal)

18.00-19.30 | Panel Discussion with all Keynote Speakers facilitated by Conny Czymoch (Goethe-Saal)

19.30 | Barbeque Dinner (Harnack House Restaurant and Garden) and Jam Session (Einstein-Lounge)

Saturday, September 22nd 2018
Career Path Workshops with Expert Support

8.00 - 9.00 | Registration (Harnack-Lobby)

9.00 - 9.30 | Paul Elvers

"Transition to Data Science -- how Tchibo did it" (Goethe-Saal)

9.30 - 10.00 | M PAA Intermission by Amal Kasry

"How to found a local group for the MPAA" (Goethe-Saal)

10.00 - 10.30 | MPAA Intermission by Anna Rataj and Eduardo Jara Roncati

"How to become a Max Planck Alumni Ambassador" (Goethe-Saal)

10.30 - 11.00 | Coffee Break

11.00 - 12.30 | Career Path Workshops (with Expert Support) I

Warburg-Saal: "Mental health in times of digitalization" Yorick Peterse and Maria Eichel 

Goethe-Saal: "Don't feed the Hype -- Revolutionary Technologies in Science Communication and Public Expectation" Claudio Paganini, Matyas Kovacs, Kamila Staryga and Carsten Berger

Ruska-Saal: "Positioning in the digital world" Tina Persson (+expert)

Humboldt-Saal: "Business model canvas" Prateek Mahalwar and Clemens Buss

Meitner-Saal: "Leaving science without leaving science – insights into scientific management" Michael Genkin and Alexander Schiller

Mozart-Saal: MPAA-members only: "Community building in times of digitalization" Drago Milovanovich, Christoph Schumacher, Kathy Edersheim

12.30 - 14.00 | Lunch (Harnack House Restaurant and Garden)

14.00 - 15.30 | Career Path Workshops (with Expert Support) II

Humboldt-Saal: "Transforming society - calling for interdisciplinary AI research" Matthias Hohmann and Florian Remele

Goethe-Saal: "Digitalization and the role of quantum technology" Rick Mukherjee

Ruska-Saal: "Digitalization in the insurance industry" Magda Schiegl

Warburg-Saal: "From science to patents in times of digitalization" Denis Levchuk

Meitner-Saal: "CV writing and skills gap analysis for a Digital Career" Chris Armbruster

Mozart-Saal: MPAA-members only: "Bookclub at the MPAA" Eliza Lvova and Kathy Edersheim

15.30 -16.00 | Coffee Break

16.00 - 17.30 | Career Path Workshops (with Expert Support) III

Meitner-Saal: "Science to Data Science: PhDs and Postdocs moving to industry?" Chris Armbruster

Warburg-Saal: "Building bridges between alumni and PhD networks" Lars Kreutzer and Irene Ferreira

Humboldt-Saal: "Impact of automation" Roman Prytuliak and Steven Jon Kaplan

Mozart-Saal: MPAA-members only: "Drafting a Code of Conduct and Compliance rules for the MPAA" Simon Webley

18.30 - 19.00 | Closing Reception (Einstein-Lobby)

19.00 | Festive Closing (Goethe-Saal), Cultural Running Dinner (Harnack House Lobby, Restaurant, and Garden) and Dance Party (Einstein-Lounge)

Sunday, September 23rd 2018
Departure and Mini-Assemblies of the MPAA-Groups (members upon invitation only)

9.00 | Departure of all participants

starting at 10.00 | Mini-Assemblies of the Max Planck Alumni Association Groups, Harnack House (members only)

10.00 – 11.00 | MPAA General discussion (Meitner-Saal)

11.00 – 11.30 | Coffee break (Harnack-Lobby)

parallel sessions:

11.30 – 13.00 | Max Planck Alumni Ambassadors – Interviews (Meitner-Saal)

11.30 – 12.30  | MPAA local group in Berlin (Mozart-Room)

11.30 – 12.30 | MPAA local group in Munich (Humboldt-Room)

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