Events | X – The success and failure of future projects

Berlin | March 28, 2017 | 7:30 PM

Obi Felten, Photo: Winnie Wintermeyer/ Edit: Villa Aurora

Obi Felten, Head of getting moonshots ready for contact with the real world at X, the moonshot factory at google is working on innovative solutions to the world's biggest challenges, and is making Moonshots ready for contact with the real world. She is responsible for either bringing X projects from the lab into the world or ensuring that they fail quickly. It is about finding solutions to problems affecting people around the world with new technologies in a foreseeable future.

X represents what fascinates Europeans so much about Silicon Valley - its innovation spirit, courage and dynamism. In conversation with Markus Klimmer, author of the book "#Digital Leadership - How Top Managers in Germany shape change", the discussion will also be about Europe's and especially Germany's innovation spirit.

Alison Smale, chief editor of the New York Times in Berlin, will moderate the discussion.

Obi Felten, Photo: Winnie Wintermeyer

Obi Felten leads early stage projects at X, the team at Alphabet behind self-driving cars, Project Loon and many more. As director of X Foundry, she is responsible for getting early stage X projects from the lab into the real world (or ensuring they fail fast). Previously she was director of consumer marketing for Google EMEA. Before Google, Obi launched the ecommerce business of a major UK retailer, worked as a strategy consultant and led's (unsuccessful) expansion to Germany during the first dotcom boom. 

Obi is a startup mentor and angel investor focusing on women founders. She set up Campus London, a Google-funded space for tech entrepreneurs. She is on the board of Shift, a non-profit designing products to address social problems like youth mental health. She is also on the board of Picasso Labs, a tech startup. 

Obi grew up in Berlin, went to Oxford University, and lives in San Francisco with her husband and young children.

Markus Klimmer, Photo: Mirko Lux/Villa Aurora

Markus Klimmer is chairman of the board of directors of Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e.V. and Bauhaus Archive - Museum of Design. From 2000 to 2009, he was partner at McKinsey & Company, where he headed the "Public Sector" division, and until 2017 he was managing director and senior partner of corporate consultancy Accenture. In 2008/09 he was an economic adviser to the German Foreign Minister. Markus Klimmer studied political science, economics and public law at the London School of Economics, the University of California Los Angeles and the University of Hamburg.

Alison Smale, Photo: Mirko Lux/Villa Aurora

Alison Smale is chief correspondent for Germany and Central and Eastern Europe of the New York Times in Berlin. After studying in Stanford, she worked in various foreign offices. Among other things, she was the office manager for Eastern Europe of the American news agency Associated Press, based in Vienna. From 1983 to 1987 Smale reported from Moscow. Until 1998 she was chief editor of the International Herald Tribune in Paris.



A cooperation of Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e.V. an the Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft.

Tickets: free admission

Location: Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften

Akademiegebäude am Gendarmenmarkt

Einstein-Saal, 5. OG

Jägerstraße 23, 10117 Berlin

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