As smartphones become the new must-have accessory, offering multiple tools of communication and virtually unlimited access to information, the new mobile technology forum MLove, June 23-25, set out to define how best to tap the mobile industry. The three-day long event, taking place in the charming setting of a 19th-century castle in Halle, two hours south of Berlin, gathered about 200 global leaders and personalities to exchange ideas on mobile initiatives such as app development and mobile commerce.

“We are bringing together CEOs, innovators and entrepreneurs from across multiple disciplines to share, learn and cross-pollinate ideas with an array of scientists, artists and other thought leaders,” said Peter Giblin, Director of MLove, who, together with Harald Neidhardt, founded the project in 2008, beginning with 15 people, and then initiated camps in Barcelona, San Francisco and London.

A cross between a conference and festival, MLove combined inspirational speakers with a festival feel created by folksy dinners and entertainment, including live music acts and stunning illumination of a castle by the Swiss-based company Projektil.

Unlike traditional conferences, MLove offered an unconventional interactive concept: a welcome speech by organizers was followed by a calming meditation session and group workshops and presentations. Forming the impressive speaker list were Nick Heller, a new business developer from Google; Beverly W. Jackson in marketing and social media for the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles; Holger Meyer, CEO of 3D Zeitschriften in Munich; Marc Mielau, head of digital at BMW Group Munich; Jérôme Nadel EVP at Sagem/Puma Phone; and Amish Patel, program manager at Microsoft.

Meanwhile, the castle’s historical ballroom acted as a unique presentation venue: various rooms were used for panels, creative workshops and in depth-discussions. The speeches each day were driven by various subjects, such as the impact of mobile technology on communication and marketing, music and entertainment, advertising, mobility and travel, media, future trends, emerging markets and our social lives. The open format invited participants to debate and share thoughts on the central question, How will mobile change your future?, while considering topics such as privacy, education and social lives. The Future Cube Creative Workshop dealt with themes ranging from communication to fashion and offered the core points of the event, including new ideas for the future of mobile in a very hands-on-fashion by way of painting, crafting or creating.

“Mobile is one of the most obvious symbols for the changing world. The result is that this castle is filled with people who are doing interesting stuff in that field. So far, our company is doing very little with the mobile at the moment, but we are definitely watching interesting tools and mobile apps to further interact with the consumer,” said Raphael Mazoyer, digital communications manager at Asics/Onitsuka Tiger in Amsterdam. “We are spending money on developing services, on treating relationships to get a real bond with our customers. We want to make content available, not just looks. We started our Internet platform in 2002 [and are] having a growing impact these days. Having empathy for the audience and doing stuff with and for them is very important. The world is changing, having consequences on the way we act as a business,” he added.

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