Interview with Gunter Dueck

Gunter Dueck is a lateral thinker who is also called “Wild Duck”, or “Wilddueck”, by some people. He interferes, comments and asks many questions. After studying mathematics and business administration, he worked for five years as professor of mathematics at the University of Bielefeld. For IBM, he worked for around 25 years as Chief Technology Officer and was involved in various projects, for example in the technical orientation and strategic planning of the group.

Mr. Dueck, you are on the road as an author and speaker and are committed to a better world: What would their better world look like?

We have always lamented poverty, hunger and arbitrariness in this world and hope for a better one. If you look back for a while, you can see that things are getting better – despite the wave movement to which we always react with panic. How will it look tomorrow? Even better! But for this idealists must constantly give their best. But the world will probably never really be a good place, only better.

Which technologies are suitable for this?

New technologies all help – somehow. But this also makes the weapons better and the tools for the powerful and exploited, clear. Older people like me are more likely to accept this and act persistently (not indignantly) to keep the world somehow in the middle.

How can we ensure that these are used for the benefit of all?

As I said, the power of all is not easy or not really to be activated for the benefit of all. In the end, the community then has a very good sense of how to prevent the worst from happening, but almost always too late, because the problems are only appreciated by the masses when they can be sensed. For example, it has been clear for over ten years that we are facing a severe shortage of skilled workers due to tech & obsolescence. It is there now, but due to the debate many years have been wasted. It is a Sisyphus task to make people aware of the problems even before they have become widespread, see global warming. In short: “Ensure” is an exaggerated claim – highly respectable and idealistic, yes, fine, but…

What can each individual do to make a better world?

It would be good to get rid of the indifference, not to look away, to do good now and then and to get involved in a matter of the heart somewhere. It is rather not so important to tear oneself apart as an individual, but it would be better if ALL did a little. There’s no point in a few people not using plastic bags… …but if everyone would just cooperate a little, it would work. And that is precisely the Sisyphus task: to set the whole thing in motion. Sometimes you have great moments of culture: Then you don’t have to set the world in motion (i.e. push it), but only to STOP it. Such great moments are when everyone participates.

Which is the most unattainable and which the most realistic utopia for them?

Unattainable? All men are good. Accessible? The good people have a great influence.

And this answer is sure to be followed by comments: Who – please – is good? Who decides that? Is anyone allowed to determine that? Instead of becoming good in the naive sense, we debate… There are so many things that are absolutely not good – without debate – for example, neglected children, miserable care conditions, poverty of all ages, lack of education – you can do something without further hairsplitting.

Many thanks for your answers!

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