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Magnus Kalkuhl

travels from Germany

Entrepreneur, technology researcher and founder of Ionwalk. Expert on cyber security and future technologies

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About Magnus

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When it comes to cyber security and future technologies, keynote speaker Magnus Kalkuhl knows what he is talking about. As former director of Kaspersky Lab's European Research and Analysis team, and the creator of his own company, Magnus' main fields of expertise are security and privacy. Magnus is an entrepreneur, relentlessly working on current and upcoming technology challenges.  This results in constantly updated presentations.

Magnus Kalkuhl, entrepreneur, technology researcher and founder of Ionwalk was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and raised in Germany. At the age of ten, he wrote his first computer program on a Commodore 64. Ever since, his passion for playing with new technology and exploring its possibilities never ceased.

With the raise of the Internet, security aspects began to play a bigger role, thus, he researched this field as well, eventually becoming Kaspersky Lab’s first German Virus Analyst in 2006. In 2010, he was promoted being the Director of Kaspersky Lab’s European Research Analysis Team and – in addition – one year later also the deputy director of “GReAT”, the Global Research And Analysis Team, which was awarded by the magazine “SC” as “Information Security Team of the Year”.

In that same year, Magnus decided to create his own company in order to explore future technologies and ensuring that users stay in control while using them.

While working on new technology as his main focus, he believes that researchers have the responsibility to share their findings also with people outside of the research community.

Magnus Kalkuhl is therefore used to all kinds of audiences, ranging from no- to hi-tech. Over the years he has given presentations and workshops in more than 20 countries. Magnus is also experienced in speaking at high profile events i.e. the official agency of the United Nations. Magnus has held many talks on company related IDC events, usually being voted among the top three speakers afterwards. After a one-year break in 2013, dedicated to company related research, his most recent workshop given was at the Quantified Self Conference Amsterdam 2014.

See keynotes with Magnus Kalkuhl

    Keynote by Speaker Magnus Kalkuhl

    The future may be tomorrow, but the boarding is now

    • Wayne Gretzky once said the he is not skating to where to puck is, but where it’s going to be. This quote has been an inspiration for many entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs being the most prominent of them.
    • Unfortunately, it is easy to make predictions, but hard to make a prophecy. Magnus Kalkuhl knows how far we can stretch our ability to tell the future, based on first hand experience. Before creating his own technology startup, Magnus worked for Russian security company Kaspersky Lab. Part of his work as the Director of Kaspersky Lab’s European Research and Analysis Team was coordinating of prototype development and new technology research in his group. In 2012, Magnus was approached and asked to be one of 25 guest authors (including Steve Ballmer, Joseph Stiglitz and Ferdinand Dudenhöffer) for Ulrich Meister’s book “Vision 2030”.
    • Magnus’ presentation is not only an entertaining trip through past predictions in history (including spectacular failures), but first and foremost aims at equipping the audience with the right mental tool-set, enabling them to make forecasts for their own professional field – and implementing this findings into today’s work.


    Keynote by Speaker Magnus Kalkuhl

    If robots are the new professionals, you’d better become a manager

    • In the last century, unemployment has often been a result of resource shortages, poor education policies, or in some cases, simply of individuals having no interests in job interviews. Since this factors were seen as economical or social problems, they were addressed with the tools politicians have. The unemployment we are facing in a computerized future however is a totally different game: Taxi drivers being replaced with autonomous cars is just the beginning.
    • At one point, even jobs that require an outstanding level of education will be handled my machines rather than humans – despite our individual level of education and motivation.
    • What does this mean to us as individuals? Which impact will this have on our society? And most of all: What options do we have in a world, where more and more professional tasks are outsourced to computers and robots?
    • Technology expert and future researcher Magnus Kalkuhl will not only show were we are right now, but also present possible future scenarios and approaches how to deal with that. Given the impact this development will have on everyone of us, it’s sure good to know our options.


    Keynote by Speaker Magnus Kalkuhl

    Put my logs where I can see them

    • Lifelogging is on its way to become part of the mainstream. Even if you never heard about “quantified self”, the chances are high that at least one of your virtual friends on Twitter or Facebook automatically posted how many kilometres (or miles) she/he ran today. Now Apple wants to join in with its “Healthbook”, and yet, this is just the beginning, as many aspects of our life are still waiting to be discovered, measured and analysed.
    • In the long run, lifelogging is not just about improving your weight, but your life as a whole. But along with the technical revolution, millions of questions appear: How much do we actually want to know about ourselves before it starts getting creepy? What if we don’t like the idea at all, but then get passively logged by others? And what about corporate security and industrial espionage aspects if everyone’s logging their daily work routine, thus sending confidential data into the cloud?
    • Lifelogging and security expert Magnus Kalkuhl deals with this kind of questions on a daily basis – and he believes that everyone should know about the potential traps when it’s about sharing your private life with other companies. Therefore this presentation does not only highlight the status quo and future developments of lifelogging, but most of all is about how we maintain control over our data, while still being able to play with the cool stuff.

Interview with Magnus Kalkuhl

What made you interested in cyber security and future technologies?

Like many children, I was easily fascinated by the futuristic technologies I saw in science fiction series as a kid. What broadened my perspective though, was when I started programming myself at the age of 10. I then realized, that computers allow us to take a much more active role in the creation of future technologies – instead of just consuming it or watching new things happening in movies.

Consequently, many of the projects I worked on were managed and stored on my computer. Eventually, when the Internet came up, and viruses were not just about destroying data, but stealing and uploading it to its creators, knowing about cyber security was not an option – but a necessary skill for self-defense.

How do you work with clients to prepare your keynotes?

The most important thing here is communication. I do not only need to know what the client expects, but most of all what the audience expects. If they are happy, the client will be too.

So what’s their level of expertise? What are their jobs? Who has previously spoken at the event and which topics were already covered? All these things matter.

That’s why I prefer talking with clients as early as possible (usually on the phone) before preparing my visit. Often, it’s also useful to meet up the evening before the event takes place to clarify some last minute questions.

Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?

Certainly. In 2012, I did a presentation about the history of malicious software and used a Commodore 64 computer for that purpose. In fact, it was not just some C64, but exactly the same one that I used as a kid to learn how to program. The two presentations before had been done on a DELL Laptop and on a MacBook Pro, so the audience was pretty surprised and loved seeing me connect this 27-year-old computer to a state-of-the-art projector.

How do you help audiences understand the future of technology?

By avoiding complicated terminology and using real life examples and analogies instead. I believe that a good presentation should be about inspiring the audience, and that requires using a language, that is understood by everyone in the room.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work as a keynote speaker?

Of course, the audience should leave the presentation with the knowledge of which technology is out there, how they can use it personally and what are the risks to keep in mind.

Most of all though, I aim for (re-)igniting a spark of fascination for new technology. Often, people are intimidated by new technologies. They think that they can’t keep up with new developments. They fear the risks that often come along with new inventions. My job is to ensure that people retrieve that lost feeling of control and leave the room as well equipped and inspired explorers of the future.

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Keynote topics with Magnus Kalkuhl