Columbia University, United Nations Headquarters, and the United States Military Academy in Westpoint are the highlights at CIOmove 2019. Participants from Europe, Africa and Asia may experience a fourth attraction: In the Lufthansa “Flying Lab” they can start the conference in Frankfurt already.

(Photo: Lufthansa)

CIOmove 2019 begins in the airplane: On May 1st at 11 am, LH 400 will take off from Frankfurt with destination to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. 60 seats on board the A380 are reserved for CIOmovers. Just book a business or economy ticket on or any other traveling platform and tell us your booking number. You will then be reseated to the designated area of the “Flying Lab” by the Lufthansa team. Seats will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis – so you better book your flight soon. The first seat in Business Class is already taken by Lufthansa CIO Roland Schuetz: “Of course I will join you,” he says: “There is no more exciting way to get from A to B than in our Flying Lab.”


There are two things that make the Flying Lab special: On the one hand, participants will receive a tailor-made program in their seats which will introduce them to the main topic of CIOmove 2019: “Artificial Intelligence”.


The right strategy to use AI will be explained by Professor Art Langer, Director of the Center for Technology Management at Columbia University. At the United Nations, CIO Atefeh Riazi reports how AI makes the world a better place. And in Westpoint, Brigadier General Cindy R. Jebb tells us about “AI in Warfare”. Cindy is also the Dean of the world-famous military school.

In total Art has prepared three things for the Flying Lab:

  1. With the “Korn Learning Style Inventory” of the personnel consultants Korn Ferry all participants (also the spouses) can learn more about their personal learning behavior.
  2. With the “Langer Maturity Arcs”, CIOs can test which IT management behavior they maintain – and which would be appropriate for their company.
  3. A small tutorial teaches how CIOs develop their own AI strategy: “Some colleagues are a little bit behind in defining the advantages of AI for their enterprises I found during my CIO sessions last year in Israel”, Art said. At the end of the eight-hour flight, he promises, all participants will know what they need for a good AI strategy.


In addition, we are currently preparing another learning unit for the Flying Lab: Jürgen Pinkl from Accenture had the idea to have the CIOmovers jointly write their own small AI program during the flight. With TensorFlow from Google, a small image recognition software could be developed that helps all participants to better survive in the New York metropolitan jungle. The whole tutorial should be so simple that also CIOmovers without knowledge in Python or C++ have a feeling of success. How well TensorFlow gets along with our own little Wifi in the A380 we will find out.


(Photo: Lufthansa)

The second big advantage of the Flying Lab is that every participant has interesting neighbors right from the start … As long as there is no air turbulence – which is unlikely in May – we will be allowed to change seats to meet more peers As always with CIOmove, everyone will know everyone by the end of the journey. Around two thirds of all participants have already met … 49 CIOs have visited more than one CIOmove, see Five have never missed a CIOmove since the beginning in 2014.


Meet 20 Newbies on “Peer’s Day”

We will meet many newcomers in New York. Our partner networks “CIO Executive Council” (a branch of the CIO magazine in Boston) and the “CIO Association of Canada” will send significantly more CIOs than in previous years. And Art Langer will share his network: 240 mentors from the business world look after his students at Columbia, of which many are CIOs. We expect a minimum of 20 new CIOs from North America. This could make the Americans the strongest faction at CIOmove. In Israel 2018 it was the Germans, ahead of the Poles, Brazilians and Israelis. Counts will be tallied on Wednesday, May 1, at 6:00 pm at the Get Together in Mid-Manhattan.


(Photo: Columbia University, Eileen Barroso)

As always, the second day is reserved for academics. This year it is called “Columbia’s Day” because we will spend at least half the day at the Ivy League University. The topics that we will discuss in detail later in the CIO sessions will be presented here. New this year: The Columbia students of the Executive Programs are also allowed to present topics. Similar to 2016 at l’École 42 in Paris, we hope for fresher input from the students. Maybe they associate AI with very different ideas than we do. Between sessions, we will also have guided tours of the Columbia site: The first atom bomb was planned there (“Manhattan Project”), books older than many European universities are stored there, Data Scientists fill an entire skyscraper and runners among the CIOmovers can exercise on a 400-meter lane there – indoors!


(Photo: NY Tourism, Julienne Schaer)

For the last CIO session on Thursday we will return to Midtown, more exactly: to 1166 Avenue of the Americas. This is where Sprint resides. The American communications company operates in over 150 countries around the world and sees itself as an enabler for AI. “I’d like to say more about how AI and IoT relate to 5G,” says Sprint Business President Jan Geldmacher, who many may still know as CEO of Vodaphone in Germany. Geldmacher gets the opportunity to do so at a dinner at “WeWork” in the same building. CIOmovers already knows the co-working space provider from the last CIO session in Tel Aviv. Like Sprint, WeWork is partially-owned by the Japanese SoftBank Group. The WeWork location is not only suitable for working, but also for celebrating.


(Photo: UN Photo/Loey Felipe)

On Friday we will celebrate “United Nation’s Day”. In fact, much more is happening on this May 3rd, but let’s start at the beginning: First, Atefeh Riazi, CIO at the United Nations, will explain how she uses IT and where AI simplifies her work in predicting refugee flows, for example. Then we will get a guided tour through the historic halls where Nikita Khrushchev took off his shoe – if the history of the UN General Assembly in 1960 is true. At that time, the Kremlin leader is said to have hammered his right shoe on the lectern. In the meantime, however, historians doubt whether the photo of evidence is a forgery after all. Blustering politicians and fake news are not really new, we will learn.


Yes, We Are On a Train Again

(Photo: NY Tourism)

From the United Nations Headquarters we will walk to the Grand Central Station. This train station built in 1913 is worth seeing, and finally we can do again what is essential for a CIOmove: Train travel. We already rode through Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany debating in beautiful railway compartments. Only in Israel we had to do without it, there aren’t any compartments in the holy land. In New York the journey by train can continue now – but not for very long. After one hour we will already reach Peekskill, our destination station in the mountains north of New York. We will cross the Hudson River there and spend the night in the venerable Hotel Thayer. In this “Historic Hotel of America” once slept the generals Robert E. Lee, his opponent in the civil war Ulysses S. Grant (later US President), Douglas MacArthur and other noteables like Edgar Allen Poe.


(Photo: Public Domain/Leonard G.)

Saturday, May 4, is Westpoint’s Day. Where the Hudson becomes so narrow that George Washington thought he could stopt English ships with a chain, there has been a fort since the War of Independence. Well, the chain didn’t work out. Before it could even be stretched across the Hudson, the British bombarded the fort. But after the war the United States Military Academy was founded there, where cadets learn civil engineering, among other things. Every fourth officer of the army has enjoyed his technically oriented education there. “Technology is an important part of our training,” says Brigadier General Cindy R. Jebb. Cindy will tell us about “AI in Warfare”.


(Photo: Hotel Thayer)

Saturday will also be our day to relax. Around Westpoint there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling or paddling. We are only 50 miles from Manhattan, but black bears live here in the largely untouched forests. Our event manager Caro Franke has not yet determined exactly what the recreational program will be like. But knowing Caro: It will be extraordinary. Climbing with black bears perhaps could be left out.


(Photo: NY Tourism BCE Hornblower Kate Glicksberg)

If  you are in a hurry, you can use the shuttle bus back to New York on Saturday to reach the night planes back to Europe. However, we recommend to stay one more evening in Manhattan. Our closing party will again be a highlight to improve your own network. And if you like, you’ll have a nice breakfast with your peers on Sunday and may spend the rest of the day with your spouse in New York.