Will life get better someday?

Young eliteDrosten: In 2021 life will be "largely normal" again

After the successes in vaccine development against the corona virus, the well-known Berlin virologist Christian Drosten expects a foreseeable normalization of life in the coming year. “I believe that we will be much further ahead at this time next year,” said Drosten at Capital's “Young Elite Summit 2020”. Although there will still be precautionary measures, people would then be able to move and behave “largely normally”.

The event with a good 300 talents and executives, at which the winners of the “Top 40 under 40” are announced every year, took place for the first time as a digital conference. A number of participants from the USA, China, Singapore and Mexico attended this year. The award has been given to outstanding managers, founders, entrepreneurs, politicians and scientists since 2007. Drosten was one of the first prizewinners 13 years ago.

The chief virologist at the Berlin Charité also contradicted the widespread public image that virologists and epidemiologists are currently determining the fate of the country. Politicians still make decisions, and he and his colleagues can only advise and give scientific assessments. “I don't think I can influence anything with authority,” said Drosten, describing himself as a “little cog”.

Drosten, 48, started his career in 2007 as a professor at the University of Bonn. Three years ago he moved to Charité, Europe's largest hospital. The virologist advises the federal government on combating the corona pandemic and has become known to a wide audience through numerous public appearances and his podcast. This public significance "at times exhausting", said Drosten, but at the same time understandable because the need for information and expertise in the pandemic is immensely high.

Under the motto "The crisis of the century - how we have to rethink, lead and decide", the participants discussed in panels and workshops how they can get involved as young managers and designers even in a state of emergency. This year's speakers included award winners such as Gottfried Ludewig, Head of Digitization and Innovation in the Federal Ministry of Health, the leader of the Greens in the Bavarian State Parliament, Katharina Schulze, as well as top manager Philipp Meyer, who is the chief financial officer of the management team of the Chinese subsidiary JFY for the machine tool manufacturer Trumpf belongs.

Theodor Weimer, CEO of Deutsche Börse, this year's partner of the event, called on the young executives to tackle and change things every day. "Be radical in thinking and acting for yourself," he said in a greeting to the award winners. “Be a 'show starter'. Don't talk about changes, start with them yourself. "

Capital selects 40 outstanding talents under 40 from the four areas of management, entrepreneurship, science & society and politics & state. This has resulted in a unique network of over 1000 alumni. The 160 nominees in this year's “Top 40 under 40” include Jakob Berndt, founder of the fintech Tomorrow, Danyal Bayaz (The Greens), member of the Bundestag, Jia Chen, professor for environmental sensors and modeling at the Technical University of Munich and Martin Beck, managing director Human Pharma Germany at Boeringer Ingelheim.