The Town of Tomorrow
Dominik Prinz with Stephan Althoff
The only good technology is technology you can use. For every iPad revolution there is a Segway flameout, and Deutsche Telekom, the largest telecommunications company in Europe, is working hard to stay on the right side of that line. In 2006 they chose Friedrichshafen, Germany to become their inaugural T-City, a fully connected, fully supported testing ground for tomorrow’s communication and information technologies. Interbrand’s Dominik Prinz spoke with Deutsche Telekom’s Head of Corporate Sponsoring and Events, Stephan Althoff, about this unique partnership.
Stephan Althoff on Deutsche Telekom’s corporate responsibility
Deutsche Telekom wants to show the potential of networked information and communication technologies for improving the quality of urban life and the quality of location for businesses. As a market leader in Germany, it was part of our corporate responsibility to research the impact of our leading-edge technologies on the lives of our customers.
Stephan Althoff on the growth of corporate citizenship in Germany
Early in my career, corporate citizenship didn’t play a very big role in Germany. The country enjoyed an economic balance—cities, states, and municipal governments had robust incomes and clearly defined responsibilities, while corporations played their own role. Twenty-five years later everything’s changed—the federal states are broke, and many municipalities rely on emergency budgets. Without private, entrepreneurial efforts, Germany’s social system would collapse. Hopefully the dire conditions will create a new foundation that can help us master the challenges of the 21st century.
Stephan Althoff on pioneering corporate citizenship
For us, T-City is a unique beacon project with special importance. There are no comparable public-private partnerships anywhere else in the world. This was the case at the start of the project in 2006 and still applies today. Back then, we were pioneers, and we have certainly set important trends in corporate citizenship with our focus on innovation and co-creation. T-City is our workshop of the future, from which products and solutions emerge, so we see T-City as an investment in Deutsche Telekom’s future viability.
Read the full interview with Stephen Althoff on page 18 of Interbrand IQ: The Corporate Citizenship Issue