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Courage, luck, action – what is a pioneering spirit made of?

What constitutes a true pioneering achievement? At the Volkswagen Drive Forum Event in Berlin, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume joined moderator Cherno Jobatey, entrepreneur Sara Nuru and author Yasemin Yazan on a mission to find out.

What would our world be like today if humans weren’t such natural pioneers, and if people had never fought for their ideas and visions? Porsche played a pioneering role in the field of electric mobility last year with the all-electric Taycan but visionary thinking and a pioneering spirit have always defined the company: in 1898, when he designed the fully electric and now legendary Egger-Lohner Phaeton C.2, Ferdinand Porsche was already far ahead of his time.

What it takes to be a pioneer today, what drives them and what they achieve was the subject discussed by a panel of experts consisting of Sara Nuru, Yasemin Yazan and Oliver Blume at the Volkswagen Drive Forum in Berlin last week.

Courage as inspiration

For Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, the answer to the question of what defines a pioneer is clear: “Above all, it is the courage to dare to try something new.” Blume is convinced that the will to create something relevant that captures the spirit of the time – something that is truly needed – is just as important as luck and doing the right thing at the right time.

For Nuru, it was a conscious step to think “outside the box” and to dare to do something completely new. “But I always had a basic trust in myself. And my sister and I have always believed in ourselves and our idea,” Nuru says.

Meaning as a motivator

“Pioneers pave the way for progress,” notes entrepreneur, author and speaker Yasemin Yazan, who guides companies in transformation processes. She sums up the key to igniting the proverbial fire in simple terms: “If you want performance, you have to offer meaning.” When it comes to mobility this means more than just building a car. You have to have an idea of the answers that the product provides. This is the only way to create the emotions, the fire and a power that can no longer be stopped, says Yazan.

Basic trust as the foundation

As the winner of the casting show "Germany's Next Top Model", she and her sister Sali founded the company nuruCoffee in 2016. The company sells coffee from Ethiopia and supports women there with micro loans.

“I was lucky enough to travel to Ethiopia -– the country of my parents. It was there that I saw real poverty for the first time,” says the 31-year-old.

Start-up culture as a roadmap

“We have always had a culture of innovation at Porsche, and elements of the startup culture complement this perfectly,” explains Mattias Ulbrich, Managing Director at Porsche Digital.

Oliver Blume also welcomes orientation based on the startup culture. “Agility is possible only when there is stability. For us at Porsche, it is especially important to connect tradition with the future.”

Pioneers of the future

Oliver Blume adds: A pioneering achievement is not an end in itself. In the end, everything revolves around people. In 2020 it is about how we can maintain the quality of life in the world as it is today. In this context, he considers realising pioneering achievements to be a fundamental responsibility. “Always for the benefit of people,” says Blume.

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Nov 01, 2020 at 16:17

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