CeBIT 2009 has opened its doors, with speeches from Arnold Schwarzenegger and the president of the European Parliament setting the tone for this year’s event.
Schwarzenegger, who was speaking as the Governor of California, told attendees to be optimistic in the face of the global economic crisis. "In times of crisis we can respond in one of two ways. We can sit back and complain and whine and resign ourselves to defeat, or you can stand up, challenge yourself and challenge everyone around you to work even harder and you can refuse to fail."
"You can use a crisis as an opportunity to shine, an opportunity to leap past your competitors who are taking it maybe easy and taking the easy way out. That’s what winners do. Losers whine, but winners move forward in a strong and powerful way," he added.
The president of the European Parliament Professor Dr Hans-Gert Pottering spoke about the changing nature of technology and that content providers could no longer hold on to the old ways of protecting their intellectual property.
He said young people didn’t just want free content, they were "demanding" it, adding that if they couldn’t get it for free, they would just steal it. He told those gathered that it was becoming increasingly crucial for companies should begin to allocate serious resources towards developing new business models.
He was joined by Microsoft COO Kevin Turner, who told the audience the current economic situation was an opportunity to press the reset button on old and outdated business models.