Published by Dutch Journalism Fund (Dutch)

According to professor Jeff Jarvis, America will come to a screeching halt when Trump becomes president. He emphasised this message to the attendees of innovation and technology congress Hub Conference ’16 in Berlin. There is only one solution according to Jarvis: Europe needs to take over the lead of America to save us all.

“At this moment Europe, and Germany specifically, needs to take charge because we are going to get very busy in the next four years.” Whenever he came to Europe over the last few years, he usually started his story with a joke to apologise for Trump. “That is no longer funny. We are stuck with him.” Professor Jeff Jarvis had a passionate plea for the people of Hub Conference ’16. Earlier that day topics like blockchain, robotics and artificial intelligence were discussed at the conference.



Jarvis did not have an easy mission; he wanted to raise awareness among the audience of entrepreneurs, thinkers and investors, about their responsibility in the new world.

The professor of City University of New York and director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, feels that America will not keep taking a leading role. He sees a big opportunity for Europe to show leadership. Not only politically, but also in terms of economy, innovation and investment.

“You are the bulwark against the madness of Brexit, Trump and Le Pen.”


According to Jarvis, many areas in America, from education to journalism, will come to a standstill. At the conference on technological development in the future, he therefore decided to give the key role in the field of innovation to Europe. A future of robotics, artificial intelligence, cyber security and flexible work hours. “You are the defending wall against the madness of Brexit, and what there is to come from Trump and Le Pen just across the border. Who knows what the future will hold.”

According to Jarvis, European leadership may be reflected in investing in innovation, including education, privacy and journalism. For example, he feels like journalism is stuck between fake news and clickbait: “Cats, Kardashian and Trump.”

Leading through innovation


According to Jarvis, Germany would be very suitable to take over America’s leading role in the world: the country has huge diversity, knows respect for intellect and has a progressive side. But he also pointed out the conservative character of Germany could stand in the way of big innovation. Jarvis talked to many start-ups and found many of those had to go overseas to secure big investments. He stated they can usually get the first financing done in Berlin, but the third or fourth round of investments is often more difficult to realise.

“The game is far from over. We are still far removed from the app that will be the big breakthrough of the internet.”


Still, Jarvis keeps hoping. He pointed out revolutionary inventions from Germany. The printing press by Gutenberg, for example; it was developed around 1450, but it took until 1605 before the first newspaper saw the light of day. In this timeline, we are only at the beginning of the possibilities of the internet. “The game is far from over. We are still far removed from the app that will be the big breakthrough of the internet. Hell, you invented the printing press!”

You can watch Jarvis’ entire talk here.

Photo:Jeff Jarvis, via Bitkom

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