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President of Bosch Group Spain discusses mobility, smart cities and digital innovation with IE Business School students

President of Bosch Group Spain discusses mobility with IE Business School students

President of Bosch Group Spain, Mr. Javier González Pareja, intrigued students with an open discussion around the future of mobility, smart cities and the Internet of Things.

President of Bosch Group Spain & Portugal and President of the German Chamber of Commerce for Spain was invited by the IE Business School Technology & Innovation Club to share insights with students from his 25-year experience working for Bosch. Topics ranged from the practical challenges Bosch faces while driving innovation in the digital world, to the inevitable implications of technology for societies.

González Pareja offered an overview of Bosch’s recent business developments, stressing the fact the company is owned by a foundation and devotes 92% of its dividends to medical research and scholarship programs. The Bosch president stressed the inherent importance of innovation, customer experience and connectivity with respect to the digitalization of the industrial technology and consumer goods.

“One of the challenges of our society is how to merge the offline and online world, because we should never forget the offline,” he suggested. “At Bosch, we are driven by the purpose of breaking the distance with the traditional world and way of doing things.”

Self-driving cars and robotics were a hot topic for students who attended the event. González Pareja discussed recent innovations in big data collection and mobility, such as the Coup motor-sharing service in Madrid, the evolution of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and the not-so-far future of zero-emission self-driving cars.

“Today 1.2 million people die every year of car accidents. Ninety percent of that is because of human emotion. We want to bring self-driving cars to bring that number to zero. This is our why, our purpose,” he said. “Megatrend innovation comes with innovation for people, society and the environment.”

He also addressed how artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and technological disruption must be funneled through sustainability, with a constant focus on the ethical and social challenges that should be solved before implementation and innovation.

“When you will rule the world, take care of technique, but never forget the human side.”

“Technique accelerates at the cost of sustainability and social acceptance. Society goes at different speeds, the technique moves faster than legislation and the minds of people,” he says. “We should have revolution on the way to evolution.”

The CEO said Bosch’s motivation is to work for people in need, to listen to the ever-changing 21st century consumer and to train future generations through sustainable ideals.

“This is for you, leaders of the future, to know how to combine the technical and real world,” he said. “When you will rule the world, take care of technique, but never forget the human side.”