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Regardless of the challenges or benefits young people pose to society, their culture – which is rapidly becoming our culture – is here to stay. As leaders of the IT industry, we need to seek ways to understand and engage them, to teach and learn from them.

For four decades, the world of business has run on SAP software. SAP is part of almost everything we encounter in our daily lives – from our alarm clocks to our breakfast cereal to our cars to our children’s classroom.

But why do we focus on young talents now? They are our customer’s customers. In fact, 95 percent of the top-rated brands among Young People are SAP customers. To be successful, we know we have to meet those customers where they are. With the help of talented young SAP employees, we hope to gain insights into where today’s consumers are headed…so that we can arrive there ahead of them.

Clearly, these young people matter a great deal to us. So how do we bring these young people onboard?  How do we engage them as customers, employees and leaders? There is no one solution, of course. We follow three approaches:

We prepare them. We partner with them. And we inspire them with our purpose.

We are actively working to give today’s young people the knowledge and skills they need to thrive at a company like ours. Especially at the university level, SAP is very active. SAP’s University Alliances program works with more than 2,400 universities to introduce students to SAP’s technology and latest innovations. That’s thousands of young people learning what we do and how to help us do it better. At nearly 80 percent of the world’s top institutions. These efforts are reinforced by our Early Talent Ambassador Program. We send young SAP employees to engage with universities to build our brand on campuses and attract the next great SAP leaders. We host talks to inspire and motivate young people, as well as 32 hour non-stop Design Thinking and coding competition to bring young people together to create unique, original products …….just to name few examples of our engagement.

And now it’s time again! SAP InnoJam – Coding the Future takes place September 28 & 29 in Berlin, Germany. More than 70 students from 60 universities in 15 countries across EMEA will meet in BeachBar Mitte. The event underscores SAP’s commitment to next generation talent for the digital enterprise, in which SAP plans to hire more than 2,000 early talents in 2015.beachbar mitte.jpg

The Task: Develop an App – in 32 hours. The Topic: Smart Campus City Berlin & Collaboration and Learning in Entertainment from the Berliner Philharmonic. Maybe the challenge results in a ground-breaking idea.

At the end of these two and a half exciting days students will have time to discuss with Stefan Ries, CHRO of SAP, his own background and what drives him, but also share with him reflections on their generation, their ambitions, expectations and dreams. For the discussion, Stefan will be joined by Jürgen Griesbeck, founder of streetfootballworld and Reza Mehmansefat, founder of Full Controll will share their stories and provide a little of their own entrepreneurial spirit and experience.

At the end, the best app will be awarded and the winning team will go to Barcelona: Members will be invited to be a part of the SAP TechEd in Spain, where they will participate in the InnoJam, get to attend keynotes, and network with customers, partners, and SAP experts.

Follow the event and re-tweet the action on twitter via hashtags #CodeFuture, # SAPYouth, #innojam!



Young Professionals on the Rise


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