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Thank you for coming to Rhizome17!

We had a great time with you all at Rhizome17! Thanks for an inspiring and productive day at Hamburg’s Trend Kitchen & Club! Find more insights and a glimpse of what you missed:

 “The kitchen is the new living room,” said Mario Pieper, managing director of Home Connect at the start of Rhizome17. Pieper sees the digitalization of the kitchen as a massive opportunity, especially when it comes to collaborations. “If you want to connect the kitchen, you have to connect with other companies first! Because when we talk about the future kitchen, we are not talking about devices, we are talking about connectivity, about a customer-oriented connection of different brands, about providing services beyond those predefined by the device.”

On the notably manned panel following this mission statement, celebrity chef Tim Raue, food scientist Dr. Jörg Munkes (GIM), Daniel Kats (Infarm) and Jens Drubel (AllyouneedFresh) who shared their insights on changing eating habits.

Daniel Kats, head of sales at Infarm, surprised the audience with a bold vision. “Our aim is to make Berlin the first self-sustaining city in the world,” he said. To put this plan into action, Kats and his team are developing small fridge-like greenhouses (indoor farms) to grow vegetables and herbs and place them in old warehouses, office buildings or even supermarkets and restaurants. Infarm currently cultivates more than 700 heads of lettuce per day using 95% less water than a traditional farm, without any soil!


Tim Raue, one of Germany's most famous chefs, is convinced of Infarm’s concept. “Customers want products that are grown just around the corner,” says Raue. “People today cook in state-of-the art kitchens, and they want to work with regional and seasonal products. If you cannot grow vegetables in your own garden, you can just go and harvest them in the supermarket.”

Or, even better, have them delivered right to your doorstep, as Jens Drubel, founder of the online supermarket AllyouneedFresh, predicts: “Within the next 5 years, 20% of all groceries will be bought online and delivered to people's homes! Right now, people still have to click on items when ordering groceries online. Soon, this will all be manageable via voice control.” Jens Drubel also presented an intelligent garbage can with sensors that allow you to simply scan an item before disposal and have the garbage can reorder it for you. AllyouneedFresh not only delivers groceries to your door, but also to your car.

What other entrants can we expect in the kitchen environment? And what are the core needs and benefits which appliances will have to satisfy in the future? We all know that IoT and digitalization will change the industry – the topic of Rhizome17’s second panel. Mario Pieper (managing director of Home Connect and CDO of BSH Home Appliances), Rainer Münch (Oliver Wyman), Rebecca Werst (Reform), as well as artist and philosopher Dr. Koert van Mensvoort shared their views on the future kitchen.

The way we communicate in the kitchen is going to change. “In 2025, we will treat devices just the way we treat human beings, and talk to them,” predicted Rainer Münch, partner at the global management-consulting firm Oliver Wyman. “We will not only tell the stove to preheat the dinner and tell the fridge which items to order. In Sweden, they are already one step ahead,” he said. “A company offers to implant microchips under their employees’ skin that can be programmed to communicate with other networked devices, such as the coffee maker. It will then know if the person wants an espresso or cappuccino before they even get there.”

If that sounds like science fiction, it is because we are living in rapidly changing times. Modern fridges, such as those by Bosch or Siemens presented by BSH Home Appliances, allow you to check the contents of your fridge via internal cameras, from wherever you are, whenever you want. BSH also premiered an innovative scanner, which determines the ripeness and nutritional information of fruits.

Nevertheless, “many people cherish the kitchen as one of the last analogue spaces,” as Rebecca Werst pointed out. Werst was the first employee of the Copenhagen-based kitchen company Reform. The company specializes in hacking IKEA kitchens with designs by internationally acclaimed architects: “If you want to integrate a kitchen into your life, you have to integrate both functionality and design.”

Design is key in the smart kitchen, as are social media and content, knows IEG investment banker Stefan Heilmann. “Software, hardware and services will unite in one platform.“ Heilmann was one of the protagonists of our third panel on “The Socialnet of Things – Interaction for Joint Experience“, together with Anja Tanas (WDR), Hannah Rees (Elbkind) and Verena Hubertz (Kitchen Stories).

Hannah Rees, Senior Social Media Manager at communications agency Elbkind, shed light on costumer engagement strategies: “Social media interaction with customers is a crucial tool for companies and business development.” Rees provided insights on a crowd-sourcing campaign created by Elbkind for Ritter Sport: fans were completely in charge of developing a new product.

Verena Hubertz is convinced that anyone can cook. To prove her theory, she founded the start-up Kitchen Stories together with Mengting Gao, offering a rich variety of tasty recipes, practical kitchen tips, and informative food articles. Kitchen Stories enables food lovers all over the world to connect. “Without spending a cent on marketing, our app has already been downloaded 15 million times," she said. Apple and Google, who recommended the app to their users, supported the founders. Hubertz’s vision? “A fridge that inspects all available ingredients and links directly to a suitable recipe at Kitchen Stories.”

Anja Tanas, a nutritionist and journalist at WDR, has also dedicated herself to culinary content. “Politics and science are simply too slow to verify that new nutritional trends are healthy. This is why we have to step in, especially as it concerns all of us. Food is the new status symbol of our time!” People have always cared about food and cooking; and, they will continue to care and talk about it, just in other ways.

Increasing connectivity brings a multitude of opportunities for consumers and businesses, partly challenging established logics. At the end of the day, Rhizome17 offered a unique, interdisciplinary forum to explore recent trends and discuss new business concepts. The first connected kitchen conference not only connected the perspectives from different disciplines, it also served perfectly as networking opportunity for its participants.

Thanks for making Rhizome17 an incredible experience!

2017 was the first year of Rhizome – Connected Kitchen Conference. It was sponsored by Home Connect, the first solution in the world to allow home appliances from different brands to be controlled with a single app. The system is designed as an open platform that will keep evolving to cover a growing range of services and devices. For more information about Home Connect, go to:

The Kitchen is the new Livingroom.

Mario Pieper

Digitalization will encourage people to be more creative and eat healthy more frequently.

Tim Raue

Topics that matter

In the post-digital era, the living environment of humans has changed: man and machine enter into a highly diverse relationship. Rhizome has dedicated itself to this paradigm shift at the center of our households: the kitchen.

The demands for new technologies as well as the possibilities provided by them have grown. Your fridge alerts you with a text message when your local farmer’s milk is finished; items are automatically added to your digital shopping cart and conveniently delivered to your house before you and your friends get home for your weekly cooking session.

The emerging relationship between human and machine brings possibilities and challenges to the food value chain, but also to kitchen design and functionalities and the respective social interaction patterns around it. At Rhizome17, we discussed these possibilities and challenges, aiming for new insights and jointly generated visions.

While our conference offered valuable room for networking among participants and speakers, featured discussions treated three topic areas including respective keynotes and panel discussions:


Changing Patterns – Nutrition in the Future

 Integrated Living – The Efficiency of the Kitchen

The Socialnet of Things – Interaction for Joint Experience

Changing Patterns – Nutrition in the Future

What does a fitness watch have to do with low-carb pizza and why does the local farmer play a role?

Everything is connected! Future nutrition means more than just Tom Kha Gai in Munich.

The entire food value chain is confronted with new nutritional trends and patterns, (bio)-technological innovations and new distribution strategies are shaping our culinary lives, and vice versa.

Rhizome17 invited managers, upcoming professionals from the food value chain, and experts from science and practice in the field of health and technology to an expert dialogue. They jointly analyzed the new challenges and interdependencies between nutrition and technology, discussed existing reactions but also outlined future visions of innovative services around the connected kitchen.

Integrated Living – The Efficiency of the kitchen

Have you ever been in the situation where you wanted to scream at your oven to open itself because you already had a heavy casserole in your hands? Do it!

Cooking as creative process influences the concept of the perfect kitchen. What makes a kitchen fit perfectly into your home? What is it supposed to look like and what features do you expect from it?

We are used to furniture designers’ surprising new styles, and home appliance manufacturers increasingly efficient machines. Today’s Connected Kitchens contribute to the desire for a perfectly integrated kitchen. Who would not like to delegate household chores, whilst lying on the sofa after a long day's work? Smart kitchen designs and appliances open up new room to expand the kitchen into the living room.

Rhizome17 brought together the expertise of technology providers, designers and futurology experts. They all perceived the kitchen as an integral part of people’s living space and envisioned the role of connected machines and services.

The Socialnet of Things – Interaction for joint experience

"Ciao Giovanni, thank you for your tasty cannelloni recipe. I just saved it to my cookbook! The fridge has already ordered all the ingredients and all I have left to do now is check on YouTube how to make the pasta myself"

Over social media and its platforms people share their cooking experience with friends – not only with the ones physically present but with friends all over the globe.

Where all information is available and sharable, new hubs emerge that connect markets, but above all people. Around the theme of kitchen and cooking, which has already advanced to a lifestyle, a community has evolved – a community that not only inspires and provides feedback on recipes, but also shares information on cooking times, utensils, and storage techniques. Technological progress has created new forms of experiencing cooking together.

The possibilities and challenges of this trend were in focus of the third theme of Rhizome17. Experts from social networking as well as from smart device manufacturers and selected startup entrepreneurs discussed new interaction formats and solutions within the digitally socialized kitchen.


“Rhizome” originally is the botanical term for network of subterranean roots. We use it to describe the non-hierarchical interconnections within the modern world of knowledge. New connections, analogies and interdependencies are constantly emerging, linking various fields of knowledge to generate new perspectives and insights.

Rhizome aims to spur this interdisciplinary exchange in the search for ideas to complement a holistic understanding of human-machine-interaction.

Can the kitchen with its appliances and design converge the human desire for convenience, healthy nutrition and social interaction in the Digital Age? Which connections exist and how can we enhance these to create value? The participants of Rhizome17 tackled these and more questions for the first time.