Replay Special flight and exclusive Pre-Conference
7. March, 2019

Open New Horizons – FlyingLab’s special flight to SXSW 2019 traveled to the heart of the digital future!

On March 7, 2019, Lufthansa's FlyingLab flew direct from Frankfurt to SXSW on LH 448, a special, nonstop flight to Austin, Texas.

Digitalization is building a future that keeps on changing before our very eyes, and Lufthansa’s FlyingLab took a group of passengers to the global center of that change: SXSW in Austin, where music, film, culture, and entertainment merge each year with digital technology to shape the world to come.

This very special, direct FlyingLab flight from Frankfurt to Austin provided an exceptional opportunity for intense interaction among like-minded professionals. During the flight, crucial questions facing creatives across the world were presented via live presentations by key innovators seeking technological solutions.

And it all got started at the opening gate event before the flight, where the passengers traveling together got to meet each other, and continued to network throughout the flight, sharing ideas and gaining valuable insight into the increasingly local nature of our globalized – and inventive – world.

It was wonderful to meet so many inspiring people during this special FlyingLab to SXSW. From Kelvyn Colt’s stirring performance, to the sensational empathy artwork performed by The Waldorf Project, and the many fascinating talks given by our presenters, a truly unique experience was had by all.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to each performer, artist, guest speaker, and moderator, as well as the many people at Lufthansa working behind the scenes who made this FlyingLab a success. To Lufthansa’s technical specialists, pilots, and crew we are especially grateful for creating a welcoming atmosphere and a smooth flight!

And to the passengers on board we give also a very special thanks. Your curiosity and participation are essential for making FlyingLab an unforgettable experience.

We hope to see you all again soon on a FlyingLab flight!

Experience the Future of Flying

PS: Beginning in May, 2019, you can fly direct between Frankfurt and Austin with Lufthansa five days a week on flight LH 448.

The speakers and interviews on board

Executive Vice President Innovation & Value Added Service

Jörn Leogrande

„Blockchain beyond the Hype“

Head of Product Management

Marc Langsteiner

„The future of virtual aviation training within the Lufthansa Group“

Product Owner Inflight Entertainment

Lukas Bohrmann

„WAT - World Air Tournament“


Jörg Liebe


Varinia Bernau


Johanna Leuschen

Global Senior Digital Advisor

Kunal Sachdeva

„How AI is shaking up the future of jobs and entertainment industry“

Founder of DutchBlend

Kitty Leering

„Events are dead. Long live events!“


Moritz Simon Geist

„A speculative future of electronic music - with robots!“



„Humanising the live performance of electronic music“

Director, Head of Customer Strategy & Experience

Upen Barve

„The Intelligent Future“

Director of Digital Marketing, Visit Austin

Katie Cook

„A Local's Guide to SXSW and Austin“

Vice President Brand Partnership & Music Licensing & Live Entertainment

Lars Bendix Düysen

„The need for strong partnerships in the digital music age“


Markus Beckedahl

„EU-Coprightreform - The fight around #article13“


FUTURO – A, The World’s Highest Experiment in Empathy Engineering

The Waldorf Project has been shattering boundaries of art, performance, and perception since its very first “Chapter” in 2012, and it continues now to be a revolutionary voice. Through its most recent iterations, the team has been sharpening its inimitable creative process, shifting ever nearer to what is now known as “empathy engineering.” Having first tested their theories in London, through “FUTURO,”they proved with certainty that the energies of individuals could be connected, and that empathy could be engineered through a creative transformation of the senses, augmented by an intricate algorithmic orchestration of space and technology. 

Now, for the first time in aviation history, passengers were connected as participants in the world’s first fully immersive and integrated performance staged at altitude.

After years of psychological research, artistic collaboration, and scientific experimentation carried out by the Waldorf Project, individuals, once strangers, were synergized to become one homogenized organism in a moment of cohesion. The experiential artwork was not just a demonstration of how the Waldorf Project continues to shift the boundaries of how art is manifested and perceived – it may even have had implications far beyond the “artistic” or even “creative.” “FUTURO – A” opened our eyes to the prospect of what could be the future of flying. 

Fundamental to such a visionary undertaking is the complete collaboration with, and submission to, the creative process by every department involved. For “FUTURO – A,” the Waldorf Project team was granted unprecedented access to an Airbus A330, transforming the aircraft like never before, into something truly magical.

With the rules and restrictions around aviation being so high, the challenges in overcoming the strategic, legal, and logistical hurdles faced by the Waldorf Project in this particular instance were immense. And yet, as with previous “Chapters” – this time, through the means of a brave partner in FlyingLab and with the support of Lufthansa – the creator and director of the project, Sean Rogg and his team were granted the extraordinary opportunity to be unrestrained in imagination, making the impossible possible.

All 288 passengers on board, regardless of their seat, were integrated in a plane-wide experience, designed to create empathy at 35,000 feet.

Live music performance on board

Kelvyn Colt

Regarded as “one of the most promising emerging rap artists from Berlin” by Hypebeast, it’s more than evident why Kelvyn Colt is recognized as a pioneer of the hip-hop scene in Germany’s metropolis. Because of his deep and powerful vocal capabilities, he has gained the support of many heavyweights in the music industry.

Growing up in Germany, Kelvyn Colt was always aware that there was more to life than the small town he lived in. Being bilingual and growing up between two cultures, with a Nigerian father and German mother, Colt started to develop his interest in poetry and writing at a rather young age. As Colt often states it was “being raised by the internet,” that introduced him to the inspirational sounds of artists like KiD Cudi and Tupac. Soon after his discovery, Kelvyn turned his parent’s garage into his first and very own music studio.

The first person in his family to find his way to Berlin to attend a prestigious German law school on a scholarship, he soon figured out that he needed more from life. After only three weeks he dropped out and decided to expand his musical horizon abroad. He bought a one-way ticket to London on Lufthansa flight LH914 and enrolled at a business university in the UK. It was when Colt got to London that his career as a rapper really started to take off. Doing a total of two sessions with famed platform COLORS, dropping his first EP named after the Lufthansa flight “LH914” and his second “MIND OF COLT PT.I.”

Fast-forward to where Colt stands now. Named “Artist to Watch” by YouTube this year and a “VEVO DSCVR” act as well, the tone was set for Kelvyn Colt at the start of 2019. With his live performance on Lufthansa’s FlyingLab flight to Austin, Texas for SXSW, Colt has had a very promising start to 2019.

FlyingLab Reception at the German Haus

Open New Horizons

Intriguing presentations and live-performances were among the many highlights of the special FlyingLab reception at SXSW’s German Haus on March 9.

For this event we brought together leading digital innovators and cutting-edge artists who demonstrated how technology can unleash our human, creative powers.

Guest speakers, including Stephan Zeh, Head of Audi Mobility Service USA, Natalia Karbasova, Burda Bootcamp, Sean Rogg, creative director of the Waldorf Project, Susanne Steinmassl, Director and Video Artist and Katrin Zimmermann, managing director TLGG  revealed the complexity of staging a full-immersion performance during a transatlantic flight, and discussed the future of digital mobility, transportation, and health.

Live performances by artists Chagall and Moritz Simon Geist also exposed our guests to fantastic, new worlds of sound and vision.

Thanks to all of our speakers, performers, and everyone who attended the reception!

The speakers and interviews at our reception in Austin

GM of Silvercar by Audi and Head of Audi Mobility Services

Stephan Zeh

„From Metal to Mobility: How OEMs Are Embracing New Premium Service Models “

Hubert Burda Media, Head of Burda Bootcamp & Founder FitTech Summit

Natalia Karbasova

„Fitness is the new religion: Why fitness & health is the leading theme for the next decade?“

Managing Director, The Americas at TLGG Consulting

Katrin Zimmermann

„Competition or Cooperation? A perspective on (digital) innovation across the ocean“

Artistic Director The Waldorf Project

Sean Rogg

„Using Trauma, AI and new technologies to Engineer Empathy“

Director and Visual Artist

Susanne Steinmassl

„The Future is Not Unwritten“

First live music performance at the reception

Moritz Simon Geist

Moritz Simon Geist, classical musician and robotics engineer, is inventing the future of electronic music – with robots! Each sound in his performances is played by a sonic robot: small motors beat on metal, 3D-printed robo-kalimbas vibrate with deep bass sounds, and salvaged parts from old hard drives click and cut.

Second live music performance at the reception


Chagall is an electronic music producer, songwriter, singer, and performer. By integrating the MI.MU Gloves interface into her work, she choreographs all aspects her performance through the movement of her hands. The performative and emotive power of her live computer music connects audiences to themselves and those around them.

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