Back to All Events

AGBC Monthly Meeting - "Hot Air Balloon" Event

AGBC Munich March Monthly Meeting - Wednesday, 28th March 2018

 Up, Up and Away – A Theoretical “Hot Air Balloon” Event – Cyber Security Debate

 Panelists:  Willem Bulthuis, Michael Ricks, Bettina Wawretscheck, Jamie Wilkie, Rainer Witzgall

Moderator:  Ralph Phillips

When:   Wednesday, 28th March 2017          

Time:    Registration starts 1830; meeting starts at 1900, dinner buffet around 2050. 

Where:  Marriott Hotel, Berlinerstrasse 93, 80805 Munich

Cost:      EUR 25.00 for members, Eur 35.00 for guests (incl. Dinner buffet)

Sign-Up:  Events tab on the new AGBC Munich Community Platform at

Come join us for an AGBC Munich first – our Hot-Air Balloon Cyber Security debate.

The scene:  Imagine 5-6 contestants riding in a hot air balloon, along with the moderator.  The balloon is losing altitude with no more ballast on board so we need to jettison eople. 

The topic:  Various points of view on cyber security.

The approach:  4 suspenseful rounds of debate with each contestant having 3 minutes to expound.  Who will make it with the balloon safely to the ground?  After each round, the audience votes on the contestants that they want to hear more from.  The participant with the fewest votes then “parachutes to the ground.” By the end of the 4th round, we have 2 “survivors” who land the balloon – the winner and the moderator. 

The success ingredients:  Cyber security is a topic which allows contrarian opinions and supports good speakers. A successful speaker captures the audience's attention in the early rounds but does not use all of her or his ammunition too early - the winner needs four interesting pitches.

The moderator:  He explains the rules to the audience, watches the time, conducts the voting and generally runs the proceedings. 

The contestants:  Each has a strong but varying position, taking a role representing known parties in the security space – e.g. commercialization vs consumer protection and technology vs state and corporate security.  The likely roles:

  • Technology Believer: “Invest to be saved,” “Technology can solve all problems, so you better invest in it.”
  • Consumer Protection Advocate: “Everything you say, can and will be used against you.”
  • State and National Security Guardian: “If we can´t tap everyone, how do we find the bad guys?”
  • Social Media Enthusiast: “The more followers the better, I have nothing to hide.”
  • Cyber Security Pragmatist: “Breaches happen, so you be better be prepared to deal with them.”  .
  • Technology Libertarian/Defensive Hacker:   “Who decides what´s good and what´s bad? There are many shades of grey.”

The audience:  Votes to keep in the balloon the people they want to hear more from, not necessarily the ones whose roles they morally approve of.


  1. This is a “first time” event - we are experimenting so please bear with us.  Take notes on what you liked and on what could be improved for the next time. 
  2. The “Hot Air Balloonists” are playing roles and their statements do not necessarily represent their personal beliefs.
  3. The scene is forward looking. 

Limitation – other than voting on who parachutes from the balloon, there will unfortunately be little time for significant audience interaction.  Please save your questions for the buffet/networking session afterwards or leave them in the Feedback Box. 

Earlier Event: March 24
March for Our Lives
Later Event: April 1
Haar Disciples Baseball