Write digital history

30 digital talents, 5 challenges, 1 goal — shape the digital future

Step 1
Applications closed

Calling all digital rockstars! Make lasting change putting your ideas into practice.


Step 2
Feb-April 2020

You + 5 other Digital Shapers. 1 real challenge for your team to crack. Ready, set, solve!

The Challenge

Step 3
December 2020

Make digital history! Convince our jury of how innovative you can be and prove you’re a Digital Shaper.

The Jury

The Challenge

First come the facts: world-famous brands like Bertelsmann or TUI will share real digital challenges with you. Then unleash your creativity: work with McKinsey’s and our corporate partners‘ experts and show these giants you have what it takes to shape their future through digital innovation. Can’t wait to get started? Join us as a Digital Shaper.

As a Digital Shaper you get the chance to:

  • collaborate with other Digital Shapers
  • meet inspirational digital leaders and board members from high-profile companies
  • work on real-life problems and potentially transform your idea into a real business
  • You and your team can win 10.000€  and a surprise prize

Learn more Learn more

The Challengers

These world-famous companies have been shaping their industries and the economy for years. However, the digital revolution is challenging their traditional business models. Can you, the Digital Shapers of tomorrow, come up with solutions to their challenges?

The Jury

Each member of our jury has an illustrious track record as Digital Shaper within their company. They will judge your ideas at the grand finale and later mentor the winners.

  • „The digital future is a reality. We need to shape it in the most meaningful way.“

    Cornelius Baur
    Managing Partner Germany and Austria at McKinsey

  • „Digitalization is like a horizontal force of nature, affecting all of us! Each function, each individual, us as ZEISS and most importantly our customers.“

    Matthias Gohl
    Head of ZEISS Digital Innovation Partners

  • „The future is being shaped by those who can turn data insights into actionable business.“

    Rhys Nölke
    Senior Vice President Technology & Data at Bertelsmann

  • „Our understanding of travel? We always keep an eye on the megatrends in the tourism industry! Our vision for the future: individualization of travel is only possible by digitalization.“

    Frank Rosenberger
    Member Executive Board IT & Future Markets at TUI

  • „Digitalization in Live Entertainment opens completely new opportunities for fans to enjoy live experiences and for us to drive fan engagement.“

    Marco Haeckermann
    Vice President Corporate Development & Strategy at Eventim

  • „All things in our company are or will be driven digitally. Putting our readers 100% in the center of our attention requires to connect all the touch points with data. And that drives growth in our business model.“

    Isabel Wolters
    CTO of Handelsblatt Media Group

  • „To drive and win the digital transformation, we have to get rid of comfortable ideas, be willing to take risks, be curious and be provocative.“

    Jennifer Kilian
    Digital Partner and Global Experience Design Leader at McKinsey

  • „Digitalization is not a journey, it’s a race. A race for talent, customers and scale.“

    Elke Reichart
    Chief Digital Officer TUI Group & Chief Executive Officer TUI InfoTec GmbH

  • „Digitalization has changed our whole industry and it will continue to do so – very early on n-tv took up the challenge and started to develop special products for digital platforms.“

    Eva Messerschmidt
    Vice president innovation at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland GmbH

We want you!

Is the tech revolution full of opportunities for you? Do you find yourself thinking about new digital models, ways you can use customer data, the perfect user experience or how to write code that can solve any challenge? Then you’re exactly who we’re looking for.

  • Why am I
    a shaper
    Business Visionary

    Do you have experience working in digital? Are you a natural leader with a clear communication style? Are you good at problem solving? Then apply now!


    Hello, I’m Alexander von Humboldt

    … and I’m an explorer. Given my desire to discover new worlds, uncovering the digital business landscape would have blown my mind. My experience in bootstrapping my own voyage to South America would have made me the perfect fit for a startup.

  • Why am I
    a shaper

    If you live, eat, breathe software developing, working with databases and coding, you’re exactly what we’re looking for. Don't delay - apply now!


    Hi there — I’m Ada Lovelace

    ...the world’s first ever developer, long before software even existed. So you bet I’d still be a developer if I’d been born more than a century and a half later. I’m sure I could teach those Silicon Valley kids a thing or two.

  • Why am I
    a shaper
    Data Scientist

    Do you have experience in statistics or data science and with large data sets? Do you enjoy working in an interdisciplinary team? Then apply today.


    Hi, I’m Marie Curie

    ...and I’m what you might call a radical researcher (don’t ask me, ask the Nobel Prize committee). If I’d been born a century later, I’d have become a data analyst because I love getting to the essence of things. 

  • Why am I
    a shaper
    Experience Designer

    You’re an expert in how customers think. You have design know-how. Teamwork and deadlines are no problem. Is this you? If so, apply now!


    Hi, I’m Ludwig van Beethoven

    La, la, la…and I’m just in the middle of composing my latest UX symphony. While my original passion was music, I now love the idea of traveling to 2019 and orchestrating a dazzling experience no audience will ever forget.


What’s the application process for the program?

Step 1: Upload your CV and required information
Step 2: You will receive an e-mail with a link to your Digital Shapers challenge on the platform HackerRank
Step 3: Complete this challenge until November 11th, 2019 to finish the application process.
You will receive feedback by November 30.

What are the general terms of participation?

Digital Shapers aims to recruit the best digital talent to work on the current, real-life challenges our cooperation partners face. We are looking for data scientists, business visionaries, developers and customer experience designers.

As such, anyone who’s passionate about all things digital is invited to apply. However, it is essential that you believe fit one of the four Digital Shaper profiles outlined. For the general concept and the timeline of the Digital Shapers 2020, you find further information under: The Challenge

The following criterion must also be met to be eligible to participate in Digital Shapers 2020: Candidates must be at least 18 years old. Furthermore, please note that your participation in Digital Shapers 2020 does not mean you will be entering into an employment relationship with McKinsey and/or one of the cooperation partners.

Please note: Except for damages to life, body and health, liability of McKinsey and its cooperation partners for negligent breach of material obligations is limited to the damage typically foreseeable at the time of entering Digital Shapers 2020. The liability of McKinsey and its partners for plainly and slightly negligent breach of non-material obligations is excluded. The decision of the Digital Shapers 2020 Jury and the selection of finalists is final, there is no recourse to the courts.

Who is organizing Digital Shapers 2020?

Digital Shapers 2020 is a joint initiative between McKinsey and various corporate partners (Bertelsmann, TUI Group, Eventim, Handelsblatt Media Group and Zeiss).

I currently work for one of the cooperation partners. Can I still apply for this competition?

Yes, you can. However, please make sure you double check this with your HR department. They have already been briefed on the competition and can explain the finer details of any agreements the cooperation partner has established to address this topic.

I cannot code (no programming skills). Can I still apply?

Of course! We have four different positions that you can apply for. Whether you’re a business visionary, a data scientist or a customer experience designer, you can apply even if you don’t know how to code.

Write some digital history now!