Our speakers for 2019

Experience an international line-up of speakers from academia and business practice at the first “Future of Work in Smart Industries” conference. Leading experts will be examining the topics of the future today using both classic presentations and interactive formats. Deep dive panels, best-case presentations and question & answer sessions will also create a relevance to current business practice. 

Further details will follow shortly. The list of our speakers is being continually updated.

Richard David Precht, Philosopher and Publicist

Opening Keynote

"The Digital Revolution: we are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic"

Everybody knows that our world is currently undergoing rapid change. But how are we reacting to it? Some people are celebrating the digital future with frightening naivety and await the changes just as patiently as they would wait for a change in the weather. And politicians don't seem to be taking this major upheaval seriously. They are simply rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. Others warn about the dictatorship of the big digital corporates in Silicon Valley. And others would rather simply bury their heads in the sand and go back to the past.

Richard David Precht, on the other hand, shows us a more desirable future in the Digital Age. Is the end of the meritocracy as we know it, a loss at all? Precht believes it offers us the chance to live a more fulfilling and self-determined life. But we need to set the right course now and make consistent changes to our social system. After all, the future does not simply appear - we are the ones that shape it! The question is not "How are we going to live?" but "How do we want to live?"

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Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of the Central and Group Works Council of Volkswagen AG

Speaker

“Shaping the change: Volkswagen’s future pact”

The automotive industry is currently undergoing more change than ever before in its 100-year history. The car is becoming part of the Internet, fully networked assistance functions are increasingly taking over, electro-mobility is replacing the combustion engine, mobility services such as car and ride sharing are bringing new business models with new competitors ‒ and last but not least, digitalisation is changing whole job profiles in the production hall and the office. It is already clear that this process will have a serious impact on several tens of thousands of jobs in the German car industry alone. Right in the middle is Volkswagen as the world’s largest car manufacturer and Germany’s biggest private employer. In Lower Saxony alone, around 100,000 jobs are dependent on VW. How do employee representatives cope with the challenges? How do they actively shape the required transformation in the interests of the current and future workforce?  How can they make sure that nobody is left by the wayside?

Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of the Volkswagen Central and Group Works Council talks about ways of dealing with this transformation. While the VW board wanted to cut jobs across the board, the Works Council achieved the ground-breaking agreement of the so-called future pact. So Volkswagen was the first manufacturer to give specific answers to the challenges faced by the industry as early as 2016. This includes clear perspectives for the plants, innovative concepts for the transformation of the workforce and employment protection well into the next decade. The works council also pushed through a comprehensive partial retirement programme to manage the socially acceptable reduction in jobs along the demographic curve.

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Janina Kugel, Labour Director and Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG

Speaker

 “Leadership 4.0: Less managing. More empowering, motivating – and being open to new ideas!”

The digital transformation is a challenge for both companies and employees: speed, agility, adaptability. These are the factors that promise success in the future. Managers will be playing a key role on the way there – and not as a “manager” or “boss” but as a companion, enabler and networker. They create the basic conditions that allow employees to produce creative, flexible and productive work. They encourage and accompany people in their individual further development. And managers need to set an example by being open to unconventional approaches and new ideas. And by modelling the concept that “learning” is a lifetime project. Janina Kugel gives an insight into how Siemens, as an international corporate group, is tackling structural change and shares her experiences on the way to a learning organisation.

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Prof. Dr. Hilmar Schneider, CEO IZA - Institut zur Zukunft der Arbeit

Speaker

„Digitalisation and job market – Is everything really going to be different this time?“

It couldn’t be more of a paradox: technical progress has always been the source of prosperity and employment growth yet is invariably perceived, first and foremost, as a job killer. Ongoing digitalisation is currently the subject of criticism. In 2013, the Oxford professors Frey and Osbourne announced in a highly regarded paper that almost 50% of jobs in the USA were threatened by automation. So far seemingly the opposite has happened and it is not expected that anything will change in this respect in the foreseeable future. In my talk, I would like to consider why that is and describe the underlying challenges. There won’t be less work but it is subject to constant change. The more routine jobs are taken over by machines, the more human work will focus on activities that require creativity, cognitive skills and the ability to interact socially. Catastrophes look different.

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Christiane Benner, Zweite Vorsitzende der IG Metall

Speaker

“Good and secure work in digitalisation”

Digitalisation is on the way. At varying speeds but it is definitely unstoppable. It needs companies to engage in some fundamental and forward-looking structuring.  This is the only way to guarantee secure and good work for as many employees as possible. To achieve this, we need a joint initiative of employers, trade unions and government representatives. With a clear goal: the focus is on the individual. Progress in technology must lead to progress in social relations. Christiane Benner, Second Chairperson of IG Metall explains her proposals.

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Kai Anderson, Gründungspartner Promerit / Mercer, Buchautor

Speaker

“Digital human: humans at the centre of digitalisation”

We need to change our attitude and see this as an opportunity. Personal, entrepreneurial, social. At a personal (individual) level, we need more movement.
For companies, the key to a successful transformation is an open-minded culture and digital skills. At a social level, we (still) need better education and fewer regulations.

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Marc Wagner, Expert, HR Influencer & New Work Pioneer

Speaker

Impulse: Power comes from the cell - a new world of work in industry


We should be agile, disruptive and at most digital, always keeping an eye on the customer journey. It looks familiar to you, doesn't it?
And yet numerous transformation projects are still failing and established companies in particular often fail to break through rigid patterns sustainably. The Company ReBuilding approach helps you to create sustainable organizations on the basis of flexible cell structures. We will present this holistic approach to you and use various use cases to show you how you can equip the identified cells and networks with the necessary technology with maximum agility and user centricity and thus build up your digital workplace step by step.

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Ulrike Volejnik, Member of the Management Board

Speaker

Impulse: Power comes from the cell - a new world of work in industry

We should be agile, disruptive and at most digital, always keeping an eye on the customer journey. It looks familiar to you, doesn't it?

And yet numerous transformation projects are still failing and established companies in particular often fail to break through rigid patterns sustainably. The Company ReBuilding approach helps you to create sustainable organizations on the basis of flexible cell structures. We will present this holistic approach to you and use various use cases to show you how you can equip the identified cells and networks with the necessary technology with maximum agility and user centricity and thus build up your digital workplace step by step.

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Dr. Sarah Träutlein, Solution Owner - SAP SuccessFactors Work-Life

Speaker

"Managing Happiness“

Learn how SAP supports you to become the employer of choice and to attract and retain the best talent by empowering your employees to achieve greater workplace satisfaction, better overall health and well-being. Anytime and anywhere! See how you can gain actionable real-time insights to stay connected with your workforce and sustain a positive employee experience, resulting in successful business outcomes.

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Prof. Dr. Gunther Olesch, CEO Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co KG

Speaker

 

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Kai-Stefan Linnenkohl, Arbeitsdirektor und Mitglied der Geschäftsführung IAV

Speaker

“Digitalisation: first practical experiences of company transformation”

Digitalisation is leading to considerable company transformation in terms of new products and business models. Production and distribution channels are undergoing significant changes, as are research and development. The latter is increasingly relying on new development methods, particularly in the direction of virtualisation, automation and the use of artificial intelligence.

Company transformation also has a significant impact on the working world and employees in the form of new skills and types of work, as well as a new company culture

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Sabine Sauber, Company Spokeswoman and Head of Brand & Communication Design Offices

Speaker

“Digital becomes analogue – why New Work needs flexible working landscapes”

Variable work space concepts are becoming increasingly important due to the opportunities presented by digitalisation and mobile working. This also includes corporate co-working which offers companies with a lot of project business flexibility and creative freedom. One of the most successful players in this field is Design Offices. CEO and founder Michael O. Schmutzer explains in his talk what is behind the concept of workspace as a service and how work spaces can be used as a tool to promote agility.

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Ralf Neuhäuser, Human Cyborg 

Speaker

"About being a Cyborg"

"I was fascinated by "cyberpunk" at an early age and read novels by Gibson, Spinrad, Sterling etc. So deciding to become a cyborg myself was a matter of minutes. My initial impulse was to become a little bit more like my Neuromancer heroes Case and Molly, so the first implant was both "a small step" yet also "a giant leap". However, I'm not just concerned with the romantic imitation of literary role models. What really drives my own personal development is an urge to make progress, to overcome fears, to explore personal limits and to inspire fellow human beings."

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Florian Klages, Head of People & Culture, Axel Springer AG

Speaker

Coming soon

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Victoria Soelle, Director New Partnerships, The DO School

Speaker

Workshop: “Future-proofing organization: Co-creation & Diversity”

Special skills and mind-sets are required to lead organisations successfully into the future when you consider the high pressure for change and rapid transformation that we are currently experiencing. So employees are the most important resource for business success in a rapidly changing world. However, to deal with the challenges and opportunities productively, workers don’t just need new skills, they need the right mind-sets and other methods of collaboration such as co-creation.  Learn in this workshop how co-creation can be used as a key means of stimulating innovations and raising the shared value of an organisation.  What mind-sets are particularly important to actively shape the future as a “purposeful DOer” and how these mind-sets can be anchored in the organisation and practised by the individual to be successful.

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Scott Goldner, Leadership, Strategic & Organizational Development Coach, The DO School

Speaker

Workshop: Future-proofing organization: Co-creation & Diversity

Special skills and mind-sets are required to lead organisations successfully into the future when you consider the high pressure for change and rapid transformation that we are currently experiencing. So employees are the most important resource for business success in a rapidly changing world. However, to deal with the challenges and opportunities productively, workers don’t just need new skills, they need the right mind-sets and other methods of collaboration such as co-creation.  Learn in this workshop how co-creation can be used as a key means of stimulating innovations and raising the shared value of an organisation.  What mind-sets are particularly important to actively shape the future as a “purposeful DOer” and how these mind-sets can be anchored in the organisation and practised by the individual to be successful.

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Andrea Grudda, strategist, author und keynote speaker

Speaker

What can humans do in comparison to AI? Is a question that can decide about the future. Of course a person will be different from the AI. Human. And this is unrivalled in many areas compared to AI. If it would only behave human. The ability to fascinate - as a human being - is one of the most important qualities one needs in leading. Until now, the quality of a manager has usually been defined by the success of the company. This is no longer enough for the new generations. I call it Human Leading. And Learnability Quality, another. That would be the ability to constantly learn something new, not only in terms of knowledge and skills, but also in terms of human qualities.

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Sophia Hatzelmann, Managing director ahc GmbH

Speaker

"Shaping digitalization - but what are we talking about?"

Big Data, AI, Deep Learning, Blockchain - every day we are confronted with terms related to digitisation. Sophia Hatzelmann uses catchy examples to explain what is behind the buzzwords and where they are already an important part of our everyday lives today, often unnoticed.

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Michael Mollath, Chief Digital Officer, Deutsche Messe AG

Speaker

"Digitalisation only works together - digital cooperation needs a new attitude"


The digitalisation of our world and thus of our working world is happening whether we like it or not. In order for companies to be able to keep up, we need to work together with all our employees. Communication and cooperation change radically but offer many opportunities. Synchronous communication becomes asynchronous and local work becomes more and more mobile and decentralized. This requires a new attitude from management to co-determination. 

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Moderation

Dr. Marc Beise

Moderation

Business Editor, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Born in Mainz in 1959, he has been Business Editor of the Süddeutsche Zeitung since 2007. He trained as a journalist with the Offenbach-Post where he was editor of the Politics, Business and News section from 1985. He later wrote for the Handelsblatt, and was Editor of Economic Policy before he left. He studied Law and Economics in Frankfurt, Lausanne and Tübingen and wrote his doctorate on the World Trade Organisation.

Beise is the author of numerous books on political and business issues.

He regularly takes part in television and radio discussions, lectures, moderations of forums and business events.

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