keynote about the future of work

the future is ours, robots take over –

On the one hand, robots will take over much of the work we are doing today. Presumably not only the physically exhausting work or the work nobody wants to do, but also highly qualified jobs, threatening even creative snowflakes. On the other hand, the arising start-up culture, maker movement, and share economy define what might be our jobs of the future. This is my keynote about the future of work.

Beyond doubt, work itself is meaningful. It allows us to make a living and gives meaning to our lives. History shows that all industrial revolutions so far had positive effects ultimately leading to the increase of wealth in transformed societies.
In the 18th century, the Luddites tried hard to reverse the wheel of history in the British textile industry, the inherent logic of our economic system’s ongoing search for improvements in productivity kept them from succeeding.

Again today we struggle with the pace that tech corporations are dictating. They are not to blame, as they exist to provide whatever technology makes possible. It is our societies responsibility to deal with the social aftermath of industrial revolutions triggered by new technologies to prepare future generations to find or create useful and fulfilling jobs.

One of the biggest misunderstandings in today’s economy is the so-called hype around start-ups, new business models and different ways of working – the truth is: it’s not a hype. Certainly not the kind that will be over soon. It will irreversibly change our perspectives as a user and the way markets work. Digitization and stigmatization question the fundamental model of our economy as Jeremy Rifkin states with the zero marginal costs society.

All this will force us to rethink our organizations, products, and processes as well as to take responsibility again and answer the essential ethical question of our future society.


robots and artificial intelligence are taking over /// the understanding of labor and the way markets work changes /// human vs machine ///
what needs to be done?

further links:

Willkommen im Unbekannten – Podcast about Money, Work and Humanity (german)

The battle of scenarios about the future of work by swiss think tank W.I.R.E.

more in the download section