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Future of Work Academy: Quo vadis New Work? Top experts shed light on opportunities and solutions

23 Nov 2023

The Future of Work Academy covers all aspects, challenges and, above all, opportunities relating to the meta-topic of New Work. Because hybrid working is here to stay and makes completely new demands on the design of modern working environments. In cooperation with B.A.U.M e.V., Verlag Chmielorz, Prima Vier Verlag and World Architects as well as the Association of German Interior Designers (bdia), top speakers will take to the stage in the Future of Work area in Hall 3.1 on each day of the trade fair. In addition, guided tours will lead visitors to particularly smart and sustainable furnishing solutions from innovative exhibitors from the Office Design & Solutions sector.

In the Future of Work Academy in Hall 3.1, B10, everything revolves around the questions of how modern, hybrid working will be organised in the future and which spaces and equipment will be required for this. Every day, there will be a different focus, exciting topics and guided tours on the agenda.

Future of Work Academy at Ambiente
At the Future of Work Academy, top experts shed light on opportunities and solutions relating to the meta topic of New Work. Photo: Messe Frankfurt/Jean-Luc Valentin.

On Friday, 26.01.2024, the Office Trend Forum will take place in cooperation with Office Roxx and Prima Vier Verlag under the moderation of Dr Robert Nehring. The motto on this day is: "(How) long live the office! The new tasks of the corporate office".  After all, the future is hybrid. The corporate office is facing new tasks and challenges. How can it remain up-to-date? How can hybrid collaboration take employee satisfaction and team collaboration to a new level? How do we design the office as a powerful tool for collaboration and creativity in the hybrid working world? Samir Ayoub, CEO of the designfunktion Group, explains how the corporate office can make employers attractive. In his opinion, space is one of the three central fields of action for the transformation to a people-centred working world. Workspaces demand flexibility more than ever before. But what do these spaces actually look like? This is the subject of his keynote speech. Martina Rahmfeld, architect, New Work expert and owner of wow tomorrow, will also outline how the apparent balancing act between different work locations can lead to better collaboration. In addition, Klaus de Winder, architect, CEO of de Winder Architekten, and Burkhard Remmers, company spokesperson at Wilkhahn, will provide practical recommendations for the multiple requirements of New Work.

The bdia is also organising guided tours to selected exhibitors. Monika Slomski will tell interested visitors more about the holistic combination of home and office, lifestyle and workstyle and how our living and working environments will be defined in the future from an interior design perspective. As an interior designer, she realises office concepts that generate a special sense of space and create value.

On Saturday, 27.01.2024, and Sunday, 28.01.2024, the Architect Days organised by the World Architects under the moderation of Thomas Geuder are on the agenda. The two-day lecture programme with renowned architects, planners and researchers will shed light on current changes in the world of work, digital solutions for collaboration and sustainable concepts for a modern workplace. A total of eight experts will present different perspectives on the topic of work, focussing on architecture and office planning. Carla Wilkins (Lichtvision, Berlin/London/Hong Kong/Shanghai), for example, will be focussing on "Scenography in the office world" and ideal lighting design. How, for example, are the dynamics of cooperation and interaction between colleagues realised in lighting atmospheres? She will provide an insight into current projects and encourage participants to develop new lighting responses and strategies for different work cultures. Martin Jasper (Jasper Architects, Buenos Aires/Berlin) will focus on the transformative influence of digitalisation and the mobility of work on the architecture of workplaces. He will also take a look at the potential of VR for an expanded, virtual workspace. Guided tours of the Future of Work area and selected exhibitors will take place on both days.

On Monday, 29 January 2024, everything will be under the motto "New Work - New Tools: The new understanding of (collaborative) work" with a focus on B2B trade and procurement. In cooperation with the publishing house Chmielorz and its trade magazines Business Partner PBS and C.ebra, the lecture programme is aimed primarily at the office supplies trade and employees in the procurement of corporate services and office supplies. The two editors-in-chief Michael Smith and Elke Sondermann will lead through the day. The central questions include: What information do retailers and buyers need about the modern workplace? How can communication be organised effectively, purposefully and more clearly in times of hybrid and remote working models? How can document capture be revolutionised using artificial intelligence? Michael Vogel, Managing Director of Evy Solutions, will talk about this in his keynote speech "AI in practice - document processing in the office sector". Using practical examples, he will show how orders or enquiries can be processed fully automatically using software solutions. "We are delighted to be part of the Future Work Academy. We hope we can allay sceptics' fears of AI and show the potential that lies in the use of AI in the office sector," says the expert.

A special programme highlight is the Sustainable Office Day on Tuesday, 30.01.2024, which will make sustainability in the office industry a top topic in cooperation with B.A.U.M e.V. (Bundesdeutscher Arbeitskreis für Umweltbewusstes Management e.V.). Moderator Dieter Brübach is convinced: "The sustainable procurement of office products should be a matter of course for all sustainability-orientated companies and institutions" and brings experts onto the stage. There will be answers to the following questions: How can sustainable procurement be implemented in the office? What best practices are there? What will the green office of the future look like? Yvonne Jamal, CEO of the Jaro Institute for Sustainability and Digitalisation e.V., calls for "More corporate social responsibility in procurement" in her presentation. This is because the role of procurement in a company's sustainability performance is often underestimated. She shows why it is important to cooperate with all parties involved in the procurement processes in order to make them sustainable. Jamal also volunteers as a regional board member of the Federal Association of Materials Management, Purchasing and Logistics (BME) Berlin-Brandenburg, on the sustainability expert group of the Federal Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Entrepreneurs Association Germany (BVMW) and on the advisory board of the start-up The Climate Choice. Other speakers, such as Miriam Zeller, a fully qualified lawyer at BME Marketing, will provide specific tips on how sustainability issues can be integrated into your own processes in a structured and well thought-out manner in order to position yourself for the future. Lothar Hartmann from Memo AG, for example, will provide insights into supply chain due diligence obligations and their implementation in practice.

All lectures will be simultaneously translated into English or German. The programme of the Future of Work Academy is available on the website.

Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld will continue to be held simultaneously at the Frankfurt exhibition center:

  • Ambiente/Christmasworld: 26 to 30 January 2024
  • Creativeworld: 27 to 30 January 2024

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Katrin Westermeyr