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WUEconomics Outside the Box Campus

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Intro

Digital Change is fast and disruptive. Individuals and organizations must understand that innovation and life-long-learning (education) are key to a positive and successful future. On this platform, we provide information on current developments and trends.

The multimedia content is extracted from recorded discussions with experts from different academic disciplines and industry and is clustered in seven pillars:
  • "Change"
  • “Future Work”,
  • Future of Industry”, 
  • Technologies”,
  • Global Trends”,
  • "Education" and
  • “Innovation”.
The main goal is to provide current insights on digital change, create curiosity for trends and developments, foster life-long-learning, connect people and make a contribution to increase overall technology acceptance.



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Technology and change provide a lot of opportunities
Change makes people and organizations feel uncomfortable. It leads to rejective behavior and passiveness. But this is the wrong strategy. Technology provides a lot of positive potential.

It doesn`t mean that people have to accept and adapt any given trend without discussing it critically. But it is important to be open and curious for new developments. Modern technology offers a lot of potential to support and improve work(and social)-life of the future.

Here on the Campus, I provide a variety of stories and examples that aim to create curiosity and positivity towards new developments, change and technology.

Don`t be scared - be curious!
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What makes "Industry 4.0 - the fourth industrial revolution ", as it is called in Germany - so special? Why and how does it different from former industrial revolutions? What are the implications for society, businesses and industries?

We cannot say how fast the current period of change is – but it is very likely that it is much faster than expected and it is accelerating continuously.
People (employees) and organizations need to develop a mindset, which is characterized by openness and a willingness to learn and innovate continuously. This is essential to save a spot in the (labor) market - for organizations and employees.

There has always been massive technological change in the past. And people have always been afraid of technological unemployment and industrial disruption.
Technological progress has led to industrial shifts with massive impact on jobs and the tasks.

How does the Digital Revolution differ Industrial Revolutions of the past?

The current period of change is characterized by the rising use of new technologies like AI, ML and the massive use of data and algorithms. Those technologies are very likely substituting a large majority of highly routine-based jobs and tasks – here they are more precise, faster and more efficient.

On the other side, new fields of work emerge. Humans have to focus on tasks that machines cannot do - especially creative, non-routine-based tasks as well as tasks that are requiring emotional intelligence. It is very important that humans and organizations understand that standing still means falling back! Only those who are open, positive, willing to learn life-long and innovative will shape the future.
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About WUEconomics
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer founded the WUEconomics Institute in 2016. The name “WUEconomics” is a hybrid of the home town Wuerzburg (Bavaria, Germany) and the term Economics. WUEconomics has a focus on knowledge transfer, academia-business networks and applied interdisciplinary projects in the field of digitization and data science.

About Lukas:
Lukas is lecturing at the University of Wuerzburg, at the chairs of statistics and econometrics and business journalism and communication. As main occupation, Lukas is working at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Wuerzburg as head of the department of vocational education training.

Outside the Box (OtB) Campus & Podcast:
OtB Campus and Podcast are following the goal to provide multi-media information for open-minded people and organizations to increase technology acceptance and change and to connect people.
A lot of researchers and chairs are working on topics that are highly relevant for all kinds of companies. Oftentimes, both sides do not know about the intersections. In order to bring these insights to a broader audience, the content is prepared and provided in audio, video, picture and text format.
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The content on this platform is based and on discussions and Podcast Sessions that I recorded with experts from different academic disciplines and industries. I thank my talk partners for sharing their opinions and thoughts.

Here is a list of my Podcast Guest:

Prof. Dr. Axel Winkelmann
Head of the Chair Business Management and Business Information
University of Wuerzburg
More information:
https://www.wiwi.uni-wuerzburg.de/lehrstuhl/wiinf2/team/lehrstuhlinhaber/prof-dr-axel-winkelmann/

Prof. Dr. Sebastian von Mammen,
Professor for Games Engineering at the Chair of Human-Computer Interaction,
University of Wuerzburg
More information: http://hci.uni-wuerzburg.de/people/sebastian-von-mammen/

Prof. Dr. Klaus Schilling,
Head of the Chair for Robotics and Telematics,
University of Wuerzburg
More information: http://www7.informatik.uni-wuerzburg.de/mitarbeiter/schilling/

Prof. Dr. Peter Bofinger,
Head of Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics,
University Wuerzburg,
former member of the Council of German Economic Experts
More information: https://www.wiwi.uni-wuerzburg.de/lehrstuhl/vwl1/team/lehrstuhlinhaber/

Prof. Dr. Rainer Thome,
Professor for Intelligent Business Synergy,
University Wuerzburg,
Multiple business founder and owner
More information: https://www.prof-thome-gruppe.de/prof-thome/

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Dauth,
Assistant Professor of Empirical Regional and International Economics,
University of Wuerzburg
More information: https://www.wiwi.uni-wuerzburg.de/lehrstuhl/vwljp1/startseite/

Prof. Dr. Tanja Bipp,
Professor for Industrial-Organizational Psychology,
University of Wuerzburg
More information: http://www.ao.i2.psychologie.uni-wuerzburg.de/team/prof-dr-tanja-bipp/

Prof. Dr. Ronald Bogaschewsky,
Head of the Chair of Business Industry Management,
University of Wuerzburg
More information:
https://www.wiwi.uni-wuerzburg.de/lehrstuhl/bwl2/team/lehrstuhlinhaber/

Prof. Dr. Christoph Flath,
Head of the Chair for Business Informatics and Information Management,
University of Wuerzburg
More information:
https://www.wiwi.uni-wuerzburg.de/lehrstuhl/bwl12/team/christoph-m-flath/

Prof. Dr. Christian Janiesch,
Junior Professor for Information Management,
University of Wuerzburg
More information:
https://www.wiwi.uni-wuerzburg.de/lehrstuhl/bwljp1/team/juniorprofessor/

Prof. Dr. Thomas Zwick,
Head of Chair of Human Resource Management and Organisation,
University of Wuerzburg
More information:
https://www.wiwi.uni-wuerzburg.de/lehrstuhl/bwl7/team/lehrstuhlinhaber/

Prof. Dr. Toker Doganoglu,
Head of the Chair for Industrial Economics,
University of Wuerzburg
More information:
https://www.wiwi.uni-wuerzburg.de/lehrstuhl/vwl3/team/doganoglu/

Prof. Dr. Richard Pibernik,
Head of the Chair for Logistics and Quantitative Methods,
University of Wuerzburg
More information:
https://www.wiwi.uni-wuerzburg.de/lehrstuhl/bwl11/chair/team/prof-dr-richard-pibernik/
Chris Mc Naughton
Gartner Inc.
Mid-Market CIO & IT Leader Strategic Partner,
former professional basketball player,
More information: https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_McNaughton

Christof Henneberger
Teacher in sports and mathematics,
Dag-Hammarskjöld-Gymnasium, Wuerzburg (Germany),
former professional basketball player

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Future Work (Intro)

Technological progress is changing the way we work and it is changing overall working-environments. In this chapter we shed light on specific trends and developments, e.g. the (old) fear of technological unemployment as well as aspects of industrial organization psychology and the implications of health (in a digital world) on performance and work.
Enjoy the journey through this chapter!
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(Old) Fear of technological unemplyoment

Why is “digitization”, “(I)IoT”, “Industrial Revolution 4” or whatever we call it so special?

In the past 25 years, we witnessed rapid technological progress and digitalization – switching the perspective to the labor market, we have reached an all-time high regarding the level of employment in Germany. The simple story of digitization as a job-killer doesn`t paint the full picture. The economic system is flexible and able to deal with many kinds of shocks. But how will it play out this time?

Working-environments of the future are characterized by the rising use of new Technologies like for example AI, DTL (distributed ledger technology), VR, AI, additive manufacturing. These technologies have the enormous potential to increase productivity levels. But they will also affect the tasks, being exercised by humans in the future.

Technology clearly offers opportunities. Machines and robots will take over repetitive and routine-based tasks. Therefore, humans can use their resource to focus on strategic tasks.

These new resources have a price: employees cannot afford to have a stagnant education level. It is necessary to create a mindset of life-long-learning in order to practice more complex and non-routine-based tasks.

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Audio: "Labor market effects of Digital Transformation and Globalization - a summary"

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Dauth (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Which jobs and tasks are most susceptive to be substituted by robots or being outsourced to low wage countries?

Debates around these questions are highly emotional. Especially since the times of industrial revolution, the fear of technological unemployment has always been present - from "spinning jenny", steam engine, railroads to computers, robots and algorithms. Past industrial revolutions have shown, that massive technological changes have always led to higher productivity, shifting tasks, positive well-fare-effects and employment growth.

But will this pattern also be true in the future and which strategies should companies and individuals follow to secure their spot in the (labor) market?

Machines are no job-killers per se. Yet, the fear of unemployment is legitimate for certain groups within the labor market. Basically, machines are very good at doing repetitive, codified routines and they support the productivity of high-skilled labor. Tasks that are more interactive and creative and require humans to interact are less susceptible to be substituted.

As technological progress or digitalization is hard to grasp, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Dauth and a group of research partners have taken a look at industrial robots in use as a variable for technological change (1). Jobs that are prone to be replaced by robots are characterized by routine tasks. These tasks can be found in the working environment of blue- and white-collar-workers – a finding that differs from the impact of globalization, where mostly blue-collar jobs have been at risk.

Strategies for individuals and organizations are discussed in the next article (“No job killers per se”).

(1) Wolfgang Dauth, Sebastian Findeisen Jens Südekum, Nicole Wößner; German Robots – The Impact of Industrial Robots on Workers, IAB Discussion Paper 30/2017

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Audio: "Industrial robots: Are they threatening jobs? Who are winning and losing regions (in Germany) - reality check"

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Dauth (@University of Wuerzburg) & Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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There is no doubt, that digital transformation and change has an impact on the labor market and the tasks, being practiced by humans in the future. As people are scared of being substituted and irrelevant, it is important to create an objective fact-based framework in order to reduce the level of emotion and develop future-orientated strategies for employees and organizations.

First of all, employees have to be aware, that they have to be more flexible regarding the activities they practice - some tasks and their execution might change or vanishes in the near future. Consequently, employees have to develop mindset and intrinsic motivation to learn new tasks continuously. Therefore, digital change leads to a massive need for further education and (re-)training. Here, people have to focus on tasks and subjects at which humans are dominating robots and machines. These tasks are often related to social aspects, emotions, empathy etc. In addition, humans will be working on things that are cognitively demanding and changing - humans for instance can discern between correlation and causality.
Therefore, continuous, life-long-learning is key for individuals and organizations to stay relevant and competitive in the future.

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Technological progress is changing the way we work and the working-environments. In this chapter we shed light on trends and developments. We discuss the (old) fear of technological unemployment as well as aspects industrial organization psychology and the implications of health (in a digital world) on performance and work.
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Psychology meets Workplace

Audio: "Industrial and Organizational Psychology - experts in workplace science"

Prof. Dr. Tanja Bipp (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Industrial-organizational (IO) psychology applies psychological theories and principles to organizations.

Aspects of workplace productivity, quality of work(-life), structure of work, leadership, health as well as the personal traits are relevant research topics in this field.
The main goal is to contribute to the optimization process of work from a research perspective by considering the needs of employees, organizations and factors that contribute to motivation, health, and productivity.
In times of digital transformation and rapid technological progress, psychological aspects of work, have become highly relevant because they have significant impact on productivity of individuals and organizations.

For more details, listen to the Podcast, that I recorded with Prof. Dr. Tanja Bipp, professor for industrial-organizational psychology at the University of Wuerzburg.

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Audio: "Digital change and the autonomy paradoxon"

Prof. Dr. Tanja Bipp (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Nowadays (and even more in the future), employees are more expected to be responsible for their careers than in the past. They have to plan which skills and knowledge they might need in the future. Moreover, times have passed when employees signed a contract with an employer and basically stayed there for the rest of their work-life. Along with that, an autonomy trade-off at work has emerged – on the one side, autonomy is implying a higher motivation, but is also increasing responsibility and access, which leads to increasing pressure.

Research indicates, that there are advantages and disadvantages associated with these contradictory trends. On the one side the increasing use of information and communications technology (ICT), robots, algorithms, and other technologies is supporting work-life and creates more flexibility. On the other side, technology enhances a higher perceived pressure since employees have become accessible 24/7.

Organizations need to understand this emerging “autonomy paradox” and derive the right strategies as it affects productivity and long-term health of their employees.They face the challenge, that they have to design a working environment where employees stay motived and healthy in the long run, stimulate motivation and overall performance.

What sounds easy in theory is much more difficult in practice. And of course, there is no „one size fits all“ job design-model. (s. scientific overview on the topic: https://bit.ly/2FFJnYB )


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Audio: "Job creation and crafting - highly relevant in times of digital change"

Prof. Dr. Tanja Bipp (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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How should working environments of the future look like and which resources do employees need? In this context, the concept of job-crafting can be seen as an interesting approach.

Job crafting (1,2) is dealing with the question, what people can do themselves to design, adapt and shape their workplace of the future and therefore adjust the working environment according to their personal needs and interests. The approach includes tasks (e.g. looking for challenges, reducing demands at work), relationships (e.g. seeking for social support) and cognitive aspects. For example, people could prioritize some tasks more than others. This setup needs a special coordination, as there are dependencies and intersections with the work(place) and tasks of other employees.

From a mental or mindset perspective, the concept tries to create awareness that a job someone is doing has an impact on others and society. This field of research started in a hospital environment, where cleaning personal had two specific views about their jobs. The first group saw it as „I'm getting paid to clean here“. Second, there was a group of employees who saw their job as making an important contribution to the main goal of a hospital - helping patients recovering and becoming healthy. This example shows that it is important how people see their jobs and the impacts they have on others.

Prof. Bipp and her team are trying to apply the concept of job crafting to development and implications of digitalization transformation and support people in crafting their jobs in a positive way. It becomes obvious, that job crafting and the adaption on work to a new (digital) environment affords a change in peoples‘ (and organizations‘) mindsets - keys to success and performance are passion, a mindset of lifelong-learning, networks and awareness regarding the impact of individuals‘ contribution.

Consequently, the concept of job crafting is an interesting approach that has the power to improve sustainably performance and satisfaction in the working environment of the future.

(1) Literature on Job Crafting Demerouti, E., & Bakker, A. B. (2014). Job crafting. In M. Peeters, J. d. Jonge, & T. Taris (Eds.), Introduction to contemporary work psychology (pp. 414-433). Chicester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell

Gordon, H., Demerouti, E., LeBlanc, P., Bakker, A. B., Bipp, T., & Verhagen, M. A. M. T. (2018).
Individual Job Redesign: Job crafting interventions in Healthcare. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 104, 98-114.

Bipp, T., & Demerouti, E. (2015). Which employees craft their jobs and how? Basic dimensions of personality and employees job crafting behaviour. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Behavior, 88(4), 631-655.

(2) s. TED talk: Job Crafting - Amy Wrzesniewski on creating meaning in your own work https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_igfnctYjA

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Audio: "Interconnection of work motivation and health"

Prof. Dr. Tanja Bipp (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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There has been a long research tradition in IO Psychology around work motivation and occupational health. Recently, research on these topics have been combined as they are interconnected. A prominent model with regard to stress and health issues in IO psychology is about the balance of job demands and resources (Job-Demands-Resources Model).

On the one side, there are different demands - physical demands (for example the lifting of patients in hospitals) and cognitive or emotional demands. People need resources to deal with these different facets of demands and create a balance between demands and resources. If employees do not have enough resources, the result is a negative impact on health and symptoms of being burned out or sickness. In the consequence employees are not able to attend work. On the other side, when people are equipped with enough resources or even additional resources, this might lead to positive effects on health and motivation.

Technology and digital transformation have the potential to provide „novel resources” and therefore support occupational health. For instance, there are robots that are working together with humans and support lifting of heavy objects. Moreover, sensors can be used to monitor mental and physical stress levels. VR or AR technologies can be used to train and practice critical tasks. Students in the field of medicine can train operations several times before they become doctors and work on humans.

Besides all challenges and obstacles, these examples show, that technology brings a lot of opportunities that can be used to improve and support occupational health and motivation.

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Audio: "Telematics & robotics: opportunites of human robot interaction"

Prof. Dr. Klaus Schilling (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Technology has the potential to support employees and industrial workers, which is relevant and important especially in an aging society/workforce. In the field of robotics, there is a huge ambition to bring robots and humans closer together. Especially elderly people in the factory require support e.g. in lifting weights. Sensors can supervise and warn humans for dangerous situations.

Prof. Schilling works on projects focusing on light-weight robots with advanced sensor systems which characterize three-dimensional working environments and guarantee a high safety level. AI technology is used to design adaptive systems which detect current conditions of humans and adapt the reactions. Communication is complemented with AR setups, which show humans for example what the robots will do next. Workers are informed and have the opportunity to see on the screen where the robot is moving and what he has to do in order not to collide. The robot of course also is equipped with smart sensors that help avoiding collisions with humans. This collaboration of humans and robots (cobots) the potential to improve efficiency and health in future working environments.

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Personality traits and the implications on work (performance) have a long record in the field of IO psychology. The “big five“ of personality, meaning the five traits that were regarded as a sufficient description of personality are more or less kind of „bright side“ traits: extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. But there are also extreme forms of personality, which can be called „dark side“ personality traits, such as narcissism, machiavellianism, and psychopathy. If the personality profile of a person signals an average score or above, that doesn`t necessarily mean one has to be hospitalized, it just signals an extreme form of personality.

Prof. Bipp did research on how dark sides of peoples’ traits affect performance and work outcomes? Research indicates, that for example narcissistic leaders are extremely proud of themselves and convinced that they're doing an extraordinarily good job, which isn`t necessarily confirmed by objective outcomes.

Research also supports the thesis, that dark side traits tend to induce potentially negative effects in a working environment, especially with regard to the interaction with others and in terms of performance (1).

How can organizations identify employees with dark side traits? (see next page)

(1) Harms, P. D., Spain, S. M., & Hannah, S. T. (2011). Leader development and the dark side of personality. The Leadership Quarterly, 22(3), 495-509. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.leaqua.2011.04.007
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Audio: "Dark triad of personality: implications for firms and how AI can help to identify those traits?"

Prof. Dr. Tanja Bipp (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Organizations have keen interest in identifying dark traits among their employees, as they potentially harm the overall performance of the organization.

But how can data be observed that is indicating dark personality traits? How can data be collected and transferred into suitable reliable estimates about personality, intelligence or personality factors? In this context, social media profiles are offering an enormous amount of (private) data, that is published voluntarily.

Recently, Prof. Dr. Tanja Bipp has been participating in a project, that aimed to derive personality traits from social media profiles and make inferences about dark side personality traits (here from LinkedIn© profiles). The results of the first research approach have not been really good, yet. But algorithms emerge and improve and there have been interesting examples of estimates on personality traits from Facebook© profiles. These results using social media personality data tend to be better than personal descriptions using the description of friends or relatives. The enormous increase of data in combination with AI has game-changing potential.

Moreover, there has been research on the connection between Twitter© tweets of employees and job satisfaction. Most companies are using prediction models of turnover, costs and profit. But often, they have no information about the reasons of fluctuation of their staff.

Reliable, continuous information in this context are important and have the potential to improve HR selection and development processes significantly. Lower fluctuation and higher motivation lead to a reduction of frictions, information losses and cost.

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Technological progress is changing the way we work and the working-environments. In this chapter we shed light on trends and developments. We discuss the (old) fear of technological unemployment as well as aspects industrial organization psychology and the implications of health (in a digital world) on performance and work.
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Sports and Work

The worlds of professional sports and industry / work-life have a lot of parallels. In this chapter, we want to provide value by giving insights on this topic. The content is based on interviews with professional athletes and experts.
 
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As mentioned before, there are a lot of parallels between the worlds of sports and business. Athletes are generally focused on goals and results - here they do not differ from most employees. Moreover, professional athletes and teams have a strong intent to build a good team-spirit, because it has an huge impact on results and success on a constant basis. Outstanding performers also need to be good team-player. I am fascinated by these similarities and have the opinion, that in order to become a better understanding of work-life and team dynamics in business it is worth having a look at the mechanisms behind professional sports.

Starting point of this topic on this platform, has been the interview with two former professional basketball players, Chris Mc Naughton (NCAA @Bucknell, German National team DBB, 1. National League in Germany and Spain) and Christof Henneberger (s.Oliver Baskets Würzburg). While Chris has made the next career step as a Strategic Business Partner for SMB clients at Gartner in North America, Christoph has become a school teacher at Dag-Hammarskjöld-Gymnasium in Würzburg. We talked about the transition from professional sports to the second career as well as parallels between sports and business.

Enjoy this “outside the box” content and listen to the podcast (Episode 19 - https://bit.ly/2xRHv8Q ) for more details.

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Audio: "What professional athletes bring to their second career. Teamwork, Motivation, training attitude & more."

Christof Henneberger (@Dag-Hammarskjöld-Gymnasium, Würzburg) ,
Chris McNaughton (@Gartner Inc.) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Professional athletes are trained to work and improve constantly in order to deliver maximum performance. But there comes a point in the career of almost every athlete, where he or she has to prepare and master the transition into their second career In work-life. This transition is not easy for a lot of athletes. Therefore, I I talked with two former professional athletes Chris and Christof about their experiences, learnings and the motivation, preparation and challenges of the career after the career. We talked about the career as athletes, highlights, losses and how their sports-life prepared them for their second careers as consultant and teacher. Moreover, we talked about how pro-athlete mentality prepares and fits into business world. Although both looked back at different careers and followed different ways afterwards, there are a lot of parallels.
 

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Audio: "Chris & Christof: Career highlights"

Christof Henneberger (@Dag-Hammarskjöld-Gymnasium, Würzburg) ,
Chris McNaughton (@Gartner Inc.) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Among other stations, Chris and Christof played together for two years at s.Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg (now: s.Oliver Wuerzburg), the home team and town of Dirk Nowitzki and Maxi Kleber.

Chris Mc Naughton had the opportunity to played for several professional teams in Germany (BBL) and Spain (LEB) as well as in the NCAA. In Germany he joined s.Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg from 2012-2014 and became a member of the German National Team, where he played at the FIBA World Championship Tournament 2010 in Turkey. From 2003-2007 he played in the NCAA at Bucknell University and was part of the team that that made it to the NCAA tournament and booked two consecutive first round victories.

Christof Henneberger, born and raised in Wuerzburg, Germany, has been the local hero for his home-team s.Oliver (Baskets) Wuerzburg for several years. He played on the team from 2007-2014. From 2011-2014 he played with the s.Oliver (Baskets) in the BBL, first national league in Germany.

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Audio: "Transition from sports to industry – tougher than expected."

Christof Henneberger (@Dag-Hammarskjöld-Gymnasium, Würzburg) ,
Chris McNaughton (@Gartner Inc.) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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For Chris, the transition from sports to industry turned out to be tougher than expected. This is not unusual, as most athletes have to start from scratch in a new, competitive environment.

In the midst of a professional sports career, athletes often think it will work out easily, but as the career-end comes closer, it turns out to be an illusion to think that the world is waiting with open arms. Companies and organizations are looking for people with working experience – athlete cannot bring this to the table in many cases and therefore it is tough to find a new opportunity and starting-point.

Athletes often tend to be looking for s.th. in the business world that they could relate to: a team environment where it is possible to collaborate, where goals are set and you are responsible for goal-achievement.

Chris has been looking for a challenge that is fast-paced and requires dedication and hard work for success. He found all of those things at Gartner Inc., where he got the opportunity to start as a Strategic Business Partner to SMB clients of Gartner in North America.

For more details, listen to the Audio-Clip or the full Podcast Episode.

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Audio: "Transition from sports to industry – preparing for the second career."

Christof Henneberger (@Dag-Hammarskjöld-Gymnasium, Würzburg) ,
Chris McNaughton (@Gartner Inc.) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Christof followed a different path. As he became the opportunity to play professional basketball in his hometown Wuerzburg, he already has been starting to become a school teacher. .

Although the double-role has been challenging, he had the luck to combine both career paths. After retiring from professional sports, he switched the court for the classroom, as teacher at Dag-Hammarskjöld-Gymnasium in Würzburg. Professional sports has given him a valuable tool-kit - the experiences he made shaped him to become the teacher he is today. Now, he has the opportunity to share his experiences with the next generations.

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Technological progress is changing the way we work and the working-environments. In this chapter we shed light on trends and developments. We discuss the (old) fear of technological unemployment as well as aspects industrial organization psychology and the implications of health (in a digital world) on performance and work.
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Future Industry Code

In this chapter we show practical examples of how digital change and new technologies are changing organizations and industries and discuss the opportunities and challenges. Enjoy the content!
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Audio: "Digital transformation - understanding the real problem often is the biggest issue."

Prof. Dr. Richard Pibernik (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Very often, the biggest issues and challenges of organizations regarding digital transformation are not the handling or implementation of algorithms, data or ERP-systems. The biggest challenge turns out to be the general mindset of organizations.

Executives and decision-makers have to be open for change and develop, motivate and challenge their staff with them. Very often, success of the past leads to complacency and the risk of being “kodaked”. The problem lies in our brains. We are wired in a linear mode – but digital disruption, artificial intelligence, internet of things do not happen in the linear but exponential pace.

Moreover, Silo structures lead to frictions and a loss of speed and information. Structures need to be dynamic and collaborative. In the context of SCM and logistics for example, it is necessary that workflow and information of the purchasing department are harmonized with logistics and sales. Harmonized data-bases, software modules and algorithms have enormous potential to increase efficiency, speed and quality of decision-making.

But this is not possible, if step one – mindset and structure – is missing. Be aware: Innovation and disruption is not just for the Googles, Amazon or Tesla!

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„Who doesn’t jump on the (internet) train loses track!“ is a statement of Prof. Dr. Ronald Bogaschewsky from the year 1998. More than 20 years later, obviously not every firm and organization has been jumping on that train, yet.

Good news first: not every organization and firm that has missed the digital adaption has left the market (yet). But those who are still resistant to adapt, change and introduce digital (procurement) processes and applications are extremely vulnerable and are taking an enormous risk of losing track in a highly competitive market environment.

Time has not been standing still and the train of digital transformation, internet services and technological progress has dramatically picked up speed.
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Audio: "Digital change & why many firms aren't on the digital train, yet?"

Prof. Dr. Ronald Bogaschewsky (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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At the beginning, there had been technical and financial obstacles. Larger organizations have realized the potentials around the turn of the millennium and have made first larger investments into digital applications and ERP systems.

Besides the quick wins and upside effects, there have been a lot of "childhood diseases". Therefore, it took several years before it really paid off for smaller companies to invest in digital procurement applications.

Besides the technical and financial hurdles, organizations had (have) to face internal obstacles. Digital transformation needs a solid and strategic change management. Buying the software and setting up basic digital equipment is just the first step. Besides the infrastructure investment, there is a need for continuous change and people management. Employees have to be involved and be convinced, that change is necessary and positive. Executives and leaders have to take into account the needs, insecurities, and fears of their employees in order to create motivation, curiosity and technology acceptance.

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From an industrial-organizational view, companies have started to realize, that they cannot afford spending money and resources on improving manual processes and tasks that can be done much better and more efficiently by computers or machines.

New technologies and applications in procurement for instance disclose opportunities to automate routine tasks and free resources so that employees can focus on more strategic tasks, for instance in the field of strategic buying and global sourcing. People, which have been working on the same jobs for several years (often decades) have to learn totally new processes and tasks (continuously).
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High complexity and a lack of resources are reasons, why companies cannot roll out the full stack of digital processes in every part of the organization. Consequently, they prioritize by dysfunctionality, feasibility and importance. Based on that, they pick a few processes and try to optimize them. But everything that's not directly linked to these processes is left aside.

If we take a deeper look under the surface of organizations, there are often a lot of small processes that are highly inefficient and annoy everyone but they are not important enough to be fixed first, because they are not directly responsible for losing money. The idea is to figure out how something like collaborative production models that we know from Wikipedia can improve processes. The solution can be seen in very small improvements which can make a difference in the long tail. Therefore, the long tail of business processes can be connected to the idea of optimization in smaller (seed) projects.

If organizations don't have the budget and the capacity to execute large digital transformation projects, they can start small and keep improving constantly in small steps.

Although this procedure is by far not a complex digital transformation use-case, it still helps to gain experiences by automating parts of a larger process and save resources. Moreover it is the first step into action instead of waiting for years until large-scale digital transformation projects are started or finalized.
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Audio: "Intent of starting digital transformation processes - factors of success and failure."

Prof. Dr. Christian Janiesch (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Which factors have impact on the outcome of digital transformation projects? This question is highly interesting and relevant for every organization, dealing with this topic. In the discussion with Prof. Dr. Christian Janiesch and Prof. Dr. Christoph Flath we talked about a recent survey that tries to identify those factors, taking into account differences regarding intent and goal.

On the one side, there are firms that have general interest in process optimization, building communication tools and getting educated in process modelling. On the other side, there are firms that focus on atomization of processes and certifications (e.g. ISO). As often, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. In the first step, companies need to define what they want to achieve.

In the next step, the direction matters a lot. It is highly relevant if an approach is set-up “top-down” or “bottom-up”. If we take a closer look at what is happening in practice, digitization is often driven by a strict top-down mentality. The top-management makes a general announcement with defined steps, the installation of a CDO, huge investment in technical infrastructure with the goal to duplicate the processes digitally. But this approach is highly vulnerable to fail.

Seed project approaches follow a different strategy and mostly start from bottom-up. Practitioners identify a concrete need for digital support, for instance in a business unit or division. It is then necessary to develop an integrated analysis pipeline, with interfaces to other databases like customer data, contract data etc. But oftentimes, this infrastructure is not available, because organizations and traditional companies tend to have fix silo structures. A big challenge is to bring all available information together and make it accessible.

Small-scaled seed project don't need big budgets and resources. It is the goal to solve one small problem and afterwards there is a chance for a positive domino effect. This is fosters the idea of seeding digital movement in a company which has the potential to grow through the whole organization.

The survey also indicates that “process modeling and management experience” as well as a clearly defined organizational framework are supporting the success of digital transformation projects.

More information about the survey: (https://opus.bibliothek.uni-wuerzburg.de/frontdoor/index/index/docId/17924)

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In this chapter we show practical examples of how digital change and new technologies are changing organizations and industries and discuss the opportunities and challenges. Enjoy the content!
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Data: Oil of the 21st Century

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Audio: "Digital transformation: It doesn't start with fancy robot arms. Solid data-fundament first!"

Prof. Dr. Axel Winkelmann (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Talking about Industrial Revolution 4, a term that is mainly used in Germany to explain the period of time that we are living in, people intuitively think about fast-moving robot arms, drones or digital glasses. Implementing the hardware is oftentimes not the main challenge to SME (small and medium-sized enterprises).

Mostly, the main challenge lies in building and handling a centralized data fundament which is crucial for further standardization and automation of processes and the implementation of new technologies and operating with Cyber Physical Systems (CPS). Another huge issue for companies in times of digitalization is to understand the changing consumer needs and benefits. Success of the past does not necessarily help you in the future.

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Audio: "Putting data to action"

Prof. Dr. Christof Flath (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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There is a gigantic amount of data which is created every second, for instance by mobile IP devices in cars, factories, transportation systems or even surveillance cameras.

The question is, what are we going to do with this data? Do we use this data for filling up hard drives or is there really a chance of making our lives better and businesses more competitive? Putting data to action has the potential to improve the process of decision making. Pattern recognition and predictive analytics are prominent fields, where big data can be translated into information. In the next step information can be translated into actionable decisions.

In this context, there is extensive need to educate the next generation of data scientists, people who are willing and happy to get their hands on (big) data, use the right tools in a proper way and make the (business) world a better place.

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Audio: "Digital transformation: importance of data and data-driven operations"

Prof. Dr. Richard Pibernik (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Digitization is a paradoxical phenomenon. The emergence and access to large amounts of data combined with the use of data-driven techniques and operations supports faster and better decisions.

This is one side of the medal. On the other side, this data is forcing us to use it. The clock speed of companies and markets has changed, and global environments have become highly volatile and dynamic. It is therefore affordable to use that data and make strategic decisions. Otherwise, companies and organizations run the risk of losing competitiveness.

This means “the good old days” are over and everybody has to deal with the new circumstances – big data, technologies and methods that transform zeros and ones into information. Otherwise organizations run the risk of falling behind.

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Audio: "ERP for zero: The challenge of ressource allocation. Example from the field of additional manufacturig."

Prof. Dr. Axel Winkelmann (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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A lot of firms face the same challenge. How to organize the process of capacity and resource allocation within a company and on B2B level most efficiently?

Prof. Dr. Axel Winkelmann has been participating in a research project together with other chairs and partners, which aims on designing a B2B-market-place in the field of additive manufacturing (3D-prinitng). As the solutions for matching supply and demand on an inter- and intra-company level are lacking, Prof. Axel Winkelmann and a team of researchers and companies are looking behind the value chain and started to develop a market design.

This is a fundamental discussion in the context of digital business models and supply chain management.
For more details, listen to the Podcast Episode.

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Audio: "Insights into Germany's largest ERP-Lab"

Prof. Dr. Axel Winkelmann (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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There is a large number of ERP software on the market and a need for education and research on the data fundament and the business topics around ERP.

All systems differ and if you want to understand how to implement business processes in software you have to take a closer look. This is why Prof. Winkelmann started the ERP Lab with about 25 systems, in order to educate students, do research and help the software industry to build software that is used by companies regarding the process of digital transformation. It is Germany`s largest ERP-Lab in educational and research context.

For more details: http://erp-labs.de/

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Audio: "Business process management: automation, identification and analyzation of the value-adding parts"

Prof. Dr. Christian Janiesch (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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A core challenge in the context of digitization and digital transformation is the management of underlying processes. Business Process Management (BPM) is the methodology that deals with discovering, modeling, analyzing, optimizing and in the end automating processes of a business organization. This is very basic and highly important for organizations, as small adjustments can already lead to considerable cost savings.

Generally speaking, every business is a collection of its business processes. It is the goal of BPM to screen all processes and to figure out if a process adds value to the company or not or if there could be more value by adjusting or replacing certain processes. Business intelligence or business analytics are more or less the techniques to produce reports, to do online analytical processing, data mining, benchmarking, text-mining or even predictive analytics.

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Audio: "Opportunities of complex event processing."

Prof. Dr. Christian Janiesch (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Complex event processing: the technology is similar to database technologies for storing data and complex event processing technologies for processing event data in in real time.

Event data is data about events that happened, for example a status change in a process from “receipt submitted” to “receipt paid”. Events become digital time stamps and are integrated in communication processes.

Where is the value of this information? Let`s take a complex process, for example in the field of logistics. The firms participating in this process will have separate business process management systems.

This technology uses data from other systems and harmonizes processes in real time - this increases transparency, speed and efficiency.

For more details and examples listen to the audio file or the full Podcast Episode.

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In this chapter we show practical examples of how digital change and new technologies are changing organizations and industries and discuss the opportunities and challenges. Enjoy the content!
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Examples of industrial Change

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Audio: "Industrial (r)evolutions and how industries have changed. Example of music industry"

Prof. Dr. Axel Winkelmann (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Technological change and innovation are disrupting industries. A good example to explain the massive changes over time is the music industry. Prof. Dr. Axel Winkelmann explains the shift in the music industry from the with gramophone to Spotify with regard to his own family story.

His parents had been running a piano manufacturing business. Innovation and new technologies have changed the game here completely with massive implications for traditional companies. Technological inventions have led to change in consumer preferences and actions.
Organizations and firms within an industry need to understand that innovation and adaption strategies are essential in order to stay relevant and competitive.

Tradition (might help, but it) is not a solid business model.
For more details listen to the audio clip.

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Audio: "Cryptocurrencies: Hype or future trend? An economic perspective."

Prof. Dr. Peter Bofinger (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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What is the deal with cryptocurrencies? Are they really the currencies of the future?

What we can say for sure is, that cryptocurrencies are the model of currency competition developed by Hayek many decades ago. How does it work?

Interestingly, people are willing to give real money in exchange for this private money which is in general nothing but an IOU (I owe you). With the distributed Ledger technology (DLT), the technological mechanism underneath, user no longer see the person who's created this system, which is an important psychological factor. As soon as people trust in the system, they are willing to pay money and so it's a kind of transformation of something completely worthless into something, which people have trust in and are willing to spend money for. As governments have the opportunity to intervene in the system, it is questionable if the cryptocurrencies that we see today will be the currencies of the future (leaving aside the debates on sustainability and energy cost, related to the mining process).

Even if cryptocurrencies might not substitute traditional currencies, digitalization will definitely change the financial system. In this context peer to peer lending could be a form of money exchange that might challenge the traditional role of banks. Here we talk about digital platforms collecting money from people who want to save money and distribute it to people who need money for instance to buy a house and the process of monitoring the borrowers and diversifying funds. Consequently, you might no longer need to have your deposit with a traditional bank as it might be possible to open short-term deposits at the central banks for everyone.

This trend could fundamentally challenge the role of banks as lenders and is currently a hot (research) topic. For more details s. the website of Prof. Dr. Peter Bofinger and listen to the Podcast Episode.

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Audio: "Virtual Reality and use-cases from the medical sector & health care"

Prof. Dr. Sebastian von Mammen (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Technology has a huge potential to improve health care. VR for instance can be integrated in the process of patient treatment where it is important to be motived and interact with the patients. Moreover, telemedicine is offering new opportunities.

Technology and sensors offer communication over long distances - this can be used to provide medical advice and support. We also see robots that support medical staff and clinical processes and the guide doctors during the performance of operation. There are multiple use cases already and huge potential for the improvement of medical care.

For more information listen to the audio clip and Podcast Episodes with Prof. Dr. Sebastian von Mammen and Prof. Dr. Klaus Schilling.

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Audio: "Data driven operations increasing the efficiency of health supply in developing countries"

Prof. Dr. Richard Pibernik (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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The availability of essential medicines for the people in developing countries has improved throughout the last years. This is mainly due to the effort of a number of global health organizations. However, there is still an urgent need to bring down prices and to ensure that the people in these countries have access to the products.

One can find a can of Coke in the most remote places in Africa, but not malaria medication. We commonly think that the main reason is that the people in developing countries cannot afford pharmaceutical products because they have no health insurance. This, however, is not the core problem. Very often, the reason is the lack of efficient supply chains.

Medical products in developing countries are often very expensive compared to other products and goods - very often the medical products are not even available. One reason, why the products are expensive is that local pharmacies order in very small quantities which are too small to be placed directly at the manufacturer. They have to buy from various middlemen that charge comparably high prices.

In order to improve the situation and reduce the ordering costs, the participating startup company equipped the pharmacies with tablet computers and a basic ERP-System. This technology allows pharmacies to manage their inventories more efficiently, to consolidate orders across multiple pharmacies and to order directly from the manufacturer or a wholesaler.

The team of Prof. Pibernik has been working on forecasting an inventory algorithms that consolidated orders across multiple pharmacies with the goal to find an optimal mechanism to compete for big orders that leads to lower prices and increases the availability of the products (more information about the projects: https://www.wiwi.uni-wuerzburg.de/lehrstuhl/bwl11/research/multi-supplier-sourcing-strategies-for-gl... ).

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Audio: "Digital Retail Lab - Retail industry is changing dramatically - innovation is key and not just for the Amazons"

Prof. Dr. Christof Flath (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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The retail market has seen rapid change in the past years. Especially amazon, ebay, google and others have disrupted the market. Smaller companies are looking for their spot in the market and a long-term strategy. The big question is: Will every retailer in the future be a supplier for Amazon or are there other strategies and niches?

First of all, retailers can learn from Amazon and its hunger for innovation as well as changing and rethinking business models. Especially small and medium-sized companies have to realize, that innovation is not just predicated for Amazon, Google and Facebook. Small scale innovation is possible if you are teaming up with the right partners and following the right strategy.

The Digital Retail Lab in project in Wuerzburg focuses on the retail fashion market. Several chairs from the University of Wuerzburg in the field of business information management and two local fashion retailers (s.Oliver Bernd Freier GmbH and Drykorn) are collaborating in small projects on the back of three major pillars – research, education and HR. One goal is to predict design, style and other important facts in the field of fashion by using quantitative methods (Link: http://digital-retail-lab.de/en/welcome-to-the-digital-retail-lab/ ).

For an individual firm, it might be too expensive and risky to invest into such technological prototypes – but in collaborations it is possible to reduce the risk and illustrate that these prototype projects bring valuable insights and benefits that can lead to further projects and actions.

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In this chapter we show practical examples of how digital change and new technologies are changing organizations and industries and discuss the opportunities and challenges. Enjoy the content!

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Digital Procurement

How far are organizations regarding to digital procurement and SCM? The landscape draws a heterogeneous picture.

On the one side, there are a lot of companies that are still having retentions and are hardly dealing with any digital procurement applications - instead they still take the phone or fax to place an order.

On the other side, there are companies that have applied some procurement applications for a couple of years now - these firms have already gained experiences and have learned that the potential benefits are huge. Therefore, many of them have entered the next stage and plan to integrate e.g. stand-alone solutions in a single sign-on portal in order to create seamless processes where the purchasing process is an automated cycle - from the order to the payment and the whole book-keeping.

In the audio and Podcast with Prof. Dr. Ronald Bogaschewsky, you will learn more about modern SCM and Procurement.

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The first big wave of digital procurement can be dated around the millennium turn and is characterized by the implementation of ERP systems and specific software solutions for purchasing and supply chain management. It is therefore related to increasing automation and efficiency - organizations have built a process framework that saved money and time.

The „second wave of procurement“ has been triggered by the rise of global sourcing. As the eastern markets have been opening up in the first decade of the new millennium, a lot of firms have seen enormous potential and opportunities. Successful and sustainable market entry affords strategic actions. The introduction of procurement software and applications supported companies to free resources for tasks like strategic buying and strategic global sourcing.

Generally speaking, the majority of enterprises have started to introduce some kind of digital procurement solution. Companies nowadays profit from the development and progress of the near past. Whereas ten years ago, companies had to make rather large investments to implement digital procurement applications, companies today have access to low-cost, web-based solutions and seamless environments. In order to stay competitive today, it is important to analyze the need for adaption and the opportunities of modern technology and applications.
Time is not standing still!
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Audio: "Digital change & the opportunites of IoT."

Prof. Dr. Ronald Bogaschewsky (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Although artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are not at all new topics, they open up huge potential and opportunities for organizations as they get applied and practiced.

For instance, thirty years ago, we have already seen an AI system created to test vacuum cleaners. The system has been trained to identify failures of the motors just by listening to sound. After that approach, the discussion about AI has basically been stopped, due to the lack of use-cases. The rise of AI is connected to the fact, that nowadays technologies are available at low prices and a high-performance levels. As computing technology has been improving exponentially, algorithms are rising and some scientists even expect that computers and machines in the near future will be having a higher performance level than all human beings combined - the phenomenon of singularity.

What we can say for sure is, that the leading technological companies are dealing with these technologies and are trying to develop and implement applications to stay ahead and gaining a competitive advantage.

AI is there and results are graspable - the challenge is on!

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Audio: "How modern SCM Setups look like. Examples from reality."

Prof. Dr. Ronald Bogaschewsky (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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The internet provides a large amount of open global data. Modern technology allows grabbing this data from the web and combining it with further AI-based analytics. This leads to a significant increase in market transparency, risk-diversification and the foundation for better decision-making.

It is now possible to derive very precise information about e.g. which global supplier is able to produce and deliver a certain amount of goods to certain manufacturing locations. It is even possible to create precise supplier and sub-supplier networks. Therefore, this information also supports the companies risk management. It is even possible to take into account if a supplier is based in a potential earthquake or flooding area. This information is available before deciding on the optimal supplier. In the near future, it will be state of the art that companies decide about their suppliers on a very profound basis of information.

For example, a startup founded in Wuerzburg (Germany) named Scoutbee, has developed techniques and applications that support organizations around the globe practicing smarter, faster and more efficient procurement and SCM.

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In this chapter we show practical examples of how digital change and new technologies are changing organizations and industries and discuss the opportunities and challenges. Enjoy the content!
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Global Trends

There are several global trends and developments that shape our present and future living and working environment. It is important to know about the implications of those macro trends in order to understand and create micro strategies - for employees and organizations.

On the next page, you`ll find a variety of important global trends.

Enjoy! More content is about to come.
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Economists`s Corner

Economists are a special species. They tend to work and communicate in a unique way. (I am an economist myself, therefore I am allowed to say this here.) In the follow section, we provide information on how economist work and discuss current hot topics.
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The work of economists is multi-dimensional and not easy to describe. A good analogy can be seen in the field of medicine. Therefore, one could compare the work of economists with that of a medical doctors. While medical doctors examine the health of human beings, economists examine the health of economic systems. Instead of prescribing medical treatments or medication, economists give expertise on how to handle for instance economic shocks (e.g. technological shocks like digital transformation or crisis like the financial crisis, euro-crisis).

Economists understand what the drivers of economic cycles are, evaluate economic constellations and developments and give strategic advice to optimize markets.
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Audio: "How economists work: identifing a problem, translate it into a model, analyze it & translate it back into prose."

Prof. Dr. Toker Doganoglu (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Industrial Economics is a field of research that is practically relevant. Non-economists often look at economic theories, equations and methodologies and are confused. Therefore, it is important to understand how economists approach problems.

1) Starting from a practical (market) problem.
2) Understanding the problem and its important elements.
3) Translating these important elements into an abstract model.
4) Analyzing the abstract and simplified model and developing optimization strategies.
5) Re-translating the model-results into prose.

For non-economists, this procedure seems complicated and confusing. But economists need the abstraction in order to get a general understanding of the situation. Models are like maps – they provide orientation in a complex world and try to give a deeper understanding of certain situations. They explain interactions and market mechanisms, market failures and inefficiencies, why failures occur and what strategies lead to welfare improvement.

As not everybody can deal with the high degree of complexity, economists are responsible to translate their findings back into full sentences and clear proposals.

Industrial economists try to improve markets and make the world (markets) a better place.

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The end of a 10-year run
The German economy has gone through a 10-year period of boom and continuous growth. The boom has been fueled by a high foreign and consumer demand. Since 2019, the growth has been starting to decline. The export-based economic system has been starting to suffer from global protectionism. Additionally, the German economy is going through a structural digital change. Additionally, to this economic slow-down process, markets have been hit by a global shock - the implications of COVID-19.

Massive economic damage
In contrast to earlier shocks, COVID-19 is massively harming the demand- and the supply-side. In Germany, global players like Volkswagen are forced to close plants, due to the infection of many employees and delivery bottlenecks. A lot of small and medium-sized businesses are forced to shut-down temporarily or suffer from the collapse of consumer/customer demand. In order to avoid an exponential infection spread, which is challenging local medical systems, Bavaria has decided to drive down daily life and business. Stationary B2C businesses, retailers, restaurants and hotels for instance have to close. The shock is threatening the future existence of many SMBs. To reduce financial losses, firms try everything and prove a lot of flexibility and adapt/change their products and services (e.g. restaurants become delivery-services). Moreover, governments around the globe are trying to support the domestic economic system with massive financial support – but nevertheless, the economic loss will be enormous. Taking into account the threatening mix of an already set in recession, structural change as well as a global demand- and supply-side shock, it is possible, that the cumulated loss (at least in Germany) will be stronger than during the Lehman crisis.

Overdue digital boost – opportunities of new work and education
Besides the undisputed economic damage, this period of crisis can boost digital-based and innovative business-models. Many organizations have recognized, that the digital transformation of business processes and mobile/remote working environments are beneficial and overdue. For example, in the field of procurement, there have been massive advancements lately. Digital, AI-based tools support organizations finding the right supplier all over the world – firms gain time, free resources and reduce the risk of being independent of one partner. Moreover, a lot of events for instance switched from presence to the virtual world - webinars are booming. This trend is not new, but it is currently experiencing a boom. Digital cloud-based business infrastructures allow employees to work from remote locations (e.g. home-office). In times, where employees have to stay at home due to COVID-19, home-office infrastructures enable organizations to stay productive. Further, closed schools and universities underline the need for more digital-based learning environments. Although, there are already well-equipped role-models, it becomes obvious, that there is still a lot of work to do. The current crisis has shown, that it is necessary to enforce digital business and learning infrastructure.

World after the crisis – same old factors of success
Many firms now are struggling and are fighting for their existence. In many cases, jobs are at stake. In the past, the average duration of German recessions (since 1966, source ECRI) has been 24,5 months. Looking ahead, it is very likely, that this shock – besides massive economic damage – also brings learning and opportunities. As the examples above have shown, even during the crisis, there are a lot of firms and organizations that are flexible, innovative and are learning quickly to adapt.

Therefore, COVID-19 does not change, but more than ever underlines the general factors of future success. It is important to question the business models of the past and innovate continuously – individuals have to be aware and willing to update their knowledge (fast and ongoing / life-long). It is more important then ever to develop and improve problem-solving skills instead of repetitive learning. 

Summary:
  • The COVID-shock will have massive impact on economies all over the world.
  • This crisis also brings opportunities and a digital boost.
  • COVID-19 does not change, but more than ever underlines the general factors of future success: flexibility, innovation and education.
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Audio: "Superstar firms and the implications for markets and consumers."

Prof. Dr. Toker Doganoglu (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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The economic implications of the market power of superstar firms like Google, Amazon, Facebook and other platform economies like Uber or Airbnb are hot topics for industrial economists and lawyers and relevant for competitors and consumers.

How has the market power been evolving and is it still possible for other companies to compete with the big players and quasi monopolists? Here, we have to differentiate between the process that brought market power and the status quo. Google’s business model for example is based on a large amount of data that is collected during every use of the search engine. Google works with algorithms that learn from every single transaction (search - result - action) and compares the individual actions with reference group transactions. Therefore, Google can deliver high-quality and exact answers with a high hit rate. Consumers benefit from a high-quality service on the one side. On the other side there are high market barriers for potential competitors and a quasi-monopolistic market.
It is obvious, that there is a need for adjustment of legal regulations. For more information on this topic, continue reading on the next page.

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Obviously, there are no easy and one-dimensional answers on how to deal with this market structure. Is it possible to induce a competitive market structure in such an environment? How can incentives for firms look like, to compete with Google and other dominant platform economies at a playfield that is dominated by a business model led by exclusive data? There are current debates around these questions.

Besides known data privacy debates, there are discussions on approaches of making collected data portable so that other providers can use it as well. A similar proposal has come up for introducing and stimulating interconnectivity in social networks by Prof. Joshua Gans from the University of Toronto. The proposal is similar to the regulation of the telecommunication market. Here it is possible to call someone, who has a contract with a different service provider, meaning that the communication networks are interconnected.

Therefore, the proposal claims, that any future social network should provide a connected communication channel, so that consumers can communicate across platforms. Along with those kinds of proposals, again, a lot of complex questions emerge with legal and economic focus.

Market power leads to inefficient resource allocation and suboptimal welfare. That’s what students learn in the first semester of studies in economics. Sounds like an easy solution – breaking up the monopolistic structure. But is breaking up the monopoly of superstar firms really the final solution? Probably not, as this will lead to a situation, where one of the broken pieces can quickly become the new monopolist. Therefore, if it is the goal to change the monopolistic market structure, it is necessary to think about a new regulatory framework and corresponding competition laws.
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Audio: "Google, Facebook, Airbnb and more. Need for regulations and law adaption."

Prof. Dr. Toker Doganoglu (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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New regulations and competition laws might also be an issue, when we talk about the business models of platform economies like uber and Airbnb. Subjects on the same market are underlying different regulatory framework. This favors the platform providers and leads to a competitive disadvantage of traditional market players. Let`s start with uber. In contrast to the taxi industry, Uber (in particular Uber drivers) is underlying different market regulations. In Germany, taxi drivers have to have a taxi license that costs money and is connected to an official examination. Uber drivers are not subject to this regulatory framework. Therefore, Uber is banned in wide parts of Germany and other countries.

Once again, it is questionable if banning is the right instrument? There are examples that have shown that there are other options. In Turkey for example, given a local regulatory framework, Uber turned out to be more expansive than the traditional taxis - but still people chose the service of Uber due to a higher quality and service level. As technological progress and digitization will proceed, new platforms will emerge that challenge the current regulatory framework. State authorities have to analyze these situations carefully and harmonize current regulation frameworks to set fair conditions for equal competition. In contrast to earlier decades, we nowadays have data that can be used to run empirical analysis. The results can be used to develop sensible proposals that fit the current and future environment.

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Economists are a special species. They tend to work and communicate in a unique way. (I am an economist myself, therefore I am allowed to say this here.) In the follow section, we provide information on how economist work and discuss current hot topics.
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Mobility

Audio: "Need for new mobility systems - challenge with game-changing potential"

Prof. Dr. Christof Flath (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Mobility, especially concerning the usage of cars – is a highly inefficiency field. In Germany for instance, there are 45 Mio. registered cars that are moved on average 1h/day. The big question with regard to a new mobility system is, how to scale and improve this inefficient usage.

Sharing concepts offer opportunities to increase the average usage of cars by the factor of ten, i.e. up to 10-12 h/day. From an economical point of view, this trend has the power to change markets and business models. Car sharing services have improved a lot lately. Digital car sharing services make it possible to find vehicles, access them and pay via apps. Especially in urban areas, this is a promising complement to existing public mobility infrastructure.

Additional improvement can be made, by adding self-driving vehicles to the new mobility system equation. In this model, it will not be necessary to drop off the cars anymore, because the car will drive on and pick up the next person. There are estimates, that with self-driving cars integrated in shared mobility concepts, utilization rates of around 20 hours per day can be reached.

We haven’t been talking about electric mobility yet. The numbers of registration are still more or less disappointing, especially in Germany. Generally, it is questionable if electric cars are a huge driver for sustainability in the automotive sector per se. Therefore, the first step towards a higher mobility efficiency is to get more cars off the street and more people involved in sharing concepts and public transportation (e.g. bus, railroad). If we are making progress in increasing utilization levels of vehicles the addition and introduction of electric vehicles becomes an attractive future mobility approach, especially in urban areas.

Although the concepts are at hand, there is no hype, yet. This might be linked to the fact that the approach is not sexy because it feels like giving something up. As the concepts further improve and new generations are getting used to it, shared mobility concepts (including autonomous-driving and eMobility) have the potential to become a dominant business model.

The automotive sector has to prepare for a shift in these patterns.

For more details, listen to the full Podcast!

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Energy Transition

Audio: "Energy markets in transition - volatility of the supply-side and the need for a new mindset of consumption"

Prof. Dr. Christof Flath (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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German policy has made the decision to follow a new energy policy with a strong focus on renewable energy resources. This leads to new market conditions and regulation and brings numerous challenges. The supply side, that has formerly been stable, now becomes highly volatile. There is an obvious conflict between the laissez-fair approach on the demand side (consumer are able to consume energy whenever they want) and the volatility on the supply-side. In a regulatory context, it is important to find a mechanism that creates incentives on the supply and demand side.

One of the biggest challenges can be seen in getting people accustomed to a new mindset in energy consumption. The problem with electricity is, that it is just so ubiquitous and we have never even tried to think about alternative ways of consuming it or paying for it. Electricity has “always” been there at perfect quality. What is actually needed under the new circumstances are quality differentiated services for the electricity market. For instance, people could have contracts for example for charging their cars or heating water with electricity capacity that is not 100% reliable at attractive rates and some kind of guaranteed flat rate for essential services for a higher price.

In energy economics there is a trilemma of “ecological sustainability”, “cost efficiency” and “reliability”. These three pillars are essential and there is always a trade-off. For instance if you're going solely with renewable energy sources, you are essentially losing reliability and you are facing a very expensive system. If you are fully committed to brown coal, it is going to be low cost and reliable but highly unsustainable. Interestingly, in public discussions it's mostly about cost and CO2 pollution and less about reliability questions - because people are afraid of losing energy reliability.

A promising opportunity can be seen in the ubiquitous computing, networking and communication capability. It is technically possible to send a digital signal which triggers a boiler or a washing machine, a dishwasher and thereby leverage consumer flexibility - the basic idea of smart grids. There has been a lot of research – but what we're still seeing are big prototype-projects and no real market break-through. One reason here, once again, is the complex and tight regulatory environment.

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China in Transition

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Audio: "From the workbench of the world to an innovative system."

Prof. Dr. Doris Fischer (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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In order to understand the economic development, the transmission and growth of the Chinese economy, it`s necessary to understand economic concepts on the one side and cultural, systematical aspects – the rules of the game – on the other side.

The country once known as the workbench of the world has been transforming, focusing on innovation and challenging the Western world in all sectors. There are lots of economic puzzles that come with the fast development and the huge country, which affords creating multiple layers of understanding. Moreover, the Republic of China and its economy is changing at an extremely high pace and the textbooks have to be updated at least every two years. This is what makes it challenging and interesting.

For more details, continue reading and listen to the full Podcast Episodes, where I talked to Prof. Doris Fischer, Professor for China Business and Economics at the University of Wuerzburg.

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China has been undergone a massive transmission process. The growth-model has changed from an agriculture to industrialized production based on low wages to an economy that is focusing on an dominant innovation strategy.

The Chinese government has realized that the growth-models of the past are not sustainable because they have been coming along with lots of negative side-effects like a demographic issue, enormous population flows into rural areas and dependencies on external factors. Chinese literature shows that the discussion about the new growth-model has started in the mid-2000s. The main focus was set on green-technology and the key word is innovation.
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Audio: "Chinese companies investing abroad - How dare they!?"

Prof. Dr. Doris Fischer (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Alongside the new growth-model and the access of China to the WTO, Chinese companies have started to invest abroad, which was hardly possible and not really wanted before.

The Western world and especially Germany became confused. “What is the deal behind buying our companies?” People were afraid, that this process was strategically controlled by the Chinese government to buy German knowhow. Looking at the process more into detail, one will see that this is only one part of the story. As the investment opportunities in China were not good at that time, companies had to find a way to bring money out of the country. In the highly productive and competitive firms in Germany and the Western part of the world, they found excellent investment projects. A lot of Western companies needed money and the Chinese brought money – so they found their market match.

When the Chinese government realized that an extensive amount of money is invested abroad and China’s international image suffered, they started to intervene from the governmental side. Investments abroad were limited to strategically important industries - the automotive sector is one of those relevant industries.

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Audio: "Obstacles and challenges for Western firms in China"

Prof. Dr. Doris Fischer (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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For several years now, Western companies have invested in China and have benefitted from this strategic move. On the one side, the margins of production had been high and on the other side, China has offered huge market potential. Therefore, western firms went east. But it hasn`t been easy at all. Once being in China, Western firms realized that the system and regulations are different not everything is as easy as expected.

The discussion about market barriers and the imbalance of market access have become more intense after Chinese companies have been starting to go outward and invest abroad. Further, western firms still cannot have more than 49 percent of the shares of Chinese companies from industries declared as strategically important, such as the automotive sector. Another rising issue for Western businesses is the fierce competition on Chinese markets. New competitors from China have come up and being foreign is not good enough anymore.

Currently, one of the biggest issues though is data and cyber security. Western firms are obliged to store data on Chinese servers before being able to transfer data to their headquarters. The big question for the companies is: what happens to the data and who has access to the data?

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Audio: "2-digit growth rates and the need for adaption"

Prof. Dr. Doris Fischer (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Starting with the look at the extraordinary growth by 2-digit growth rates, it was obvious for several reasons that this would not last forever. First, it is clear that constantly holding high growth rates becomes more and more difficult as growth steadily leads to a higher absolute level. The effort to conserve 2-digit growth rates therefore is hardly impossible at some point.

Moreover, the process is not sustainable because it creates bottlenecks that lead to bubbles – a process of economic overheating. Therefore, the Chinese government decided to adapt the corridor of aimed growth-rates to a range of 5.5 to 7 percent. In general, declining growth is a warning signal from a psychological point of view.

The downward correction is more severe for Western companies that made long-term investment decisions based on a higher level of growth. The declining growth has been a warning signal for international financial markets as China has been the steam engine for growth. Consequently, even institutions like the IMF (International Monetary Fund) have become afraid.

From a neutral perspective 7 percent growth is still a decent level of growth – but it depends on the perspective.

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Audio: "e-Mobility and the goal of becoming an automotive society "

Prof. Dr. Doris Fischer (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Apart from the discussion about growth-rate levels, it is more important to look behind the scene and check what is going on structurally in China. Here China has made several smart strategic moves. A big decision was made very early in the 1990s when the Chinese government decided to become an automotive society.

This is really a long-term strategy – one has to keep in mind, that by that time it was not allowed for people having private property. Things have changed and the bet on electromobility has several facets. It reduces dependency on oil, it fits the long-term automotive strategy and it is a strategic innovative future technology where China can gain a real global competitive edge.

Leaving efficiency aspects and consistent mobility issues in larger cities aside - the strategy, supported by Chinese government, is bearing fruits. 3 of the largest 10 manufacturers of electric vehicles come from China. The largest success at the moment is in the field of electric busses and small vehicles. The next move will be electric SUVs. Although electromobility will not solve the overall environmental issues, the strategy shows results.

The main question will be how to integrate electromobility in an overall sustainable concept of transportation. The game is on.

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Audio: "Chins's fascination for digital change"

Prof. Dr. Doris Fischer (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Digital transformation and change are currently major topics in China (as it is in the rest of the Western world). Taking a step back, Chinese government was excited when Germany introduced the Industry 4.0 strategy in 2012, because it was in their opinion a strategy that has come close to the Chinese understanding of an industrial strategy.

It did not take long until the Chinese then came up with their strategy “Made in China 2025”. As they acknowledged that they are still behind in many things but they are also ahead in some things for instance in the way they use social media.

Therefore, Chinese government has set up specific strategies called internet plus – e.g. internet plus agriculture, internet plus service sector. The Chinese are very good in creating usability, user-orientation, user-experience, and the gamification of use so that the users help to improve the products. For instance, “wechat” is on the way to replace “email-communication” in China. Wechat is the Chinese version of “whatsapp”, “facebook” and other services combined together.

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German Economy

Audio: "What`s the secret of the German Economy? Was there a crisis? How the German economy mastered recovery."

Prof. Dr. Peter Bofinger (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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In the last decades, there have been huge discussions about Germany`s economic strengths and the rapid transformation from Europeans sick man to the European power house. At the beginning of the millennium, there was huge mental depression among German population and journalists. The main mistakes in the discussion of that time was that people thought that globalization would mean that we will have less work in our economy that people have to reduce wages in order to remain competitive globally. According to basic economic theory, the international division of labor does make economies poorer, it makes them healthier. And this is what happened to Germany, along with the fact that Germany had to overcome the economic shock of unification.

One of the biggest assets of Germany`s economic strength is the industry structure, which is characterized by 99,9 percent by small and medium-sized – often family-owned – companies. These companies are less dependent on capital markets, highly competitive on the world-markets (hidden global champions) and are therefore less susceptible to shocks. Of course, there are more factors like high-quality goods that have a high demand worldwide, the education system, strong global players and a solid share of manufacturing industry.

For more information listen to the full discussion on this topic.

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Technologies

Our private life and working-environment is more and more influenced by digital trends, data and modern technologies. From smart speakers at home to the ERP-system or robot arms at work. In many cases, the development has just been starting.

AI and ML have enormous potential to support human decision-making. Robots, algorithms and other technologies will take over most repetitive and routine-based tasks – here they are much faster and more precise than humans. The transformation process leads to an environment, where new tasks and activities are needed. Humans have to focus on tasks that machines cannot do - tasks concerning e.g. creativity and emotional intelligence. The current period of change is characterized by technologies that increase the clock-speed of business. Therefore, people and organizations have to realize change and take on action.

In this chapter, we give information on current technologies and graspable examples. The goal is to increase openness and acceptance towards new technologies that are shaping our future.
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Augmented and Virtual Reality

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Audio: "Games engineering: more than just games. Use-cases and examples"

Prof. Dr. Sebastian von Mammen (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Serious games are real-time interactive systems made for simulations and training context. Here, it is possible to expose humans to situations that would be otherwise not ethically correct, acceptable or way to expansible. For example, it is possible to create a setup that measures how people see and react before accidents happen. Results can be used to improve accident avoidance. Virtual reality is the virtual world that is created and can be transmitted to flat screens or VR glasses. The technology will not be suitable to every question in training and education frameworks.

But it offers a new instrument in the tool kit. A powerful instrument, if used in the right context. The degree of emersion using VR simulations is high and therefore the effects are highly intense and effective.
For more details, listen to the audio clip and Podcast with Prof. Dr. Sebastian von Mammen, part of the Chair of Human-Computer Interaction and an expert in the field of Games Engineering, Serious and Immersive Games, and Interactive Systems at the University of Würzburg.

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Audio: "Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI): Use-cases and potential."

Prof. Dr. Sebastian von Mammen (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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As the name already implicates HCI is a field of research that examines the interaction between humans and machines in all facets.

Within this framework, avatar science and research has delivered interesting results. Avatars are virtual characters where represent humans in the virtual world. There are scientific supported effects, that experiences in virtual reality have an impact on humans in real life. There is research, which indicates the empathy for certain things rise when we experience the world from a different perspective. Moreover, the results indicate long-lasting effects.

Prof. Dr. Mark Latuschek from the University of Wuerzburg and his research group are investigation this kind of social virtual reality, where several people meet in a virtual shared room.

More detail can be found under the following ling: http://hci.uni-wuerzburg.de/

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Audio: "How can new technologies like AR& VR bring value for education and teaching?"

Kristina Bucher (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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If we want younger generations to use technologies like VR and AR in their daily work-life, there is a need for educated teachers that are motivated and equipped with proper knowledge and didactic skills to transfer knowledge to their students. Therefore, there is a need for education of pre-service teachers concerning the use of technologies like AR, VR and MR. To begin with, it is important to take a critical look at new technologies and identify how they can bring additional value for teaching and knowledge transfer.

AR, VR and MR are broadening the teaching tool-kit and bring additional and complementary tools. As people are different and learn different, these new technologies might be promising new options. The most important attribute of AR/VR is that it enables humans to manipulate their perceived environment in a way that wasn't possible with an exocentric perspective. This technology offers new approaches to teach and learn while interacting with objects and surroundings and enables new teaching and learning experiences.

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Audio: "MEET Lab (Media Education and Educational Technology Lab) @University of Wuerzburg. Experiencing class(room) of the future."

Kristina Bucher (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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The level of technology acceptance of teachers is not necessarily related to age. The most powerful approach increasing technology acceptance is by creating hands-on experiences, showing applied use-cases and giving teachers the opportunity to try out new technologies. This is the main goal of the MEET-Lab (Media Education and Educational Technology Lab), that has been installed at the University of Wuerzburg.

The lab is equipped with AR, VR and mixed-reality applications and offers opportunities to demonstrate and practice those new technologies. It is important for (pre-service) teachers to experience AR, VR and MR to understand the practical use-cases and values for education and knowledge transfer. It is a place where people can experience, discuss and create new ideas or concepts. The lab offers a flexible learning environment with chairs that can be moved around easily, electricity and internet-connection everywhere and a variety of AR and VR applications, 3D-printers and other technologies. It is the goal to create an excellent environment to motivate (young) people to look at technical problems and topics from another perspective and increase technology acceptance.

Link: http://www.schulpaedagogik.uni-wuerzburg.de/en/meet-jmu/

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Audio: "Breaking bad behaviour: VR environment for teaching teachers of tomorrow."

Kristina Bucher (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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“Breaking Bad Behavior” is a current project and technological setup that can be experienced at the MEET Lab in Wuerzburg (Bavaria). The main goal is to offer pre-service teachers opportunities to experience classroom management in a virtual reality setup (s. www.schulpaedagogigk.uni-wuerzburg.de/en/research-projects/b3 ).

The project is a collaboration with the department of Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Wuerzburg (Faculty of Computer Science). Virtual students are showing different styles of disruptive behavior like receiving a phone call or sleeping on the table. Pre-service teachers get opportunities to deal with inconvenient situations in an authentic environment. By measuring stress-related indicators while practice it was shown that they are physically and psychologically reacting to the approach. The project is set-up to be exercised by two people, the teacher, who is projected into VR and the instructor, which is determining classroom behavior and reactions.

In a continuation project of breaking bad behavior called ViLeArn (s. www.schulpaedagogigk.uni-wuerzburg.de/en/research-projects/vilearn ) there will be an application where pre-service teachers not only learn in VR but learn together in VR. It is a system where people can link in from remote places and meet in VR.

VR and AR offer a broad variety of opportunities in an educational context. From an international perspective, German schools are on average less active and engaged in AR/VR, compared to e.g. Asian countries, where openness towards new technology is larger  (see for instance http://www.xinhuanet.com//english/2017-10/18/c_136689509.htm ).

Besides technology acceptance issues, it is important to provide wide-spread, reliable and fast broadband internet access. Even in Germany, a highly advanced and industrialized country, this is still not fully the case.

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Internet of Space

Audio: "Telematics = telecommunication + informatics. About the benefits and where it is used."

Prof. Dr. Klaus Schilling (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Telematics is a combination of telecommunication plus information plus informatics. This combination enables the provision of services at remote locations. Satellites even enable remote control on different planets, or traffic control systems increasing efficient flow of traffic. Moreover, the technology supports telemedicine systems, where people carry sensors that supervise the health status and are capable to provide data to hospitals or doctors who are able to detect anomalies. Huge potential can be seen especially in rural areas. Telematics is also relevant in the context of autonomous driving vehicles, mobile robots and connected factories.

New satellite technology has disruptive potential. Widespread telecommunication and networks of automation system enable a more efficient production. Telematics and advanced automation systems are used in the context of Industry 4.0, digitalized production and cyber-physical systems.

For more details about telematics and satellite technology, listen to the Podcast and watch the clip.

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Audio: "Telecommunication, pico satellites & importance for CPS and IOT frameworks"

Prof. Dr. Klaus Schilling (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Communication channels are playing a big role in the context of Cyber-Physical-Systems. Networks of satellites can provide communication practically everywhere and provide cost-efficient solutions for access in remote areas where you have no fiber glass. In city, where cable access and connections are available, there is no need for satellites.

Small networked satellites address mostly the markets and frameworks with low bandwidth, for example in machine to machine communication or logistics. They are highly efficient and can provide communication channels in desserts, off-shore and therefore open opportunities for IoT-frameworks in remote places. This is interesting for a lot of organizations and firms.

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Audio: "Paradigm shift in telecommunication. How pico satellites change the game?"

Prof. Dr. Klaus Schilling (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Performance and design of satellites has changed dramatically in the past, similar to computers. Computational power has been grown at an exponential rate and the size has constantly been shrinking. There are similar tendencies in satellite technology.

Traditional large multifunctional satellites will become complemented at least by distributed networks of small satellites which have capabilities to self-organize. These smaller satellites are cheaper and distributed networks of small satellites can cover a much larger area, which leads to a better temporal and special resolution. While each single small satellite is weaker in performance than a big satellite, the power emerges by the cooperation and building of a networked system.

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Audio: "Internet of Space: Interconnected devices via communication links"

Prof. Dr. Klaus Schilling (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Internet of Space is a terminology promoted by special organizations like IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) which is the largest association in the field of electrical engineers. It describes systems, where multiple devices, sensors, actuators are interconnected via communication links. Internet of Space applications are providing interesting solutions for areas lacking cable infrastructure - satellites can provide access via space.

Small satellites can provide continuous coverage and 100 small satellites are probably enough for a world-wide coverage.

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(Industrial) Internet of Things

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Audio: "Game changers: Sensors, robotics & EPIP."

Prof. Dr. Rainer Thome (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Flexible, intelligent robots and intelligent information systems have huge potential in industrial environments (e.g. logistics / material flow) and social life (e.g. health tracking). In this context, we talk about information systems that are connected with sensors giving the opportunity to know about everything that is happening around us. A company for example has new opportunities improving processes along the value chain – firms will know exactly and in real-time where the material is and how fast the flow is proceeding. Precise real-time information improves efficiency, transparency and speed – a win-win situation for firms and customers.

Another trend can be described as EPIP: earliest possible information propagation. Earliest means that even before we realize something, sensors will recognize it, inform, and induce actions. The combination of sensors and information systems – for business and private use - has potential to become a real gamechanger.

For more details, listen to the audio clip and the Podcast Episode with Prof. Dr. Rainer Thome.

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What characterizes a decentralized system? Imagine that every box, every machine every physical item in the value chain can autonomously communicate with other objects based on routines and algorithms – this is what we call cyber-physical systems. For instance, the system may autonomously calculate the shortest route for a certain box being transported from A to B - the calculation and execution of the rules run autonomously instead of being executed by a centralized system that is responsible for the planning process. There are large opportunities to make processes more flexible, agile and decentralized in terms of faster decision-making. Decisions are made without having a centralized computer system.

How does that fit with reality? Production management tends to be very centralized in the Western world. One problem in this context is, that organizations rely on data that is already outdated when it gets into the system. In order to cope with this circumstance where the environment is still so complex that a centralized system doesn’t work optimally, companies need to adapt data, algorithms and applications to their centralized approach. The development and adaption of such an ERP planning module is very expansive and oftentimes inefficient.

Therefore, the question will be, can we find regulation mechanisms that handle the objects that are moved around, in a way that they organize themselves efficiently and in a better way than a central planning approach? The development, implementation and execution of such decentralized IoT approaches are extremely interesting for almost every organization but not easy to execute.
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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is software programming computers to make decisions. Neural networks are able to develop their own strategies and learn at the same time.

To get smarter, artificial intelligence (AI) needs to be fed with a lot of data, big data. "Big" stands for large data volume, speed of data-processing, bandwidth of data types and information sources. The bulk of information is linked, analyzed and visually processed by the data scientists; a profession that has emerged in times of digital change and is asked by almost every firm and organization.

More information about this topic is about to come.

(Content from Project of the Chair of Business Journalism and Communication, Julius-Maximilians-University of Wuerzburg on "Artificial Intelligence": https://wijo.pageflow.io/kuenstliche-intelligenz#208571 )
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Audio: "Digital change & the opportunites of IoT."

Prof. Dr. Ronald Bogaschewsky (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Although artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are not at all new topics, they open up huge potential and opportunities for organizations as they get applied and practiced.

For instance, thirty years ago, we have already seen an AI system created to test vacuum cleaners. The system has been trained to identify failures of the motors just by listening to sound. After that approach, the discussion about AI has basically been stopped, due to the lack of use-cases. The rise of AI is connected to the fact, that nowadays technologies are available at low prices and a high-performance level. As computing technology has been improving fast and constantly, algorithms are rising and some scientists even expect that computers and machines in the near future will be having a higher performance level than all human beings combined - the phenomenon of singularity.

What we can say for sure is, that the leading technological companies are dealing with these technologies and are trying to develop and implement applications to stay ahead and gaining a competitive advantage.

AI is there and results are graspable - the challenge is on!

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Audio: "AI & ML - Fostering privacy preserving conditions in context of collaboration of firms."

Prof. Dr. Richard Pibernik (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Machine learning (ML) techniques and artificial intelligence (AI) are often connected with privacy concerns. Prof. Dr. Richard Pibernik has recently worked on a research project that uses ML techniques in order to improve privacy preserving conditions of firms. What is the idea behind this project?

Thinking about a collaborative planning approach, the involved firms have a keen interest that the transactional partner doesn’t have access to sensitive data. This is important because it would weaken their position in further negotiation processes. The goal of the research project was to develop tools that improve privacy preserving conditions – from a technical perspective, these tools are supporting the optimization process of data without disclosing the data in an encrypted data-base. Machine learning is a technique that is suited for this kind of question.

The project has been in collaboration with companies from the aerospace industry and the use-case of maintenance and service of engines. The collaborative planning approach affords a lot of data from different airlines – e.g. condition data, oil pressure etc. Obviously, merging data across all participants brings the opportunity to create good forecasting mechanisms that improve the efficiency of the allocation process by knowing which engines need certain spare parts or which engines need for instance overall maintenance. But as data of every single participant is very sensitive and confidential, firms do not want it to be shared from an individual point of view.

The combination of machine learning and encrypted data-base technologies can create a framework that solves this problem and increases the efficiency of the transactions and improves the integration of planning processes.

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Distributed Ledger

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Audio: "Cryptocurrencies: Hype or future trend? An economic perspective."

Prof. Dr. Peter Bofinger (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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What we can say for sure is, that cryptocurrencies are the model of currency competition developed by Hayek many decades ago. How does it work?

Interestingly, people are willing to give real money in exchange for this private money which is in general nothing but an IOU (I owe you). With the distributed Ledger technology (DLT), the technological mechanism underneath, user no longer see the person who's created this system, which is an important psychological factor. As soon as people trust in the system, they are willing to pay money and so it's a kind of transformation of something completely worthless into something, which people have trust in and are willing to spend money for. As governments have the opportunity to intervene in the system, it is questionable if the cryptocurrencies that we see today will be the currencies of the future (leaving aside the debates on sustainability and energy cost, related to the mining process).

Even if cryptocurrencies might not substitute traditional currencies, digitalization will definitely change the financial system. In this context peer to peer lending could be a form of money exchange that might challenge the traditional role of banks. Here we talk about digital platforms collecting money from people who want to save money and distribute it to people who need money for instance to buy a house and the process of monitoring the borrowers and diversifying funds. Consequently, you might no longer need to have your deposit with a traditional bank as it might be possible to open short-term deposits at the central banks for everyone.

This trend could fundamentally challenge the role of banks as lenders and is currently a hot (research) topic. For more details s. the website of Prof. Dr. Peter Bofinger and listen to the Podcast Episode.

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Audio:"Examples from school. How AR, VR & MR create additional value for education."

Kristina Bucher (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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First of all, AR and VR will never fully substitute traditional teaching experiences – for example it will always be important for instance to go outside with children and make them experience nature in real life. But these new technologies will complement the traditional tool-kit in multiple ways.

In contrast to the past, AR and VR offer a lot of new opportunities and experiences. For instance, it will be possible to send students to the moon or other foreign (ancient) places in a VR environment. There are various other fields and subjects where existing content and methods can be complemented with VR and AR. In mathematics class for example it will be possible to visualize vectors or three-dimensional geometric shapes and objects in a dynamic and interactive way for every single student. This is additional value for instance for pupils, which are having difficulties in the imagination of three-dimensional objects. Or think about history class – VR technology offers the chance to virtually send pupils to places that don't exist anymore or are not reachable under regular circumstances.

These approaches are highly emotional and create an enhanced understanding and learning experience, which is much more intense compared to watching documentations on television.

For more details, listen to the Podcast Episode, with Kristina Bucher, research assistant at the chair of school pedagogy at the Faculty of human science at the University of Wuerzburg.

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Virtual and Augmented Reality

Education 4.0

The world is changing at a tremendous speed and along with it our working environment. Learning cycles have become faster which leads to a need for continuous and fast adaption. Moreover, the internet in combination with modern technologies and tools is providing open knowledge on demand. What does that mean for educational needs? It will be important to know where we can recall information and how we use it for improved decision-making. On the other side it does not mean, that we do not have to learn basic skills and knowledge anymore.

In general, people have to develop an mindset and openness for learning and adaption - it is important to develop and update a toolkit, that is necessary to solve problems. This is an important message for those who teach and learn. Additionally, we should be open for new technologies that have the potential to improve knowledge-transfer like AR or VR.

This is in general a big challenge for institutions, schools, companies and individuals (employees) - only those, who accept the challenge and are open-minded and curious, will be able to shape a positive future.
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Life-long-learning

Audio: "Fostering life-long learning & the challenge for organizations."

Prof. Dr. Tanja Bipp (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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A university or vocational degree is a good basis, but it cannot be the end. While employees have to keep that in mind, organizations need to stimulate employees to learn continuously. What sounds easy and logical, is often difficult in practice and real-(work)life. People have to have in mind, that that there are promising alternative options, additional to formal learning programs that most companies already have. The goals are to motivate people using resources, think for themselves and be willing to leave their comfort zone. In this process, employees need support.

Learning goals for instance that focus on a mastery experience are powerful instruments for organizations and leaders to foster and stimulate motivation for learning. Along with that, it is essential to set learning goals and prepare a transfer to action. It is important to learn and reflect: how can I apply an idea to daily work, what could be done differently and how can knowledge be transferred into practice?

There is no „one-size fits all solution”. These concepts need to be lived and practiced continuously. Exercised properly, these instruments offer interesting opportunities for almost any organization.

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Audio: "Prepearing employees for tomorrow, importance of life-long learning and understanding new tech."

Prof. Dr. Ronald Bogaschewsky (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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While the speed of economic development increases and learning cycles get shorter, companies have to make sure that their employees keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date. Moreover, it will be important that people develop interdisciplinary thinking, additionally to their working-space-specific knowledge. In a complex world, employees should understand market mechanisms, processes and be open for computer science and new technologies.

Employers on the other side should convey learning nuggets and motive employees constantly. Teachers and instructors on the other side have to be up-to-date and able to lighten up the fire in employees. They have to support, challenge and improve their staff continuously, foster curiosity for new topics and support an attitude of understanding for each-other.
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A promising option to motivate, support and develop employees within organizations, is to give people or teams free resources and time to do own project. Why should companies do that and why isn`t it a waste of valuable resources (time)?

Research and practical examples that are related to the concepts of job crafting have shown, that when employees are given time to work on personal projects and interests, it is very likely that companies benefit (in-)directly (i.e., win-win situation). This phenomenon is called „organizational citizenship behavior“. Employees are contributing to the team and to the success of the organization, on top of what is officially expected from their job descriptions.

These concepts might be promising offers, especially for younger employees from generation z, who have a strong focus on freedom and independency.
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In the future, we`ll also see more and more new forms of education and learning. Content and information will be available 24/7 and in multimedia formats.

Modern technology and voice control are opening up new opportunities. Still, one of the biggest challenges is to make people curious and willing to use it. Therefore it is essential to create frictionless UX and increase technology acceptance.
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VR & AR in Education

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If we want younger generations to use these technologies in their daily work-life, there is a need for educated teachers that are motivated and equipped with proper knowledge and didactic skills to transfer knowledge to their students. Therefore, there is a need for education of pre-service teachers concerning the use of technologies like AR, VR and MR. To begin with, it is important to take a critical look at new technologies and identify how they can bring additional value for teaching and knowledge transfer.

AR, VR and MR are broadening the teaching tool-kit and bring additional and complementary tools. As people are different and learn different, these new technologies might be promising new options. The most important attribute of AR/VR is that it enables humans to manipulate their perceived environment in a way that wasn't possible with an exocentric perspective. This technology offers new approaches to teach and learn while interacting with objects and surroundings and enables new teaching and learning experiences.

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It doesn’t mean that AR, VR and MR will fully substitute traditional teaching experiences – for example it is still important to go outside with children and make them experience nature in real life. But these new technologies will complement the current tool-kit in multiple ways. In contrast to the past, it will now be possible to make students experience traveling to the moon, other foreign places or even back in time.

There are various other fields and subjects where existing content can be complemented with VR, AR and MR. In mathematics class for example it will be possible to visualize vectors or three-dimensional geometric shapes and objects in a dynamic and interactive way for every single student. This brings additional value for instance for pupils, which are having difficulties in the imagination of three-dimensional objects. Additional value can be brought to history class: with virtual reality technology it is possible to project pupils to places that don't exist anymore or are not reachable under regular circumstances. There are existing examples, where students can experience elements of the depressing surrounding of German pre-war concentration camps. These approaches are highly emotional and create an enhanced understanding and learning experience, which is much more intense compared to watching documentations on television.

For more details, listen to the Podcast Episode, with Kristina Bucher, research assistant at the chair of school pedagogy at the Faculty of human science at the University of Wuerzburg.

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Kristina Bucher (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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There is a common misunderstanding, that a vast need of expensive infrastructure is needed to bring new technologies to school. Nowadays, most smartphones and tablets are capable realizing VR and AR applications. The bigger issue is fostering general technology acceptance of teachers. Therefore, it is important to increase transparency and determine where on the one side AR, VR and MR have the potential to complement teaching and create additional value and on the other side where dangerous situations might occur.

It is therefore important to have a critical discussion on psychological risks of exposing small children and pupils to VR or AR. Moreover, there is a need for (pre-service) teachers in the didactical concepts concerning AR and VR.

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Audio: "MEET Lab (Media Education and Educational Technology Lab) @University of Wuerzburg. Experiencing class(room) of the future"

Kristina Bucher (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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The level of technology acceptance of teachers is not necessarily related to age. The most powerful approach increasing technology acceptance is by creating hands-on experiences, showing applied use-cases and giving teachers the opportunity to try out new technologies. This is the main goal of the MEET-Lab (Media Education and Educational Technology Lab), that has been installed at the University of Wuerzburg.

The lab is equipped with AR, VR and mixed-reality applications and offers opportunities to demonstrate and practice those new technologies. It is important for (pre-service) teachers to experience AR, VR and MR to understand the practical use-cases and values for education and knowledge transfer. It is a place where people can experience, discuss and create new ideas or concepts. The lab offers a flexible learning environment with chairs that can be moved around easily, electricity and internet-connection everywhere and a variety of AR and VR applications, 3D-printers and other technologies. It is the goal to create an excellent environment to motivate (young) people to look at technical problems and topics from another perspective and increase technology acceptance.

Link: http://www.schulpaedagogik.uni-wuerzburg.de/en/meet-jmu/

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Audio: "Breaking bad behaviour: VR environment for teaching teachers of tomorrow."

Kristina Bucher (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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“Breaking Bad Behavior” is a current project and technological setup that can be experienced at the MEET Lab in Wuerzburg (Bavaria). The main goal is to offer pre-service teachers opportunities to experience classroom management in a virtual reality setup (s. www.schulpaedagogigk.uni-wuerzburg.de/en/research-projects/b3 ).

The project is a collaboration with the department of Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Wuerzburg (Faculty of Computer Science). Virtual students are showing different styles of disruptive behavior like receiving a phone call or sleeping on the table. Pre-service teachers get opportunities to deal with inconvenient situations in an authentic environment. By measuring stress-related indicators while practice it was shown that they are physically and psychologically reacting to the approach. The project is set-up to be exercised by two people, the teacher, who is projected into VR and the instructor, which is determining classroom behavior and reactions.

In a continuation project of breaking bad behavior called ViLeArn (s. www.schulpaedagogigk.uni-wuerzburg.de/en/research-projects/vilearn ) there will be an application where pre-service teachers not only learn in VR but learn together in VR. It is a system where people can link in from remote places and meet in VR.

VR and AR offer a broad variety of opportunities in an educational context. From an international perspective, German schools are on average less active and engaged in AR/VR, compared to e.g. Asian countries, where openness towards new technology is larger  (see for instance http://www.xinhuanet.com//english/2017-10/18/c_136689509.htm ).

Besides technology acceptance issues, it is important to provide wide-spread, reliable and fast broadband internet access. Even in Germany, a highly advanced and industrialized country, this is still not fully the case.

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How might the classroom environment of the future look like? Besides the fact that there will be emerging use of useful technologies like AR and VR for particular sessions, we should not expect substitution of teachers by robots or machines. Instead, emerging technologies like VR/AR provide valuable complements.

Along with the technological progress, there is a need for education concerning teachers, instructors and students. Besides that, social competences and profound knowledge of basic tasks are highly important, in times of digital change and progress.
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Need for Skilled Employees

Audio: "Lack of skilled workers - challenge for organizations"

Prof. Dr. Thomas Zwick (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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The demographic change is a phenomenon that is observed in a lot of industrialized countries. Due to a continuous reduction of the birth-rate since the 1960s, the population in industrialized countries on average gets older and less in total numbers.

The competition for talents becomes fiercer and firms of all sizes have to develop sustainable strategies to develop, acquire and keep employees for the future - the quality of goods and therefore the competitiveness is directly related to the humans behind.
According to surveys from the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the lack of skilled labor is the largest risk for the national business cycle. One out of three firms cannot fill all vacancies and a growing share of firms is not receiving applications for their vacancies any more. This structural trend, will not be reversed in the near future.

Additionally, the German labor market only proved limited resources. A low unemployment-rate due to a positive business climate is on the one side positive for the economy. On the flipside low unemployment levels are also connected to a low supply of workers.
The question is, where can we identify available potential and resources?

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Good news first, there are promising options for organizations regarding the challenge of finding and developing skilled people (we will pick up examples in the following paragraphs). Bad news, it will be expensive and not easy.

Firms have to face the fact that if they want to get adequately skilled employees, there is a large need of re-training. A decade ago, it was sufficient to place vacancies at the regional labor office, newspaper and other media - due to a higher supply, firms could choose among amounts of applications. Given the current market situation, it is more expansive to attract people to the firm due to the shortage of labor supply.

As the labor market is more or less empty and demographic change proceeds, the labor supply is continuously shrinking. Companies have to provide to the applicants more than just the job (e.g. mobile devices, cars, work-life-balance programs, sports activities, health care offers etc.) and also employer branding has become a highly relevant topic.
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Audio: "Lack of skilled workers - potential of integrating elderly people"

Prof. Dr. Thomas Zwick (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Moreover, in order to get skilled people, organizations have to look left and right of the mainstream. They have to look at so-called labor market reserves and older employees.

Older cohorts of employees of today nearing the official age of retirement are on average much healthier than former generations. When these employees are leaving the organization after many years, employers lose know-how and have to replace them adequately – as explained before, this is currently extremely difficult. In many cases older employees are oftentimes quite open and interested in prolonging their careers when the offer is lucrative. Even if they do not work on a full-time basis, firms benefit from their knowledge and experience.

For firms, it can be a strategic approach to keep in touch with retired staff and give them signals that they're welcome to return, earn additional money besides their drawn pension and make a valuable contribution for their former firms. It's financially attractive and rewarding for older employees - additionally, as the incentives and motivation have changed, older employees are more willing and interested in working than it might have been in the earlier days which leads to a win-win situation for employees and firms.

Government can also contribute to keep older employees longer in working life by setting sensible financial incentives. But one has to assert, that in Germany, the incentives for an early entry into retirement are strong. Given the demographic effects, the fact that the baby-boomer generation is about to enter retirement and less people entering the labor market, it is questionable if a pension scheme based on a pension age of 63 is economically rational. In contrast to that, firms would be open for governmental activities that aim on keeping elderly longer in the working cycle and setting signals that elderly workers are highly welcome to stay longer at their firms. Although it is not popular for government to increase the pension age it is important to create a political framework that matches the economic circumstances.

On the one side the average age of employees within organizations is rising. On the other side technological progress (digitization) is proceeding fast. This leads to an increasing need for further education and concepts of lifelong learning.

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Audio: "Still a long way to go - Improving compatibility of family & work"

Prof. Dr. Thomas Zwick (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Additional potential can be seen in the group of women that have given birth to children and want to return into working life.

A positive effect for firms can be seen in the trend, that the period of parental leave taken by women has been shrinking in the past years - therefore, the gap employers have to compensate has become smaller and the obsolescence of skills can be reduced. In order to prevent women to change their employer in between before and after giving birth, firms more than ever have to signal those women, that they really want and need them back.

One reason why women in parental leave overthink changing employers is because they are disappointed that the firm never asked them how they feel, if they are interested in picking up their work and when they are planning to return. As firms cannot afford that anymore, it is important to stay in contact and actively send the signal that they want and need women in parental leave back and support them in their integration process. Creating a flexible working environment is not easy for firms, but it creates incentives for mothers to return earlier and with a higher volume of working time/hours.

In the context of demographic change and an aging society, the compatibility of family and work is not just about child care but also about care of the elderly. Therefore, also employed women and men might need additional flexibility due to the care for their parents or grandparents. Flexibility is not easy to guarantee and implement, but it can contribute to keep employees in the firms. For example, home office days can bring huge benefits for people that want to combine work and child- or family-care. Of course, this is not possible for every profession and working place, but in many cases, it can be a win-win situation.

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Vocational Education Training

The German dual vocational education system and professional further education, which is also practiced in Austria and Switzerland, is a cornerstone for high quality and practice-orientated education and a key factor for the global competitiveness of German firms.

The system is admired because it creates and develops skilled workers according to the needs and the requirements of the firms and it is a main reason for low rates of youth unemployment.
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A big advantage of the system is, that people are getting educated according to the needs and requirements of the firms - practically everybody who participates in this system gains from it in comparison to a solely school-based system.

The system also evolves and adapts content that is highly relevant for working in a digital environment. Learning content of occupations, that is regulated by law (VET act, Ger: Berufsbildungsgesetz, BBiG) and can be complemented by additional qualifications (for example occupations in the field of metal and electronic manufacturing can be complemented by smaller additional modules from the fields of additive manufacturing, cyber security etc.).
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What makes the system attractive is the transparent and legally accepted certification system that is supervised and organized by the chambers of industry and commerce and the chambers of crafts.

Vocational schools are organized and regulated by state governments (in most cases) and provide unified quality standards - learning at school and at work is harmonized. The main goal is to convey the basic competences for self-contained working in a certain profession. Another important piece of the puzzle is the honorary based testing system.

The „testers“ are employees, that work in a certain profession and bring explicit experiences and contribute on a honorary basis in testing committees that verify and judge the competences of the apprentices. The local guidelines are negotiated by a VET board that is organized by the chambers of industry and commerce (and crafts) - the board is structured and set up on a parity basis, including representatives of employers, unions and schools.

The cooperation of all participating partners marks the cornerstone of a system that is characterized by high quality, action-oriented and is internationally accepted.
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Audio: "Dual vocational education system: Globally admired - natinonally underrated"

Prof. Dr. Thomas Zwick (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Regarding the image of the VET system, there is a paradox situation in the domestic point of view. Whereas the demand for VET applicants has reached an all-time high, the supply - meaning the young people - has been continuously shrinking over the past eight years. In parallel, the number of young people starting academic career paths has been rising.

Therefore, in 2015 there have been for the first time more people starting the first semester at a university than starting to learn a profession in the VET system. This development is alarming, because the demand of firms for VET applicants is much higher than the supply. Of course, firms have a demand for academic skilled workers - but one has to consider, that the demand of firms and the subjects / courses of studies that students chose are not harmonized and the quantitative demand for VET applicants is in total much higher. This leads to a mismatch.

The question is why young people tend to be more interested in academic career than in professional careers?

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From a domestic point of view, the dual apprenticeship system in comparison to the academic system has an obvious image problem. Therefore, it is important to show role-models of apprentices that they are proud to learn an occupation. Changing an image is a structural and long-lasting process, but it is important in this context.

Therefore, chambers, government and local institutions are putting in a lot of effort running marketing activities, campaigns and projects. The chamber of crafts for instance is distributing commercials that are highly emotional - proud to practice a craft and produce an object with your own hands (“Manufaktur“). As young people have to make this very important career decision around the age of 16 to 17, they have to rely on the advice of their parents and friends.

The chambers of industry and commerce in Bavaria for example run a campaign, where parents show their pride for the professional career of their children. The campaign is authentic and emotionally driven. The „best“ choice has to fit to the competences, strengths and preferences of young people - this can of course be a course of study, but it can also be a professional career in the VET system. High drop-out rates of over 30 percent in several courses of study show that people have not made the right choice for themselves.
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Audio: "Dual vocational education system (follow up) - how to promote the system."

Prof. Dr. Thomas Zwick (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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There are more points that have to be improved. There has to be more transparency in the education system and awareness, that the educational (vocational and academic) paths are open and it is possible to switch from academia to the professional world and vice versa.

Moreover, there has to be more transparency concerning financial circumstances. Apprentices earn money (salary) from the first day and research shows that it takes around 20-30 years of time until academics catch up in life-time-earning - in many cases, academics never exceed vocational skilled professionals. Concerning job security, VET applicants have the benefit that they can already convince their employers to keep them at the firms, after finishing the VET final exams.

The VET system is an important element of the German education system - it is the foundation for professional skilled workers that are needed in order to stay competitive and innovative. It is important to improve the image and transparency on a domestic level in order to induce a transition towards a balance between the academic and vocational system.

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Innovation

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Audio: "How to identify innovative potential."

Prof. Dr. Thomas Zwick (@University of Wuerzburg) &
Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer (@WUEconomics Institute)

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Innovation is essential for firms to stay competitive. Therefore, firms have a demand for innovators / innovative personal - but how can they recruit and develop high qualified people which are equipped with innovative potential? Prof. Dr. Thomas Zwick has been participating in a research project, which followed the goal to explore personal traits that are related to innovative potential.

The question is: Who is the human being behind the innovator? We know about the curriculum vitae of very successful innovators, but we know very little about the personality - research results have indicated, that beyond stylized facts as education and demographic factors, there are personal factors that explain superstar innovators.

Therefore, high innovative potential seems to be related to people either approaching problems very intuitively or proceeding highly strict and routine-based. Moreover, the openness to new experiences was one of the key drivers. By comparing a selected group of innovators, those who were more open-minded were more successful. So, even in this very homogeneous group one could identify differences that explain the huge differences in successes of innovators.

Results have been derived from small tests, which examine how people are cognitively working on questions. This approach reveals the cognitive thinking style which plays a major role in explaining innovative potential. Organizations can easily practice these tests in interviews and recruitment processes. The tests are easy to be executed, do not take a lot of time and are very effective identifying innovative potential and cognitive thinking style.

It is an interesting approach for firms of all sizes, but not many really practice it!


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Imprint + Data Security

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Impressum:

WUEconomics Institut für regionale Wirtschaftsforschung e.V. Wuerzburg,
97070 Würzburg, Germany
E-Mail: kagerbauer@wueconomics.de​
Vertreten durch: Dr. Lukas Kagerbauer, Director

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Eingetragen im Vereinsregister.
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Registernummer: VR 200999
Steuernummer: 257/111/61689

Supported by:
Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Sanderring 2, 97070 Würzburg
Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftsjournalismus und Wirtschaftskommunikation;
Lehrstuhlinhaber: Prof. Dr. Kim Otto

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Diese Website enthält Verknüpfungen zu Websites Dritter (“externe Links”). Diese Websites unterliegen der Haftung der jeweiligen Betreiber. Der Anbieter hat bei der erstmaligen Verknüpfung der externen Links die fremden Inhalte daraufhin überprüft, ob etwaige Rechtsverstöße bestehen. Zu dem Zeitpunkt waren keine Rechtsverstöße ersichtlich. Der Anbieter hat keinerlei Einfluss auf die aktuelle und zukünftige Gestaltung und auf die Inhalte der verknüpften Seiten. Das Setzen von externen Links bedeutet nicht, dass sich der Anbieter die hinter dem Verweis oder Link liegenden Inhalte zu Eigen macht. Eine ständige Kontrolle der externen Links ist für den Anbieter ohne konkrete Hinweise auf Rechtsverstöße nicht zumutbar. Bei Kenntnis von Rechtsverstößen werden jedoch derartige externe Links unverzüglich gelöscht.

§ 3 Urheber- und Leistungsschutzrechte
Die auf dieser Website veröffentlichten Inhalte unterliegen dem deutschen Urheber- und Leistungsschutzrecht. Jede vom deutschen Urheber- und Leistungsschutzrecht nicht zugelassene Verwertung bedarf der vorherigen schriftlichen Zustimmung des Anbieters oder jeweiligen Rechteinhabers. Dies gilt insbesondere für Vervielfältigung, Bearbeitung, Übersetzung, Einspeicherung, Verarbeitung bzw. Wiedergabe von Inhalten in Datenbanken oder anderen elektronischen Medien und Systemen. Inhalte und Rechte Dritter sind dabei als solche gekennzeichnet. Die unerlaubte Vervielfältigung oder Weitergabe einzelner Inhalte oder kompletter Seiten ist nicht gestattet und strafbar. Lediglich die Herstellung von Kopien und Downloads für den persönlichen, privaten und nicht kommerziellen Gebrauch ist erlaubt.
Die Darstellung dieser Website in fremden Frames ist nur mit schriftlicher Erlaubnis zulässig.

§ 4 Besondere NutzungsbedingungenSoweit besondere Bedingungen für einzelne Nutzungen dieser Website von den vorgenannten Paragraphen abweichen, wird an entsprechender Stelle ausdrücklich darauf hingewiesen. In diesem Falle gelten im jeweiligen Einzelfall die besonderen Nutzungsbedingungen. Quelle: www.impressum-recht.de


Datenschutzerklärung:
Datenschutz Nachfolgend möchten wir Sie über unsere Datenschutzerklärung informieren. Sie finden hier Informationen über die Erhebung und Verwendung persönlicher Daten bei der Nutzung unserer Webseite. Wir beachten dabei das für Deutschland geltende Datenschutzrecht. Sie können diese Erklärung jederzeit auf unserer Webseite abrufen.Wir weisen ausdrücklich darauf hin, dass die Datenübertragung im Internet (z.B. bei der Kommunikation per E-Mail) Sicherheitslücken aufweisen und nicht lückenlos vor dem Zugriff durch Dritte geschützt werden kann.
Die Verwendung der Kontaktdaten unseres Impressums zur gewerblichen Werbung ist ausdrücklich nicht erwünscht, es sei denn wir hatten zuvor unsere schriftliche Einwilligung erteilt oder es besteht bereits eine Geschäftsbeziehung. Der Anbieter und alle auf dieser Website genannten Personen widersprechen hiermit jeder kommerziellen Verwendung und Weitergabe ihrer Daten.

Personenbezogene Daten Sie können unsere Webseite ohne Angabe personenbezogener Daten besuchen. Soweit auf unseren Seiten personenbezogene Daten (wie Name, Anschrift oder E-Mail Adresse) erhoben werden, erfolgt dies, soweit möglich, auf freiwilliger Basis. Diese Daten werden ohne Ihre ausdrückliche Zustimmung nicht an Dritte weitergegeben. Sofern zwischen Ihnen und uns ein Vertragsverhältnis begründet, inhaltlich ausgestaltet oder geändert werden soll oder Sie an uns eine Anfrage stellen, erheben und verwenden wir personenbezogene Daten von Ihnen, soweit dies zu diesen Zwecken erforderlich ist (Bestandsdaten). Wir erheben, verarbeiten und nutzen personenbezogene Daten soweit dies erforderlich ist, um Ihnen die Inanspruchnahme des Webangebots zu ermöglichen (Nutzungsdaten). Sämtliche personenbezogenen Daten werden nur solange gespeichert wie dies für den geannten Zweck (Bearbeitung Ihrer Anfrage oder Abwicklung eines Vertrags) erforderlich ist. Hierbei werden steuer- und handelsrechtliche Aufbewahrungsfristen berücksichtigt. Auf Anordnung der zuständigen Stellen dürfen wir im Einzelfall Auskunft über diese Daten (Bestandsdaten) erteilen, soweit dies für Zwecke der Strafverfolgung, zur Gefahrenabwehr, zur Erfüllung der gesetzlichen Aufgaben der Verfassungsschutzbehörden oder des Militärischen Abschirmdienstes oder zur Durchsetzung der Rechte am geistigen Eigentum erforderlich ist.

Datenschutzerklärung für die Nutzung von dem Webmessagedienst twitter.com 

Wir haben auf unserer Webseite auch den Webmessagedienst twitter.com integriert. Dieser wird durch die Twitter Inc., 1355 Market St, Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA bereitgestellt. Twitter bietet die sog. „Tweet“ – Funktion an. Damit kann man 140 Zeichen lange Nachrichten auch mit Webseitenlinks in seinem eigenen Twitteraccount veröffentlichen. Wenn Sie die „Tweet“-Funktion von Twitter auf unseren Webseiten nutzen, wird die jeweilige Webseite mit Ihrem Account auf Twitter verknüpft und dort ggf. öffentlich bekannt gegeben. Hierbei werden auch Daten an Twitter übertragen.Von dem Inhalt der übermittelten Daten und deren Nutzung durch Twitter erhalten wir keine Kenntnis. Konsultieren Sie daher für weitere Informationen die Datenschutzerklärung von Twitter: http://twitter.com/privacy

Twitter bietet Ihnen unter nachfolgendem Link die Möglichkeit, Ihre Datenschutzeinstellungen selbst festzulegen: http://twitter.com/account/settings. Auskunftsrecht Sie haben das jederzeitige Recht, sich unentgeltlich und unverzüglich über die zu Ihrer Person erhobenen Daten zu erkundigen. Sie haben das jederzeitige Recht, Ihre Zustimmung zur Verwendung Ihrer angegeben persönlichen Daten mit Wirkung für die Zukunft zu widerrufen. Zur Auskunftserteilung wenden Sie sich bitte an den Anbieter unter den Kontaktdaten im Impressum.

Quelle: www.impressum-recht.de

Einsatz von Social-Media-Plug-ins:
Wir setzen folgende Social-Media-Plug-ins ein: Facebook, Twitter, Facebook. Im Fall von Facebook wird nach Angaben der jeweiligen Anbieter in Deutschland die IP-Adresse umgehend nach der Erhebung anonymisiert. Durch die Aktivierung des Plug-ins werden personenbezogene Daten an den jeweiligen Plug-in-Anbieter übermittelt und dort gespeichert. Da der Plug-in-Anbieter die Datenerhebung insbesondere über Cookies vornimmt, empfehlen wir Ihnen, vor dem Klick auf den ausgegrauten Kasten über die Sicherheitseinstellungen Ihres Browsers alle Cookies zu löschen. Wir haben weder Einfluss auf die erhobenen Daten und Datenverarbeitungsvorgänge, noch sind uns der volle Umfang der Datenerhebung, die Zwecke der Verarbeitung, die Speicherfristen bekannt. Auch zur Löschung der erhobenen Daten durch den Plug-in-Anbieter liegen uns keine Informationen vor. Der Plug-in-Anbieter speichert die über Sie erhobenen Daten als Nutzungsprofile und nutzt diese für Zwecke der Werbung, Marktforschung und/oder bedarfsgerechten Gestaltung seiner Website. Eine solche Auswertung erfolgt insbesondere (auch für nicht eingeloggte Nutzer) zur Darstellung von bedarfsgerechter Werbung und um andere Nutzer des sozialen Netzwerks über Ihre Aktivitäten auf unserer Website zu informieren. Ihnen steht ein Widerspruchsrecht gegen die Bildung dieser Nutzerprofile zu, wobei Sie sich zur Ausübung dessen an den jeweiligen Plug-in-Anbieter wenden müssen. Rechtsgrundlage für die Nutzung der Plug-ins ist Art. 6 Abs. 1 S. 1 lit. f DS-GVO. Die Datenweitergabe erfolgt unabhängig davon, ob Sie ein Konto bei dem Plug-in-Anbieter besitzen und dort eingeloggt sind. Wenn Sie bei dem Plug-in-Anbieter eingeloggt sind, werden Ihre bei uns erhobenen Daten direkt Ihrem beim Plug-in-Anbieter bestehenden Konto zugeordnet. Wenn Sie den aktivierten Button betätigen und z. B. die Seite verlinken, speichert der Plug-in-Anbieter auch diese Information in Ihrem Nutzerkonto und teilt sie Ihren Kontakten öffentlich mit. Wir empfehlen Ihnen, sich nach Nutzung eines sozialen Netzwerks regelmäßig auszuloggen, insbesondere jedoch vor Aktivierung des Buttons, da Sie so eine Zuordnung zu Ihrem Profil bei dem Plug-in-Anbieter vermeiden können. Weitere Informationen zu Zweck und Umfang der Datenerhebung und ihrer Verarbeitung durch den Plug-in-Anbieter erhalten Sie in den im Folgenden mitgeteilten Datenschutzerklärungen dieser Anbieter. Dort erhalten Sie auch weitere Informationen zu Ihren diesbezüglichen Rechten und Einstellungsmöglichkeiten zum Schutze Ihrer Privatsphäre.

Adressen der jeweiligen Plug-in-Anbieter und URL mit deren Datenschutzhinweisen: Facebook Inc., 1601 S California Ave, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA; www.facebook.com/policy.php; weitere Informationen zur Datenerhebung: www.facebook.com/help/186325668085084, www.facebook.com/about/privacy/your-info-on-other sowie www.facebook.com/about/privacy/your-info. Facebook hat sich dem EU-US-Privacy-Shield unterworfen, https://www.privacyshield.gov/EU-US-Framework. Twitter, Inc., 1355 Market St, Suite 900, San Francisco, California 94103, USA; twitter.com/privacy. Twitter hat sich dem EU-US-Privacy-Shield unterworfen, https://www.privacyshield.gov/EU-US-Framework. LinkedIn Corporation, 2029 Stierlin Court, Mountain View, California 94043, USA; www.linkedin.com/legal/privacy-policy. LinkedIn hat sich dem EU-US-Privacy-Shield unterworfen, https://www.privacyshield.gov/EU-US-Framework.  

Angaben gemäß § 5 TMG: Streitschlichtung Die Europäische Kommission stellt eine Plattform zur Online-Streitbeilegung (OS) bereit: https://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odrUnsere E-Mail-Adresse finden Sie oben im Impressum. Wir sind nicht bereit oder verpflichtet, an Streitbeilegungsverfahren vor einer Verbraucherschlichtungsstelle teilzunehmen. Haftung für Inhalte Als Diensteanbieter sind wir gemäß § 7 Abs.1 TMG für eigene Inhalte auf diesen Seiten nach den allgemeinen Gesetzen verantwortlich. Nach §§ 8 bis 10 TMG sind wir als Diensteanbieter jedoch nicht verpflichtet, übermittelte oder gespeicherte fremde Informationen zu überwachen oder nach Umständen zu forschen, die auf eine rechtswidrige Tätigkeit hinweisen. Verpflichtungen zur Entfernung oder Sperrung der Nutzung von Informationen nach den allgemeinen Gesetzen bleiben hiervon unberührt. Eine diesbezügliche Haftung ist jedoch erst ab dem Zeitpunkt der Kenntnis einer konkreten Rechtsverletzung möglich. Bei Bekanntwerden von entsprechenden Rechtsverletzungen werden wir diese Inhalte umgehend entfernen. Haftung für Links Unser Angebot enthält Links zu externen Websites Dritter, auf deren Inhalte wir keinen Einfluss haben. Deshalb können wir für diese fremden Inhalte auch keine Gewähr übernehmen. Für die Inhalte der verlinkten Seiten ist stets der jeweilige Anbieter oder Betreiber der Seiten verantwortlich. Die verlinkten Seiten wurden zum Zeitpunkt der Verlinkung auf mögliche Rechtsverstöße überprüft. Rechtswidrige Inhalte waren zum Zeitpunkt der Verlinkung nicht erkennbar. Eine permanente inhaltliche Kontrolle der verlinkten Seiten ist jedoch ohne konkrete Anhaltspunkte einer Rechtsverletzung nicht zumutbar. Bei Bekanntwerden von Rechtsverletzungen werden wir derartige Links umgehend entfernen. Urheberrecht Die durch die Seitenbetreiber erstellten Inhalte und Werke auf diesen Seiten unterliegen dem deutschen Urheberrecht. Die Vervielfältigung, Bearbeitung, Verbreitung und jede Art der Verwertung außerhalb der Grenzen des Urheberrechtes bedürfen der schriftlichen Zustimmung des jeweiligen Autors bzw. Erstellers. Downloads und Kopien dieser Seite sind nur für den privaten, nicht kommerziellen Gebrauch gestattet. Soweit die Inhalte auf dieser Seite nicht vom Betreiber erstellt wurden, werden die Urheberrechte Dritter beachtet. Insbesondere werden Inhalte Dritter als solche gekennzeichnet. Sollten Sie trotzdem auf eine Urheberrechtsverletzung aufmerksam werden, bitten wir um einen entsprechenden Hinweis. Bei Bekanntwerden von Rechtsverletzungen werden wir derartige Inhalte umgehend entfernen. Quelle: https://www.e-recht24.de/impressumgenerator.html  

Additional information in terms of data protection:
Personal data is only stored on our website to the extent that is necessary and is treated as strictly confidential. Legal data protection requirements are fully complied.
Personal data:It is not basically necessary to provide personal data in order to use our website. In certain cases, we do request our users’ name, address and additional information to enable us to provide the service requested. We only store and process data made available to us voluntarily or automatically. When you access our websites the webserver processes and stores the traffic data that is standardly transmitted from your browser. Such data include e.g. date, time, access method/status, IP-adress. This data is used by WUEconomics staff exclusively for own statistical purposes, assessed anonymously and is subsequently deleted. Only in the case that you give us further personal data such as name, address, phone number or email this piece of data is collected. Your personal data is not forwarded to a third party unless this is required in order to handle the contract. This applies, for example, to service partners who require information. By then the scope of data transmitted is limited to the minimum required to complete the transaction.

Website, database control, cookies: The website can be accessed using popular browsers (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera). Cookies and JavaScript must be activated in order to exploit the full functionality of our websites and databases. Cookies are small text files that are stored on your computer and by your browser. Most of the cookies that we use are so-called “session cookies” and are automatically deleted once you leave our website or database. Cookies, JavaScript and SSL must be activated to this end.

Right of access: We can provide information on the personal data that we are holding (e.g. name, address) at your written request.  
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hier gehts zu weiteren Infos

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t the end I believe that with the higher speed and dynamic of work and working life the way we will see new forms of working cooperations and collaborations – and moreover hierarchies will be different – that means it will be more important than ever how PEOPLE work together and how leadership is practiced. The keyword here is empathy!
What I mean it will become more important than ever to work, cooperate, communicate and lead with empathy.
Empathy decides whether we become the horsepower on the street or not!
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#2 Episode - Tradition is not a business model (1/2)

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Guest: Prof. Dr. Axel Winkelmann, full professor at the University of Würzburg. He is head of the chair Business Management and Business Information. He is an expert in the field of Information Management, ERP-Systems (Enterprise Resource Planning), Data-Management, and Business Process Standardization.

Talking about Industrial Revolution 4 people think about robot arms, drones or digital glasses. But implementing these techniques is not the main challenge to most SME (small and medium-sized companies) today. What they really need is to focus on building a centralized data fundament which is crucial for further standardization and automation of processes and the implementation of new techniques and Cyber Physical Systems. Another huge issue for companies in times of digitalization is to understand the changing consumer needs and benefits. It does not help you in the future what you have done in the past. Tradition is not a business model. Companies have to analyze and use data so that they can strategically adapt and react to changing consumer needs. In this episode we talk about the disruption of the music industry and why IKEA might become a player in the house-building and construction industry. Check out #2 Episode of the “WUEconomics – outside the box – Podcast” for more details and insights.
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Prof. Dr. Peter Bofinger

Erzählt über die WiWi-Fakultät

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Prof. Dr. A. Woehe

Talk About his current research.

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Innovation is the key for a successful future - and it is not just predicated for the big players on the markets like Amazon, Google, Facebook or Apple. It is essential for companies of any size to be innovative and adaptive.

In the following Video-Clip, I`ll explain the importance of innovation on a practicle example. Learn why I think that Schumpeter would have made a bet on pigs.
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