#shiftchange: Microsoft at re:publica 2016

#shiftchange: Microsoft at re:publica 2016

For the third time already, we are the partner of re:publica. And, just like in the previous years, Microsoft will be focusing the issue of transformation at #rpTEN – changes in design, changes in the way we work and changes in people’s mind. Together, we will be taking a look into the past and the future and face up to the challenges of #shift change.

What does the future hold? Will “colleague robot” take on the work of 7 million people as assumed at the last World Economic Forum in Davos? How do we collaborate and compete with artificial intelligence in the future? Will our next team member in the agile enterprise not even be human anymore? Are we knowledge worker really (not) irreplaceable?

#shiftchange: What Does the Future Hold?

Our future will be smart, connected, and mobile. Built on the Internet of Things and data generated by sensors and machines, technology proves that it has what it takes for the future. It will make our everyday life more convenient, implement routine tasks, enhance medical care, create new mobility, provide better education and enable many people to work anywhere, anytime. Technology will continue to drive the interface between design and technology and make our devices smarter and interfaces more inclusive. It will change entire organizations and businesses and turn our private life inside out. #shiftchange has actually started a long time ago.

#shiftchange: Alongside Smart Machines

These examples indicate how everyday life is affected by the changes of digitalization. The next step of digitalization will create a new world altogether; the fourth industrial revolution is round the corner. Do we need to face up to an invasion? Do we have reasons to feel threatened? Smart machines are no longer just industry workhorses, in fact, they are seeping their way into our daily life, into our offices, homes, and hospitals. In light of this development we must not give way to panic. Instead, we should get prepared for a private and working life alongside smart machines. Computers and artificial intelligence will support people; we know about this, for instance, from Cortana, our personal assistant for every user. Machines will not take away our jobs and plunge knowledge workers into unemployment. It’s a #shiftchange, not in work itself, but in the work and life as we know it.

#shiftchange: The Transfer of the Working World

Obsolete concepts have seen the end of the day and 9to5 has disappeared from our vocabulary. Fully connected customers demand fully connected organizations. The boundaries between professional and private life have increasingly blurred. Notifications and micromanagement require us to perform #shiftchanges every second. Business emails on private smartphones during dinner with the family have become part of our world. In the past six decades, nobody worked on Labour Day, 1 May. Varying from country to country, trade union rallies and demonstrations were held on that day or 1 May was simply a public holiday.

Does our digital society need a “Day of New Labour” in the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution to adjust our consciousness and our self-concept to the equally groundbreaking and landslide transformation of the world of work, to a new understanding of machines and to the reinvention of work? And, what would a “Day of New Labour” look like? Would we work on that day – independently and fully connected or would we spend the day with self-organized learning? Or, would we actually take the day off?

#shiftchange: Achieving (Digital) Inclusion

We are committed to talk about this multi-layered #shiftchange at #rpTEN to get ready for the connected world with smart technologies alongside “colleague robot”. Because we at Microsoft are driving the technologies which contribute to #shiftchange. We believe in visions and in the sustainability of change. And, most importantly, we are committed to engaging as many people as possible. For progress is as much an issue for the first world as it is for everyone around the world!

#shiftchange: More in Hall 8

Microsoft will enable conference visitors to experience the world of the new way of work and the headquarters in SchwaBING in four areas in the newly built hall 8 at re:publica. And, the daily needs of knowledge workers will also become visible at #rpTEN: Simply relax for a while, recharge your batteries, enjoy the meet-up program, discuss the last keynote with your team members.

Maximum productivity required? No problem: Visitors can borrow and test, i.e., the Surface Book, Surface Pro 4 and various Lumia smartphones. Your Windows device will also undergo a #shiftchange at our UpgradeBAR: Just give us your device, have a coffee and get your free Windows 10 upgrade.

Turning into a robot? Our Surface designers will transform you into a robot and show you how your future teammate looks like. Let us surprise you and face up to #shiftchange.

#shiftchange: There’s More on the Web!

Everything about #shiftchange is available on Microsoft’s Twitter channel, in the Microsoft Newsroom and on the curated liveblog about #rpTEN. More content is available on our Tumblr: schichtwechsel.tumblr.com

Photo credit: © Microsoft



Will 40, 50, or even 60 percent of all jobs be replaced by smart machines over the next couple of years? Will factory workers or office staff fall victim to digitalization? Sabine Bendiek, Area Vice President of our partner Microsoft Germany, tackles the issue of Work 4.0 in her external post.