Industry 4.0 at Harvard. More than big data and industry

Industry 4.0 is now a common discussion topic in corner offices. So much so that this year’s German American Conference at Harvard is focussing an entire panel on digital change. The conference will once again have a number of prominent participants, including Uwe Weiss, CEO of Blue Yonder.

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A new industrial revolution is on the horizon, according to the organizers of the German American Conference, which will be held at Harvard University on October 30 and 31. The Industry 4.0 panel will be delving into the question of how German businesses can reinvent themselves in the digital world, looking at the issue from both German and American perspectives. What can German companies learn from the US start-up culture? How can transatlantic collaboration be strengthened in the area of Industry 4.0? A look at the list of panel speakers gives a clue as to the answer: The Internet of Things will change our world, if business and society are willing to work closely together. Politicians, journalists, and diverse economic sectors such as finance are called on to pull together to make this happen.

Brigitte Zypries will open the panel with a video keynote talk. As Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Ministry for Economics and Energy, Ms. Zypries, a member of the Social Democrat Party (SPD), is very involved with IT issues. Dr. Miriam Meckel, Chief Editor at the German weekly business news magazine “Wirtschaftswoche” will discuss the topic from an IT journalist’s perspective. Kai Diekmann (Bild, newspaper) will present a broader view, while Stephan Gemkow, CEO of the family-owned firm Franz Haniel GmbH in Duisburg, Germany, will shed light on the potential of Industry 4.0, from an investment firm’s angle. Dr. Helmuth Ludwig, digitalization expert at Siemens, will explain why digitalization in industry is set to become more and more important. Uwe Weiss will show the path to becoming a smart business — something that Blue Yonder helps its customers with on a daily basis.

Alongside Industry 4.0, the Harvard conference will address other important transatlantic issues . Frank Mattern of McKinsey will discuss the current economic situation in the eurozone. Isabel Shayani, New York correspondent at German media company ARD, will talk about the “hot” topic of migration, and entertainer Thomas Gottschalk will provide entertaining insights into German and American culture. Other well-known German TV personalities include Ranga Yogeshwar, presenter of the science magazine Quarks & Co., whose keynote speech is entitled “Next Exit, the Future! How Innovation Changes our Culture,” and Ingo Zamperoni, US correspondent at ARD, who will host the gala dinner.

For more information on the conference: http://www.germanamericanconference.org/

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