Anniversary edition of Zukunft Personal Europe brings together the influencers of the working world - Federal Minister of Labour Hubertus Heil to open this leading ExpoEvent

16.09.2019 "Leading in permanent beta" - this is the motto of the 20th edition of Europe's leading exhibition dedicated to the world of work which begins at the Cologne exhibition centre (Koelmesse) tomorrow. The event will be officially opened by Federal Minister of Labour Hubertus Heil at 10 a.m. More than 770 exhibitors will be presenting innovative new products on over 40,000m² of exhibition space. The organiser is expecting around 19,000 visitors. HR professionals, transformation drivers and leading players of working society will be given plenty of inspiration for the practical implementation of the future of work. The success story of this leading exhibition began way back in November 2000 in a hall of the Karlsruhe exhibition centre with 70 exhibitors and around 2,400 visitors.

"Over the last twenty years, HR has developed from a primarily administrative role to an increasingly strategic role. HR is now more important than ever, particularly in these challenging times. For example, we are seeing an industry-specific economic downturn and at the same time there is still an acute skills shortage in booming sectors such as IT which is deepening as more and more baby boomers retire. Also, digitalisation is making it increasingly important for employees to engage in further learning and ensure they are suitably qualified," says Ralf Hocke, CEO of spring Messe Management, describing the sector's development. He regards active participation in shaping company transformation as an additional task for HR. "The HR community has not yet taken on this new task in its entirety nor addressed it strongly enough. HR is invited to drive this transformation forwards actively as a sparring partner of senior management."

The Zukunft Personal Europe has accompanied this development over the years and has now extended its role with the introduction of the Future of Work Village. "The Zukunft Personal Europe has established itself as the leading expo event of the European HR sector over the last 20 years. We are absolutely delighted to be opening this anniversary edition with a six-percent increase in exhibition space, making it the biggest exhibition so far," says Ralf Hocke, CEO of the event organiser, spring Messe Management, pointing to the significance of the Zukunft Personal Europe. Ralf Hocke no longer sees the event as just a human resources exhibition but describes it as a leading platform for all issues relating to human resources and corporate transformation.

Federal Minister to discuss issues with business and trade union representatives

The motto "Leading in permanent beta" was chosen to refer to this long-term transformation. Permanent beta is all-encompassing and this is exactly why the human factor must remain at the centre of change. We need to ensure that work processes, job profiles, company structures and business areas are designed so that new technologies such as AI for example, support human beings and make their work more effective. Against this background, IBM Germany and the trade union ver.di have supported a survey on this question which has been carried out in collaboration with the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs. The results will be discussed during the opening event of the Zukunft Personal Europe. "The close cooperation that has taken place between academia, companies, trade unions and government organisations for this survey has been exceptional. We have seen a real collaboration between the various institutions and levels that are relevant if we are to succeed in coming to terms with one of the key design tasks of our time: people-centred technological change," explains Marie-Christine Fregin, postdoctoral research fellow at the Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB)/ROA Maastricht and INPUT Consulting, co-author of the survey. Participating in the discussions will not only be Marie-Christine Fregin but also Federal Minister Hubertus Heil, Lothar Schröder, member of the Federal Executive Board of the United Service Sector Union ver.di, Birgit Bohle, Human Resources Director at Deutsche Telekom, Norbert Janzen, CEO of IBM Germany and Director Human Resources IMT for the German-speaking countries and also Dr Jochen Wallisch, Executive Vice President HR at Siemens AG.

Future of Work - an important topic for us all

Social developments and their impact on the working world are also expanding the responsibilities of HR managers. This is particularly evident in the topic "Future of Work" which is being brought to life in a "village" at the Zukunft Personal Europe. In the area curated by Design Offices in Hall 2.1, the exhibiting transformation drivers have been allocated to one of the four different facets: Spaces, Tools & Methods, Leadership, Culture & Mindset and Skills & Competences. Visitors will be able to experience the New Work atmosphere live through the various "happy:nings" such as walk-in workshops, agile games and an employer branding test. The literal centre of the "village" is the new Future of Work Campus where visitors will be able to take part in a number of interactive knowledge-based sessions. On the third day of the exhibition, State Secretary Björn Böhning will be giving a presentation there at 11 a.m. on the political conditions for the digitalisation of the working world and so rounds off the political leadership present at the Zukunft Personal Europe from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.


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