I am looking forward to the Munich Creative Business Week and my lecture on “The Office revolution. What’s really good – at work?”. The MCBW 2015 and its content are looking at the future design of our cities and everything that shapes them. In my opinion, the design of workplaces and work visions is an essential part of this debate about the future. In a society of digitally connected and mobile knowledge-based work traditional offices are losing their significance. Rather, work now takes place where the people are. This may be somewhere in the company, at the desk, at home or on the road. These new ways of working will change society in a way similar to architecture and design. Cloud technologies, powerful mobile devices and also a productivity suite such as Microsoft Office contribute to this development. This and a lot more is on my MCBW 2015 program.
2. What is your personal MCBW highlight?
I think the discussion about our cities’ design is very interesting. I am especially intrigued by the interdisciplinary discussion with designers, architects and urban planners. No matter the industry: when it comes to discussions about the future of work, there are still many unanswered questions. How, where and when do we want to work in the future? How can we transition from rigid hierarchies to flat network structures? Microsoft stands for an open debate and is already pursuing new ways of working. If you would like to learn more about this, I would like to invite you to a discussion as part of my keynote speech on the future (and present) of our work.
3. What do you associate with “Metropolitan Ideas”?
First and foremost I am looking forward to learning about the Metropolitan Ideas of others. The life of the future will take place in cities. This poses major challenges for urban and transportation planners as well as building developers: we need ideas for topics such as mobility, modern living and working. MCBW already asks the most important questions: what new impetus can companies, designers, city planners and architects give for the development of metropolitan areas? What interdisciplinary answer can be found for the current challenges at the work place, infrastructure, mobility and energy supply? We, as Microsoft, consider it our responsibility to engage in this discussion and shape it.
4. In your opinion, what is the design topic of the future?
This question is difficult to answer for me as I am not a designer. Therefore, I will name my personal (design) topic of the future: I come from a working environment that is characterised by increasing mobility, flexibility, interconnectedness and increasing self-determination. I think this can easily be transferred to the urban spaces of our future. We will experience an increasing densification of urban space, in which working and living take place simultaneously. The temporal and especially spatial separation of work on the one hand, and family and leisure on the other hand that existed earlier, will not exist in the future. Modern work concepts must take that into consideration. Microsoft does not only considers itself to be a technology provider that supports self-determined working by making work more flexible, mobile and interconnected, but also as a strategic partner in this process – and last but not least as an attractive employer. In short, the design topic of the future is: spaces in which we can work and live in an interconnected way.