Moving Berlin towards Industry 4.0

Mar 04 2015Futureminded Group

High-level event by international think tank 2020Plus to position Berlin leaders for a win in the race towards Industry 4.0.

2020Plus Business and Civic Leadership Event
12th of March 2015 | 9:00-12:00 am
Haus Ungarn | Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 9 | Berlin Mitte

Meeting time for Press: 08:45 am
Interview with keynote speaker Mal Fletcher can be arranged upon request.

As the global race toward Smart Industries and Smart Lifestyles heats up, Berlin’s companies and civic organisations will need to decide whether they want to be also-rans or front-runners.

During the past few months, chancellor Angela Merkel has not missed an opportunity to highlight digitisation as Germany’s biggest challenge. The country risks falling behind global industrial development, with America pressing ahead in terms of software and China in the production of digital products. Industry 4.0 has been sketched out as solution plan, but Germany is showing only slow progress in its implementation.


In spite of the slow start, several studies identify Berlin as a potential leading centre in the development of Industry 4.0 during the coming decade. The emergence of Smart Industries, combining the analogue and digital worlds to speed up production, will create breakthrough approaches in science and industry. In Berlin, this potential can only be realised as leaders in key business and civic sectors understand Industry 4.0 and decide to enter the race now.

‘Playing a prime role within Industry 4.0 will require a bold brand of leadership which moves well beyond the normal metrics of management,’ says Mal Fletcher, Social Futurist and Chairman of the international 2020Plus think tank on leadership and social change based in London. ‘This new leadership will create cultures which focus on exceptions rather than norms and in which risk is the new status quo.’

The 2020Plus Berlin Event on the 12th of March provides an important catalyst for new levels of confidence and creativity in Berlin’s business and civic sectors. It will gather leaders from companies, institutions, associations and government facilities to share skills needed to engage with Industry 4.0. The event is a project helping business and civic leaders in key cities around the world to identify challenges to future growth.


In order to successfully implement Industry 4.0, Berlin must see a significant up-scaling in the quality of leadership available to companies and institutions. ‘A key part of this’, says Mal Fletcher, ‘will be about engaging the next generations in the race – particularly the Millennial generation (aged 18-33) and the even more challenging Generation Edge (aged under 18)’. Both generations share a globalised and digital mindset, which focuses on plurality of values and level-playing-field structures. This presents special challenges for leaders when it comes to inspiring loyalty and focused, strategic thinking.

Moreover, Generation Edge is showing signs of being a much more reformist and rebellious cohort than Millennials. This new generation will look to disrupt and re-construct any enterprise with which they’re connected, Fletcher believes. ‘The agitating impact of Generation Edge will be behind many of the truly ingenious ideas that will drive Industry 4.0,’ Fletcher adds. ‘Leaders need to be prepared to encourage disruption and deconstruction, whilst keeping the clear end goal always in mind.’

Together with his team Mal Fletcher tracks major shifts in new technologies and writes, lectures and broadcasts about their likely future impact on business, organisations and the wider society, preparing leaders to maximise their engagement with growth opportunities. Fletcher is well-known for his broadcasts on issues of social change and leadership on the BBC and other major media and press platforms.

Notes for the editor:

We warmly invite you to join us at the 2020Plus Berlin Event. Photos can be downloaded here. Please contact Linda Guddat to confirm your attendance, arrange an interview with Mal Fletcher or if you have any questions:

Linda Guddat
Press Relations Futureminded Group
+49 (0) 176 7029 6463

About the organiser:

The 2020Plus Business and Civic Leadership Event is hosted by the Futureminded Group, a Berlin-based think and-do tank focused on social entrepreneurship and leadership innovation. Based on the belief that the future of Berlin can be shaped positively by the resourcefulness of the people who live in the city and call Berlin their home, the projects connect people to make a difference in their organisations, in the city of Berlin and beyond. Futureminded Group thereby proactively supports a collaborative innovation approach to the challenges Berlin faces now and in the future.

Download the Press Release (PDF) here.