Background

KIT LINK – The Transatlantic Network for the Future of Work

How do we shape the future of work?

Digitalization, industry 4.0 and artificial intelligence, as well as societal changes and trends are changing the way we work. How do we deal with these changes? How can we shape our future working environments today? And how can science and research contribute to finding good solutions?

The future of work leads us to opportunities and challenges in education, entrepreneurship, and social sustainability. Digitalization has significantly changed the economy and society already and continues to do so. New digital developments are redefining the relationship between the individual and organizations. Going forward, the main challenge will lie in successfully managing the transition of workers, industries, and regions to new opportunities that will open up in a changing world of work.

Giving the successful transition purpose and meaning, we today are aware of the fact that the dynamics of change will be hard to predict. Students trained today will have to adapt their skill profiles during their careers. Researchers will share their ideas in different ways in terms of reach, exchange, and impact. Looking at the outcome of this transition, we will have to face failure and success. Our system must prepare us for enterprise and enable entrepreneurship. We need an economy which serves the people.

Already now, the rapid progress in AI research and applications is redefining the balance of economic and political power worldwide, and countries across the world have embraced these technologies with ambitious national strategies[1]. While the specific impacts on the labor market have not been conclusively determined, it is clear that we are entering a future in which humans and machines will not only work together, but also think and learn together.

But don’t we want to make the decisions about our future working world ourselves? Who creates that future? Who is the key?

We humans are the key, we are the pioneers of future knowledge. Not a single machine is built by itself. As the pioneers of the knowledge of tomorrow, we know that sustainable development means shaping the future with vision, imagination, and creativity. It means having the courage to break new ground and try something new. It is about how we want to live in the future and how we intend to answer the questions our globalized world poses in terms of our societies and the way we do business. We have the key in our hands, we need to contribute to a sound open-minded discussion, free of fear and free of hype. The future of work cares for the people.

The answers to all those questions about the future cannot be found on national levels alone, but require international cooperation. This inspired us to create KIT LINK, the future of work network, a bridge which connects leading regions in the German Southwest and the U.S. KIT LINK emerged from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the oldest technical university in Germany, which is known for its leading innovative research in Germany.

people involved in KIT LINK

It has become more important than ever for Germany to deepen its partnership with the U.S. and leverage its complementary technological, academic, and economic strengths. U.S. and German innovation ecosystems need to adapt further. It is time to call for a transatlantic partnership.
The Silicon Valley / San Francisco Bay Area is recognized as the center, where future technological ideas are being born, tested, and adapted. It is the springboard of technologies and it is here where ideas on future technologies and innovation management have to be exchanged.
The German Southwest, with its high productivity, is central to the most innovative regions in the EU. The German Southwest and Silicon Valley, two different cultures with an enormous density of bright minds concentrating on different topics for fruitful exchange.

Esther Legant representing KIT LINK

Representing KIT LINK, Esther Legant had the chance to speak at the conference “Transatlantic Sync. Germany & Silicon Valley: Shaping a Shared Digital Future” in October 2019 in Mountain View. Leaders, experts, and young talents from business, academia, and politics analyzed the current situation and enabled us to see the big picture. Together we developed a shared vision for a prosperous digital future resting on a technology-focused transatlantic partnership. We identified new opportunities for collaboration between Silicon Valley and Germany in business, research, and policy-making to realize this vision.

Through KIT LINK, the profile of KIT along with the German Southwest as a high-quality tech hub can be raised in Silicon Valley and beyond. Apart from alliances of the best and most committed, we need participation. We need an intelligent network with a focus on quality. Knowledge transfer via transformation through ‘mind-to-mind’ communication will lead us to the reason of existence and the mission of KIT LINK.

KIT LINK champions cooperation and innovation through the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and talent. Cutting-edge research from some of the best of KIT aims to tackle the world’s most important challenges in the field of ‘The Future of Work’ and helps to build a better tomorrow. KIT LINK is open for business and academia and it creates a virtual platform for various topics, the three mission topics being community, innovation, and purpose.

We want to connect international researchers, companies, and startups, we foster relationships. We join across sectors and continents. We enable future-oriented research. We share visions and empower their realization. We create a trustworthy environment. We care about conscious sustainability.

Join us on our journey and support us by actively participating in KIT LINK to shape a better future working world! It is time for “Future made in Germany!”

[1] Groth, O.; Nitzberg, M.; Zehr; D. Straube, T; et al. (2018)