Guest Lecture – Angela Josephs: Automatisation, Robotics, and the Future of Human Labour (January 17, 2018)

On January 17, Angela Josephs (Phoenix Contact, Blomberg, Germany) will give a CDS lecture about the digital transformation in industry and the far-reaching impact on human labour. In her presentation she will provide insights on the changes that commenced over ten years ago when the Internet found its way into industry. German industry, which is mainly focused on producing goods, describes these complex developments under the term “Industrie 4.0”. The term found its way into international discussions to characterise the German standpoint on production and products. By comparison experts in the USA created the term “Internet of Things” as their focus is on software-related issues. This lecture describes the industrial experience, development, and activities of automatisation and robotics, up to the present day. The role of politics, industry associations, and trade unions will also be explored. Trade unions play a fundamental role in the metalworking and electrotechnical industries in Germany, including the automotive industry.   With over 30 years’ professional experience in German business-to-business industry, Angela Josephs presents from her point of view how German industry shapes the changes, especially the area of human labour. Today it is obvious that Industry 4.0 can only successfully unfold when simultaneously “Labour 4.0” is systematically implemented. These changes are taking place at the same time as other societal phenomena, for example, demographic change, influx of migrants, and changing values of different generations.

Angela Josephs studied German literature and medieval culture as well as political sciences. She holds a Master of Arts from the Ruhr University Bochum (1987). Her first business experience was with Thyssen Edelstahlwerke AG in Krefeld, a steel producer, where she stayed for two years. In 1989 she joined Phoenix Contact, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electrical and electronic connection technology, interface technology, and industrial automation systems. The privately owned company has more than 15,000 employees worldwide. Angela Josephs developed the company’s public relations. She is in charge of corporate communications, both internally and externally, as well as the company’s support for the arts and culture. Thus she works on the need for culture in economics as well as on the relationship between technology and art.

The Guest Lecture Series of Professor Ingeborg Reichle’s lecture The World in Change: Introduction to Societal Transformation Processes opens up a comprehensive and wide-ranging perspective on global challenges our societies are facing today: In our rapidly changing world we are currently challenged by unprecedented dynamic processes on a global scale such as climate change, demographic change, mass migration, dwindling resources, violation of human rights, social inequality and poverty, mass unemployment and the redefinition of human work in the era of digitalization, artificial intelligence, and robotics. The lecture series is an informative and stimulating opportunity for students to hear from leading academics and experts in the fields of image theory, climate change, cancer research, and personalized medicine and will help our students build their network of contacts.  Our guest lectures are open to all.

Public Lecture
17.01.2018, 13:45–17:00 Uhr
Abteilung Cross-Disciplinary Strategies
Hintere Zollamtsstraße 17
1030 Wien
Seminarraum, 4. Stock