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Skills for a modern and digital working environment


25 Feb 2021




Innovation & Enterprise

Event Description

Alongside the current challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, business and public administration are confronted with the challenges of the 3Ds almost simultaneously: diversity, demography and digitisation. Society is becoming more diverse, and so too is the workforce. Promoting equality and equal opportunities requires professional diversity management, with a view to attract and promote the diverse and different skills of applicants and employees.

As staff turnover is expected to be influenced by ageing workforce, there is a danger that knowledge, including but not limited to practical knowledge, will be lost. Older or experienced employees not only want to feel appreciated but also wish to pass on their knowledge to younger employees. Nowadays, resources are often focused on on-boarding new employees, but it seems equally important to provide appropriate support for retirement. A well-structured system for knowledge transfer as a human resources instrument is an important prerequisite for this. However, this only works if employees actively and openly participate and if managers support this. Ability, willingness and empowerment are therefore fundamental to successful skills management and must be underpinned by an appropriate value-oriented organisational culture.

The modern working world will also be characterised by more personal responsibility, self-organisation, participation and changing forms of cooperation and communication. As a result of this, there is a fourth ‘D’ in the challenge spectrum: democracy. A culture of leadership and cooperation characterised by appreciation and respect is an important basis for shaping demographic change, and is equally important for the digital work environment and diversity management. With that in mind, the discussion about value-oriented management in business and administration is gaining in importance, and is certainly also linked to how we deal with technological developments in the age of digitisation. Shaping a digital culture will be essential.

In view of the declining ‘shelf life’ of knowledge, employees’ personal responsibility for their individual development will also have to be strengthened, as will their willingness to engage in lifelong learning. At the same time as knowledge is becoming obsolete increasingly quickly, organisational structures and workflows must become more agile and flexible if they are to cater to changing circumstances and the needs of the respective stakeholders. Organisational and personnel development can no longer be separated and are instead inextricably linked. All these developments also have an impact on the skills employees require to complete their tasks, as well as on leadership and cooperation.

In this virtual session, we aim to discuss the following questions from the perspective of policy, science and practice and offer possible solutions to the complex topic of organisational and personnel development as well as the impact on training digital skills in practice.

  • What are the critical skills that predict success in the future?
  • Are they really new skills or are they also skills that are already in use in the analogue work environment? Is this a case of ‘old wine in new bottles’?
  • Is there such a thing as one single digitisation skill, or is this rather a cross-sectional skill?
  • What skills are needed to shape digital culture? Is this feasible in the absence of values?
  • Which skills does modern leadership need? Is it true that we need employee-oriented or inspiring (transformational) leadership in addition to performance-oriented leadership?

Our speakers:

  • Ms Eileen Fuchs, Head of Division DGI1 – Digital Policy, EU and International Affairs at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI)
  • Mr Daniel Gerson, Head of Public Employment and Management Team, OECD
  • Mr Tobias Granzow, Desk Officer for interagency personnel management, Division Digital Policy, EU and International Affairs at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI)
  • Prof. Dr Sanja Korac, Professor of Public Management and Ms Derya Catakli, Research Assistant, German University of Administrative Sciences, Speyer
  • Dr Michael Räckers, University of Muenster, CEO of the Department of Information Systems at WWU Muenster
  • Mr Antonius Schröder, TU Dortmund University, Member of the Management Board of the social research unit Dortmund (research on Europe), research area: ‘Innovation and Learning in the Digital Society’, coordinator of the Erasmus projects ESSA (European Steel Skills Agenda) and SPIRE-SAIS (Skills Alliance for Industrial Symbiosis)
  • Dr Dean Stroud, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University


This online event will be held via Webex Meetings. Webex does not require an app to be downloaded and can be used directly via your web browser. The login information will be sent to participants in good time following registration.


Dr Beatrix Behrens, Seconded Expert of EIPA, Head of Organisational Management at the University of the Federal Employment Agency.