Education 4.0

Dear reader,

An important success factor of Germany’s economy is its technological advance. Education, an indispensable precondition for technological achievements, is thus one of our crucial resources. As a matter of fact, only the one who is willing and in a position to question the existing, to recognize the essential, being open and curious for new issues as well willing to advance matters and to continuously striving for improvements, is ahead of the competition.

As one person alone can make only a limited impact, also the capability is needed to share knowledge with others, to acknowledge their achievements in allocating staff in a proper way as well in promoting and motivating them – in short, social competence. Only in that way, several single achievements will form an optimal entirety.

Digitalisation is shifting these requirements upon a new level. Everything gets a version “4.0”. Which education is needed by industry 4.0 and work 4.0?  How can it be spread and which education system is needed? Important aspects are already addressed by the motion concluded by DIE FÜHRUNGSKRÄFTE at their general assembly 2011 and those are highly topical by to date. Please allow me to recall some of them:

  • Crèche 4.0

Training and education during crèche stage are the basis for any further educational development. Crèche 4.0 needs, thus, to promote a positive attitude vis-a-vis digitalisation and technology and to prepare children for “team building capability”.

  • Education system 4.0

DFK stands in for an efficient education system which is uniform nationwide with unitary standards and content that is further developed free of ideology and is oriented to requirements of both  economy and society and that promotes talents as well as research. Apart from teaching pure knowledge content and practical capabilities, it is essential at this stage to develop the willingness to perform and to lead changes as well as social competence.

  • Reinforcing MINT courses

To a large extent, Germany owes its successful steps through the recent economic crisis its sound industrial structure. Despite this, an explicit sceptical attitude towards industry and large technologic projects exists. If we want to keep our wealth, Germany needs to invest again more in technological knowledge and to regain trust in technologies. The STEM initiative represents an important step on this way. However, curricula need to be adapted and both female and male teachers need to be attracted to this project. Only if teachers are committed to this objective, the message reaches pupils. 

  • Lifelong learning

The rising duration of one’s work life requires planning of educational measures across generations and during the entire working phase as well as to ensure human employability by means of continuous further training and qualification.

These are just a few aspects to be taken into account by education 4.0. We may not, however, restrict ourselves to wishful thinking. As managers and executives, who have responsibilities both in economy and society, we need to challenge skepticism towards technologies and to prove by means of our authentic example, that our country and our wealth have only a future through a crystal clear “Yes” to technologies, industry and innovation.


Bernhard v. Rothkirch