The Future of Work
New Work Environments - Highlights of MCBW

The Government of Bavaria’s declaration of a state of emergency in mid-March 2020 has had a substantial impact on work culture as we knew it: Those who can, are working from home. Lo and behold, collaboration, coordination, and conferencing across spaces and time zones are working much better than expected.

Video conference services provider Zoom reported ten million participants in early 2020; by April the number had increased to 300 million per day. Practically overnight, working from home has driven digitization which has reached out to us from the future more and more until now it has become omnipresent. Companies have adjusted their attitude towards more flexible working conditions in a flash.

In addition, lengthier change processes are influencing the future of work: Due to artificial intelligence, automation, and our all-encompassing interconnectedness, many tasks no longer are completed manually – or at least have been pushed to the background.

What will work models look like in the future? How can design competencies be leveraged to make these models more sustainable?

In many cases design is both the solution and the great hope. Design creates and adds value. Design develops true-to-life perspectives and drives sustainability. The six themes of MCBW 2021 will illuminate how design can help shape the future. One of these themes is The Future of Work.



The rapid transformation of work models and numerous change processes currently taking place do not stop at our desks – digitization is altering the way work is done the world over. At the latest when the repercussions of COVID-19 became apparent, the majority of companies jumped on the bandwagon of the world of modern work: The term New Work describes the future of work environments (including at the office) that have become digital, agile, and sustainable. Rigid working hours and prescribed workspaces have been replaced with digital solutions and more sustainable and productive work environments aligned with their respective sense and purpose. This digital transformation calls for modern and agile ways of working and thus for new workspaces – regardless of the industry or the company. In his speech during MCBW, presenter, change coach, and design thinker Jörg Bakschas will provide fascinating insight into the future of work and will discuss the transformation of work environments.



To a certain extent, the future always will bear uncertainty. Scenario Planning is a tool that helps make work a little easier to plan and facilitates the forecasting and evaluating of long- and/or short-term developments based on pre-implementation trial runs. The tool prepares and outlines potential scenarios to illustrate which options actually can be realized in how much time and at what cost. In an online event, the Institute for Innovation and Change Methodologies (IICM) will illustrate the development of options for the future of work using scenarios and personas to enable sound decision-making from the outset.



Devising new strategies, identifying trends, creating new products – increasingly companies are faced with the challenge of designing their future productively and creatively. Whether the task is innovate corporate design, develop new products, or craft a new business model, the path from the creation of an idea to its implementation has to be thought through diligently. When doing so, imagining future scenarios is essential to the development of viable solutions. All quest for something new involves actively identifying challenges. A three-pronged approach supports this Future Challenge: focus, imagination, and activation. It gives companies clarity, enables them to unlock their ingenuity, and allows them to initiate the implementation of their plans. In three sequential co-creation sprints during MCBW, experts from Fuenfwerken Design AG will present approaches to the active and agile creation of the future. In addition, Cultural Capital Producer Prof. Jan Teunen will provide useful insight into the New Work era, building on his 21 theses and impulses for the 21st century of New Work.



Can a workplace be a community, a platform, and a city-wide network? Following the slogan Room in a City Without Space, MUCBOOK CLUBHAUS offers co-working spaces for creative agencies, freelancers, and start-ups in a number of neighborhoods based on an unprecedented concept for interim use. At a virtual lunch during MCBW, Founder Marco Eisenack will introduce his company’s integral offerings of affordable co-working spaces and will discuss post-COVID-19 work environments with experts and guests who will join the discussion live from various locations.



Challenges facing construction and planning processes increasingly include the longest possible lifecycles, coherent sustainability approaches, tight deadlines, and cost pressure when it comes to implementation. Depending on the project, economic, ecological, and socio-cultural requirements regarding spaces and buildings must be met individually and require planning with the future in mind. Digital tools and new technologies offer innovative options for simplifying work processes. In their address to be given during MCBW, experts from the consulting and planning firm Carpus+Partner will present a major, highly complex technology lab project with a focus on five central topics: target-setting, sustainability, digitization, participation, and technology.

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Work Better: Go back to a better experience. Online Morning Session hosted by STEELCASE. Every morning from Monday, 8 March to Friday, 11 March 2021. People want to come back to the office. But they want a work experience that’s fundamentally better.