The virtual event for decision makers and people managers

We live in an increasingly complex world. At the start of a new decade, new realities are forcing us to reexamine our strategies for the future of work. The traditional definition of shareholder value can no longer define how business gets done in the 21st century.


Acting with collective responsibility and considering all stakeholder groups must be the driving factor in how companies operate.


The pandemic and recent political and social developments have shown that we can no longer view the economy, society and the state separately or concern ourselves only with the familiar. Courage and fresh ideas are needed to meet this newfound responsibility.


Stakeholder expectations are changing — and changing the definition of success. How can modern people management help us meet this challenge and find the right balance? Employees are the central stakeholders, but they are also vital to creating value within the organization and thus drivers of necessary change.


Responsibly shaping the new world of work for employees, the environment and society while also ensuring profitability is the defining challenge of our time.


This year’s Human Work/s Talks will drive this discussion.

Human Work/s Talks 2021 at a glance


The New World of Work — Is It Old Already?


Tuesday, 18 May 2021

4:30 - 6:00 pm CET  


Skilling for the Future — What We Need to Know


Tuesday,  8 June 2021

4:30 - 6:00 pm CET


Sustainability — What About Human Resources?!  


Tuesday, 21 September 2021

4:30 - 6:00 pm CET 


CHRO of the Year Award


Award ceremony on 26 October 2021 | 5:30 – 7:00 pm CET

The New World of Work — Is It Old Already?

Tuesday,  21 September 2021 | 4:30 - 6:00 PM CET 

Talk in German


First proposed 50 years ago, “new work” is now becoming a reality for many companies. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our working world more than almost any other development in this century. Digitalization has helped us deal with the crisis.


  • More information:

    The potential for combining new ways of working with digital tools has only now become apparent to many companies. Yet it’s amazing how quickly organizations have evolved their digital standards.

    After the initial euphoria, however, the impacts of this shift are becoming apparent: Work-life balance is not necessarily improving, and a unified corporate culture is proving difficult to maintain.

    Companies need to act. The risk of returning to our old ways is just as real as that of pushing change too far. We need to tread carefully to prevent dividing the world of work into two classes.

    - Are we on the way to the best of all working environments?

    - How do we strike the right balance between in-office presence and virtual work?

    - How do we maintain our health?

    - How do we preserve our corporate culture?

    - What role does leadership play in defining the new world of work?

    - How much flexibility is needed to be an attractive employer in the future?

    - How do we avoid a two-class working environment?

Talk #1 Speakers

Skilling for the Future — What We Need to Know

Tuesday, 8 June 2021 | 4:30–6:00 pm CET 

In English


Companies are increasingly realizing that people are their most important resource.

The COVID-19 pandemic began as a human crisis and developed into a systemic crisis. It demonstrated the limits of our social and economic systems but also unveiled the power of digital — that is, the combined power of human and machine. The extent to which it accelerated the digitalization of our professional lives was unexpected.  


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    To keep up with the pace of change, we need to adapt quickly, learn faster and develop new skills and competencies.

    The word has been out for years. Many of us simply didn’t want to hear it. Now that we have been thrown into the digital age, what will it take to succeed?

    In our talk, “Skilling for the Future — What We Need to Know,” we shed light on these questions:

    - To what extent will new technologies impact our ways of working and work itself?

    - What skills and competencies do we need to respond to volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity?

    - How do we deconstruct and reconstruct work to match new business realities?

    - How can we develop a culture of curiosity, exploring and learning?

    - How do we deal with skill shortage and the demographic shift that will worsen in the years to come?

    - How do we “lead with the work” to understand which skills will become obsolete, which will transform and which will be in demand?

    - Digital transformation hinges on the upskilling/reskilling of the workforce. How can we explicitly draw the connections between strategic ambition and the specific skills required of our talent?

Talk #2 Speakers

Skilling for the future - Special with Tripti Jha

Tripti Jha, Chief Talent & People Solutions Officer at Novartis, was unfortunately unable to attend the Human Work/s Talk. Therefore, we decided to record a special with her to talk about the topic Skilling for the Future.

Sustainability — What About Human Resources?!

Tuesday,  21  September  2021  |  4:30  -  6:00  PM  CET 

Talk  in  German


Industrialization and globalization have brought unprecedented prosperity to many in recent decades. At the same time, we are experiencing the serious side effects of our economic activity. Inequality is increasing, resources are being exploited and looming climate catastrophe threatens our way of life.


  • More information:

    The “Fridays for Future” movement has created global momentum for environmental concern. Yet the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that health is critical for supporting environmental sustainability issues. There is no ecological sustainability without social sustainability.

    Although previous decades have been marked by incremental steps and marketing exercises, the signs are now pointing to fundamental change. A decade of sustainability has begun. Companies must become sustainable at their core, and they will have to start with the people in their organizations.  

    - Moral responsibility or economic rationality — what drives sustainable action?

    - What is the role of investors and analysts?

    - From corporate communications to CSR to HR — who does what in terms of sustainability?

    - How important is a sustainable employer for employees?

    - How does an obligation become a cultural self-image?

    - How can sustainable commitment from below — from within the organization — be achieved?

    - How relevant are HR instruments — from incentives to leadership development to learning?

    - No progress without control — how do you measure sustainability?

Talk #3 Speakers

CHRO of the Year 2021

26 Oktober 2021 | 5:30 – 7:00 pm CET


As a conclusion of the Talks series, HR magazine Personalmagazin will award the German CHRO of the Year 2021.


Outstanding HR work that sets an example — what does that mean in times of massive change and pandemic crisis? CHROs led crisis teams, and their decisions ensured that the pandemic was contained and work could continue. However, successful crisis management is only one of several criteria used by Personalmagazin to select this year’s candidates for the reader’s choice award.

The readers of Personalmagazin voted until September 23, 2021 between those 13 managers from the "40 Leading HR Minds 2021" list: Rupert Felder, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen; Elke Frank, Software AG; Bettina Karsch, Vodafone; Gunnar Kilian, VW; Sirka Laudon, Axa; Oliver Maassen, Trumpf; Sylvie Nicol, Henkel; Thomas Ogilvie, DPDHL; Ariane Reinhart, Continental; Marion Rövekamp, EWE; Petra Scharner-Wolff, Otto; Jörg Staff, Fiducia; Alexander Zumkeller, ABB.


Who is the winner? You will find out on October 26, when Personalmagazin honors the winner:in during the Human Work/s Talks. 

Contact us

Have questions or suggestions about the Human Work/s Talks 2021 or the CHRO of the Year award? Please complete the contact form below.  

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