Edinburgh Napier University

Industry 4.0

The Next Generation of Business

Industry 4.0 is the term used to reflect the fourth industrial revolution, characterised by the converging impact of big data, artificial intelligence, technology and robotics in conjunction with societal shifts that are driving the agenda for sustainability, the circular economy and profit for purpose, or social enterprise. 

This emerging world will create new demands on business managers and leaders; and skills such as data analysis, predictive skills and cognitive flexibility will join critical thinking, reflective analysis and emotional intelligence at the heart of the skill set.

From September 2020, this will be reflected in a new curriculum for our core Business Management programme.

In October 2019, the Business School hosted a day for business leaders, academics and researchers to meet and reflect on these emerging themes – “The Next Generation of Business”.

Key themes and videos of the main presentations are collected below, as a resource for all business managers and researchers to use to stimulate their own planning and strategy development.

Keep up with other aspects of how The Business School is supporting the next generation of business leaders by following #ENUNextGen


The Skill Set for Industry 4.0 

Our keynote address was delivered by Jamie Hepburn, MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, who proposed that "Business for good is good for business". 

The Minister took as his starting point the publication, earlier in 2019, of a new framework for Scotland's economic development. Entitled 'A new framework for Economic Development to feed a sense of collective well-being', he elaborated on what that framework will mean for Scotland's economic drivers in the decades to come.

"The issues you address today could hardly be more relevant... how to achieve inclusive growth in a world of rapid change may well prove to be one of the great questions of our times... and more purposeful businesses, providing high quality employment, must be a significant part of the answer.

"Policy responses must support those already in work, looking to retrain or add skills, as well as those who are starting out on their working lives. 

"In the next phase of the [Scottish Government's Future Skills Action] Plan we will be engaging widely with stakeholders on clear propositions to re-orientate the skills system in Scotland, to be more agile and flexible while developing a culture of co-investment."

The changing skills system was a theme that was then developed by all our conference speakers.

Catherine Burnet

Vice President, ICAS

Watch Catherine Burnet's full presentation here: Talent, Trust and Technology: the changing bottom line for business.

Watch Hedley's full presentation here: The workforce of the future.

Professor Brian Howieson

Head of Management Group, The Business School

Watch Professor Howieson's full presentation here: Who is the business management graduate of the future?

Panel

Our panel session included reaction and observation on the Conference’s key themes from:

Paul Atkinson

Professional investor and chairman of recruitment business, The Taranata Group

Paul Atkinson

Professional investor and chairman of recruitment business, The Taranata Group

Kat Brogan

CEO of Mercat Tours

Robert Crawford

Former CEO of Scottish Enterprise and previous head of innovation at the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) 

The Mindset for Industry 4.0:

The evening session saw four speakers elaborate on their personal perspectives around the Mindset that will be required to successfully navigate the challenges of the future. 

Professor Christine Bowman

CEO of Women's Coin

Professor Christine Bamford

CEO of Women's Coin

Gary Murray

There are more than three billion active social media users in 2019. Alumnus Gary Murray considered the impact of social media marketing

Peter Syme

Entrepreneur Peter Syme, a seasoned travel and expedition leader and advisor to numerous tourism start-ups, had a clear message for the tourism sector, that was relevant for all businesses: “disrupt, or be disrupted…”

Peter Syme

Entrepreneur Peter Syme, a seasoned travel and expedition leader and advisor to numerous tourism start-ups, had a clear message for the tourism sector, that was relevant for all businesses: “disrupt, or be disrupted…”

Watch Syme's full presentation here.

Paul Winstanley

CEO, Censis considered the wider impact of innovation

Next steps

If you are interested in discussing how The Business School can support your business in preparing for Industry 4.0, through events, CPD, knowledge transfer or commercial research please contact industry4@napier.ac.uk
Follow #ENUNextGen and @ENUBusSchool for details of future events on this theme.