Humanism 4.0 – because it is about our humanity! – Melanie Vogel

“What’s the difference between a man and a machine?” Nowadays there is hardly a more existential question than this. Where is man in a technological world? There have been signs for years that we must finally address this question and try to find answers.

How can an ethical code of values be made more humane in the “world of work 4.0” and in the age of “industry 4.0”? This question concerns me very much, because humanism has acquired a very special significance in Europe, the cradle of the Renaissance. From there, three humanistic trends are crystallizing which lead us to Humanism 4.0:

  • Humanism 1.0 “uomo universalis”: In the Renaissance epoch, man as a creative individual stood at the centre of the world view. This “universal human being” became the ideal of human creativity.
  • Humanism 2.0 “animal rationale”: In the Age of Enlightenment, knowledge became power. The ideal of the rational human being prevailed.
  • Humanism 3.0 “Homo oeconomicus”: The benefit-oriented human being has dominated the economic world since industrialization.

But over the centuries we have completely ignored an essential part of being human: our innate ability to cooperate. Cooperation is the effort of people to build and shape successful relationships that have a positive influence on social coexistence and interaction. Numerous research studies have proven this for decades: The fundamental law of nature of human beings is based on cooperation, not on competition.

KCooperative people are able to found knowledge and learning societies because they understand that only shared knowledge increases. In a cooperative environment, people experience fun and meaning in their work because they work as a community on the success of the company or on the success of the future. Cooperation cannot be digitized. This is why the visionary image of man in the 21st century is “Homo cooperativus”. It defines Humanism 4.0.

There is no question in my mind that we need a new form of humanism. Digitalisation, climate and demographic change, but also the increasingly unequal distribution of wealth mean that we must find new ways of living together if we want to shape the future in a sustainable way.

Because: It is about our humanity and the future of mankind. I have also started a call on Please sign it!

But the question of humanity in the age of digitalisation will also be on the agenda at women&work on 4 May 2019 in the FORUM of Messe Frankfurt. As a guest we invited Prof. Dr. Gerald Hüther, who will discuss the topic “Humanism 4.0” with me. An application for backstage passes is now possible until 30 April at Beyond that the topic is taken up in many over 50 lectures. It becomes thus exciting.

About Melanie Vogel
Melanie Vogel, triple winner of the Innovation Award, multiple author, innovation coach and lecturer at the University of Cologne, has been a successful entrepreneur since 1998. The award-winning “Futability® Concept” developed by her is her answer to the VUCA world – a world of lasting and radical change. Since 2011, she has organized the women&work – Europe’s leading trade fair for women and careers, which takes place annually in Frankfurt am Main.