EUWIN's Vienna Workshop

Workplace innovation finds a broad platform in Vienna 

 6th May 2014

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Once again EUWIN’s ability to attract some of the most notable and innovative businesses committed to workplace innovation was clearly demonstrated at a highly successful conference in Vienna in May.

More than ten countries were represented in Vienna for the fourth event organised by EUWIN.

The “Beating the competition with workplace innovation” conference, attended by representatives of all Austria’s neighbouring countries, included companies, social partners and public policy makers. It was hosted by Alexandra Moser from Microsoft Austria, a business committed to finding new ways of working and to sharing experiences.

EUWIN’s regional animateur and conference organiser, Alexander Kesselring of the Vienna based Centre for Social Innovation, introduced the work of EUWIN and its aims and objectives.  He said: 

“Workplace innovation addresses networks and umbrella organisations in human resources development, organisational development, diversity management, work-life-balance and many more areas of work.  It also addresses social partnership institutions such as chambers of labour, chambers of commerce and federations of industrialists, as well as SMEs and large companies.”

In addition to Microsoft’s presentation on new ways of working, delegates also heard from other businesses how they are applying workplace innovation to improve staff motivation and working conditions while enhancing productivity.

These included Austrian company Inet-Logistics which is looking at the challenges of developing a “future office.” Cocoon Projects, an Italian company, practices a no-hierarchy approach to assigning jobs and talent development (Liquid Organisation). Slovakia based Zilina Integrated Manufacturing System (ZIMS) connects university knowledge potential to the practical development of advanced intelligent manufacturing systems for industrial companies in order improve productivity and competitiveness. 

Paul Tolchinsky and Elvira Kalmar, both chairs of the European Organisation Design Forum, challenged the sixty participants to find ways to make their own companies more productive. Delegates also heard how other Central European companies or organisations deal with ever changing workplace environments.

The conference also experienced EUWIN’s animated film on The Fifth Element, the construct that brings together and rationalises all the facets of workplace innovation. 

Alexander Kesselring added: “We are pleasantly surprised by the engagement of so many partners from so many countries. This EUWIN event was not solely an Austrian event, but shows that workplace innovation is supported by all Central European countries.”

He went on to invite all the partners to create a strong regional network. The Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI) in Vienna is regional animateur for Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. He invited all to get in touch with ZSI (kesselring@zsi.at) and to support the momentum by:

  • Registering with EUWIN
  • Learning with the network and sharing best practice through the EUWIN Knowledge Bank
  • Becoming a EUWIN ambassador and spreading knowledge and good practice in the region
  • Inviting EUWIN experts to workshops and conferences, and making use of social media
  • Organising site visits to regional companies with ZSI. 

Steven Dhondt, the EUWIN Coordinator, concluded: 

“EUWIN Vienna clearly demonstrates the interest of such a broad platform of partners in workplace innovation. We are looking forward to cooperating with partners in making videos about their efforts. Our large EUWIN-workshop in Sofia next September can build on this energy!” 



Forthcoming EUWIN events include:

EODF One day Hands-on Organisation Design Training - theory, practice and methods
Budapest, 15 May 
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EUWIN regional workshop

Sofia, 29 September

EODF 2014 4th Annual Conference

Amsterdam, 17/18 October 

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