The Vienna Talks are the specialist lecture and discussion platform of the Institute of Construction Management and Economics at the TU Wien (Vienna) and look back on a long tradition. As every year, representatives from all areas of the construction industry discussed current issues from different perspectives. In 2023, the effects of the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, global warming and the situation on the labor market could not be ignored. This year's event was therefore entitled "(What) have we learned from the crisis?".
For the first time this year, the evening was chaired by Prof. Dr. Frank Lulei.
The event began with a keynote speech by Christoph Weber, MSc (Horváth & Partners Management Consultants). This included a presentation on developments in recent years and trends in the (construction) industry. The result made it clear that the construction industry has experienced high growth in recent years. Due to the effects of high inflation and an increase in the prime rate, among other things, the building construction sector in particular is entering a recession.
Another aspect of the keynote speech was that there will be a shift in investment from the building construction sector to the infrastructure sector, which is experiencing an upturn due to the decarbonization strategy and the EU's Green Deal. In connection with the trends, Weber referred to a CxO study by Horváth & Partners Management Consultants. This was compiled on the basis of interviews with more than 430 global CxOs from 13 sectors in the DACH region. At the end of the keynote speech, the following four main trends were presented: Skills shortage, cyber security, digital transformation and sustainability.
In addition to Christoph Weber, MSc, Barbara Pichler, MA (Raiffeisen Bank International AG), Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Peter Krammer (Swietelsky AG), Mag. Helmut Kreiter (voestalpine Railway Systems) and Dipl.-Ing.in Mag.a Gudrun Senk (Wiener Linien GmbH&CoKG) discussed the topic "(What) have we learned from the crisis?" with Prof. Dr. Frank Lulei. The audience also contributed to the success of the 13th Vienna Talks with exciting questions.
Key statements included, for example:
"In connection with digitalization (especially BIM and artificial intelligence), the investments already made are expected to deliver a return on investment through increased efficiency; companies also see digitalization as a lever for transparency in the area of sustainability."
"Crises will always produce winners and losers."
"Risk management and partnership are the key to managing crises well."
"Risks can be shared or insured, but in the end someone has to bear the responsibility or the costs for the risks"
"What is important for employees? Meaningfulness of the work, freedom and contributing their strengths"
"Every crisis must be viewed in a differentiated way. Findings from one cannot be transferred 1:1 to the next"
Many of the conversations were continued during the subsequent finale with good food and drinks.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors and everyone involved!
The IBB team
as well as Jörg Ehgartner, Ingo Heegemann, Andreas Jurecka, Christian Maier, Daniel Resch, Sabine Wimmer