But what does that mean for the "Mittelstand”, for the many SMEs that form the backbone of our economies, offer local job opportunities, pay taxes that directly benefit the communities in which they operate and contribute to a healthy social fabric? Is the online business world undermining the very foundations prospering societies? As manufacturing jobs are taken over by robots, will services jobs go next with evolving artificial intelligence (AI)? If there is less and less labor to be taxed while more value is being generated, will we need to tax robots and AI in order to generate the revenues vital for a functioning state? Or will we have to radically rethink how fair and dignified distribution of wealth and access to societal participation should look like?
Surely we were left with more questions than answers but a rich and vivid discussion has unearthed some of those core questions that motivate our event series on digitization and business ethics hosted by Lilienberg Unternehmerforum in cooperation with our executive training brand Ethics First.