How many shoes do you need?
No, the topic was not about the latest designs of shoes or the latest edition of running shoes, which would make you run even faster!
Our guest speaker Peter Marsh, former editor of the Financial Times and Author of book "The New Industrial Revolution: Consumers, Globalization and the End of Mass Production" shared his insights and thoughts on the evolution of manufacturing and it's future developments. By taking the audience on a journey through the industrial revolutions, he was talking about the history of manufacturing and what the future might hold. Claudio Boër, Senior Adviser swissnex China in Guangdong, presented some interesting thoughts from the perspective of sustainability, by asking how much energy is being "left over" when we don't buy a product, such for example shoes.
Did you know that if 20% of the shoes being produced on the market are not going to be sold, the amount of energy for their production equal to these 20% is 54 million megawatt/hours?
In other words, six large electricity power plants (coal/oil/atomic) are required in order to produce, each year, products that nobody will ever buy! Within the past decades manufacturing in China has rapidly evolved. As prime location for low-cost manufacturing China became the world’s production factory. Being aware of future developments, the audience discussed question for example regarding sustainability, energy and consumer habits. How can we, as individual raise awareness on the consumer side, on its level of demand? Why are products being produced, when there is a constant surplus of 20%? Should mass-production/manufacturing become more regulated? Both experts shared their personal thoughts and views with the audience, who later had the chance for individual talks.