The 19th INSME Annual Meeting took place on October 9th-10th, 2023 at BVMW’s headquarters in Berlin. INSME President Sergio Arzeni and Christoph Ahlhaus, the new CEO of Der Mittelstand BVMW and newly elected Vice President of INSME, emphasized the significance of collaborative dialogue to support global SMEs, emphasizing the importance of peace for SME growth. Berlin’s symbolic setting underscores the need for collaboration over limitation.
The first panel, “Digital Transformation for Future Success in SMEs,” featured keynotes from Dr. Andew Wyckoff and Dr. Daniel Abbou, followed by a panel discussion exploring AI’s impact on various sectors and business models. The session stressed the urgency of adapting to AI’s increasing integration into existing software tools.
The second session, “Unlocking Potential: AI Skills in SME Workforce” highlighted the importance of social sciences in educating the future workforce and adapting to a changing global market. The discussion covered strategies for acquiring AI skills, but also raised concerns about workforce demands and work-life balance post-COVID-19. Prof. Jay Mitra wrote an exclusive paper on this topic for the 19th INSME Annual Meeting titled: “AI Revolution: Transforming Industries and Empowering SMEs for Future Growth” that can be accessed here.
The third session, “Risk Mitigation and Ethics,” discussed human-centric AI and the relativity of ethics worldwide. Legal risks, such as intellectual property infringement, were also addressed in AI applications.
The final session, “Supporting Policies: Learning from the Present, Looking to the Future,” examined various organizations’ efforts to promote digitalization and AI while discussing concerns about EU-level bureaucracy and the need for coherent regulations.
Sergio Arzeni concluded the conference by emphasizing that AI’s complexity makes the future uncertain, but collaborative discussions like these are vital for the success of SMEs worldwide.