Unternehmen&Trends Digitalausgabe 01/2022

29 Editorial Dear readers, The German economy is in permanent transformation mode. After successfully coping with the international financial crisis in 2008 and the following years, we were surprised in 2019 by the covid crisis, which, with its international repercussions, confronted companies with unprecedented challenges. For the first time since globalisation began in the 1980s, we were confronted with the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of our globally interconnected economic and trading system. And it was neither misguided economic policies nor an outof-control financial market that brought us this crisis, but a previously unknown virus. Both crises were more or less overcome thanks to determined political action and the innovative capacity of companies and entrepreneurs through the development of new products and especially vaccines, and the economy had resumed its course. However, the political and economic crisis triggered by the Ukraine war was and still is unforeseeable and far from final in its dimension. The term „turning-point“ has probably never been more appropriate in recent decades than it is today. The one-sided dependencies in the energy sector that we ourselves have caused have been brought home to us in drastic fashion. Eliminating this and placing the supply of the economy and private households on a new basis, guided by aspects of supply security and climate protection at the same time, will be the challenge of the near future. This will be accompanied by a fundamental transformation of supply chains. We will be forced to say goodbye to the idea of global and almost unlimited availability of resources and an internationally networked logistics system that guarantees this. And all this has to be done in an environment that, at least in the short term, will be characterised by a decline in economic growth and rising inflation. However, the challenges facing our economy are not limited to reacting to crisis developments. Digitalisation, automation, the use of artificial intelligence in products and processes and, last but not least, climate protection with the need to develop green energy and its industrial use, such as hydrogen in particular, remain the megatopics that will move us in the near and distant future. Crises can have an accelerating effect and release new energies. German companies have already proven their resilience to crises in the past with their enormous innovative capacity and flexibility, and the contributions in this publication reflect this. With this digital-only edition, we are giving our readers the opportunity to obtain significantly more background and additional information than is possible in print-only editions via links, interactions and networking to web content and social media. Our thanks go to all authors and advertising customers for their excellent cooperation. We cordially invite you to be a part of the next issue, which is expected to be published in November 2022, with your contributions and advertisements. Your editorial team Dr. Rudolf Müller and Elisabeth Klock www.vek-onlineservice.de Dr. Rudolf Müller Elisabeth Klock