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Maren_Meyer
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
847


From March 7-9, 2023, the SAP University Alliances Community Meeting brought together educators, faculty, strategic partners, industry professionals, and the SAP University Alliances team from all around the world at the SAP Headquarters in Walldorf.  

This event was designed to foster community collaboration, discuss SAP’s latest technological developments and teaching best practices, and align on the community’s strategy and priorities for 2023 and beyond. The rapid growth of Generation Z (Gen Z) in the workplace as main drivers of change in organizations and academia, the event aimed to find new ways to approach this generation. Therefore, to inspire and educate Gen Z with tech skills for the future, the SAP University Alliances Community Meeting was held under the motto “Together. For the Next Generation. 


Why is our work with the next generation so important?


Ogilvy states, “Gen Z is the largest, most diverse, and most geographically untethered cohort in history.” Besides the changing landscape and demand of this generation, there are challenges of the 21st century that we are already experiencing, such as digital transformation, climate change, and talent shortage, to name a few. What does that mean to organizations and educational institutions? 

This and many other questions were discussed during the three-day event. What is clear is that organizations and educational institutions must take responsibility and address these questions. It is a key priority for SAP and SAP University Alliances to take the necessary steps. The only way to address these challenges is through education. 

According to Marr (2022), the most needed future skill, among others, is digital literacy, referring to the ability to use technology, handle data, and continuously learn about new technologies. With a network of more than 2,800 educational institutions worldwide, SAP University Alliances works jointly with academia to align and integrate tech skills in core curricula to make talents future-ready. 



What did our community do at UA-COM?

Over three days, participants experienced a variety of insightful keynote speeches, panel discussions, and breakout sessions covering a wide range of topics. 

Day 1:

The first day started with a welcome by Katharina Schaefer, Global Head of SAP University Alliances at SAP SE, Karina Edmonds, Global Head of Academies and SAP University Alliances at SAP SE, and Simha Magal, Professor and SAP Mentor Alumnus at Georgia State University.  

In a keynote, participants were given an understanding of Gen Z and how they are shaping the world around them. This keynote also explored Gen Z’s relationship with technology, the generation’s attitude towards work and career, and the impact on education and research. These topics were touched on in more detail in a panel discussion, and the panellists discussed their different perspectives. 

One highlight of the day was the visit of Christian Klein, CEO and Member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, to this community meeting. He underlined,
“SAP has a great strategy, our business is growing, but in the end it all comes down to people and attracting the best talents. And the SAP University Alliances team together with all our partners are doing a fantastic job.”


Day 2: 

The second day’s agenda started with a keynote about 42 Berlin’s peer-to-peer learning concept. Max Senges, CEO and Headmaster of 42 Berlin & 42 Wolfsburg explained how this learning concept works, highlighted its benefits, and introduced 42 Berlin’s unique curriculum. 

During a “World Café” workshop, participants discussed a wide range of topics around innovative teaching approaches, how to create impactful research projects and they had the opportunity to get to know student zone of SAP Learning and give first-hand feedback. 

In addition, Sarah Schmidt, Head of Corporate Strategy & Portfolio at SAP SE, discussed SAP’s strategy and areas of focus for the year 2023, with an emphasis on sustainability. This was followed by a keynote presentation delivered by Katharina Schaefer, Professor Nitin Kale from the University of Southern California, Professor Robert Franz from Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences, and Hannah Sperling on SAP University Alliances strategy and activities to solve the challenges of tomorrow. 

At the end of the day, community members had the chance to experience ERPsim – a business simulation game that is designed to help individuals understand the role of an ERP system such as SAP S/4HANA in managing a company in a playful way.  



Day 3: 

One notable agenda point on the third day was a keynote on SAP Cloud Solutions in the Academic World, giving insights into available learning resources on several SAP Cloud Solutions in academic teaching and possible learning journeys students can complete to acquire in-demand skills.  

Also, the community participated in breakout sessions, diving deeper into specific topics on designing the future of learning and teaching. Topics touched were for example how to create a sustainability curriculum, how to connect SAP skilled students with SAP customers and partners searching for SAP skilled talent or how to reach students/faculties not yet learning with SAP Solution. Throughout the session, ideas were exchanged, and an action plan was created to achieve short- and long-term goals.  



What is next?

As a result of the SAP University Alliances Community Meeting, several actionable outcomes have emerged that are in execution mode to create lasting impact. We will:

  • Deliver an UA Sustainability Teaching Roadmap & dedicated sustainability analytics offering with SAP Analytics Cloud 

  • Deliver three new pilot curricula w/ academic wrappers (Business Processes, Analytics, Low-/No-code) 

  • Cultivate engagement opportunity for students on the student zone of SAP Learning and add more academically relevant learning journeys 

  • Use @Sap #UniversityAlliances for community story sharing on social media so community members can see what others are doing 

  • Use established UA educational formats, student innovation projects & events to connect SAP skilled students with customers/ partners searching for talents 

  • Foster regional SAP Academic Board exchange also on a global level 

  • Use UA-COM, regional Academic Community Conferences and local academic meet-ups for regular community connect 


 

If you would like to learn more about SAP University Alliances, visit the website: sap.com/next-gen 

Are you interested in SAP learning journeys? Check out the student zone on SAP Learning: https://learning.sap.com/student-zone  

*** 

References: 

Bernard Marr (2022). Future Skills – The 20 Skills and Competencies Everyone Needs to Succeed in a Digital World. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. 

Ogilvy (2022). For Gen Z, Brand Is What You Share, Not What You Sell.