The Starbucks at the Corner of the World

Oct. 15, 2012
It’s a raw, gray day in Stuttgart, Germany and I’ve stopped in to a Starbucks for a slap of grande caffeine.

It's a raw, gray day in Stuttgart, Germany and I’ve stopped in to a Starbucks for a slap of grande caffeine.

Stuttgart is hosting the World Manufacturing Forum this week and I’m one of an international (US, Brazil, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Belgium) cadre of journalists invited to cover the event and tour some local factories.

The conference starts tomorrow with a session titled, “Manufacturing – A Solution to the Economic Crisis?” I’ll report in this blog what the speakers have to say.

But today, I’m content to try to fight through the jet lag that comes with three hours sleep on an eight-hour flight and people watch in the Starbucks (yes, it’s a quarter mile from the McDonalds). Two men in jeans and hoodies are busily tapping away at their Macbooks. A steady stream of young women with shopping bags stop in for coffee, all making sure to monitor their smartphones. A little girl waits in line with her mother, her shoes sparkling with an LED light show. All so familiar, yet 4,000 miles from home.

Just a block away, it’s fitting in this cradle of automotive manufacturing that the street is busy with Mercedes taxis, Fiat delivery wagons, BMWs and VWs and a host of other familiar global brands.

Tomorrow, I’ll key in to the “economic mega-trends and the role of manufacturing” explored at the conference. But today, I’m happy to have found a somewhat familiar sign – “Wellkommen bie Starbucks.”

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Food and Beverage 2024 Trends and Outlook for North America

Oct. 29, 2023
Ready to hear what 200 of your peers said are the top challenges and opportunities in 2024? Don’t fall behind. Uncover actionable insights to better prepare for 2024 in this whitepaper...

Your Industry 4.0 Journey

Sept. 24, 2023
When It Comes to Industry 4.0, the Journey is the Destination. Industry 4.0 must be embraced as a long-term, strategic mindset of digital transformation that dynamically alters...

What Is Your Smart Factory IQ?

Sept. 24, 2023
It’s time to put Smart, data-driven manufacturing operations to the test. In this comprehensive whitepaper we show you how to determine the Artificial Intelligence Quotient (AIQ...

Ecommerce Guide: How to Manage Order Volume Spikes

Oct. 2, 2023
Master the art of delivering a seamless ecommerce shopping experience! Learn how to streamline your operations to successfully manage seasonal sales order spikes.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!