The top takeaways from Lighthouses Live 2023: How 4IR is revolutionizing manufacturing

Automobile engineer discussing with colleagues in car factory, illustrating the work covered by LIghthouses LIve
Looking to the future with Lighthouses Live
Image: Getty Images
  • Leaders of the Global Lighthouse Network discuss how 4IR is reshaping manufacturing.
  • See the key takeaways from Lighthouses Live 2023.
  • Discover the key takeaways and watch the full broadcast here.

Formed in 2018, the Global Lighthouse Network is a World Economic Forum community of leading global manufacturers who are pioneers in using Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies to transform their factories, value chains and operations, while optimizing their business goals. The Network now comprises of 132 ‘Lighthouses,’ which are recognized for their leadership in using Industry 4.0 technologies to drive growth, improve resilience and deliver environmental sustainability. They represent a truly global community whose learnings and insights are lighting the way for manufacturers across all industries.

Across the Lighthouse Network, there are now over 600 advanced use cases developed with 4IR technology that are making a proven impact on performance and sustainability. Investments in these technologies are already paying back in multiples,

Many of these successes were highlighted at Lighthouses Live 2023, which took place on 12 October 2023. A host of inspiring leaders, including Brand Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Foxconn Industrial Internet; Cedrik Neike, Member of the Managing Board and CEO of Digital Industries at Siemens; Dirk Holbach, Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer of Consumer Brands, Henkel; Enno de Boer, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company; Levent Çakıroğlu, Chief Executive Officer, Koc Holding; Mourad Tamoud, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Schneider Electric; Jun Ni, Chief Manufacturing Officer, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL); and, Remo Colarusso, Vice President of Technical Operations at Johnson & Johnson, came together to explain how they managed to scale 4IR technologies across their production networks. You can watch the live stream of the event here.

We've rounded up some of the key takeaways from the day.

Lighthouses are early adopters

"What sets Lighthouses apart in these challenging times is that they know how to react, said Enno de Boer, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company. "Lighthouses are showing us that with technology, you don’t have to choose between people, profit and the planet. With use cases, such as real-time process controls, green digital twins and advanced energy management systems, Lighthouses have not only reduced waste and carbon by more than 30% but also improved productivity by the same amount."

Lighthouses are also quickly adopting generative AI – the next instrument in the digital toolbox for manufacturers. "Globally, we expect Generative AI to add $4-8 trillion to the global economy. Of that, we expect $0.5 to 1 trillion in productivity improvements for manufacturing and supply chain-related activities.," said de Boer.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

The World Economic Forum was the first to draw the world’s attention to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the current period of unprecedented change driven by rapid technological advances. Policies, norms and regulations have not been able to keep up with the pace of innovation, creating a growing need to fill this gap.

The Forum established the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network in 2017 to ensure that new and emerging technologies will help—not harm—humanity in the future. Headquartered in San Francisco, the network launched centres in China, India and Japan in 2018 and is rapidly establishing locally-run Affiliate Centres in many countries around the world.

The global network is working closely with partners from government, business, academia and civil society to co-design and pilot agile frameworks for governing new and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, blockchain, data policy, digital trade, drones, internet of things (IoT), precision medicine and environmental innovations.

Learn more about the groundbreaking work that the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network is doing to prepare us for the future.

Want to help us shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Contact us to find out how you can become a member or partner.


Resilience is key to Johnson & Johnson's supply chains, says Remo Colarusso, Vice President of Technical Operations at Johnson & Johnson. "For over a decade at Johnson & Johnson, our supply chains have worked to prevent potential interruptions through robust business continuity plans and a strong risk management framework in quality compliance, safety and reliability.

"Across our operations, we regularly benchmark and evolve our processes to ensure ongoing continuity of supply for the patients and customers we serve. As we have moved from an approach of reactive risk management to one that drives proactive resilience, we have been able to identify, mitigate and address multidimensional risk with increased agility and responsiveness."


Bringing data to the workforce has brought major efficiencies to Henkel's supply chain. Dirk Holbach, Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer of Consumer Brands, Henkel explains: "Our digital backbone records millions of data points every day, analyzes them in real-time using artificial intelligence and translates them into concrete actions via dashboards and graphs.

"Thereby, our workforce can identify the most efficient and sustainable processes for our productions in real-time. This ecosystem is an important lever for our sustainability ambitions and is helping us to improve our overall energy efficiency."


Sustainability is a core pillar of Schneider Electric's supply chain strategy, says Mourad Tamoud, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Schneider Electric. "We have made public commitments to improve sustainability across our own operations, as well as throughout our entire value chain. By clearly defining our goals and making them transparent, we provide the clarity to our organization of where we must be focusing our efforts when it comes to sustainability."

Sustainability is also front of mind at FII, said Brand Cheng. "We will leverage digital tools to mitigate our environmental impact, starting with carbon emissions in our factories and eventually building a sustainable supply chain. This is a systematic engineering challenge that requires collaboration between companies and industries. Also, we are committed to exploring the pace of sustainable development for the industry."

Scaling manufacturing globally with 4IR

When 4IR is successfully applied to one production line, it must be developed for others if it is to have maximum effect. "Scaling is very important," says Jun Ni, Chief Manufacturing Officer at Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL). "At CATL, we have hundreds of production lines and they all have similar characteristics. So, when we discover one opportunity, for example, in energy consumption, we quickly adapt it for our other production lines. That simple innovation can produce a very large effect."

Digital twins have also been a useful outcome of the 4IR, says Levent Çakıroğlu, CEO, Koç Holding. "Creating digital twins of our production lines enabled a 10% reduction in cycle time, an over 30% decrease in defective products and a 15% saving in energy consumption."

To truly optimize the impact of the 4IR, it is also important for collaboration between companies and sectors, adds Brand Cheng, CEO, Foxconn Industrial Internet (FII). "We are committed to exploring the pace of sustainable development for the industry. Driving digitalization, automation, robotics and AI is very important for driving the entire industry of 4.0 transformation."

Cedrik Neike, Member of the Managing Board and CEO Digital Industries at Siemens also champions this open approach. "With our Siemens accelerator approach, we make sure that all of our products are compatible, and not only with each other, but with partners and the entire manufacturing ecosystems. Using what we sell really helps to drive innovation and foster a customer-centric approach."

Are you ready to share your success story on adopting leading-edge technology innovations, or are you interested to hear about the very unique learning opportunities that the Global Lighthouse Network provides? We invite you to reach out to us at to find out more.

Tune into the full recording of the Lighthouses Live 2023 session here.

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