Our topics included the management of the Corona crisis, the vaccination campaign and what we can learn from the mistakes made – for the next pandemic, but also for political and social decision-making processes in Germany and Europe.
On the domestic front, the summit looked at the outcome of the Bundestag elections, the formation of a government and what that means for the economy and climate protection; on the foreign policy front, it looked at the first year of the presidencies of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Speakers and presenters assessed the state of Germany’s still most important sector, industry, and discussed issues that impact everyone: Food, Mobility and Housing.
Digitalization is the central transformation process in all branches of the economy, as well as in politics and society. For this reason, digitization was deliberately not taken up as a separate topic, but was embedded in all discussion formats. We highlighted only the most exciting area of digitization at the moment, namely AI and the power of data.
With over 20 years of experience, Kathrin Anselm knows how to manage digital companies. After working for Oliver Wyman and ProSiebenSat.1, she helped build the dating platform "One2like" in 2010. Market leader Parship took over the start-up just 1 year later. After that, she managed limango, Europe's largest shopping club for families, and the British delivery service Deliveroo, among others. In 2019, she moved to Airbnb and has since been responsible for the DACH region, Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.
Frank Appel, born in 1961, has been head of Deutsche Post since 2008. Born in Hamburg, he has to cope with the fact that people are writing fewer letters. But Appel is betting on online trade as well as globalisation - both of which are providing the DHL Group with more parcels, freight and express shipments. Appel, who holds a doctorate in neurobiology, first worked as a McKinsey consultant before joining Swiss Post in 2000.
Pinar Atalay, born in 1978, first ran her own boutique in Lemgo for a year after graduating from high school and then switched to journalism. First she worked for "Antenne Münster", then for NDR. On the news channel Phoenix she then presented the "Phoenix Runde" from 2010 onwards, and from 2014 onwards she became one of the main presenters of ARD's "Tagesthemen" and became known nationwide. In the summer of 2021, she will move to the private broadcaster RTL, where she presented the Triell before the 2021 Bundestag elections.
Annalena Baerbock, born in 1980, grew up near Hanover and studied political science with a minor in public law in Hamburg from 2000 onwards, then moved to London. In 2005, she became a member of BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN, and later also became involved in Brandenburg state politics. In 2018, she was elected co-chair of DIE GRÜNEN together with Robert Habeck. Baerbock was the candidate for chancellor in the 2021 federal election, but the party ended up in third place after the SPD and the CDU/CSU.
Achim Berg, born in 1964, is a self-confessed Rhinelander and has been President of Bitkom, the industry association representing the digital economy in Germany, since 2017. His main job is with the internationally active financial investor General Atlantic, which among other things has a stake in the digital business of Pro Sieben Sat 1 and Flixbus. Previously, Berg worked at Deutsche Telekom, Microsoft and Bertelsmann.
Climate researcher Antje Boetius, born in 1967, has been director of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven since 2017. For many years, the professor of geomicrobiology has been researching the effect of climate change on oceans and Polar Regions, among other things as part of almost 50 expeditions on international research ships. She is also involved with the science initiative Scientists for future, which campaigns for effective climate policy.
Sophie Boissard sees herself as a companion in the life of the modern man. A graduate of the University of Ena, she has worked for French politicians, then for the SNCF railway group. Since 2016, she has been head of the nursing home operator Korian. This is perhaps the most difficult task, because it is about the last stage of a person's life. She knows about the bad image of the industry. She wants to change that.
Roland Busch, born in 1964, is the first physicist to head Siemens in many years, and that means something. The two-metre man, who has been working for the company for over 25 years and keeps fit with weight training, talks more about digital factories and artificial intelligence than about share prices and the capital market. Back to the roots, then. Back to the roots of the old industrial group.
Thomas de Buhr, born in 1968, formulated one of his guiding principles while still head of Germany at Twitter: "Can you ever be satisfied with what you've achieved? No way!" De Buhr sticks to this maxim - since 2018 he has been responsible for DAZN in the German-speaking region and is driving the expansion of the streaming business in sports with verve. He makes it clear on Twitter that de Buhr is not only connected to sport: proud husband & dad is written on his profile. That comes first.
Karolina Decker has a degree in economics and worked for large financial institutions for many years. In 2017, she ventured into self-employment with her start-up Finmarie. In seminars, individual coaching sessions and corporate training, she explains the basic rules of good investment to women - whether young or old, single or married. Her guiding principle: clear words instead of banker's jargon should help close the wealth gap between men and women.
Michael Diederich, born in 1965, has been spokesman of the board of Hypo-Vereinsbank, a subsidiary of the Italian Unicredit Group, since January 2018. Prior to that, he was responsible for the investment banking division of the bank. His conviction is that investment banking must first and foremost serve corporate customers. Diederich is regarded as a banker of modern character: approachable, conscientious, respectful.
Herbert Diess, born in 1958, is a man who never rests. As Chairman of the Board of Management, the mechanical engineer is radically pushing the Volkswagen Group towards electromobility, against reservations and resistance even within his own company. And in his private life it's similar: kite surfing, paragliding, mountain biking and of course mountaineering, he tries it all. And pausing on a summit, he once said, is not really his thing: because the next one is already beckoning.
Martin Eisenhut, born in 1963, finds Digitalization changes everything and at the same time offers huge opportunities. Nevertheless, it must not be an end in itself and must offer added value. Since the end of 2016, Eisenhut, who holds a doctorate in natural sciences, has been Managing Director at Kearney, responsible for business in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. He looks back on almost 25 years in the consulting business and has held positions at Roland Berger, Oliver Wyman and Deloitte.
Maria Ferraro, born in 1973, is an international manager in the truest sense of the word. Born in Canada, Italian family background, from Nortel Networks in Canada to Paris, then on to Siemens. In spring 2020, she became Chief Financial Officer of Siemens Energy in Germany, and in autumn she also became Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer. The most important woman in her life? Maria Iannuzzi, her southern Italian grandmother. A strong woman, says Ferraro. About money, the financier says: "Cash is king, or cash is queen, the main thing is to have cash!"
He has remained true to his company: Wolfgang Fink has been working for the American investment bank Goldman Sachs since 1993. After studying economics in Vienna, starting his career in London and holding various management positions, including in investment banking in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe, Wolfgang Fink is now head of Germany at Goldman Sachs. As CEO, he is responsible for the business in Germany and Austria.
Marcel Fratzscher, born in 1971, is omnipresent. The president of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) tweets, writes columns and essays. Time and again, the economist comments on the question of how fairly income and wealth are distributed. His current book "The German Illusion" analyses Germany's role in Europe. Fratzscher is also in demand as an advisor, for example on the advisory board of the Federal Ministry of Economics.
After ten years in management consulting, Heike Freund, born in 1984, has been managing director at the cleantech startup Marvel Fusion since last year. The company wants to build a research facility for a laser-based fusion power plant - and thus offer a CO2-free energy solution in the long term.
Robert Friedmann, born in 1966, is loyalty to the Group personified. The business administration graduate took up his first position at Würth immediately after completing his business studies. With the exception of a seven-year intermezzo at the subsidiary Hahn+Kolb, Friedmann has worked for the Swabian screw specialist ever since. He has been the Chairman of the Central Managing Board since 2005.
Uwe Fröhlich, born in 1960, has been one of two bosses of what is now Germany's second-largest bank for two and a half years. Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank, as it is known in full, takes on everything that the 850 or so Volks- Raiffeisen- and Spardabanks cannot do themselves. Fröhlich's career in the sector began in 2001 as a board member of Berliner Volksbank.
For many years, the finance scientist from Westphalia, who is pronounced with a long "u" rather than an "ü", born in 1968, has been an established figure in German economic policy. Formerly as a German professor in Oxford, which is rare enough, and now as president of the Munich ifo Institute. Moderate in tone, but persistent in his approach, the member of numerous advisory committees represents a consistent market economy course.
Ursula Gather is a statistician and was rector of Dortmund Technical University. Since 2013 she has watched over the Krupp Foundation, thyssenkrupp's biggest shareholder, as Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees. The foundation uses dividends from the steel company to promote science, culture and health in the Ruhr region. But the worse Thyssenkrupp gets, the harder this task becomes.
Nicole Gerhardt, born in 1970, is the Chief Human Resources Officer at the telecommunications group Telefónica Deutschland. The sustainable orientation towards the digital future and the necessary transformation of the company are the focus of her range of tasks. Shaping the transformation responsibly, in balance with employees and company interests, is a central concern for her. Before joining Telefónica Deutschland, the fully qualified lawyer held similar positions at Pro7/Sat1 and Vodafone.
Pierre Godart, 1966, head of Germany for the rocket manufacturer Ariane Group, is having to show a lot of patience right now. The new Ariane 6 launcher was supposed to take off for the first time in 2020 - due to the pandemic and technical delays, it could now even be autumn 2022. But the passionate mountaineer brought a lot of stamina with him when he became head of the German Ariane Group and CFO of the group in 2015. He is annoyed, however, that competitor SpaceX offers its rocket at dumping prices, as he says, the Frenchman therefore demands fair competition. Godart would also like to launch astronauts with a converted Ariane so that Europe could continue the humanistic tradition of exploration and discovery independently of the US. "The new frontier of the 21st century is now outer space," he says.
Veronika Grimm, born in 1971, has held the Chair of Economics and Economic Theory at Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg since 2008. She works a lot on energy and environmental issues. Since 2020, she has been a member of the German Council of Economic Experts, which advises the German government on economic issues.
Karl Haeusgen, born in 1966, studied business administration at the University of St. Gallen, joined the family-owned company Hawe Hydraulik SE in 1994 and later became CEO. The medium-sized company is a globally active supplier of hydraulic components for industry. In 2019, Haeusgen stepped down from operational management and moved to the supervisory board. In October 2020, he was then elected head of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), which is considered the largest industrial association in Europe.
Christian Hecker, born in 1989, is one of three founders of the neobroker Trade Republic, one of the most successful German fintech companies in recent years. Trade Republic makes it possible to buy and sell shares and funds cheaply and easily via smartphone. The number of customers rose from 150,000 to 600,000 in 2020. Hecker studied business administration, philosophy and art history. His goal is to become Germany's largest brokerage provider.
Marianne Janik, born in 1965, not only has two citizenships, but also worked for Microsoft in two countries. The German-Frenchwoman ran the business in Switzerland for five years, and in 2020 she took over as managing director of Microsoft Germany. When she moved, however, Janik, nicknamed "Speedy", had to slow down first: Because of the Corona pandemic, she manages a team of around 3000 people from her Swiss home office, most of whom Janik only knows from the screen.
born in 1981, is co-founder of the German technology manufacturer Myra Security. Since 2012, the company has been using its services to protect digital applications from attacks from the web. Customers include, for example, the Sparkassen financial portal and Trade Republic. The public sector also relies on Myra's services: among other things, the technologies protect the websites and digital services of the German Federal Government and provide digital security at the ECB. As an entrepreneur, sustainable business models and a focus on team leadership are important to him.
Mathieu Klein, born in 1976, almost became a priest, but then changed his mind. In Nancy, Klein first studied history, then sociology, and joined the Socialist Party while still a student. He joined the Socialist Party as mayor of Nancy in July 2020.
Michael Kliger moved from Ebay to the designer fashion retailer Mytheresa.com in March 2015, which went public in New York in January 2021. Kliger's responsibilities include the Theresa flagship store in Munich. He previously headed the retail division in Germany at the consulting firm McKinsey, sales at the hypermarket Real and was a manager at Accenture.
Carsten Knobel, born in 1969, is a true Henkel man. That's what the employees of the Dax company around brands like Persil, Pritt or Schwarzkopf like to call themselves. Knobel, who was born in Marburg, joined Henkel in 1995 after completing his studies, made a career in the cosmetics division and joined the executive board in 2012. Since 2020, the father of two has led the Düsseldorf-based company, the majority of which still belongs to the founding family.
Manfred Knof, born in 1965, dares to perform a balancing act. As CEO of the loss-making Commerzbank, he is cutting jobs and branches because the bank urgently needs to save money, while at the same time investing in digitalisation. Before taking the helm at the "Yellow" bank, the doctor of law was head of private and corporate customers at Deutsche Bank and head of Germany at Allianz.
Martin Kocher, born in 1973, was a university professor of behavioral economics with applications to economic policy in Austria at the Institute of Economics as well as at the Vienna Center for Experimental Economics at the University of Vienna. In 2016, he was appointed director at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), one of the economic research institutes in Austria. He also served as president of the Fiscal Council, which oversees government debt. Following the resignation of his predecessor over a plagiarism scandal, Kocher was unexpectedly appointed Federal Minister of Labor in January 2021.
Carla Kriwet, born in 1971, studied business administration and then worked at Linde, Drägerwerk and Philips. There she was most recently a member of the Group Executive Board, based in Boston, before moving to BSH-Hausgeräte, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bosch, as the new head of the company. Kriwet is also involved with Save the Children.
Dr Joachim Kuhn, born in 1964, has a doctorate in physics and is co-founder of the Würzburg-based company Va-Q-Tec. It produces, sells and rents boxes and containers in which the contents can be stored and transported at stable temperatures for several days and also plays an important role in the transport of vaccines against the coronavirus. For him, facts and figures count.
Berit Lange, born in 1982, is an academic globetrotter: she began her medical studies in Freiburg, but stations also took her to Santiago de Chile, Madrid and Lima. She earned her Master's degree in epidemiology in London. Since 2019, Lange has been head of clinical epidemiology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig.
Ursula von der Leyen, born in 1958, has been President of the EU Commission since December 2019. Previously, the CDU politician had been a federal minister since 2005 - first responsible for family policy, then labour and social affairs, and finally defence. A doctor of medicine, she was born in Brussels, as her father Ernst Albrecht - later Minister President of Lower Saxony - worked there at the Commission at the time.
This time, governing should work out. The FDP party leader, born in 1979, has discovered a love for the traffic light coalition with the SPD and the Greens. The road for his party to a possible SPD chancellor Scholz was long, but Lindner has promised that it will be worth it. There are to be super write-offs, no bans on climate protection, more liberal approaches. And, if he has his way - Lindner in the Ministry of Finance, where he watches over state finances.
Carsten Linnemann, born in 1977, has deep roots in the region where he grew up. In his native city of Paderborn, the CDU politician first studied business administration and later earned a doctorate in economics. Since 2018, Linnemann has been deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, and has also been an elected member of the CDU executive committee since the beginning of this year. So he probably doesn't have much time to follow the games of his favorite club - although Linnemann has also been vice president of SC Paderborn since 2018.
Udo Littke started at Siemens in 1989, and that probably never hurts if you want to get ahead in life. His tasks there: controlling, service and sales, IT. In 2011, he moved on to Atos, where he now heads the Central Europe region. The digitalisation expert said most recently: Quantum computers could also help to curb climate change.
Mairead McGuinness, geb. 1959, hat in Dublin Agrarökonomie, Buchhaltung und Finanzwesen studiert. Ins Berufsleben startete sie zunächst als Journalistin für das Irish Farmer’s Journal und später u.a. auch als Moderatorin der Reality-TV-Show „Celebrity Farm“. Im Jahr 2004 wechselte sie als Politikerin ins Europaparlament, wo sie sich bis zur Vizepräsidentin hocharbeitete, bevor sie im September 2020 in die EU-Kommission berufen wurde.
Simone Menne, born in 1960, is a member of the supervisory boards of Henkel, Deutsche Post DHL, JCI and Russell Reynolds. She also runs an art gallery in Kiel and is president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany e.V. She publishes and lectures on digitization and women in leadership positions in business. The business economist studied in Kiel and first worked for the American industrial company ITT Corporation. Later, she headed the finance and accounting department at Lufthansa Technik AG. From 2016 to 2017, she was Chief Financial Officer at the pharmaceutical group Boehringer Ingelheim.
Dirk Messner, born in 1962, has been President of the Federal Environment Agency since January 2020. He studied political science and economics at Freie Universität Berlin and Sogang University in Seoul. Habilitated in Berlin with the thesis "Challenges of Globalization in South America." He later became director of the German Development Institute, vice president of the United Nations University in Bonn and was a member of the German government's Scientific Advisory Board on Global Change for 15 years. Messner is convinced that the CO2 price for coal, oil and gas must rise significantly in order to achieve the climate targets.
Tina Müller, born in 1968, started as a trainee at cosmetics manufacturer L'Oréal in 1993 after studying business and economics, then worked for Wella and Henkel. In 2013, she surprisingly moved to Opel as head of marketing, where she became the first woman on the carmaker's board of management and repositioned the brand, among other things with the sensational "Umparken im Kopf" campaign. Since the end of 2017, she has been CEO of the Douglas perfumery chain.
Victoria Ossadnik, born in 1968, is to make Germany's largest energy group fit for the future. After holding positions at Oracle and Microsoft, among others, the doctor of physics has been a member of the E.ON Board of Management since April 2021, where she is responsible for the digitalisation and IT strategy of the Essen-based DAX company.
The Swede Niklas Östberg, born in 1980, founded Delivery Hero in Berlin ten years ago - a global online network for ordering food. In 2021, the company wants to re-enter the German market with a quick-commerce offer.
Michael Otto, born in 1943, was Chairman of the Executive Board from 1981 to 2007 and is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Otto Group. The son of the company's founder Werner Otto built it up into a globally operating mail-order company and internet retailer. His honorary commitments include honorary chairmanship of the board of trustees of the environmental foundation WWF Germany. Otto is also president of the 2° Foundation, which advocates a transformation to a CO2-neutral economy.
Eva van Pelt can talk about pipette tips with enthusiasm. A system-relevant product in the pandemic, for example for evaluating corona tests. The Hamburg family-owned company Eppendorf, of which she is co-chairwoman, manufactures such products and many others that are needed in laboratories. She has adopted the founders' mission to improve people's living conditions.
Markus Pertlwieser, born in 1974, has been head of the digital bank Penta, which specialises in corporate clients, since this spring. Before that, the graduate industrial engineer was head of digital at Deutsche Bank. With 130 employees and 25,000 business customers, Penta is one of the larger institutions in this field. Its services include the classic business account, connection to several accounting clouds as well as other services such as the KfW loan, credit brokerage or commercial insurance.
Reinhard Ploss, born in 1955, studied process engineering at the Technical University of Munich and started working for the then semiconductor division of Siemens in 1986. It was floated on the stock exchange as an independent company under the name Infineon in 2000. In 2007, Ploss became the Infineon board member responsible for production and technology, and then CEO in 2012. He focused Infineon on special semiconductors and made targeted acquisitions. Today, the DAX-listed company is one of the ten largest chip corporations in the world.
Adam Posen, born in 1966, has been president of the Peterson Institute since 2013. The influential think tank in Washington intervenes in global economic policy debates with many concrete proposals. Before Posen went into policy consulting, he worked for the U.S. Federal Reserve and the British central bank.
Carola Rackete, (born 1988), comes from a small town near Hanover - but she hasn't been there much in recent years: As a captain, she now travels the world, her self-proclaimed mission in life is to rescue those in distress on the Mediterranean. She became famous when she steered a ship with dozens of refugees on board into the port of Lampedusa - without permission.
Suzanna Randall, born in 1979, wants to go into space at all costs - ever since she was a child. "When I was a teenager, I told everyone that I would be the first woman on Mars," the Cologne native told the SZ in spring. In 2008, the European Space Agency Esa was looking for astronauts, but the astrophysicist was kicked out of the first tests "because I was too naive", as she says. Now she is one of two candidates for a private flight to the ISS space station in the initiative "The Astronaut". It remains unclear whether she will actually be allowed to fly. Until then, the enthusiastic paraglider pilot works at the European Southern Observatory Eso near Munich and makes programmes for a ZDF science channel on YouTube.
He leads a unicorn at the reins: Hanno Renner, born in 1990, is the boss and co-founder of Personio. The industrial engineering graduate built the start-up, which has developed an operating system for HR management, especially for SMEs, with four colleagues in Munich in 2015. In 2019, a consulting firm predicted a billion-dollar valuation, unicorn status in founder-speak, within two years. In January 2021, this goal was achieved. The next is to become an SAP for HR professionals.
Daniel Risch, born in 1978, holds a doctorate in economics. He was elected head of government of the Principality of Liechtenstein in March 2021. Previously, the politician of the Vaterländische Union (VU) worked as a consultant in e-business, as well as Chief Marketing Officer of the Liechtensteiner Post AG. As head of government, he is also finance minister of the small alpine country.
SPD politician Olaf Scholz, born in 1958, is the likely future chancellor of the Federal Republic. The prerequisite for this is that the coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP, which is currently being negotiated, comes into being. As a candidate for chancellor in the Bundestag election, he ran a calm, serious campaign that, surprisingly for many, made the SPD the strongest party with 25.7 percent. Previously, Scholz was vice chancellor and federal finance minister in Angela Merkel's fourth cabinet. He governed as mayor of Hamburg from 2011 to 2018, and was federal minister of labor and social affairs from 2007 to 2009.
Born in 1962, he joined CRM market leader and cloud provider Salesforce in 2007 after working at Boole and Babbage, Veritas Software and Symantec. He is now Executive Vice President Sales and responsible for the Salesforce business in Germany and Austria. Schreiner also supports various projects in the areas of education and integration and is specifically committed to improving education in STEM subjects.
Markus Söder almost became the CDU/CSU's candidate for chancellor in 2021, when he would have had a good chance of succeeding Angela Merkel. Many in the CDU are still mourning the missed opportunity. In the CSU, whose chairman the Franconian from Nuremberg has been since 2019, anyway. But Söder has also always stated that the office of Minister President in the Free State of Bavaria was his life's goal. He achieved that on March 16, 2018; since then, his profile and influence have been increasing nationwide. Politically, Söder is always good for a surprise, and the next one is sure to come soon.
Jens Spahn, born in 1980, comes from an area so sparsely populated that nuclear waste has been stored there for a long time: Ahaus in Westphalia. He has never lacked ambition. Wolfgang Schäuble (recognized the talent and) brought him into the Federal Ministry of Finance as state secretary in 2015. As health minister, Spahn was usually at the forefront of the Corona crisis. He is vice chairman of the CDU.
Ivo Totev, born in 1967, has spent his entire professional life in the IT industry. He currently manages day-to-day operations at the Nuremberg-based open source software company Suse. The son of two orchestra musicians, he previously worked at SAP, Software AG and Sun Microsystems, among others, where he also spent some time living and working in Silicon Valley.
Only about a year ago, Tobias Warweg was on the board of the Haftpflichtverband der Deutschen Industrie. Just over a year later, however, Warweg is managing partner of the GGW Group - one of the large, independent and owner-managed industrial insurance brokers in Germany. His vision: "We are building the leading owner-managed insurance broker for German SMEs, no more and no less".
Ralf Wintergerst, born in 1962, has been CEO of Giesecke + Devrient since 2016. He has worked for the group, which specialises in banknotes, smart cards and IT security, since 1998. Giesecke + Devrient produces around five billion banknotes a year in 80 to 100 currencies around the world. Wintergerst holds several offices in cyber security and is a member of the executive committee of the digital association Bitkom. The business economist practised karate as a competitive sport in his younger years; he was German champion several times and became European champion in 1990. "In karate you fight alone, in your job you fight together," he says.
Marc Beise, born in Mainz in 1959, has been working for the Süddeutsche Zeitung since 1999, initially as deputy head of the business editorial department. In 2007 he became its head. He manages the department together with Ulrich Schäfer. He learned journalism at the Offenbach-Post, where his last position was head of the politics, economics and news department. He later wrote for the Handelsblatt for four years, most recently as head of the Economic Policy department. He studied law and economics in Frankfurt, Lausanne and Tübingen and received his doctorate on the World Trade Organization. He is the author of five economics books. His most recent publication is "Deutschland digital - Unsere Antwort auf das Silicon Valley" (2016).
Bastian Brinkmann is deputy head of the business editorial department of the Süddeutsche Zeitung. He was born in 1988 in NRW, grew up near Berlin, and has worked in Dublin and Brussels. Cologne School of Journalism. Studied economics and political science in Cologne and South Korea.
Caspar Busse, born in 1966, has been writing for the Süddeutsche Zeitung since 2005, both on economic and media topics. He also coordinates the SZ's reporting on companies, both large and small. Prior to that, he worked for the Handelsblatt for more than ten years, including as a correspondent in Berlin and as office manager in Munich. After graduating in economics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, he completed journalistic training at the Georg-von-Holtzbrinck-School for Business Journalists in Düsseldorf.
Joachim Dorfs, born in 1964, has been Editor-in-Chief of the Stuttgarter Zeitung since 2008. The economics graduate previously worked for 17 years at Handelsblatt, most recently as Deputy Editor-in-Chief. For the business newspaper, the Essen native reported from Washington and five years from Paris, among other places. In the meantime, he headed the corporate department. In the course of several trips to Asia, he published the book "Die Herausforderer - 25 neue Weltkonzerne, mit denen wir rechnen müssen" ("The challengers - 25 new global corporations we have to reckon with"), which deals with up-and-coming companies from emerging markets. In his spare time, he plays moderate sports and cooks for his wife and two daughters. He also follows the tough sporting fortunes of his home clubs Rot-Weiß Essen and Schwarz-Weiß Essen.
Alexandra Föderl-Schmid, born in 1971, has been Deputy Editor-in-Chief since July 2020. Before that she was correspondent for Israel and the Palestinian territories. She joined the Süddeutsche Zeitung in 2017. Prior to that, she was editor-in-chief for ten years and later also co-publisher of the Austrian daily newspaper Der Standard and the news portal derStandard.at. She studied journalism, political science and history and received her doctorate on the dual broadcasting system in Germany. She was also a Reuters/APA-Geiringer Fellow in 2005 and is on the board of the Reuters Institute for the Study in Journalism in Oxford. She has been awarded the Austrian Kurt Vorhofer Prize for Political Journalism, the Austrian Constitutional Prize and the Ari Rath Prize. She was also instrumental in the re-establishment of the Press Council in Austria.
The mechanical engineer (born 1965 in Freiberg, Saxony) was so fascinated by the spirit of social change after the fall of the Berlin Wall that she turned to journalism. She described the changes in the East German economy for all-German specialist publishers. After the turn of the millennium, she worked for Die Zeit, Der Spiegel and the Financial Times.
Wolfgang Krach, born 1963 in Regensburg, began his journalistic career as a volunteer and local editor at the "Donaukurier" in Ingolstadt. After studying philosophy at the University of Philosophy in Munich, he was the regional political correspondent for the "Donaukurier" in Munich. In 1993 he became a political reporter for the "Stern", in 1997 he changed to the "SPIEGEL". There he was deputy head of the Berlin office, then head of the Germany department at the SPIEGEL headquarters in Hamburg. From there he moved to the SZ in Munich in 2003 as head of the newsdesk. In 2007 he was appointed deputy editor-in-chief. Since April 1, 2015 he has been editor-in-chief.
Ulrich Schäfer, born 1967 in Telgte, has been working for the SZ since 2003, initially as deputy head of the parliamentary office in Berlin. From 2007 to 2010, he headed the economics editorial office together with Marc Beise, was then responsible for the regional editions of the SZ for three years and then returned to the economics editorial office as department head. From April 2019 to July 2020 he was head of news at SZ. Since mid-July 2020 he has been deputy editor-in-chief of the SZ. He learned journalism at the Münstersche Zeitung, later he worked for seven years as business editor for the SPIEGEL. He studied economics and is the author of three economics books. His most recent publication was "Deutschland digital - Unsere Antwort auf das Sillicon Valley" (2016).
Judith Wittwer is the first woman to head Süddeutsche Zeitung. Since July 2020, she has been leading the editorial team of Germany's largest subscription daily newspaper together with Wolfgang Krach. Previously, the 43-year-old Swiss was editor-in-chief of the Zurich Tages-Anzeiger. From 2011 to 2014, she worked as business editor for Axel Springer Verlag's Handelszeitung. Wittwer studied International Relations at the University of St. Gallen (HSG) and completed diploma training at MAZ - The Swiss School of Journalism. She is married and the mother of two daughters.
We discussed together with our guests and our participants on site, as well as with all those who followed the conference digitally, via our conference platform.
Primarily, the SZ-Wirtschaftsgipfel traditionally takes place at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, directly at the Brandenburg Tor. Also this year we produced the summit live on site, our participants had the possibility to participate interactively digitally or live in Berlin. A limited number of participants was present on site in Berlin and was able to follow the conference live as usual from previous years.
Parallel to this, digital guests were also able to follow all the panels on the Adlon stage digitally, take part in the voting, join in the discussion, talk to our speakers and exchange ideas with participants.
In addition, your registration includes six months' access (or three months' access for digital participation) to all digital contents of the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ Plus) from the date of the event. This access is included in the purchase price, ends automatically and can be used on up to five terminals.
Here on the review page you will find all highlight impressions of three days of summit and two evening events.
Every year, over 60 top executives from the worlds of business, politics, culture, science and sport take part in the panel discussion. Here you can find all the speakers who have spoken at Germany’s major business conference since 2007.