Our topics include 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 looks 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 looks at the first year of the presidencies of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Speakers and presenters assess the state of Germany’s still most important sector, industry, and discuss 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 will deliberately not be taken up as a separate topic, but will be embedded in all discussion formats. We will highlight only the most exciting area of digitization at the moment, namely AI and the power of data.
Be curious about the program points and our top-class guests on the topics!
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.
Rainer Beaujean, born in 1968, started at Deutsche Telekom after studying business administration and became CEO of the internet provider T-Online in 2004. He then changed industries several times, working for a crane manufacturer and a packaging specialist. In 2019 he joined the Munich-based TV company Pro Sieben Sat 1, in March 2020 he became CEO and is now changing the strategy, back to the core business, is the motto.
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.
Melissa Di Donato, born in 1973, has spent her entire career in IT. Via IBM, Oracle, Salesforce and SAP, she finally came to Suse in 2019. Born in the US, she is the first woman to head the open source company and has brought about a number of cultural changes there. In her adopted home of the UK, she was ranked among the ten most influential women in the tech industry for years.
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.
Saori Dubourg, born in Augsburg in 1971, joined BASF's Board of Executive Directors in May and is responsible for the global businesses in the Agricultural Solutions, Nutrition & Health and Care Chemicals divisions. She is also responsible for the Europe region, the startup trinamiX and the BASF Sustainability Board. The graduate in business administration has been with the company since 1996.
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.
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.
Ursula Gather, born in 1953, is a mathematics professor and was rector of the Technical University of Dortmund. Since 2013, she has watched over the Krupp Foundation, thyssenkrupp's largest shareholder, as chair of the board of trustees. The foundation uses dividends from the steel company to promote science, culture and sport 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
He has conquered the long-distance bus market with his company: André Schwämmlein, born in 1981, founded the market leader Flixbus with two university friends. The industrial engineer gained his expertise in his own IT consulting firm KS Consulting and then as a strategy consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.
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.
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 discuss together with our guests and our participants on site, as well as with all those who want to follow the conference digitally, via our congress platform.
Primarily, the SZ-Wirtschaftsgipfel traditionally takes place at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, directly at the Brandenburg Tor. Also this year we will produce the summit live on site, our participants have the possibility to participate interactively digitally or live in Berlin. A limited number of participants will be present on site in Berlin and will be able to follow the conference live as usual from previous years.
Parallel to this, digital guests will also be 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 the free basic version, you can follow the Adlon Stage program live in the stream as before.
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 videos of the Adlon stage and impressions, including a look behind the scenes of the live production.
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.