"2021: The way out of the crisis"

16 to 18 November 2020 in Berlin and as Digital Conference

The year 2020 will go down as one of the most difficult years for society, the economy and politics. At the end of this year, we want to look ahead, so our motto is: “2021: The way out of the crisis”. Together with you, we want to discuss what 2021 will be important – and we can’t wait to update you on the new developments regarding the program of the conference in November in Berlin.

Register now and take part!

Register now for the 14th SZ Wirtschaftsgipfel from November 16 to 18, 2020.

The conference

Instead of lengthy lectures, the SZ-Wirtschaftsgipfel offers varied discussions, cross-examinations and debates, moderated by leading editors of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.


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In times of the current crisis it is obvious that we are experiencing a radical change. Health and safety, digitalisation and work, environment and sustainability – these are the topics that the SZ-Wirtschaftsgipfel 2020 will address in an overarching manner. The motto is written all by itself: “2021: The way out of the crisis.” We are currently still busy with the exact planning of the topics and are looking forward to reporting to you soon here more about the plans for the conference in November in Berlin.

All information in the program

All information in the program

In the program PDF you will find all current information on the program, the locations and the speakers of the SZ-Wirtschaftsgipfel.


This year again more than 70 top-class speakers from politics, business, science and culture will take part.

Simone Bagel-Trah
Simone Bagel-Trah


Simone Bagel-Trah


Simone Bagel-Trah, as head of the supervisory board, watches over Henkel, the parent company of brands such as Persil and Pritt. The great-great-granddaughter of founder Fritz Henkel, born in Düsseldorf, also represents, as Chairwoman of the Shareholders' Committee, the ramified Henkel family, which holds a good 61 percent of the group's shares. In addition, the doctor of biology is co-founder of the small company Antiinfectives Intelligence in Rheinbach near Bonn, which researches and describes drugs.

Benedikt Müller
Alexander Birken
Alexander Birken

Otto Group

Alexander Birken

Otto Group

Alexander Birken, born in Hamburg in 1964, has been CEO of the Otto Group since the beginning of 2017. Birken began his career at Philips Medical Systems after studying business administration. In 1991, he moved to Otto, where he initially worked in controlling, and from 1999 onwards he was head of the group's worldwide investment controlling. From 2002 to 2004, he was COO of the Spiegel Group mail-order company in Chicago, before becoming a member of the Otto Executive Board in 2005. As CEO, he wants to establish the family company Otto as the German alternative to Amazon - and in return, he is cancelling what has fallen out of time: the printed Otto catalog, actually almost a piece of German cultural heritage, was discontinued under his aegis. The future is digital, and Alexander Birken knows no place for sentimentality.

Angelika Slavik
Saskia Biskup
Saskia Biskup


Saskia Biskup


The doctor with two doctorates and a passionate tennis player decided in 2009 to bring the expensive high-speed gene analysis from the universities into her own company: Together with her husband Dirk, she founded CeGaT, a company that examines all human genes, enabling rapid diagnoses and the precise treatment of many tumour diseases. She now has 230 employees and was awarded the EU Innovation Prize for Women 2014 by the EU Commission.

Max Hägler
Sophie Boissard
Sophie Boissard


Sophie Boissard

Martin Brudermüller
Martin Brudermüller


Martin Brudermüller


Martin Brudermüller, born in Stuttgart in 1961, grew up in Karlsruhe. His mother was a housewife, his father a nuclear physicist. At home there was much discussion about natural sciences. Brudermüller wanted to become a surgeon for a while, but then decided to study chemistry. Even as a doctoral student he attended a holiday course for young scientists at BASF. He then applied there and worked his way up to the Board of Executive Directors, which he has chaired since May 2018.

Elisabeth Dostert
Rolf Buch
Rolf Buch


Rolf Buch


Rolf Buch is the boss of Germany's largest landlord Vonovia. Under Buch, the former German Annington has taken over competitors, hatched new building plans, expanded abroad and renovated tens of thousands of apartments. But regular rent increases and increases in value also cause resentment among politicians and tenants' associations. Prior to his move to the real estate industry in 2013, Buch, who studied mechanical engineering, made a career at Bertelsmann.

Benedikt Müller
Valentina Daiber
Valentina Daiber

Telefónica Deutschland

Valentina Daiber

Vorstand Recht und Corporate Affairs, Telefónica Deutschland

born in 1967, is Board Member for Legal and Corporate Affairs and thus the Chief Legal Officer of Telefónica Germany. In addition to areas such as compliance or the company's regulatory work, her responsibilities also include relations with authorities and government agencies. She studied in Saarbrücken and took her second state examination at the Zweibrücken/Pfalz Higher Regional Court.

Fabio de Masi
Fabio de Masi

Mitglied im Bundestag

Fabio de Masi

Mitglied im Bundestag, Fraktion DIE LINKE

Fabio De Masi, Jahrgang 1980, stellvertretender Vorsitzender der Bundestagsfraktion Die Linke, beschritt den ungeraden Karriereweg. Erst auf dem Bau gejobbt, später im Call Center und als Kloputzer, dazu ein Ökonomiestudium. In der Politik geht es ihm um die Interessen der kleinen Leute. Manchmal denkt er dabei an seinen italienischen Großvater: Der kämpfte als Partisan gegen die Faschisten.

Markus Zydra


Health and Safety
Digitalisation and Work
Environment and Sustainability

Each item on the program will follow one of the three main themes that run like a thread through our program and which we consider to be central for the coming year. We will talk about how Corona is accelerating digitalisation and changing the way we work, what will become of the climate debate, what mobility, food, living and travel will look like in the future. We debate about innovation management, fake news, hate speech and what the net does to us, and of course, we also deal with the results of the US election.

Monday, November 16, 2020
  • Health and safety, the big corona overview
  • Corona in public space
  • How has Corona accelerated digitalisation?
  • A group between profit and the common good
  • What will become of the environmental and climate debate?
  • Evening Talk
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
  • Politics between science and industry - experiences from the Corona crisis
  • This is how innovations are created: The search for the vaccine.
  • Living, eating, travelling after Corona
  • Generation Talk
  • The financial system in its greatest challenge
  • Fake News, Hate News, Privacy - What does the net do to us?
  • "Working after the crisis" - How Corona forces us to "New Work"
  • Who may still work, who may still lead
  • Europe and the world
  • European Economy Night
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
  • How does the German car industry survive
  • Is the state a good entrepreneur?
  • Purpose, purpose, purpose - what does my company stand for
  • Does lobbyism determine economic policy?
  • The way to 2030: the trends of the decade

Participate now without risk

Register now and benefit from our modified cancellation conditions. For all events planned in 2020, the processing fee for cancellations of participant tickets will be waived from 01.04.2020. Up to 14 days before the event you have the opportunity to change your mind free of charge and cancel your participation on site.

Event information

Monday, 16 November to Wednesday, 18 November 2020

The SZ-Wirtschaftsgipfel traditionally takes place in the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, directly at the Brandenburg Gate. This year, we will not only offer an evening event in another location, but will also bring the entire conference to the web as a digital event.

Due to our hygiene concept, fewer guests will be able to attend the SZ-Wirtschaftsgipfel live on site. This offers our guests exclusive opportunities to talk to our speakers. The lunch breaks will be hosted by exciting table captains and will allow an intensive networking.

For all those who cannot be present on site, there are two possibilities to participate virtually: Every day we offer our digital participants exclusively at least three curated, short “suite talks” as well as digital networking sessions on various topics in smaller groups. Parallel to this, all podiums can be followed virtually, voting can take place, participate in the discussion and contact all participants directly (including our guests on site).

In the free basic version, our guests can follow all content live in the stream as before.

Overview of the locations

Hotel Adlon Kempinski, Berlin
The legendary Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin is located in the heart of Berlin, directly at the Brandenburg Gate, and only a few steps away from the government quarter.

dress code: business casual

Museum für Kommunikation
Nacht der Europäischen Wirtschaft, 17. November 2020

Dresscode: Business Casual

Room reservation

Room rates: Single room from 285 € incl. breakfast plus VAT

Please note: The room allotments are available until eight weeks before the event begins. Bookings after this date can only be made subject to availability.

Please reserve under the keyword “SZ-Wirtschaftsgipfel”
Participation fee #onSite
full participation:
3.445,- Euro plus VAT

This includes participation on site in Berlin, access to the conference zap, all streams and online formats, refreshments, lunch and participation in the evening events.

The conference addresses executive boards, supervisory boards, managing directors, top executives and entrepreneurs.
Participation fee #digital
digital participation:
299,- Euro. plus VAT.
digital start-up participation:
149,- Euro. plus VAT.

Included in this is access to the conference zap, all streams and online formats.

If you register virtually now, you can switch to a live ticket at any time (if available). If the ticket is exchanged for a regular on-site participation, the digital ticket price will be credited in full.
We request your registration via the button "registration". Upon receipt of your registration we will send you a confirmation of registration and an invoice, which you should settle before the start of the event. Cancellations and registrations must always be made in writing. The organizer reserves the right to relocate, change or cancel the entire event or individual parts of it at short notice.

Tickets for participation on site in Berlin are unfortunately already sold out due to the necessary distance requirement and the resulting limited number of participants. Register now for a digital participation and convert your ticket automatically if you would like to be there live and we are allowed to increase the number of participants!

SZ Plus

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 devices.

The following hygiene concept should take care of your health:

  • Minimum distance of 1.5 metres (5 ft) between participants in meeting rooms
  • Ready supply of disinfectants and masks (covering mouth and nose)
  • Wearing of masks (covering mouth and nose) when required
  • Refraining from shaking hands
  • Complying with strict hygiene rules (constant cleaning of communal facilities and contact areas)
  • Recording of comprehensive contact details upon entering and leaving the venue to enable potentially necessary contact tracing
  • Avoiding clusters of people through controlled access
  • Ventilating meeting rooms sufficiently and regularly
  • You cannot take part in an event if you have either had contact with a Covid-19 positive person within the last 14 days, or if you show signs of a respiratory infection or if you have travelled to a risk area


The SZ-Wirtschaftsgipfel is supported by

Review 2019

Strong together!
That was the motto of the SZ-Wirtschaftsgipfel 2019

80 speakers, 30 large and small panels, keynotes, debates, cross-examinations, etc. – 35 hours program!
Review 2019

From 2007 until today

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.

All speakers