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"The principle of sustainability is the only option for responsible global action; it protects our eco-systems and thus ensures the survival of generations to come."

Olaf Tschimpke, Deputy Chairman of the Council

Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development,
27 September 2010 in Berlin

"Resetting the clocks: 2050"

Resetting the clocks: 2050 - © Photo: photocase/fotosearch

10th Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development

Berlin Congress Center (bcc)
Alexanderstraße 11, D-10178 Berlin
8.15 a.m. to approx. 7 p.m.
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Programme (PDF, 1.4 MB, version of 25 Sep. 2010) | Text version of the agenda


We often tend to believe that the year 2050 is still far away – but it is not: the children we are sending to school every morning will then make the crucial decisions in family, politics, society and businesses. Decisions we make today will influence them – whether in a positive or negative way, as a chance or burden, will depend entirely on us. Many important and topical issues are linked to the year 2050: climate protection, investments in buildings and infrastructure, impact assessment of demographic change, and, not least of all, fiscal intergenerational justice. The clocks are ticking. They demand grandchild-ready decisions.

The 10th Annual Conference is somewhat special:

  • The composition of the German Council for Sustainable Development will change in June and the new Council members will be introduced.
  • The Annual Conference represents the kick-off for the German contribution to the Rio plus 20 UN Conference announced for 2012.

Sustainability has to become more effective. Sustainability goals have to go beyond the year 2010. Our Annual Conference offers politically responsible players a platform to share and explain their ideas. They will, for instance, have their first chance in the run-up to the conference to participate in determining the topic, and in planning one of the six topical forums. We invite you to discuss the political perspective of sustainability with us; to ask what limits we face and what room for manoeuvre we have, if we jointly assume responsibility for the future.


Overall Chair:

               Nikolaus Brender, journalist
               Conny Czymoch, Anchorwomen, PHOENIX

08.15    Registration and Welcoming Coffee

09.00    Opening Address

               Dr. Günther Bachmann
               Secretary-General of the German Council for
               Sustainable Development

               Welcome Address

               Hans-Peter Repnik
               Chairman of the German Council for Sustainable Development

09.15    Panel with new Council Members

10.00    Sustainability and Human Rights*

               Prof. Dr. Olivier de Schutter
               United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

10.30    Coffee Break

11.00    Parallel Topical Forums

12.45    Lunch

14.00    Sustainable Development Policies of the German Government

               Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel

15.00    Workshop N

15.30    Coffee Break

16.00    Rio plus 20: Challenges ahead of us

               Global Sustainability
               Achim Steiner
               Executive Director of the United Nations Environment
               Programme (UNEP)

               followed by a panel discussion with
               Frank Bsirske
               President of the ver.di Trade Union
               Andreas Jung, MP
               Chairman of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for
               Sustainable Development of the German Bundestag
               Gudrun Kopp
               Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for
               Economic Cooperation and Development
               Klaus Milke
               Chairman of Germanwatch
               Hans-Peter Repnik
               Chairman of the German Council for Sustainable Development

17:30    Reception

*Lecture given in English with simultaneous translation

Parallel Topical Forums (11.00 – 12.45)

Forum 1) 2050: How to Fund Entrepreneurial Visions?
Sustainability and Capital Markets

Capital is volatile. There is a trend towards sustainability – but is it strong enough to fund effective future investments? This forum discusses alternatives to company evaluations with short-lived quarterly figures.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jörg Baetge, Head of the Research Team, Faculty of Economics, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU)

Ralf Frank, Managing Director, German Association for Financial Analysis and Asset Management (DVFA)

Claudia Kruse, Senior Governance and Sustainability Specialist, APG All Pension Group

Thorsten Pinkepank, Head of Sustainability Coordination, BASF

Chaired by: Marlehn Thieme, Member of the Council of Lutheran Churches in Germany (EKD), Director of the Deutsche Bank AG, Deputy Chairwoman of the Council for Sustainable Development

Forum 2) Carl von Carlowitz Lecture 2010:
“Economy. Science. Sustainability”

Will current paradigms of economics lead us into a sustainable future? – Prof. Dr. Carlo C. Jaeger, Head of the Department of Transdisciplinary Concepts and Methods at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), continues the Carl von Carlowitz lectures and puts the relationship between economics and sustainability to the test. Named after the originator of the German concept of sustainability, the Carl von Carlowitz lecture will bring together renowned scientists to discuss the fundamental aspects, ways and self-conception of sustainable development.

Chaired by: Prof. Dr. Lucia Reisch, Copenhagen Business School; Member of the German Council for Sustainable Development

Forum 3) 2050: the Future of Cities

Empty coffers, demographic change, globalisation pressure and climate change – cities are facing far-reaching changes. However, a policy that keeps the future in mind may open up new opportunities. What does looking at the year 2050 mean for local politics today? What course needs to be set by the cities today? How can cities enlarge their room for manoeuvre?

Ulrich Mädge, Lord Mayor of the City of Lüneburg

Hep Monatzeder, Third Mayor of the State Capital of Munich

Heiko Rosenthal, Mayor and Councillor of the City of Leipzig

Werner Spec, Lord Mayor of the City of Ludwigsburg

Chaired by: Conny Czymoch, Anchorwomen, PHOENIX

Forum 4) Quality of Labour – Quality of the Social Welfare State

The working world has undergone fundamental changes. It demands a high degree of flexibility and mobility from the workforce. Many perceive this as a burden. Significant parts of the population are running the risk of poverty. What should gainful employment, the working world and the social welfare state look like in order to serve people’s needs and to facilitate social cohesion and participation?

Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Jürgens, University of Kassel, Head of the Microsociology Department

Michael Kauch, MP, Chairman of the Federal Expert Committee for Social Affairs of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), Member of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Sustainable Development of the German Bundestag

Michael Vassiliadis, Chairman of the Industrial Union of Mining, Chemical and Energy (IG BCE) and Member of the German Council for Sustainable Development

Chaired by: Kirsten Frohnert, IFOK

Forum 5) The Human Right to Food as a Touchstone of Sustainable Development

Hunger and poverty are increasing worldwide. Poverty is still a potent environmental poison. What does a policy of sustainability have to do nationally as well as internationally if it makes the right to food the guiding principle for its action?

Dr. Jeroen Bordewijk, President of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative and Member of the expert group Peer Review on Sustainable Development Policies in Germany

Bernt Farcke, Head of Sustainability and Renewable Resources in the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection

Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel, Director Ecumenical Social Services in the EKD Social Service Agency

Prof. Dr. Olivier de Schutter, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

Chaired by: Dr. Minu Hemmati

Format: Fishbowl
Discussion given in English

Forum 6) “What You Will” – The Experiment of Participation

The topic has been elected: Education and Sustainability

In order to allow for as much interaction as possible,  two Members of the German Council for Sustainable Development have offered to discuss the topic with elected representatives and other participating experts. (Elementary) Lines of arguments have already been identified throughout the foregone web-based discussions.

Walter Hirche, President of the German Commission for UNESCO, Member of the German Council for Sustainable Development

Dr. Eric Schweitzer, Member of the ALBA AG executive board, President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Berlin, Member of the German Council for Sustainable Development

Natasha Walker and Stephan Pernau, elected representatives from the group of participants

Chaired by: Markus Heidmeier, Kooperative Berlin

Format: Fishbowl, Discussion given in German


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