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Future peace and prosperity will no longer be within our reach, if we in Germany do not commit more resolutely to greater sustainability and channel all our energy into making it happen – be it in politics, business, science or civil society.

Marlehn Thieme, Chairwoman of the Council

Marlehn Thieme

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

Olaf Tschimpke

Measuring sustainability and identifying interrelationships are major success factors for anchoring this topic in companies and on capital markets.

Prof. Dr. Alexander Bassen, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Alexander Bassen

Avoiding past mistakes means pointing progress in the right direction: the principle of sustainable development is a good compass for technical and social innovations at local, national and global level.

Ulla Burchardt, Member of the Council

Ulla Burchardt

The global sustainability and climate protection goals are the long-term milestones. Now we have to engage in an honest discussion about what the state, private sector and citizens can and must do to achieve them.

Kathrin Menges, Member of the Council

Kathrin Menges

The energy revolution has greatly reduced the costs of green electricity, so it is competitive at international level and helps to achieve the global sustainability goals without additional CO2 emissions.

Alexander Müller, Member of the Council

Alexander Müller

The idea of sustainability is at the core of a viable, innovative economy and is vital for a society that aims to safeguard quality of life in the long term. That is why the three pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – must be considered together.

Katherina Reiche, Member of the Council

Katherina Reiche

Make the sustainable choice the easy choice.

Prof. Dr. Lucia A. Reisch, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Lucia A. Reisch

Sustainable development requires to find as much common ground as possible but also to accept differences.

Dr. Werner Schnappauf, Member of the Council

Dr. Werner Schnappauf

Today, sustainable development requires an agenda which explicitly links global and national goals and policies and thus gives global cooperation a strong push forward.

Dr. Imme Scholz, Member of the Council

Dr. Imme Scholz

In forest science, we learned how important the sustainable management of natural resources is centuries ago. Empirical knowledge, openness to new things and humility in the face of nature can help other sectors, too.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schraml, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schraml

Cities, even more so than today, will become hubs of technological and social development in the future. All the more important are efforts to encourage the sustainable development of our cities.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuster, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuster

We need to make bold political decisions that reward growth less and sustainability more and that encourage the common good instead of profit-seeking.

Prof. Dr. Hubert Weiger, Member of the Council

Prof. Dr. Hubert Weiger

The UN Sustainable Development Goals present the vision of a fundamental socio-ecological transformation. They are not a specialist task for development or environmental policy, but are binding for all cabinet members.

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Member of the Council

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul


11th Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development

Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development,20 June 2011 in Berlin

Tempodrom Berlin - © Foto: Sebastian Greuner
Tempodrom Berlin - © Foto: Sebastian Greuner

“”¦and what does sustainability mean?” – this was the question at the Council’s 11th Annual Conference on 20 June 2011 in Berlin. The idea of Sustainability is doing the rounds. Still, often it is a rather meaningless motto and only leads to confusion. What is Sutainability? What is it really about? Notable speakers are dealing with this topic. Chancellor Angela Merkel and Federal Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen take a firm stand, as well as Hans-Peter Repnik and the members of the Council. Also the economic leader Jochen Zeitz (Puma) and Götz Rehn (Alnatura), the climate researcher Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (PIK) and many others have taken up a stance on Sustainability. Policy-makers of the upcoming 40 years, the “U27” reported and discussed about their visions for the year 2050. Once more, the Council was focused on the mode of a dialogue. Which perfectly fits to the new name of the size: “Der Meinungsplatz” (Engl.: The opinion forum).

”¦and what does sustainability mean? The opinion forum

11th Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development

20th June 2011
Tempodrom Berlin
Möckernstraße 10, 10963 Berlin (Germany)
8.30 a.m. to approx. 6.30 p.m.
Starting at 7.30 p.m.: “dead or alive – poetry slam on sustainability”

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How to find us (in German)


”¦and what does sustainability really mean? This question is being asked ever-more frequently – that’s how often the term ‘sustainability’ does the rounds. This is certainly good because it shows us that many people are concerning themselves with the issue of what the future should and can look like. How long can business as usual keep going, and what ideas and concepts of sustainability can we apply in order to counter the consumption of resources, ever-greater global injustice and the high risks which have emerged from the economic and financial crisis?

The idea of sustainability is meanwhile meeting with broader approval in general. However, people are rightly asking what sustainability specifically means, what the concrete visions for the future look like, what we mean exactly when we speak of sustainability. This June will also see the Federal Government submitting its sustainability strategy draft for discussion. Coinciding with this, the Dialoge_Zukunft_Vision2050 project will be presenting the future expertise of a sizeable group of under-twenty-seven-year-olds who have been nominated for this project by today’s leading decision-makers from society and the political and business communities.

The German Council for Sustainable Development is facing up to the question “”¦and what does sustainability mean?” and taking it up in the new dialogue format of an opinion forum. Places where opinions are exchanged; places where discussions ensue and answers are found. For the most part, these are found on the main square of any city; today, people are increasingly looking for them on the internet. We believe that this is not enough. A democratic society needs ways and means of expressing opinions directly and personally.

It is with this in mind that I am extending this invitation to you. Use the numerous opportunities presented by the Annual Conference to discuss what sustainability means: to us and others, for here and there, now and in the future.

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

Cultural programme accompanying the Annual Conference

“dead or alive – poetry slam on sustainability” by and with Felix Römer, presented by the German Council for Sustainable Development

On conclusion of this year’s Annual Conference, an inter-generational poetry contest will be held which goes by the title of “dead or alive”. The evening event is being organised by Felix Römer with the support of the German Council for Sustainable Development.

Here, living literary figures will be pitting their skills against deceased poets such as Thomas Bernhard or Kurt Schwitters. Actors will slip into the role of the deceased and thus bring them back to life. This approach is designed to provide listeners with a different slant on the issue of sustainability, coupled with views from the past on anything from nature to writings on natural philosophy.

This slam may well become one of the biggest events of its kind. The artists taking part are stars in their genre. With the show band “the incredible Herrengedeck” providing a musical accompaniment and Felix Römer playing host, we anticipate this contest will be stage poetry of the highest order.

The participants include three-time German Poetry Slam Master, Volker Strübing; the current holder of the Prix Pantheon Award, Sebastian 23; Cathleen Gawlich and Felix Römer from Schaubühne Berlin; Matthias Winter from Landestheater Oberpfalz; winner of the German fringe theatre award, Sebastian Krämer; the outstanding rap poet, Gauner from Berlin; and Switzerland’s best stage poet, Gabriel Vetter.

Admission price for the cultural programme is EUR 9.00/EUR 7.00 (concession*)

The evening event is open to the general public. Admission prices are valid for both the evening programme and conference participants.


Tickets are available:

  • from all national standard ticket agencies (advance booking fee applies) and
  • at the Tempodrom box office throughout the Annual Conference, starting at 10:00 a.m.

* Concession tickets may be purchased by pupils, students, people doing military or community service, unemployed and severely disabled persons.

Further information on the “dead or alive” poetry slam:

When casual lyricist and former construction worker Marc Kelly Smith held the first Poetry Slam show in the summer of 1986, he could not have imagined to how many people he would be lending a public voice.

The idea was as simple as it was good. A poetry stage for everybody; anyone who had written a text was allowed to get up on stage. No props, no costumes, a time limit and a jury made up from members of the audience to choose a winner from all the poets.

This idea has spread throughout the world in virtually unchanged form and has become increasingly more professional. Outside the USA, the German-speaking slam scene has grown into easily the biggest of its kind.

Munich-based slam activists, Ko Bylanskai and Rayl Patzak, devised the “dead or alive slam” in 2002, a format which involves actors slipping into the role of deceased poets competing against modern-day poets. This type of contest has also become a massive success in a wide range of theatres across the Republic.

Sustainable event management

As in the past, we plan and hold the Annual Conference in keeping with the criteria of sustainable event management. This year, we are following, among other things, the new “Guidelines for the Sustainable Organisation of Events” published by the Federal Environment Agency and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Since sustainable event management has meanwhile become standard procedure for us, we have, this year, done away with producing extensive documentation of the measures and, instead, are only providing a brief overview of the measures here.

As in the past, we will not be printing invitations and we will endeavour to tailor our catering to the exact number of visitors. Needless to say, all food and drinks are seasonal, fair trade and obtained from eco-farms. In place of conference folders, all the relevant information will be made available on our website for downloading prior to and after the Annual Conference. The new venue, the Tempodrom, fits in well with the concept of sustainable event management. The Tempodrom has set itself the goal of integrating an overall ecological concept into every area of the venue’s business and of lastingly and continuously implementing this notion of sustainability. For more information, please visit the website of the Tempodrom.

As part of the sustainable event management regime, the German national railway company, Deutsche Bahn, in conjunction with the German Council for Sustainable Development, is again selling the CO2-free event ticket for the conference.

To learn about what measures have been taken in previous years, please click here (in German).

How to find us (in German)


lab concepts GmbH
Tel. +49 (0)228 2498110

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