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"Sustainability requires that decisions be made - not in the distant future, but now."

Marlehn Thieme, Chairwoman of the Council

Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development
23 November 2009, Berlin

“Sustainability in a Changing World –
the Future Direction of Germany”

Fußgängerin auf kreuzenden Straßenbahnschienen und -weichen - © Foto: Julian Appel

9th Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development

23 November 2009,
Berlin Congress Center (bcc)
Alexanderstraße 11, D-10178 Berlin
8.15 a.m. to approx. 7 p.m.
Enter into calendar (iCalendar/ICS file, 2KB)

Programme (PDF, 194 KB, version of 17 Nov. 2009) | Text version

Programme for visually handicapped (PDF, 141 KB, vers. of 17 Nov. 2009)


Our world is changing in fundamental ways and with ever-increasing speed. The economic and financial crisis has sewn doubts about many business and political concepts. And climate change will have an even more dramatic effect on conventional wisdom. We are challenged to find new approaches to reducing greenhouse gases at the global level. And here in Germany, we must prepare ourselves for a future in which only societies that produce minimum carbon-dioxide emissions can prosper. We are already feeling the social impact of demographic change today. Here, and in the crucial areas of education and the community of young and old, there are still major decisions to be made – decisions that will define our future.

We have selected a metaphor as the motto for our annual conference: the image of setting new courses. Germany faces a number of extremely important and unavoidable course changes. At certain points, we already know which course must be set but will need courage, resolve, a clear perspective and a strong sense of purpose to pursue it. But there will be others of which we may be unaware today, points at which we do not know which direction to take and which sails must be set by whom.

I invite you all to take part in our discussion of these issues. I am very pleased that we have an opportunity to present the views of renowned international experts on German sustainable development policies today. We will also gain new impulses from the projects selected within the framework of our “Mission Sustainability” competition. I look forward to a stimulating personal dialogue with you.

Yours sincerely, Volker Hauff
Chairman of the German Council for Sustainable Development


08:15    Registration and welcoming coffee

09:00    Opening address

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

09:15    Sustainability Strategy in Germany. Conclusions of a
               Peer Review

               Björn Stigson, President of the World Business
               Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD),
               Chair of the Peer Review

09:45    Escaping the greenhouse - Towards a low carbon society

               Björn Stigson

               Pekka Haavisto, MP, former Minister of Environmental Affairs,

               Jennifer Morgan, Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G)

               Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, Deputy Chairman of the Council for
               Sustainable Development

               Moderator: Dr. Melinda Crane, journalist

10:45    Break

11:15    Parallel topical forums

12:45    Lunch

14:10    Mission Sustainability – from local projects to politics

               Moderator: Markus Heidmeier, Kooperative Berlin

15.00    Introduction by Dr. Volker Hauff,

               Chairman of the German Council for Sustainable Development

15.10    The Sustainability Policy of the German Federal Government

               Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel

16:00    Coffee break

16:30    Award ceremony for the rankings of 2009 sustainability reports

               Moderators: Dr. Melinda Crane, journalist and
               Markus Heidmeier, Kooperative Berlin

17:30    Reception

Parallel topical forums

Forum 1) Sustainability and education: Impulses for equal opportunities, expertise and quality

In order to respond to the most significant challenges of its time successfully a society needs excellent education. How can opportunities for children with different social backgrounds be effectively promoted at their point of entry to the school system and as their education progresses? What kind of education do we need if we are to succeed in meeting the great challenges that lie ahead?

Prof. Dr. Ute Klammer, member of the Council for Sustainable Development, Prorector for Diversity Management, University of Duisburg-Essen

Elke Lüdemann, ifo Institute for Economic Research

Moderator: Hannes Siege, expert on Education for Sustainable Development of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder (KMK)

Forum 2) Setting new courses: Climate change and justice – a discourse on strategy

Just a few days before the Copenhagen Conference, where crucial decisions regarding European and global emission management will be taken, the issue of fair distribution of burdens and benefits is yet to be addressed. Without a just system of distribution, there can be no acceptance and thus no solution. A sustainable climate policy cannot be achieved without effective efforts to combat poverty.

Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner, director of the German Development Institute, Bonn, vice chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change

Prof. Dr. Josef Sayer, Managing Director of MISEREOR (The German Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation), Aachen

Prof. Wallacher, Professor of Social Science and Business Ethics at the Institut für Gesellschaftspolitik, Hochschule für Philosophie, Munich

Vicente Paolo Yu, Coordinator, Global Governance for Development Programme, South Center, Geneva

Moderator: Dr. Susanne Dröge, German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Forum 3) Economic crisis and public debt, climate change and industrial renewal - How will Germany meet these combined challenges?

The task is huge. Political decision-makers must find new ways to stimulate the economy although their hands are tied by an unprecedented burden of public debt. At the same time, it will be necessary to renew entire industries, enabling them to survive in a market influenced by strict CO2 emission limits designed to combat climate change. All of this must happen quickly and in close coordination with other countries, as climate change is progressing more rapidly than expected.

Panel discussion with political and economic journalists

Robert von Heusinger, head of Frankfurter Rundschau's economic desk

Bascha Mika, freelance writer and former editor in chief of tageszeitung, taz

Donata Riedel, financial politics correspondent of Handelsblatt

Dr. Wolfram Weimer, editor in chief and publisher of Cicero

Moderator: Nikolaus Brender, editor in chief of ZDF

Forum 4) Ecology and sustainability: The first Carl-von-Carlowitz Lecture, by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Haber

In the series of Carl-von-Carlowitz Lectures, outstanding scholars will discuss their thoughts and experience with respect to principles, approaches and basic assumptions of sustainable development policy. Carl von Carlowitz is regarded as the originator of the concept of sustainability.

As a scientist and consultant, Prof. Dr. Haber has played an instrumental role in shaping, criticizing and promoting German environmental and nature conservation policy for many years. He was awarded the first Environmental Prize by the Bundesstiftung Umwelt in 1993. Prof. Dr. Haber will open the lecture series with a lecture on fundamental principles.

Forum 5) Discussion: Peers face your questions on the review process

Format: Fishbowl (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishbowl_(conversation))

High-ranking international experts have assessed Germany‘s sustainablility policy. Their peer review focuses on steps required to achieve a low-carbon society and economic system and on governance issues in order to make sustainable development policies more effective. In this forum, you will have an opportunity to confront the authors of the peer review with your critical questions.

Pekka Haavisto, MP, former Minister of Environmental Affairs, Finland

Jennifer Morgan, Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G)

Derek Osborn, Vice-Chairman of the European Economic and Social Committee's Sustainable Development Observatory

Björn Stigson, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Chair of the Peer Review

Moderator: R. Andreas Kraemer, Ecologic Institute, Berlin

Forum 6) In search of a sustainability model for the public sector

Sustainable development poses both opportunities and challenges for the public sector. Credible sustainable development policy demands that the government adhere to its principles in its own house as well. Procurement, property management, reporting – What are the key characteristics of effective sustainability management in the public sector?

Dr. Ignacio Campino, Deutsche Telekom, Vice President Sustainability and Climate Change

Ministerialdirigentin Dr. Susanne Lottermoser, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

Dr. Manuela Rottmann, Head of the Environmental Safety and Health Department of the City of Frankfurt

Prof. Dr. Stefan Schaltegger, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Centre for Sustainability Management

Moderator: Susanne Bergius, journalist and moderator specialized in sustainable management and investing

Forum 7) What kind of prosperity do we need?

Our economic model is based on material expansion, which presupposes an equally materialistic concept of prosperity. Dwindling resources and progressive destruction of the environment coupled with social and economic instability offer clear evidence that this cannot be a viable model for the future. What does sustainable prosperity entail and how can we achieve it?

Dr. Daniel Dahm, scholar, consultant and BMW Foundation Fellow for Responsible Leadership

Werner Landwehr, Director of the GLS Bank Berlin

Dr. Christian Votava, Humanistic Marketing and Design Management, University of Boras, Sweden and partner in the consulting firm of Realise Strategic Consultants

Dr. Angelika Zahrnt, member of the German Council for Sustainable Development, Honorary Chairman of the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz (BUND)

Moderator: Dr. Melinda Crane, journalist


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