The Opening Week is an opportunity to get in touch with guests from all over Germany and beyond. We're streaming live from our Opening Week Studio, so you and your project group may follow the shows and talks which are all about the one big topic: a NEW DEAL. We focus on the big questions of today and strive to thematically connect the four hashtags of the Opening Week: #socialjustice, #democracy, #green and #data.



Grace Blakeley

Grace Blakeley ©Grace Blakeley
Asking Grace Blakeley, a green new deal is far from being a radical dream but the only sensible choice we have. The English economics and politics commentator identifies as a democratic socialist and is a prominent voice in the UK media discussing both current political events and specific economic developments. She graduated from Oxford with a First-Class Honours Degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. Grace Blakeley is currently a staff writer at Tribune, the host of their weekly podcast A World to Win and has published her second book “The Corona Crash: How the Pandemic Will Change Capitalism” in October 2020.


Francesca Bria

Francesca Bria ©Ajuntamento of Barcelona
How can we regain sovereignty over our data and how can society regain control over digital technologies? Francesca Bria is an expert for digital and innovation policy from Italy with a PhD in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Imperial College, London. Focusing on one of the key issues of our time, she’s working at the intersection between technology, geopolitics and the economy. Francesca Bria is the president of the Italian Innovation Fund and honorary professor at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at UCL in London.


Karamba Diaby

Karamba Diaby ©Niklas Gerlach
Everyone deserves a fair chance but in Germany the odds are rather uneven when it comes to education. When he was young Karamba Diaby was given an opportunity to educate himself and today as member of parliament he wants to contribute his share that no child will be denied their chance. The SPD politician is a member of the German Bundestag since 2013. In this year’s federal election, he has won the direct mandate in Halle for the very first time. Karamba Diaby is Integration Commissioner of the SPD Bundestag Group and also Doctor of natural science.


Maja Göpel

Maja Göpel ©Jelka von Lange
Why don’t we create as society the world we wish for as individuals? Maja Göpel asked herself this very question as a teenager, today she is a renowned political economist and sustainability expert. As a transformation researcher her focus is on how we may achieve the transition into a sustainable future, linking environmental questions with those of social justice and societal participation. Altogether, her work is coined by transdisciplinary and ethical viewpoints. Maja Göpel is co-founder of the Scientist4Future and currently honorary professor at Leuphana University.


Achim Hensen

Achim Hensen ©Achim Hensen
Achim Hensen is all about corporate development based on meaning, trust and personal responsibility. His passion is to design vibrant, healthy organizations and to rethink collaboration. Today, as co-founder of the Purpose Foundation, he advocates for steward-owned businesses and researches and advises companies which are organized this way. Steward-Ownership means: companies own themselves and are operating self-determined and purpose oriented in the long run. As co-founder of Purpose Ventures – a start-up financing company – Achim Hensen also supports young companies to grow successfully without selling their self-determination.


Nari Kahle

Nari Kahle ©Paul Meixner
Nari Kahle is convinced, we have to rethink both economic and social matters. At the moment, she focuses in said context especially on issues of mobility. Her first book "Mobilität in Bewegung" was published in August 2021 and is dedicated to all "Mobilitäts-Revoluzzern". Therein, she discusses current developments in mobility and innovative solutions for existing problems with a variety of creative experts. The common objective is clear: to make the mobility of tomorrow more accessible, more sustainable and more equitable.


Claudia Kemfert

Claudia Kemfert ©Peter Himsel
How much does the future cost? Claudia Kemfert is an expert for energy economics and researches the economic assessment of climate, energy and transportation policy measures. Even though the future is unpredictable in detail one thing’s for sure: The costs of climate change will be much higher than the cost for climate protection, so we need sustainable solutions for the energy supply of the future. Claudia Kemfert heads the Energy, Transportation, and Environment department at the DIW Berlin and is professor for Energy Economics and Energy Policy at Leuphana University.



Kizuna-Trio ©Orchester des Wandels
The Kizuna-Trio consists of Hedda Steinhardt (violin), Markus Tollmann (violoncello) and Minako Uno-Tollmann (viola). All of them are members of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and part of the initiative "Orchestras of Change" with which professional orchestra musicians advocate for climate protection. The aim is to confront the climate crisis in creative ways through music. "The Orchestras of Change" support with ongoing benefit concerts their main project in Madagascar as well as numerous regional projects.


Konstantin Kuhle

Konstantin Kuhle ©Konstantin Kuhle
Are young people politically apathetic? Konstantin Kuhle doesn't think so! The FDP politician campaigns for intergenerational justice. As far as he's concerned important political decisions should be made with and not against the generations to come. When it comes to education, budget questions or annuity, politicians need to incorporate young people and their views into the political process. Konstantin Kuhle is a member of the German Bundestag since 2017 and the spokesman for domestic politics of the FDP parliament group. Besides, he studied law and works as a lawyer in Hannover.


Helmut Walser Smith

Helmut Walser Smith ©Helmut Vilnius
The US-American historian Helmut Walser Smith researches on how people in the past, particularly in Germany, conceived of the world they lived in. He is interested particularly in the history of nationhood and nationalism, the history of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, and, more recently, in the history of thinking, writing, and commemorating Germany’s troubled past. Helmut Walser Smith received his Ph.D. in history from Yale University in 1992 and is now the Martha Rivers Ingram Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. His latest book “Deutschland. Geschichte einer Nation“ has just been released in German by C.H. Beck.


Bernd Ulrich

Bernd Ulrich ©Anne Hufnagel
The impending climate crisis has sparked a new generational conflict as it seems, and the fronts harden increasingly. Within this heated atmosphere, the journalist Bernd Ulrich, born 1960, and the climate activist Luisa Neubauer, born 1996, sat down together to talk about the future. The resulting book "Noch haben wir die Wahl" is a vibrant reminder on how important it is to engage in dialogue if we want to solve the current problems of our society. Bernd Ulrich is the deputy editor-in-chief of Die ZEIT since 2007 and was a peace activist in his own youth within the 80s.


Marina Weisband

Marina Weisband ©Tibor Bozi
For Marina Weisband the rise of digital technologies carries new opportunities for democratic participation – if one knows how to use them. Therefore, the graduate psychologist has dedicated herself not only to matters of digitalization and democracy but also education. She heads the aula project for the politik-digital e. V. which seeks to teach pupils about participation processes through a practical approach within their daily school life. Today she’s a member of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen after being a prominent member of the Piratenpartei for several years prior.


Niko Paech

Niko Paech ©Niko Paech
All you need is less? In a world where everyone wants to have more maybe we should focus on simply having enough. The German economist Niko Paech is critically of the current fixation on growth and has coined the term post-growth economy. In his opinion, to stop climate change we have to change both our understanding of what economic success means and our everyday lifestyle. No more mindless consumption for the sake of consuming and to hold up the illusion of infinite growth. At the moment, Niko Peach is an adjunct professor for Plural Economics at the University of Siegen.



Christopher Douillet

Christopher Douillet ©Christopher Douillet
Christopher Douillet, Earth Aid Solutions


Laura Elbers und Lina Soffner

Laura Elbers und Lina Soffner ©Laura Elbers und Lina Soffner
Laura Elbers und Lina Soffner, Gründerinnen von equalchamps


Benedikt Huber

Benedikt Huber ©Benedikt Huber
Benedikt Huber, Holy Shit. Eco-Effective Innovation GmbH


Constanze Klotz

Constanze Klotz ©Constanze Klotz
Constanze Klotz, Co-Founderin Bridge&Tunnel


Van Bo Le-Mentzel

Porträt von Van Bo Le-Mentzel ©Van Bo Le-Mentzel
Van Bo Le-Mentzel, Tiny Foundation


Sam Lunow

Sam Lunow ©Sam Lunow
Sam Lunow, SALT


Fabio Zimmermann

Fabio Zimmermann ©Fabio Zimmermann
Fabio Zimmermann, KünstlerHilfeJetzt!


Johnny Stengel

Johnny Stengel ©1 enUS(Public Domain)
Johnny Stengel, GermanZero