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Falling Walls Circle – Plenary Table: Green New Deal

Falling Walls Foundation, Elsevier, SAP, Siemens | Kumsal Bayazit, Mark Ferguson, Dieter Wegener, Martin Heinig, Andrea Noske, Ed Gerstner


The term climate crisis is increasingly replacing the term climate change – a shift that makes the magnitude of the future challenge even clearer. This challenge can only be met if science, society, politics and business pull together. And so, following the historical efforts of Theodore Roosevelt’s “New Deal” policy to overcome the Great Depression in the 1930s, the international panelists will assess central questions such as: How can a Green New Deal succeed? How may science, society, politics and, especially, a globalised business world find ways out of the global climate crisis?


Falling Walls Circle Tables gives the spotlight to world-leading scientists and science strategists, along with policy-makers from academia, business and politics to shape the agenda of the future of science.

Kumsal Bayazit was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Elsevier in February 2019. She has held multiple positions with RELX Group since 2004, most recently as Regional President Europe, Middle East and Africa at Reed Exhibitions. Before joining Reed Exhibitions in 2016, Kumsal was RELX Group’s Chief Strategy Officer, responsible for driving strategic initiatives, technology strategy and portfolio management. Prior to that she served in several operational and strategic roles with LexisNexis. Kumsal also chairs the Technology Forum at RELX Group and is a non-executive director at LSL Property Services plc. Prior to joining RELX Group in 2004, Kumsal spent several years at Bain & Company in their New York, Los Angeles, Johannesburg and Sydney offices. Kumsal earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and is a graduate of University of California at Berkeley where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with honors.

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Mon | Nov 08, 2021 | 12.00 PM - 12.50 PM Berlin Time

Falling Walls Circle – Plenary Table: Promoting Gender Equality for Innovation

After graduation in Aeronautical and Aerospace Technology, Dieter Wegener worked as scientist at DLR (German Aerospace Center). After four years as consultant for McKinsey he joined SIEMENS in 1996 as Head of Gasturbine Engineering at “Power Generation”. During his career within SIEMENS he had different responsibilities: personal Assistant for an Executive Board Member, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Business Division “Industry Solutions” and VP & Head of R&D-Organization “Advanced Technologies & Standards (ATS)” for Industry Sector. Since 2016 Dieter Wegener is VP & Head of External Cooperation at SIEMENS Technology. 

Martin Heinig

SAP Labs Berlin

Dr. Martin Heinig is the Head of New Ventures & Technologies at SAP and Managing Director of SAP Labs Berlin. As Head of New Ventures & Technologies, a global unit within SAP’s Technology & Innovation Board area, Martin and his team drive SAP’s organic growth by exploring next-generation software, pioneering impactful technologies and new market opportunities, and driving industry-specific innovation. All with the goal of future-proofing SAP and helping SAP customers become an Intelligent Enterprise. In his role as Managing Director, Martin positions SAP as an innovation driver and thought leader in the strategically important region of greater Berlin by fostering closer collaboration with universities, public institutions, media, startups and other innovation centers. Developing and sourcing talent from the region is also part of the charter. Martin joined SAP in early 2014 as Head of Strategy & Operations of the Innovation Center Potsdam and later the SAP Innovation Center Network (ICN). Since then, he has held various leadership positions, including Head of Strategy & Operations and Chief Operating Officer of the ICN, Leonardo & Analytics, and most recently of the T&I Board area. Prior to joining SAP in 2014, Martin worked as a software engineer and was a research assistant at the Technical University of Hamburg. Martin received his Ph.D. in Engineering Sciences with a focus on assembly planning with virtual and augmented reality. Martin lives in Berlin, enjoys running, playing soccer, traveling and programming. He speaks German, English and Turkish fluently.

Andrea Noske

federal ministry of education and research (BMBF)

 Andrea Noske was appointed Head of Division at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in September 2015. Her main responsibilities include project funding as well as science and technology policy in relation to a bio-based economy. She had previously completed a four-year post as Head of the Science and Technology section at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. 

Andrea Noske started her career at Forschungszentrum Jülich as a Desk Officer at Project Management Jülich. In 1991, she joined the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in its “Laser Research and Technology” division. In 1996, she was appointed Desk Officer for Scientific Cooperation with Israel in the division “Bilateral Cooperation with Western Europe, Mediterranean Countries and Africa”. In 1998, she served as Deputy Personal Assistant to Federal Minister Jürgen Rüttgers. In the following year, she assumed the position of Director for Infrastructure Management and Academic Personnel at Jacobs University in Bremen during its period of founding, staying there until the end of 2003. 

After returning to the BMBF, she organized the “Year of Science 2005”. From 2006 to January 2010, she was Head of Division “Cabinet; Parliament” followed by Head of Division “Basic Policy Issues; Internationalization Strategy”. At that time she was also Head of the German Delegation at the OECD Science and Technology Policy Committee and also at the OECD Education Policy Committee. 

Andrea Noske holds an MSc degree (Diplom-Ingenieur) in Metallurgical Sciences from RWTH Aachen University, Germany. 

Ed Gerstner

Springer Nature

Ed Gerstner is the Director of Journal Policy & Strategy at Springer Nature. He is responsible for the development and implementation of policy and strategy across the entire Springer Nature journal portfolio. He is also the chair of Springer Nature’s Grand Challenges Steering Group, whose task is to coordinate and enhance the company’s support of research and researchers who are seeking solutions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  He has a PhD in Physics from the University of Sydney and several years’ postdoctoral research experience at the universities of Cambridge, Sydney, and Surrey. He has been an editor with Nature Research for over sixteen years, with stints at Nature, Nature Materials, Nature Physics, and Nature Communications. In 2012, he helped found Nature’s first mainland China office in Shanghai where he built a team of editors from across the Nature family to live and work in China. During his subsequent 6 years in China, he travelled across Asia to learn everything he could about the research going on in the region, teaching scientists how to improve the impact of their research through greater openness and transparency, and helping to publish their research in the world’s best journals. He’s spoken at close to one hundred universities and research institutes around the world — including two-thirds of the provinces of mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Malaysia — to a cumulative audience of over ten thousand researchers. In his current role, he’s working to develop new ways to help researchers in sustainability and related fields of research to better communicate with each other, policymakers, and the public. He’s responsible for driving the development of editorial and publishing policies that ensure that the scholarship that Springer Nature publishes meets the highest levels of ethics, rigour and integrity.

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