Plenary Tables

1. Science in Ukraine in Times of Russian Aggression (9-10am CET)

The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army on February 24, 2022 marked a turning point in contemporary history. The ongoing war has negatively impacted scientific initiatives in the Ukraine, since many Ukrainian scientists were unable to continue their research or had to flee the country.

This session aims to discuss how the international community can support science in the Ukraine and what role it can play in the process of rebuilding the research landscape of Ukraine.

Preparation of the event is supported by Volkswagen Foundation.

Confirmed panelists are

  • Heide Ahrens, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
  • Julia von Blumenthal, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Oleksiy Kolezhuk, National Scientific Council of Ukraine
  • Liubov Poshyvailo-Strube, Ukraine Global University
  • Paweł Rowinski, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Moderator: Georg Schütte, Volkswagen Foundation

2. Food Security: The Path of the Hunger Hurricane (10-11am CET)

Food insecurity exists in more than 1.6 billion people (i.e., over 20% of the global population). The last UN Food Systems Summit emphasised that the world’s food system is irretrievably broken. Recent developments such as the war in Ukraine and State-responses to high food prices, alongside ongoing issues like pandemic-related disruptions, climate crisis and biodiversity loss collectively threaten the possibility of hunger in populations around the world.

This session will discuss both short-term and  long-term implications of the ongoing food crisis, as well as possible immediate steps that can contribute to global food security.

Preparation of the event is supported by Bayer AG.

Confirmed panelists are

  • Alex Assanvo, Cȏte d’Ivoire Ghana Cocoa Initiative (CIGCI)
  • Matthias Berninger, Bayer AG
  • Joachim von Braun, The Center for Development Research, University of Bonn
  • Ertharin Cousin, Food Systems for the Future
  • Moderator: Melinda Crane, Deutsche Welle

3. Resource-efficient Digitalisation: The Key to a Sustainable Future (11am-12pm CET)

Digitalisation reduces carbon emissions to a great extent in many sectors and therefore helps to protect the environment. Simultaneously, the increasing use of digital technologies requires an immense amount of energy. To promote a resource-efficient economy, we need to consider energy efficiency and sustainability as core elements – not only in the development of new hardware, but also in the software used to run these systems. This session will address the pressing issue of how digital technologies and services can contribute to combating climate change, i.e., via using systems such as digital twins or identifying the policies and standards that need to be enforced to enable a digital and green transformation.

Preparation of the event is supported by Siemens AG and Hasso Plattner Institute.

Confirmed panelists are

  • Benjamin Brake, Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV)
  • Mei Lin Fung, People-Centered Internet
  • Peter Körte, Siemens AG
  • Christoph Meinel, Hasso Plattner Institute
  • Moderator: Magdalena Skipper, Nature

4. Mental Health for all: Global Action Plan on Dementia and Depression (12-1pm CET)

Due to factors such as ageing populations, increasing comorbidities and late or erroneous diagnoses, millions of people globally are impacted (with an upward tendency) by illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and Depression. While prevention and early diagnosis are crucial to improving the wellbeing of patients, new medications and therapies need to be developed to support them with adequate palliative care. This session will discuss how mental health can become a global development priority by setting new examples for treatments, improving current health systems, e.g., via political incentives, and increasing awareness within society.

Preparation of the event is supported by Biogen GmbH.

Confirmed panelists are

  • Mazda Adli, Charité – University Medicine Berlin, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
  • Anthony Hyman, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
  • Frank Jessen, DZNE
  • Maryna Polyakova, Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
  • Christiane Sommer, Biogen GmbH
  • Moderator: Zulfikar Abbany, Deutsche Welle

5. The Future of Clean Energy Technologies: Accelerating the Transition to Carbon Neutrality (2-3pm CET)

As the global climate crisis worsens and Russia’s war against Ukraine causes significant global impact, a fundamental shift in geopolitics and energy policy is taking place. Developing new materials is a core element in the innovation cycle to accelerate the process of energy transition. Complex data-driven insights can be leveraged using artificial intelligence (AI) to discover new materials faster than ever before. In this context, AI can be a key accelerator to support the next generation of clean energy and storage technologies. This session aims to discuss how we can further accelerate the process of energy transition to become a climate-neutral circular economy by developing next-generation energy technologies.

Preparation of the event is supported by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Confirmed panelists are

  • Johannes Henriksson, Compular
  • Norbert Holtkamp, Stanford University
  • Bernd Rech, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin
  • Tejs Vegge, Technical University of Denmark
  • Ting Xu, University of California, Berkeley
  • Moderator: Jennifer Porto

6. Advances in Fusion Technology: Breakthrough in unlimited energy generation (3-4pm CET)

Finding and harnessing sources of energy has been a major task in the history of humankind. Similar to the resourceful nature of the sun, man-made nuclear power can produce large amounts of energy with few resources. It includes fusion and fission processes and the pros and cons of fission processes are well known today.

This session will discuss the technological challenges of fusion energy and outline how it can be part of the solution for future energy demands.

Preparation of the event is supported by Berthold Leibinger Stiftung.

Confirmed panelists are

  • Constantin Häfner, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology
  • Peter Leibinger, TRUMPF SE + Co. KG
  • Tim Luce, ITER
  • Vinod Philip, Siemens Energy
  • Moderator: Melanie Windridge

7. From Evidence to Action: Restoring Planetary Health with Science and Collaboration (4-5pm CET)

The role of research and applying scientific discovery have proved to be fundamental to both human and planetary health. In many cases, solutions are at hand, but their development and subsequent application must be accelerated to turn evidence into action. This session will focus on the nexus between policy and public perception as they shape and accelerate societal change to foster planetary health action. Scientific leadership and engagement alongside their central importance to unlocking solutions will also be explored.

Preparation of the event is supported by Frontiers Research Foundation.

Confirmed panelists are

  • Jean-Claude Burgelman, Frontiers Research Foundation
  • Patrick Cramer, Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
  • Felix Dapare Dakora, African Academy of Sciences
  • Abir Haddad, Institute for Legal Transformation
  • Phaedra Henley, UGHE’s Center for One Health
  • Moderator: Nicole de Paula, Women Leaders for Planetary Health

8. Applying Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (5-6pm CET)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming a fundamental part of modern medical research and practises, while the overall standards to regulate the use of AI are still being defined. This session will discuss the benefits of AI for research and healthcare, e.g., diagnostic accuracy, alongside the risks and obstacles related to its application, e.g., data security.

Preparation of the event is supported by Helmholtz-Zentrum Munich and Sartorius AG.

Confirmed panelists are

  • Wolfgang Brück, University Medical Center Göttingen
  • John Jumper, DeepMind
  • Julia Schnabel, Technical University of Munich
  • Fabian Theis, Helmholtz Munich
  • Moderator: Dagmar Schuller, audEERING

Round Tables

1. Programmable Chemistry: Unlocking a New Way of Innovation (9-10am CET)

The evolution of computing resources of the past decade enabled the high-fidelity simulation of complex systems found in molecular biology. The discovery of such novel chemicals are vital for solving the world’s most urgent problems, e.g., from transforming drug discovery to faster adoption of zero carbon materials.

This Round Table talk will include discussing the advances in programmable chemistry that promise to unlock a new wave of innovation, by creating more standardised and automated platforms for discovering and delivering chemistry.

The event is cohosted by our partner BlueYard.

Confirmed panelists are

  • Djork-Arné Clevert, Pfizer
  • Leroy Cronin, Chemify
  • Marwin Segler, Microsoft
  • Sophia Yaliraki, Imperial College London
  • Moderator: Jason Whitmire, BlueYard

2. Science and Politics: Between Independence, Interdependence and Partnership (10-11am CET)

Grand societal challenges can no longer be solved in ivory towers and back rooms. Diverse expertise and multidirectional exchange are increasingly important. But how can such collaboration work without compromising the autonomy of individual fields?

Focusing on Science & Politics, this round table will explore how scientific knowledge can be offered comprehensively and neutrally and how policy makers can contribute experiences to ongoing research.

To better exploit the great potentials, following questions will be discussed:

What are innovative modes of knowledge exchange? How can we ensure transparency and independence, and to what extent should we integrate exchange into everyday work?

The event is cohosted by our partner Berlin University Alliance.

Confirmed panelists are

  • Alessandro Allegra, European Commission
  • Andrew Hurrell, Oxford University
  • Maria Leptin, European Research Council
  • Armaghan Naghipour, Berlin Senate
  • Geraldine Rauch, Technical University Berlin
  • Moderator: Alexandra-Gwyn Paetz, Berlin University Alliance

3. Confidence in Research (11am-12pm CET)

This Round Table will mark the global launch of the report ‘Confidence in Research’ conducted by Economist Impact and supported by Elsevier. Digitalization has impacted not only the practice and dissemination of scientific knowledge, but also the credibility of how scientific information is judged. Putting scientific research at the forefront, the Covid-19 pandemic exposed the conflicted perception of science in contemporary societies. The abundance of information available online made it more difficult for researchers to navigate the scientific landscape and tell facts from fiction.

This round table aims to discuss the drivers of confidence in research and put forward potential solutions that can support the scientific research community in a way that ultimately improves research integrity and confidence in science.

The event is cohosted by our partners Elsevier and Körber Foundation.

Confirmed panelists are

  • Jonathan Birdwell, Economist Impact
  • Laura Hassink, Elsevier
  • Matthias Mayer, Körber Foundation
  • Moderation: Judy Verses, Sense about Science

4. Excelling Science Accelerators: the Do’s and Don’ts of Incubation and Acceleration Learning from the Best Worldwide (12-1pm CET)

Incubators and accelerators are a great way to support early-stage startups (and often also first time founders) through education programs, matchmaking, mentorship and financing.

With the overwhelming success of programs like Y-Combinator, we saw a surge in programs that are helping founders succeed with their startups. We are discussing the impact of the modern accelerator landscape today and will be talking about the specific challenges for science startups as a target group. And even more important – how can we work together, to create an even better supporting ecosystem for sciencepreneurs?

The event is cohosted by our partner Berlin Partner.

Confirmed panelists are

  • Maren Lesche, Vision Health Pioneers
  • Thorsten Lambertus, CDL Berlin
  • Christian Rommel, Bayer
  • Janette Wiget, Merantix
  • Moderator: Bennet Barth, RESPOND

5. Sustainability Meets Healthcare (2-3pm CET)

Reducing the carbon footprint and waste generation in the healthcare sector to achieve environmental sustainability is essential for improving the health system functions, delivering better outcomes for patients, and contributing to the larger social and economic benefits. This escalating issue requires attention and action.

This Round Table will highlight the devastating trajectory of healthcare’s carbon footprint and waste generation to demand the implementation of sustainable solutions as a priority worldwide.

The event is cohosted by our partner Andrew N. Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership/The University of Queensland, Australia

Confirmed panelists are

  • Arun Majumdar, University of Stanford
  • Volker Richter BMW
  • Michael Schütz, Jamieson Trauma Institute / Queensland University of Technology
  • Moderator: Peta Ashworth, Andrew N. Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership

6. Climate-Neutrality as a Vehicle for Greater Social Justice (3-4pm CET)

Our transport system needs to be transformed due to its devastating effects on the environment and the climate. But this change needs to be discussed also within its wider social repercussions. Fiscal instruments and targeted policies can contribute to a mobility transformation that not only addresses the ecological challenges but will also be socially equitable and distributional.

The event is cohosted by our partner Agora Verkehrswende (Agora Transport Transformation) and Mercator Foundation

Confirmed panelists are

  • Christoph Aberle, Technical University Hamburg
  • Caroline Rozynek, Goethe University Frankfurt
  • Matthias Runkel, Forum Ökologisch-Soziale Marktwirtschaft (FÖS)
  • Moderator: Janna Aljets, Agora Verkehrswende

7. Joint Efforts Towards the Second Quantum Revolution (4-5pm CET)

To attain the full potential promised by quantum technologies, joint efforts to cross borders between countries, continents, science and industry is an absolute necessity. In this Round Table talk, the status, future development and the applications of quantum technologies will be discussed with scientists, managers and international officials.

The event is cohosted by our partner Helmholtz Quantum.

Confirmed panelists are

  • Michael Bolle, Carl-Zeiss-Foundation
  • Sebastian Luber, Infineon Technologies
  • Corey Stambaugh, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Ian Walmsley, Imperial College London
  • Moderator: Tommaso Calarco, FZ Jülich

8. New Particle Accelerators: on a Nanophotonic Chip? (5-6pm CET)

Particle accelerators are often thought of as large, expensive facilities or instruments. Typically, these machines have a variety of uses from fundamental science and medical applications to manufacturing semiconductors. How can particle accelerators be reinvented and downsized by the use of advanced nano fabrication and laser technologies? Additionally, what significance can this technology have in the next decade?

The event is cohosted by our partner Berthold Leibinger Stiftung.

Confirmed panelist

  • Peter Hommelhoff, University Erlangen
  • Moderator: Marija Vranic, Instituto Superior Técnico

Background Tables (by invitation only)

1. Science Administration 2.0: How to build and run effective academic organisations? (10-11am CET)

This Background Table will focus on one particular angle of the nexus of administration and science, namely at the administration of scientific organisations. Two new research facilities in the making, the German Center for Astrophysics (Deutsches Zentrum für Astrophysik) and the Center for the Transformation of Chemistry, will serve as starting point for the discussion. Building on these two exciting examples of nascent scientific organisations, the panel and invited participants will discuss pathways to building future-oriented structures that combine scientific excellence and enabling administrative structures. It will also explore how experience can be brought to bear in the planning of new scientific organizations in order to achieve the greatest possible effectiveness and what inspirations established organisations might draw for their own work and structures.

Preparation of the event is supported by  Creative Bureaucracy Festival and our partner PD – Berater der öffentlichen Hand.

2. Responsible Leadership as a Lever for Change (11am-1pm CET)

The individual commitment of leaders is an enormous lever for systemic change. However, the prevailing leadership paradigm, which has led humanity to success in various fields, is not prepared to deal with the most pressing challenges of our society and the planet. In this interactive session, we will look into the concept of responsible leadership, how the personal development and inner growth of leaders are connected to the shift towards a more regenerative economy, and what tools and skills are needed on this journey.

Preparation of the event is supported by BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt.

3. Science in Ukraine: Status Quo and Further Funding Needs (2-4pm CET)

Since Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine, many scientists have found temporary work opportunities in the EU. Although Ukrainian universities and academic institutions continue to teach and conduct research in war conditions, many of them have been destroyed. The participants of this Background Table will discuss how the global community can help rebuild Ukraine’s post-war science system and how it can further support scientists in and outside of Ukraine today.

Preparation of the event is supported by Volkswagen Foundation

4. Technological Sovereignty (4-6pm CET)

Growing geopolitical uncertainties and looming global trade conflicts are calling into question the confidence of recent decades concerning the close interdependence of national economies. In Germany and Europe, a discussion was raised about how independent a state must and can be with regard to critical technologies.

This Background Tables aims to enable exchange and provide orientation for decision-makers in science, business and politics in dealing with the aspired technology leadership of superpowers.

Preparation of the event is supported by Stiftung Mercator and MERICS.


1. Else Kröner Symposium for Breakthroughs in Life Sciences (9am-6pm CET)

In cooperation with our partners, Falling Walls is hosting this unique format to connect researchers in the life sciences from all over the world. The symposium gathers the 2022 Winners in the Life Sciences category as well as experts and next generation scientists to discuss the most pressing issues and recent breakthroughs in this field, from the study of life and organisms, bioscience, and human health, to molecular and cellular life sciences.

The event is cohosted by our partner Else Kröner-Fresenius Stiftung.

2. Volkswagen Foundation Symposium for Breakthroughs in Social Sciences and Humanities (9am-6pm CET)

In cooperation with our partners, Falling Walls is hosting this unique format to connect researchers in the social sciences and humanities from all over the world. The symposium gathers the 2022 Winners in the Social Sciences and Humanities category as well as experts and next generation scientists to discuss the most pressing issues and recent breakthroughs in sociology, cultural studies, and humanities.

The event is cohosted by our partners Volkswagen Foundation and WZB Berlin Social Science Center.

3. Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Symposium for Breakthroughs in Physical Sciences (9am-1pm CET)

In cooperation with our partners, Falling Walls is hosting this unique format to connect researchers in the physical sciences from all over the world. The symposium gathers the 2022 Winners for the Falling Walls Breakthrough of the Year 2021 in Physical Sciences as well as partners from academia and business to discuss the most pressing issues and recent breakthroughs regarding mathematical, physical and chemical phenomena and related technologies.

The event is cohosted by our partner Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation

4. Sciencepreneurship (2-6pm CET)

We need scientific breakthroughs to solve our biggest challenges – from infectious diseases and cancer to cyber security, shortages of natural resources, and rapid climate change. But we need more than just great scientists making discoveries. We need Sciencepreneurs who can take breakthroughs from the lab to the market. At the Sciencepreneurship Symposium, we bring together thought leaders, policy makers and executives to discuss key issues in sciencepreneurship.

The event is cohosted by our partner Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation SPRIND

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