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Stefan Appelhans

Stefan Appelhans has been managing partner at Sorpetaler since 2021 – a family-run, responsibility-owned company that he leads in the fifth generation. The traditional company with 140 years of history manufactures high-quality wooden windows and front doors in the middle of the Sauerland region. Previously, Stefan Appelhans co-founded the digital education platform meinUnterricht.de in Berlin and played a key role in building it up as co-managing director for six years.

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Gregor Ernst

Gregor Ernst studied economics at the University of Witten/Herdecke. Since then, he has been involved in the topic of responsible ownership/fiduciary entrepreneurship and its potential for entrepreneurs, within the framework of GTREU – Gesellschaft treuhändischer Unternehmen. He is the founder of a software start-up focused on data sovereignty. Since 2019, he is a founding board member and member of the executive board at the Responsible Ownership Foundation.


Ann-Katrin Weidling is the fourth generation to run the family business WEICON GmbH & Co. KG in Münster. After completing her bachelor’s degree in business administration at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster, she completed a postgraduate diploma at UCT in Cape Town. She has been working for the adhesives and sealants manufacturer WEICON for seven years and has been managing the company together with her father Ralph Weidling since 2020. Here, she is primarily responsible for the areas of marketing and human resources and is responsible for the expansion of the e-commerce area.

Dr. Irène Kilubi

Dr. Irène Kilubi holds a doctorate in industrial engineering and management consultant and has worked for renowned companies such as BMW, Deloitte, Amazon, and Siemens. After many professional stations, she now follows her very personal passion and dedicates herself to the topics of JOINT GENERATIONS, Community Building, and Corporate influencer strategy. She is also an Expert Advisor for the European Innovation Council Accelerator of the European Commission. Dr. Irène Kilubi is a university lecturer in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship and a sought-after keynote speaker and anchorwoman at conferences and events.

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Gabriela Carolina Jimenez

Gabriela Carolina Jimenez is from Iquique, Chile and has an academic background in business administration. As a social entrepreneur, she has worked as a lecturer at the professional technical institute INACAP for the last five years. She teaches subjects such as statistics, economics, human resources, management, marketing, innovation and entrepreneurship. With over twenty years of experience, she has worked with entrepreneurs* from a variety of business sectors. She is married and the mother of one son and two daughters. She enjoys spending her free time volunteering, knitting, recycling, and advocating for inclusion.

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Nick Reimer

Nick Reimer is a renowned German journalist and book author with a background in fuel and environmental process engineering. He became known for founding “ÖkoStroika”, the first national environmental magazine in the GDR, during the political transition of 1989/1990. His journalistic career took him from the Berliner Zeitung and the Morgenpost in Saxony to the taz, where he was business editor responsible for climate and energy. After his time as editor-in-chief of the online magazine klimaretter.info, he now writes as a freelance journalist for various media. Together with fellow journalist Toralf Staud, he won the Salus Media Prize 2021, among others, for the book “Germany 2050”. In addition, Reimer teaches sustainability and journalism at the University of Lüneburg.

Photo by © Joachim Gern

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Dr. Christina Willerding

Dr. Christina Willerding is a consultant for the topics “sustainability” and “securing skilled workers” at Wirtschaftsförderung Münster GmbH. She hosts the podcast “Mindshift MS,” a format in which the topic of “sustainability and business” is discussed with exciting personalities from Münster and the Münsterland region. Christina Willerding is always a welcome guest in panel discussions and an interested developer for social entrepreneurship in the region.

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Peng! Impro

Laura Berkemeyer and Christian Berlin have been performing improv theater together for 6 years at Peng! Together they have established several successful formats such as the City Walk or Improcracy. They enjoy performing on stages while plunging into the unknown. In their workshops, they fuse expertise from improvisation, work psychology, and philosophy. Through improvisation, they teach leaders, among other things, constant readiness for change, mindfulness, constructive handling of mistakes, and solution-oriented and empathic communication.

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Harshitha Polathula

Harshitha Polathula holds a degree in Development Economics (MSc) and has a unique professional experience in developing solutions for different socio-economic landscapes in the Indian development sector. In her current role at ACEEU in Münster, her work focuses on research and quality assurance of Erasmus+ EU projects on topics such as female entrepreneurship, community enterprise development, rural resilience and digital literacy.

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Prof. Dr. Niko Paech

apl. Prof. Dr. Niko Paech studied economics, received his PhD in 1993, habilitated in 2005 and represented the Chair of Production and Environment at Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg from 2008 to 2016. He currently researches and teaches at the University of Siegen in the master’s program in Plural Economics. His main research interests are post-growth economics, climate change mitigation, sustainable consumption, sustainable supply chain management, sustainability communication and innovation management. He is active in various sustainability-oriented research projects, networks, initiatives as well as cooperatives.

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Andreas Schmucker

Andreas Schmucker, co-founder and CEO of sustainable mobile company WEtell GmbH, is an activist social entrepreneur for climate protection and fairness. Under his leadership, WEtell combines privacy, transparency and sustainability to promote positive economic transformation. In addition to his management, Schmucker is responsible for marketing, sales and stands for the core value “fairness and transparency”. As an expert in responsibility ownership and thanks to his close connection with the Purpose Foundation, he played a crucial role in WEtell’s transformation into a responsibility ownership in 2022, and his efforts for sustainability and privacy in digital communications are underlined by his active role in the FairTEC initiative. With a background in microsystems engineering and renewable energy, Schmucker strives for companies to take a public stance on climate change.

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Inna Gabler

Inna Gabler works at the North Westphalia Chamber of Industry and Commerce as an officer for corporate sustainability. Her tasks include both the sustainable orientation of her own company, in order to serve as a role model for member companies, and the support of IHK companies on their way to sustainable development. Through information events, webinars, public relations work and the highlighting of best practice examples, she helps to anchor the topic of sustainability and the need for corresponding transformative steps more firmly in the consciousness of the companies. Particular focus is placed on supporting smaller companies without their own expertise in the area of sustainability.

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Andreas Seiferth

Andreas Seiferth looks back on almost 15 years in professional basketball, during which he played more than 330 games in the Bundesliga and over 50 games for the German national team. At the same time, he completed a master’s degree in sports economics and was part of the coaching team at the REACH EUREGIO Start-Up Center until summer 2023, where he competed for the WWU Baskets in the ProA in the 2nd Bundesliga on the side. Today, the Berlin native provides insights into the performance society of professional basketball and takes a critical look at the role of athletes in this system and the role of sustainability of professional athletes.

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Monika Wacker

Monika Wacker is the founder of the online community paartherapie-direkt.de (pt-d). pt-d is the digital expert network for people looking for professional and serious counseling on sexuality and partnership. Monika Wacker is a Master of Counseling, Dipl. Päd., Dipl. Theologin (non-denominational), has been a couple and sex therapist in Telgte and Münster for over 10 years and is committed to de-tabooing sexuality in everyday life. According to Wacker, happy relationships lead to happy employees.

Photo: Grit Siwonia, Berlin

Photo: Grit Siwonia, Berlin

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Jan Quaing

Jan Quaing is an expert on the topics of digitization and sustainability (in short, the double transformation). At the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Federal Foundation for the Environment), he explains the two topics in a practical way and thus makes the transformation more accessible. He also focuses a great deal on the question of how the gap between knowledge and action can be closed and thus how sustainable forms of economy can be put into practice through digitization. His academic interests focus on alternative economic models, especially the circular economy, business ethics and resource economics.  As a host of the podcat Code:Green, he not only speaks regularly about innovations, but is also passionately dedicated to disproving AI myths.

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Dr. Volker Oshege

Dr. Volker Oshege is a member of the Executive Board and shareholder of the IT consultancy viadee AG. Before the sports scientist joined viadee in 2011, he worked for more than ten years as a consultant and project manager for an international software company. At viadee, the 51-year-old entrepreneur is responsible for sales, and has been a member of the Executive Board since 2020. In May 2023, he also assumed responsibility for Market Development in his role on the Executive Board.

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Sophie Löbbering

As a graduate ecotrophologist and sustainability scientist, Sophie Löbbering is committed to food systems that are suitable for grandchildren, resilient and equitable. But that’s not all. An imperfectionist doer by passion, the social entrepreneur has co-founded three organizations: A Solidarity Agriculture in Münsterland (www.crowdsalat.eu), a social-ecological, transformative organizational development (www.iniciato.de) and the CSX Network for Community-Based Business (www.gemeinschaftsgetragen.de).

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Dr. Udo Westermann

Dr. Udo Westermann is managing director of the entrepreneurial initiative future e.V. – verantwortung unternehmen and head of the CSR Competence Center Münsterland. future e.V. was founded in 1986 by predominantly medium-sized entrepreneurs with the aim of promoting corporate environmental protection through practical examples and suitable instruments. future companies did not want to wait for appropriate framework conditions, but to act proactively. The CSR Center supports medium-sized companies in the region in ambitiously designing their CSR processes. His personal fields of work are sustainability assessment and strategy development of companies, environmental and climate protection management as well as sustainability reporting, among others he is responsible for the quality assurance in the SME ranking of German sustainability reports.

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Sabrina Lorenz

Sabrina Lorenz is an author, speaker, consultant and activist on the topics of inclusion, Ableism and medical communication. On her blog Fragments of Living, she provides education and writes about disablity empowerment, reaching over 23,000 people every day. With her expertise as a chronically ill and disabled person, she supports clinical research in doctor-patient communication and advises companies on making businesses and content in public media more inclusive and diverse.

*The book is available for purchase at our congress.

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Mona Neubaur

Mona Neubaur, born in 1977 in Pöttmes, came to North Rhine-Westphalia from Bavaria in 1997 and quickly made herself at home in the Rhineland. After graduating with a degree in education in 2003, she worked first in the energy industry and then at the Heinrich Böll Foundation NRW, including four years as managing director. From 2014 to 2022, she was state chairwoman of the Greens in North Rhine-Westphalia. In December 2021, Mona Neubaur was elected top candidate for the 2022 state election. She has been a member of the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament since May 15, 2022. On June 29, 2022, she was sworn in as Minister for Economy, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy. At the same time, she was appointed by Minister President Hendrik Wüst to deputize for him.

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Samuel Waldeck

The brothers Carsten and Samuel Waldeck founded SHIFT GmbH in 2014. Their modular and repairable SHIFTPHONES are lovingly developed in Germany and final assembled in their own small technology factory in Hangzhou, China. In the focus of their company philosophy you can find values like sustainability, fairness or waste avoidance instead of pure economic interests and financial success. They have firmly anchored meaning instead of profit maximization in the life and actions of the company.

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Daniel Decker

For Daniel Decker, people are at the center of his work. He is a development facilitator for people and organizations and in this way works on the transformation of the economy towards a people-centered sustainable working world. Through many years of experience in the international economy, as well as in the educational context, he combines both worlds and is committed to exchange and synergies.

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Dr. Ansgar Buschmann

Dr Ansgar Buschmann is the 6th generation to run the family business Buschmann Büroorganisation from Münster. He founded his first company in his early 20s and has been active in both entrepreneurial and academic environments ever since. His research and activities always revolve around the question of how current developments influence business models and entire environments. He teaches at the University of Münster and at the Münster University of Applied Sciences. He is also involved in various voluntary activities, e.g. as spokesperson for the Initiative starke Innenstadt Münster (Strong Inner City Münster Initiative).

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Prof. Dr. Isabelle Franzen-Reuter

Prof. Dr. Isabelle Franzen-Reuter has been Professor of Immission Control and Chemistry at the Department of Energy – Buildings – Environment at Münster University of Applied Sciences since 2015. Since October 2021, she has also been Vice President for Teaching, Sustainability and University Planning. In this role, she coordinates and develops, among other things, the activities of Münster UAS in the field of sustainability.

Christoph Salzig

Christoph Salzig is the founder and partner of the communications agency pr://ip – Primus Inter Pares GmbH based in Münster. With his team, he advises, accompanies and supports mainly family and owner-managed companies through the double transofrmation in order to position them well and fit for the future in terms of PR, marketing and internal communication. Christoph was a co-initiator of the TEDxMünster ideas conference.

Alexandra Conrads

Alexandra Conrads

Alexandra Conrads (she/her) – social scientist, trainer, consultant and systemic coach. She has been active in political education work for several years with a focus on anti-racism, criticism of racism and empowerment and works with a wide range of target groups.

Andrea Hansen

Andrea Hansen

Andrea Hansen is a journalist. She works from Münster, comes from the Ruhr area and studied in Düsseldorf – quasi NRW made human. After graduating from university and a traineeship in a television production company, she set up her own business, writes and works in front of and behind the camera for public broadcasters and on podiums when her journalistic expertise and open manner are needed for presentations. She has always enjoyed discussions and learned on the job that listening and asking questions is just as important as talking. Andrea Hansen belongs to Generation X and knows that a turnaround is possible: In her youth, people believed the last tree would soon be in a museum because of air pollution and its consequences. Today, “acid rain” is less of a problem because it has been reduced by three quarters in the EU through appropriate measures – most severely in Germany.

Tobias Daur

Tobias Daur

Tobias Daur is a GWÖ consultant, educational trainer, impulse generator, author and coordinator of the GWÖ Regionalgruppe Münsterland. With his company lands, he offers consulting, concepts and strategies for common good-oriented companies, communities and projects.

Photo: Sandra Konold

Prof. Dr. Martin Klein

Prof. Dr. Martin Klein

Prof. Dr. Martin Klein is Vice-Rector for Studies and Teaching at the Catholic University of Applied Sciences NRW and Professor for Theories and Concepts of Social Work. His research interests focus on operational social counselling, social work, digitalisation and case management. Since 2021, he has also been active in teaching social entrepreneurship – new perspectives for social work. In the summer of 2018, Martin Klein was elected as the first chairman of the Bundesfachverband Betriebliche Soziale Arbeit e.V. (Federal Association for Social Work).

Prof. Dr. Friedericke Hardering

Prof. Dr. Friedericke Hardering

Prof. Dr. Friedericke Hardering is a political scientist and sociologist. After studying political science, German philology and history, she completed her doctorate at the RWTH Aachen. She then worked as a research assistant at the Chair for the Sociology of Work at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. After leading several research projects on the topic of the experience of meaning in the world of work, she finally habilitated in 2020 at the Goethe University Frankfurt. Since 2020, she has now been a professor at the Department of Social Work at Münster University of Applied Sciences and has been responsible for the area of the future of work and digitalisation since 2023. Her main areas of research: Sociology of work, meaning in the world of work, change and the future of work, new work and new leadership.

Felix Landmesser

Felix Landmesser

Felix Landmesser is the founder and CEO of the start-up HealthX Future. The young social impact company develops solutions for the care catastrophe in elderly care. At the core of its activities is a platform with which professional and informal caregivers can organise everyday care and distribute care work digitally and easily among many shoulders. To this end, a holistic concept is being developed for all actors in the social space. The idea for the start-up arose from the three founders’ own experience as family caregivers. Felix Landmesser studied European Studies in the Netherlands and Sweden and also holds two Master’s degrees in Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship and Business Administration. While still a student, he co-founded his first impact start-up, an online gallery for affordable art. For several years, he has been involved with the interdisciplinary junior think tank humenta.

Dr. Christoph Harrach

Sustainability economist and social entrepreneur Dr Christoph Harrach has been practising integral yoga in the tradition of Swami Sivananda for almost 30 years. As a scientist, he researches sustainable and healthy lifestyles as well as responsible business. In 2010, he received the German Sustainability Award for his work. He is one of the project promoters of the UN Decade for Sustainable Education of UNESCO and is an ambassador for the common good economy.

For many years, he has accompanied people and organisations in various roles on the path to sustainable development in the sense of the United Nations’ Agenda 2030.

Uwe Rotermund

Uwe Rotermund is the managing majority shareholder of the 120-strong noventum consulting GmbH from Münster and has his professional focus in the People & Culture business area. As a missionary for a strategically anchored culture of trust and performance, he is committed to establishing agile attitudes and methods, change management and strategic sustainability management in his own company and in many client projects.

Jana Gowitzke

A social worker and passionate food rescuer for over 10 years, Jana Gowitzke 2021 has found her dream job at fairTEiLBAR, which combines her professional and private skills and interests. As an educational consultant, she holds workshops and lectures there: Educating people about the senselessness of food waste, but not leaving them alone with theoretical information, but giving them practical and easy-to-implement tips for everyday life, is especially close to her heart. Permaculture and the circular economy are topics close to her heart, and she tries to implement their principles in her everyday life and garden.

Jens Thormeyer

Together with his team, Jens Thormeyer deals with a wide range of tasks: from competition design to implementation planning, from small-scale residential construction to urban development concepts. However, the focus of his work over the past 20 years has been on the planning of retail properties, as new buildings, in revitalisation and increasingly in conversion.

Two things characterise Jens Thormeyer’s work: the human scale and the unconditional pursuit of quality. The majority of his projects start on an urban scale. It is always a question of the interaction between public open space and the structural layout. Jens Thormeyer sees it as his duty to work with his clients to find sustainable solutions for implementation.

Carina Beckmann

Carina Beckmann from Münster, 31 years young, wants to shape a sustainable society. To this end, she is primarily driven by the issues of sustainable transformation of small and medium-sized enterprises in the economy as well as Europe-wide participatory politics across borders, so that political participation is possible for all. Locally in Münster, as Co-City Lead Volt, she brought the demands of “social housing like in Vienna” to the city council two years ago, among other things, and has since been campaigning for sustainable business as a member of the supervisory board of the Münster Economic Development Corporation. She is a European election candidate for Volt (list position 12) and previously built up the structures of the European best-practice organisation as Deputy Federal Chair of Volt Germany. Carina is convinced that there is a need for political drivers for innovative best practice such as the short neighbourhoods like in Barcelona or Copenhagen. At the same time, she works as an innovation & quality manager at Volksbank Münsterland Nord eG to bring the cooperative model and regional cycles into the future.

Andreas Krys

Andreas Krys studied architecture in Münster and at the art academy in Düsseldorf. In 1999 he co-founded the architecture firm bk|a bleckmann & krys. After becoming self-employed, he worked as managing director and partner in the agn Generalplaner Group. Since 2022 he has been an associate partner at MAAS & PARTNER Architekten in Münster. His practical activities are supplemented by various jury and moderator activities. In addition, he is chairman of the supervisory board of a housing cooperative of WOGEDO/Düsseldorf. Since 2016, Andreas Krys has been Professor of Architecture and Project Development at the EBZ Business School in Bochum. Between 2022, he added the task as EBZ University Ambassador at the ICG Institute for Corporate Governance. The ICG is concerned with sustainable ecological and economic implementation programmes in the real estate industry. The ICG aims to develop sustainable corporate governance with a focus on social and societal responsibility, which should increase the industry’s willingness to consistently engage in these areas.

Michael Effertz

At viadee spark, Michael Effertz is committed to helping teams achieve more job satisfaction with modern, collaborative working methods. In doing so, Michael uses sociocracy methods to convey a lot of clarity in participatory structures. Michael is active in the association of German-speaking sociocracy centres and he holds lectures, training sessions and workshops on this topic.

Tim Krösche

Tim Krösche accompanies teams in agile roles and as a coach for viadee spark. His goal is to use the appropriate methods and models for the individual goals and needs of teams and organisations. Sociocracy is a method Tim likes to use, and he also offers seminars and workshops on it.

Hyre Sutaj

Hyre Sutaj (she/her) – M.A. of Arts Sociology, German Studies, Intercultural Trainer, Anti-Violence Trainer, Systemic Consultant (SG), Systemic Organisational Consultant.

For 7 years she worked as a diversity trainer and consultant in the federal programme “Integration through Qualification” in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. She trained and advised in particular the labour administration as well as small and medium-sized enterprises in the field of diversity, inclusion, intercultural sensitisation, anti-discrimination and diversity-oriented opening processes. Since the beginning of this year, she has been responsible for diversity-oriented opening processes in the labour administration and in small and medium-sized enterprises in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Jonas Heeke

Jonas Heeke is a serial entrepreneur. His innovative spirit became apparent during his studies at the University of Münster, when he founded his first company with ten fellow students. Over the years, he continued to build on his expertise and passion for innovation and is co-founder of liba, homebeis and zwanzig20, among others. What is striking here is that all the companies bear the Münster stamp and give something back to the region. Jonas Heeke is a blessing for many people in Münster. This also applies to the football club FC Münster 05, which he founded in 2005 and which is still an active and flourishing sports club for the student scene and far beyond.

Christian Wiencierz

Christian Wiencierz is head of Scouting, Coaching and Shared Services at REACH – Euregio Start-up Center. Wiencierz, who holds a doctorate in communication science, is responsible for the operational implementation of REACH’s tasks as a service and competence centre in the field of innovation and spin-offs.

Carsten Schröder

Carsten Schröder studied economic geography at the University of Osnabrück. He started his professional career as a consultant for imug Beratungsgesellschaft für sozial-ökologische Innovationen mbH in Hanover. He then worked as a research assistant and, from 2003, as acting head of the transfer office at Münster University of Applied Sciences. Since 2004, Carsten Schröder has been founder and managing director of TAFH Münster GmbH and, since 2018, vice-president of Münster University of Applied Sciences, currently for cooperation, innovation and marketing. He represents the interests of FH and TAFH through various board, supervisory board and advisory board functions at companies/institutions, is a member of the REACH Executive Board and is currently also taking over the management of three start-ups from the university. Carsten Schröder works internationally, for example as a member of the International Advisory Board of the University of Nepal or as a coach for Chilean higher education institutions.

Karolin Wisser

Karolin Wisser is an architect and a Master of Engineering for Future-Proof Building.

In her Master’s thesis – which also resulted in a book – she investigated the acceptance of smart home technologies and thus the connection between the megatrends of digitalisation and sustainability in the private living environment.

For the past 5 years, she has been working mainly in planning and tendering for a large German architectural firm. She is currently working on a sustainable renovation project in which, among other things, existing building components are saved during partial deconstruction and returned to the cycle. She is also involved in the company’s sustainability team: all aspects from everyday office life to project work are to be made more sustainable and transformed.

Thomas Möller

Thomas Möller has been working in municipal climate protection for around 10 years. As project manager in the district of Steinfurt from 2012 to 2016, he was primarily responsible for involving the regional economy in energy transition processes.

Thomas Möller has been working for the City of Münster since 2016. He started as a project manager in the Climate Unit (then called the Coordination Unit for Climate and Energy), focusing on communication, public relations and network management. From 2019 to 2022, he supported the head of the real estate and sustainability department, Matthias Peck, as an advisor, before taking over the management of the City of Münster’s Climate Unit in 2022. Here, he and his growing team accompany the entire municipal climate protection and climate adaptation processes and activities in Münster.