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Frankfurt am Main, 14.03.2024 12:00:00

On 11 March, the Centre for European Transformation held its first annual conference entitled "Can Europe lead the Transformation? Mitigating Risks, Financing Change and Shaping the Future". High-level representatives from academia, politics and industry addressed the most pressing issues of Europe's economic transformation.

The event was opened by Professor Dr Nils Stieglitz, President and CEO at Frankfurt School, Dr Stefan Hoops, CEO of DWS Group, and Professor Dr Sascha Steffen, DWS Senior Chair in Finance and Vice President Research at FS. 

"Entrepreneurship is the most important driver for successful transformation. Frankfurt School is a natural platform for this successful transformation and must be the leading platform for this topic in Europe, which cannot be ignored," said Professor Stieglitz in his opening speech. Dr Stefan Hoops agreed and continued: "The dialogue between universities, politics and economy is essential if we want to address the many challenges, but most of all: chances of the European transformation that lies ahead." Professor Dr Sascha Steffen, Head of the Centre, also believes that "transformation is one of the key issues of the next two decades" and sees collaboration within Frankfurt School, academia and with industry in particular as a great opportunity.

The first part of the event was dedicated to the topic of "Financing European Transformation: Navigating Towards a Sustainable Future." Insights from the industry were provided by Dr Stefan Hoops (CEO, DWS), Eckard Windhagen (Senior Partner, McKinsey), Stefan Wintels (CEO, KfW) and Miriam Wohlfarth (founder of RatePAY and Banxware) in a first panel. They discussed the essential role of both financial institutions and governments in guiding and enabling Europe's comprehensive transformation. Professor Dr R. Alexander Lorz, Hessian Minister of Finance, and Jörg Kukies, State Secretary, Federal Chancellery, highlighted the political perspective in their keynotes.

After the coffee break, Anja Förster, author and founder of Rebels at Work, kicked off the second part of the conference with a presentation on what transformation means for each individual in the company. The second panel focussed on the topic of regulation. Nicola Beer (Vice President, European Investment Bank), Alexander Doll (Board Member, Ukrainian Railways), Dr Eric Fellhauer (Frankfurt School), Prof Dr Roland Koch (Director, Frankfurt Competence Centre for German and Global Regulation) and Armin Sandhoevel (Chair of the Board of Trustees CDP Europe) spoke about the interplay between policy-making, regulation and the practical realities of driving change.  

The diverse perspectives of thought leaders and decision-makers from academia, politics and industry gave participants a comprehensive overview of the opportunities and challenges of economic transformation facing Germany and Europe. From now on, the Centre for European Transformation will deal with a complex network of transformation challenges and can be seen as a starting point for dialogue. Whether in society or in the area of digitalisation, for example. It is at the forefront of Europe's journey towards a sustainable future. Professor Stieglitz thanks the asset manager DWS, which supports the research centre.

You can download a summary of the key findings from the conference here.