Taking the future into one's own hands and helping to shape a sustainable economy - this was the focus of a new kind of business summit, the Best Economy Forum, where forward-looking entrepreneurs met a large network of like-minded people. For three days, over 200 participants discussed and exchanged ideas on strategies and ways to achieve sustainable development in companies. Experienced entrepreneurs and moderators accompanied the process and thus guaranteed an effective, personal and intensive matchmaking.  

The four founding organizations Bio Hotels, Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie, Bioland and FiBL organised the Forum in this format, at the end of which the Manifesto was adopted, previously set up in 2019 and confirmed by the participants in the course of the Forum.

Three days of full program

International best-selling author and strategy consultant John Strelecky and evangelical theologian Ina Prätorius delivered an inspiring keynote address to kick off the event. Michael Birk, Head of Strategic Customer and Project Management at DB Vertrieb GmbH, and Leo Fellinger, Co-Founder of Abundance Gate, discussed mobility concepts of the future.

Many well-known names such as Antje von Dewitz (VAUDE), Christian Felber (Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie) or Johannes Gutmann (Sonntor Biotees) were present. Other surprising names in the context of sustainability, like Ralf Kleber, Country Manager of Amazon Germany, or Henning Ohlsson, Managing Director of Epson Germany, did not miss the opportunity to participate in the BEF and to face the critical questions of the audience. Best practice examples of small and medium-sized sustainability companies were presented as well as examples of big business on their way to a sustainable economy.

The guided exchange groups during the forum, with advice and moderation from industry leaders, met with much positive response. And those who did not want to or could not "travel" found space and time for virtual exchange and networking.

The Speakercorner, on the other hand, invited participants to take part in pre-selected focus groups and thus engage in an exchange with the keynote speakers on various issues. These focus groups covered an exciting range of topics, from the legal form of ethical business to sustainability seals and fair investment to tourism as a driver of the 17 sustainable development goals.

Start-ups with sustainable business concepts

And with so much experience – and sometimes economic power – it was refreshing to discover which young social entrepreneurs were entering the market. In the Start-Up Challenge, numerous young entrepreneurs presented themselves with their business models and received an immediate assessment of their business idea in terms of scalability, feasibility and anticipated effectiveness from Serial Entrepreneur Christopher Obereder. Be it a new payment system with impact features or upcycling of hotel linen - Obereder, member of the Forbes 30 under 30, always had valuable feedback ready.

Although the event could not take place in Kloster Andechs as planned, participants were found eager to exchange ideas on this well-functioning platform and, last but not least, a big surprise package delivered to the participants' (home) offices made the Best Economy Forum a lively event.

"The Best Economy Forum 2021 has shown: We are at the beginning of an overarching movement of economic actors who can make the difference." – Jan Plagge, President BIOLAND

Header Picture: © Best Economy Forum