This Year's Speakers
Outstanding minds from across the scientific world will present their vision of solutions for complex problems we face in the future. Not only will they present their own research, but also provide insights into how scientific results can be translated into conceptual and technological applications. Moreover, in small Discussion Groups, you will have the chance to discuss your ideas with them in a relaxed, stimulating atmosphere.
Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy
Felix Ekardt is full professor for public law and legal philosophy at the German University of Rostock's Faculty of Law. Furthermore, he heads the "Research Unit Sustainability and Climate Policy" situated in Leipzig, Germany. The main motivation driving Felix Ekardt's research is based on the idea of a durable and globally practicable way of life in the 21st century.
This concept of "sustainability" is investigated by Felix Ekardt from a political, moral, and legal point of view. He dedicates his work to research, education, and policy consulting.
Since 2006 Anja Feldmann, Ph.D., is a full professor at TU Berlin, Germany. From 2009 to 2013 she was Dean of the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering department of TU Berlin, Germany.
From 2000 to 2006 she headed the network architectures group first at Saarland University and then at TU Munich.
Before that (1995 to 1999) she was a member of the Networking and Distributed Systems Center at AT&T Labs -- Research in Florham Park, New Jersey. Her current research interests include network architecture, Internet measurement, network performance debugging. She has published more than 60 papers and has served on more than 50 program committees, including as Co-Chair of ACM SIGCOMM 2003 and ACM IMC 2011 and as Co-PC-Chair of ACM SIGCOMM 2007 and ACM IMC 2009.
She is a recipient of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Preis 2011, the highest honor awarded in German research, and the Berliner Wissenschaftspreis 2011. She is a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and of the supervisory board of SAP AG. She received a M.S. degree from the University of Paderborn, Germany and a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.
Cognitive Neuroscience at Maastricht University and Head of the group "Neuromodeling and Neuroimaging" at NIN
Rainer Goebel is full professor for cognitive neuroscience at the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Netherlands. He also heads the “Neuromodeling and Neuro-imaging” group at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Rainer Goebel’s core research interest focuses on the question, which neuronal representations are used in the brain to enable for specific perceptual and cognitive functions. He is integrating functional brain imaging with large-scale neural network modeling and the development of advanced analysis tools. Progress in understanding brain mechanisms are tested by neuroscientific applications including brain computer interfaces and neurofeedback studies.
Chair Energy Economy and Application Technology at Technische Universität München (TUM)
Thomas Hamacher is professor at the chair Energy Economy and Application Technology at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at TUM. Professor Hamacher has been with the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics since 1996, most recently as head of the Energy and System Studies Group.
He is a member of the Environmental Science Centre (WZU) of the University of Augsburg and the Energy Working Group of the European Physical Society (EPS). Furthermore, he is managing director of the Munich School of Engineering. Thomas Hamacher conducts research on energy and systems analysis, focusing on urban energy systems, the integration of renewable energy into the power grid, and innovative nuclear systems (including fusion). Other focuses of his work are the methods and fundamentals of energy models.
ETH Zurich and ETH Zurich's Risk Center
Dirk Helbing is co-founder of ETH Zurich's Risk Center and Professor of Sociology and member of the Computer Science Department at ETH Zurich, continental Europe's leading university. He earned a PhD in physics and was Managing Director of the Institute of Transport & Economics at Dresden University of Technology in Germany.
He is famous for his work on pedestrian flows, crowd disasters, vehicle
traffic, and simulating social systems. Helbing is elected member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Complex Systems and of the prestigious German Academy of Sciences "Leopoldina".
Dirk Helbing has launched the FuturICT Initiative aiming at better understanding and managing our increasingly complex world, using future information technologies. The December 2011 issue of Scientific American featured the project on its title page as no. 1 world-changing idea, and The Economist has compared Helbing with Hari Seldon in establishing Psychohistory. The FuturICT vision has excited many people all over the world.
Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (MPIbpc)
Reinhard Jahn is director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and head of the department "Neurobiology". He works on unraveling essential cellular processes, specifically on membrane trafficking
and membrane fusion in cells of the nervous system.
Of similar importance, Reinhard Jahn is a leading figure with respect to the promotion and support of next generation scientists. He is the founder of one of the first International Max Planck Research Schools, and since 2007 he is dean of the "Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences" of the University of Göttingen.
Furthermore, he is presently chairing the Presidential Committee "Junior Scientists in the Max Planck Society", and he is also representing the MPG in corresponding committees of the Wissenschaftsrat and the Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (HRK) in Germany. Reinhard Jahn was a longstanding member of the committee in charge for selecting Max Planck research group leaders, and he is chairing a selection panel for "consolidators" of the European Research Council.
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Victor Smetacek is full professor and head of the Department of Pelagic Ecosystems and Department of Biological Oceanography, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany. Victor Smetacek mainly works on ecology and evolution of marine plankton.
He has a special interest in biogeochemical processes and vertical particle flux in the oceans. With his iron fertilization experiments in 2000, 2004 and 2009, he gained a lot of public attention. In these experiments, he tested the hypothesis that adding iron to iron-depleted ocean areas would increase growth of planktonic algae. This in return could remove CO2 from the atmosphere by planktonic CO2 fixation, channel it towards the bottom of the sea, and by that induce long-term carbon storage.