September 5 & 6, 2022 – silent green Kulturquartier, Berlin

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Let’s talk about steward-ownership – on September 5 and 6, 2022. For 450 participants live and in person in Berlin or – for some parts of the program – online. Tickets are available in our online shop, for digital participation, please register below. Together with all of you, we want to bring steward-ownership to the next level, experience its transformative energy, exchange new ideas, spend time together and learn from each other. This conference will be the place for everyone connected to the idea of steward-ownership and for people who wish to learn more about it. Held with today’s visionaries and change-makers from the business world, science and politics as well as everyone in and around the community of steward-ownership. For long-term and independent entrepreneurship – and an economy that serves people and the planet. 

Conference

Many exciting keynote and workshop speakers have already confirmed their participation. With our program, we seek to represent the multifaceted nature of steward-ownership, inspire, and outline its relevance to other areas. Despite all the invigorating input, we offer a breathable conference schedule – with enough coffee breaks, soul-searching and learning moments as well as time to get to know each other and exchange ideas with the other participants.

The silent green Kulturquartier in Berlin is the perfect location for the SO:22. The venue offers a couple of large event spaces as well as cozy workshop areas. The idyllic open-air area and the MARS, which will provide organic catering during the conference, invite us to pause, mingle, and relax in the warm September sun. We look forward to inspirational presentations, joint working sessions, and spending time together.
The main program with all its keynotes will take place on the location’s main stage. Speakers from the business world, academia, and politics will embed steward-ownership in the current socio-political context, speak about the role of ownership for companies, the economy, and society, and will share their own experiences with steward-ownership. This will create unique gathering moments; all 450 participants will start and end the conference together on both days.
During the lunch break, we will not only offer a buffet lunch but also possibilities to meet, exchange, and retreat. After lunch, the conference continues with various workshops, presentations, and panel discussions. Topics include options for business succession, financing possibilities for businesses in steward-ownership, a discussion on entrepreneurship of the future, the latest research on steward-ownership, as well as political conditions, and news about the new legal form in Germany.
The SO:22 brings together a great variety of stakeholders from different sectors and of all sizes. It not only invites startups, medium-sized businesses, and corporations, but everyone involved and interested in the topic – entrepreneurs, founders, investors, lawyers, researchers, politicians, and many more. This will create invigorating moments and possibilities for synergy effects to strengthen the ecosystem in and around steward-ownership.
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Recap

Have a look at past conferences and events on steward-ownership to already soak up the conference spirit.

The Ownership-Conference 2018
Allianz-Forum, Berlin
Franz Fehrenbach, Bosch
Christian Kroll of Ecosia
Prof. Colin Mayer, University of Oxford
A little Stepdance
Big Event on Ownership
Kino International, Berlin, November 2019
Philip Siefer of Einhorn
Nadia Boegli of Wildplastic, November 2019
PURPOSE at work
Kasia Odrozek, Mozilla Foundation
Founding Event of the Stiftung Verantwortungseigentum
November 2019, Berlin
Peter Altmaier, CDU
Former German Minister for Economic Affairs, 2019
Prof. Anne Sanders, University of Bielefeld
Prof. Michael Hüther, Institute of the German Economy
Prof. Steen Thomsen, Copenhagen Business School
Get-together at Kalkscheune Berlin
Appeal for a new corporate form for steward-ownership
Oktober 2020, Berlin
Presenting the appeal to the federal government
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
Former Chairwoman of the CDU
May 2021: Discussing the new corporate form
Robert Habeck (GRÜNE) and Friedrich Merz (CDU)
Olaf Scholz, SPD
The later chancellor said the initiative was of "great importance to societal solidarity".
Verena Pausder, Fox & Sheep
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Event-Partner

We are happy to have the GTREU I Stiftung as our first event partner for the SO:22 on board and would like to thank them for their support and cooperation.

Enabler

We would also like to thank the following enablers for their support and cooperation:

Steward-Ownership

The SO:22 conference will be hosted by Stiftung Verantwortungseigentum and the Purpose Stiftung gGmbH. Steward-ownership creates the possibility to bring together start-ups, medium-sized businesses and large corporations. It combines modern with traditional entrepreneurship, sustainability with profitable business. On the one hand, steward-ownership is a proven ownership model that has been in place for many decades and implemented by iconic German businesses such as Bosch and Zeiss. On the other hand, it presents a new alternative to conventional and more traditional ownership models. It allows start-ups to legally safeguard their purpose-oriented businesses and enables medium-sized business and Hidden Champions to set-up sustainable charters, where successors can become steward-owners  indepedent of family affiliation or acquisition power.

Steward-ownership has the potential to play a role in the transformation of the economy. It centers on the core of the company itself – ts ownership, its DNA. The goal is to (re)prioritize the purpose of the company – to the maximization of short-term profits; and to safeguard its independence in the long-run.

In short:

With steward-ownership, assets and control remain within the company in the long term.

This is based on two key principles:

First: Asset lock, or put differently profits serve purpose. For steward-owner companies, assets and profits are not an end in themselves, but a means to an end. They are reinvested, used to pay investors, shared with stakeholders or donated to charity. They cannot be withdrawn for personal benefit.

Second: Self-governance. Steward-owned companies keep control within the business.  Voting shares can only be held by the stewards; this way the company can not become a speculative asset.  Voting shares cannot be inherited or sold for profits, but are passed on in trust and alignment of shared values and necessary skills.

The Purpose Stiftung gGmbH (Purpose Foundation) was established in 2015 with the goal to inform about steward-ownership and to facilitate its implementation worldwide. As a non-profit, the Purpose Foundation focuses on education and research. Knowledge generated through the practice and experience of and with steward-ownership is made accessible through publications, events, and open-source materials. Its mission: to contribute to an economy that serves people, society and the planet. 

The Stiftung Verantwortungseigentum (Foundation for Steward-Ownership), founded in November 2019, connects steward-owned companies in Germany and advocates for a better legal framework for the implementation of steward-ownership. To this end, the foundation is in exchange with six independent legal scholars, who have drafted a bill for a new legal form for steward ownership, and is in direct contact with politicians. The coalition of the new federal government, comprised of social democrats, greens and liberals, has committed itself in its coalition agreement to introduce such a new legal form. In addition to the political work, the foundation promotes education and research as well as information and the exchange of experience on the topic of steward-ownership within the framework of a non-profit cooperation.

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