Keynote Speakers

Sigmar Gabriel

Sigmar Gabriel has been Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs since 27.01.2017. He was born in Goslar in 1959 and was state premier of Lower Saxony from 1999 to 2003. He subsequently joined the Federal Government as Environment Minister from 2005 to 2009. He was then appointed as Federal Minister for Economics and Technology, a post he held from December 2013 to the end of January 2017.

    Paul Krugman

    Prof. Paul Krugman is one of the preeminent economists of our time, having won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics for his groundbreaking work on international trade and economic geography. He also is well known as a regular Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times where he speaks the truth as he sees it in the most compelling terms.


      Wolfgang Hans Reitzle

      Prof. Dr Wolfgang Reitzle is Chairman of the Board of Continental AG, Linde AG and Medical Park AG. He also sits on the Supervisory Board of Axel Springer SE and is a Member of the Administrative Board of Ivoclar Vivadent AG. In 2005 he was appointed Honorary Professor of the Department of Economics at the Technical University of Munich. Prior to this he held various posts at BMW AG, including Board Member with responsibility for research and development, this role being subsequently extended to include purchasing, sales and marketing. He then joined the executive management of the Ford Motor Company before moving on to Linde AG in 2002 as Chairman of the Executive Board. He founded the consulting company Visioning in 2014.

        Günther Oettinger

        Günther H. Oettinger is EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources. Prior to this he has been EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society since November 2014 and served for four years as European Energy Commissioner. He began his career in 1982 as an assessor at an auditing and tax consulting company and then as solicitor and managing director. His political career included membership of the Landtag of Baden-Württemberg (1984 to 2010) and a seat on the federal executive committee of CDU Germany (since 2005). He was also chairman of the CDU group in the state parliament (1991-2005) and chair of the CDU in Baden-Württemberg (2005-2009). He served as state premier of Baden-Württemberg from 2005 to 2010.

          Britta Weddeling

          Britta Weddeling, Silicon Valley Correspondent, Handelsblatt, lives in Silicon Valley next door to the pioneers of IT. As copy editor she reports on all the latest industry developments. She was previously editor at the head office of the news magazine 'Focus' and also worked for 'Die Zeit', 'Tagesspiegel' and 'ZDF'.

            Florian Leibert

            Florian Leibert, has served since 2013 as CEO of Mesosphere, Inc., an Internet start-up based on the open-source software Apache Mesos, which his best friend from high school wrote. His daily responsibilities include creating high-level software structures and managing the firm's finances, recruiting, business operations, and product support. Among his other achievements at Mesosphere, he created Marathon, a scheduler that operates on top of the Mesos software. Florian Leibert also acquired nearly $50 million in funding for the firm from prominent investors like venture capitalist firm Andreessen Horowitz. Concurrent with his role at Mesosphere, Flo Leibert serves as an investor with Taptalk and Driftt. Prior to founding Mesosphere, Flo Leibert held software engineering positions at prominent internet sites, including Airbnb, Twitter, Ning, and Adknowledge. At age 16, he co-founded online marketplace Knaup Multimedia in Germany.

              Bert Rürup

              Prof. Dr Bert Rürup has been Chairman of the Handelsblatt Research Institute since the beginning of 2013 and Handelsblatt Chief Economist since early 2017. After completing his academic education he worked for some time in the Federal Chancellery under German Chancellors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt. He was Professor of Economics at the University of Essen and at Darmstadt University of Technology and pension-policy advisor to the German Federal Government. In 2000 he was appointed to the Expert Advisory Board charged with assessing overall economic development and was its chairman from 2005 to 2009. From 2010 to 2015 he acted as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) and in 2014/15 he was one of the 'Committee of Wise Men' at the Austrian Ministry of Finance.

                Julia Engelmann

                Slam Poet

                  Christof Kerkmann

                  Christof Kerkmann



                    Jessica Schwarzer


                      Chair and Moderators

                      Ellen Frauenknecht

                      Ellen Frauenknecht, stock-market correspondent, ARD, has worked for 18 years as a business journalist and English-German presenter at a number of leading European media companies. During this time she has conducted thousands of interviews with decision-makers from the world of business and politics. She has been a regular at the World Economic Forum in Davos for many years where her daily, one-hour show featuring some of the key participants is broadcast on Swiss television and CNBC and throughout the WEF congress halls. She was also ECB chief correspondent for CNBC Europe.

                        Andreas Kluth

                        Andreas Kluth, Editor-in-Chief, Handelsblatt Global, was born in New York to German parents and studied at Williams College in Massachusetts and at the London School of Economics. His journalistic career began in 1997 when he became a correspondent at 'The Economist' in London. There then followed various posts in Hongkong, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He subsequently headed the Economist's Berlin office from 2012 to 2017. He has been Editor-in-Chief of Handelsblatt Global, the international edition of the paper, since April 2017.

                          Sven Afhüppe

                          Sven Afhüppe

                          Handelsblatt GmbH


                            Andre Ballin

                            Andre Ballin, Handelsblatt's correspondent in Russia, completed his CIS studies in political science and German philology in Rostock, Munich and Moscow. He was engaged as copy editor at Russland Aktuell in April 2003 and became Handelsblatt's Moscow correspondent in September 2015.

                              Thomas Hanke

                              Thomas Hanke, Handelsblatt's correspondent in France/Paris, studied agricultural economics and then worked as a correspondent for Agra Europe, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and Die Zeit in Brussels. He subsequently joined the business editorial section of Die Zeit in Hamburg before becoming Zeit correspondent in Bonn. In 1999 he co-founded the FTD and was in charge of the political section and head of the Berlin office. In 2003 he joined Handelsblatt as head of the opinion and analysis section, before becoming Paris correspondent and commentator in January 2012.

                                Annett Meiritz

                                Annett Meiritz, Handelsblatt's USA correspondent in Washington, was previously parliamentary correspondent at Spiegel Online and news editor in Hamburg. Her journalist programme has been built on a collection of Washington-based stories and experiences. In her role as USA correspondent for Handelsblatt she mainly focuses on political reporting of events in and around the White House.

                                  Kerstin Leitel

                                  Kerstin Leitel, Handelsblatt's London-based UK correspondent, joined the staff of Handelsblatt in January 2013, first as a correspondent in Frankfurt am Main and then in Munich, where she covered the finance and insurance sectors. She has now moved to the Thames and reports from London on the UK economy and politics. Before beginning her career at Handelsblatt the graduate linguist was employed as business editor at the vwd news agency and the Börsen-Zeitung.

                                    Sha Hua

                                    Sha Hua is Handelsblatt's China correspondent based in Peking. She grew up in the Ruhr Basin and studied at the LSE, Harvard and Oxford. After a period of traineeship at NDR she went on to work for ZDF before joining Handelsblatt in 2017. She is particularly interested in the absurd and ridiculous side of economic and political affairs.

                                      Ozan Demircan

                                      Ozan Demircan

                                      Handelsblatt's correspondent in Turkey