International conference
Knowledge Cities World Summit (KCWS) 2023

Adapting to Climate-Change through Regenerative Transformation of Cities and Regions


Lake Constance | Lindau, Inselhalle


The globally engaged World Capital Institute (WCI), in cooperation with Ravensburg-Weingarten University of Applied Sciences (RWU), will host the 16th edition of its conferences on the development of cities and regions in the Lake Constance region in the Inselhalle of the city of Lindau from November 28 to 30, 2023. Further cooperation partners are the city of Lindau, the University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg, and local civil society organizations.

Over the past few years, the WCI itself has fundamentally shifted its focus to questions regarding the "Future in the Anthropocene. The Anthropocene refers to the recently initiated age of our planet's development, which, unlike earlier phases of Earth's evolution, has been significantly influenced by humans.

Key issues in this context are global warming, socioecological crises, and the subsequent transition to intensively sustainable forms of economic and policy activities aimed at regenerating the planet's nature. Cities and regional authorities play a crucial role in this regard because, besides in- dustries, their citizens and administrations possess the greatest potential for change and achieving climate goals.

The KCWS 2023 conference, dedicated to the knowledge-based development of cities and regions, focuses on four thematic areas that are currently considered crucial for necessary change processes:

- Socio-ecological transformation needs in cities and regions
- Culture and art as fundamental references for successful change processes
- Reforms for future education to address planetary issues
- The role of artificial intelligence in the Anthropocene and its impact on it

The conference will shape the thematic contributions both scientifically and in a citizen-involving way through lectures, workshops and public presentations with the participation of representatives from the cores of society, which is ensured by the commitment of the City of Lindau as organizer in coordination with the WCI and and the University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten (RWU) in terms of content. Programm will also be changed soon.

The target groups of the conference include national and international scientists, students, citizens, practitioners from different fields, as well as political planers and decision-makers.

Contact and further information at:



Day 1 – Tue. 28 Nov. - Inaugural sessions

Inaugural Ceremony
16:00 - 16:45 (CET) Welcoming: Claudia Alfons, Mayor of the city of Lindau. Representatives salutations: RWU, Lindau Inselhalle and Scientists for Future. Inauguration: Francisco Javier Carrillo, President, World Capital Institute.

Inaugural keynote - Dr. J. Daniel Dahm | Regenerative Transformation of Cities and Regions
16:45-17:30 (CET) Counsellor of the World Future Council, Member of the Club of Rome, Founder and Managing Director of United Sustainability Group.
Chair: Cathy Garner, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Lancaster UK.

World Café
17:30-19:30 (CET) Desired Futures for our Cities (In German).
Research Fellows of World Capital Institute Community of Practice, Lindau. All guests of the conference and citizens are invited to exchange their wishes for the future of our cities in a participative and creative manner in smaller, moderated groups.
Coordinator: Ruth Beilharz, School of Participation.

Day 2 – Wed. 29 Nov. – Transformative action and urban development. Regional and global Experiences

Morning Session| Workshops (German language) with civil society, practice and sciences. Wissenschaftsverbund Vierländerregion Bodensee.
10:30-12:30 (CET) Cross-border innovation labs to shape sustainable socio-economic change.
Any transformation to a sustainable economic region can only be achieved across borders and sectors which is especially true for the Lake Constance region, currently facing enormous social and ecological challenges. Three “labs” will be offered aiming to contribute through an interaction between science, business, municipalities, and society - following three major subject domains: (1) circular models in the food, agriculture, and textile industry; (2) mobility solutions for individual, public and freight transport and (3) resource-efficient and sustainable use of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the building sector. The three labs combine their local anchoring with cross-border cooperation. Initially the three labs will be presented in plenary (background, challenges, and objectives) to all participants. Following this, the opportunity is offered to explore the specific topics in more detail by means of a World Café setting.
Coordinator: Daniela Knünz, Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences und Wissenschaftsverbund Vierländerregion Bodensee.

– Parallel Session –

10:30-12:30 (CET) New Club of Paris Roundtable on Sustainable Transformation of Cities and Regions: Understanding, enabling and shaping profound change.
In this participative roundtable different successful transformation stories of cities and regions will be presented and participants will have the opportunity to share their own stories and experiences. The NCP organising this roundtable is an agenda developer for the knowledge economy. The Club’s aim is to support nations, regions, cities, communities, and organisations in their transformation into the knowledge society. The club brings together intellectual entrepreneurs, scientists, opinion leaders and high-level politicians in the knowledge society and knowledge economy to engage in research, dialogue and concrete activities. The Club prominently participates in knowledge raising events around the world, coordinates and contributes to worldwide research efforts on the knowledge economy, and publishes a variety of papers and books.
Lead: Stefan Güldenberg, Klaus North, Waltraut Ritter
Coordinator: Daniela Knünz, Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences und Wissenschaftsverbund Vierländerregion Bodensee.

Session 1A | Keynote - Simon Sharpe | Five times Faster
14:00-14:40 (CET) Director of Economics for the UN Climate Champions, Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute
Chair: Cathy Garner, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Lancaster UK.

Session 1B | Panel - Socioecological Transformation of Cities & Regions
14:40-16:00 (CET) Requirements and potentials of socially and ecologically desirable transformations of regions and cities are discussed. The focus is on knowledge, practical action, its enabling and the perspective of the local actors, i.e. civil society organisations, citizens' movements, political decision makers and others.
Ana C. Fachinelli, Graduate Program in Business Administration, University of Caxias do Sul, Brazil.
Eliut Flores, Professor at the Graduate School of the Information Science and Technology, University of Puerto Rico.
Blanca C. García, Graduate Program in Integrated Water Management, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Monterrey, México.
Martin Dobler, Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences, Coordinator of Sustainable Mobility Lab.
Chair: Francisco Javier Carrillo, President, World Capital Institute.


Session 2A | Keynote - Karen van den Berg | The role of the arts for societal change
16:30-17:10 (CET) Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Chair of Art Theory & Curating
Chair: Benno Werlen, Holder of the UNESCO Chair on Global Understanding for Sustainability, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany.

Session 2B | Panel - Bring Dreams into Reality – the Role of Art
17:10-18:30 (CET) In this panel discussion the transformative power of art will be explored and the question posed if and how art is a catalyst for social and ecological innovation and change.
Jakob Wirth, Artist, Activist, Sociologist.
Friederike Kaufmann, Cultural Scientist and Activist.
Alexander Gérard, Project developer of one of Germany's largest iconic cultural buildings, the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie.
Christina Merl, Translation Science, Communities of Practise, Founder of Poetry in Business.
Chair: Günter Koch, Humboldt Cosmos Multiversity.

Social activity
19:00-21:00 (CET)

Day 3 – Thur. 30 Nov. – Education and knowledge resources for transformation

Morning Session | Workshops
9:30-12:30 (CET) Eco-poetry & alternative climate narratives.
A workshop experience where participants get inspiration from eco-poetry. Specifically designed prompts will encourage them to co-create an alternative narrative about city life while exploring strategic options for an urban future. The moderator will apply the 2CG multi-method approach that harnesses the power of polyphonic storytelling and imagination.
Coordinator: Christina Merl, Founder, Poetry in Business.

Bridging the knowing-doing gap through successful transformational processes (In German).
A participative workshop to explore together how to translate existing wishes and knowledge into active action. Tools for successful transformation processes and inner development goals for one's own actions can be experienced.
Coordinator: Ruth Beilharz, School of Participation.

Session 3A | Keri Facer - Educational Futures: The need to transform learning
14:00-14:40 (CET) Professor of Education and Social Futures, University of Bristol, Centre for higher education transformations.
Chair: Cathy Garner, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Lancaster UK

Session 3B | Keri Facer - Educational Futures: The need to transform learning
14:40-16:00 (CET) Future Education and Knowledge for the Future New forms, contents and strategies of education and research that support the solution of pressing problems are reflected. How can project-oriented, participatory and transdisciplinary, internationally and regionally networked learning be organised in a way that contributes to the positive shaping of sustainable cities and regions?
Pavel Cenkl, Head of Schumacher College, GB, Director of Learning & Land.
Chrissie Sorenson, Head of Bavarian International School, Haimhausen, Germany.
Monika Schröttle, Political scientist and social scientist with a focus on interdisciplinary gender, violence, human rights and inclusion research at RWU.
Chair: Cathy Garner, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Lancaster UK


Session 4A | Keynote - Clara Neppel | The role of AI in climate change
16:30-17:10 (CET) Senior Director of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Chair: Günter Koch, Humboldt Cosmos Multiversity.

Session 4B | Panel - AI for the Anthropocene
17:10-18:30 (CET) The rapidly advancing Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being discussed on its potential to provide methods and tools which support actions fighting man-made climate change and for introducing sustainability management especially for cities’ development.
Florian Buehler, Artificial Intelligence Expert at Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences, Dornbirn.
Wolfgang Ertel, Professor for Artificial Intelligence at University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten.
John C. Havens (tbc), Author of Heartificial Intelligence and Hacking Happiness (Penguin/Random House). Contributing writer for Mashable, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Forbes and others. Havens was also a professional actor in New York City for over 15 years, appearing in principal roles on Broadway, television, and film.
Anahid Jalali, Scientist at the Austrian Institute of Technology, Vienna, Austria. She is a computer scientist, having received her Master’s degree from the Vienna University of technology in 2018. One of her most recent, co-authored contributions is A Pathway to Combat Climate Change with Human-Centered XAI.
Georg Rainer Hofmann, Head of the Information Management Institute IMI, Professor at Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences. Author of publications about the history of Computer Science in Europe, including Artificial Intelligence.
Chair: Hans-Günter Lindner, Professor at Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

Conference Reflections | Chair’s reflections and concluding remarks on the conference
18:30-18:50 (CET)

Mulled wine & open discussion - Get together on Lindau Christmas Market
from 19:00 (CET)



The conference will be held in the beautiful Inselhalle Lindau,
which is also home to the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings that have been held for over 70 years.

For questions or to get in touch please contact us by e-mail