‘Taking action for a better world is not a choice’

Hamburg shows it’s teeth – Impressions and Highlights from the opening of the Tomorrow Bank’s and Impact Hub Hamburg’s  office in Hamburg Karoviertel.  

  • Hamburg finally is home to an Impact Hub!
  • Over 300 enthusiasts joined for a panel on ‘Why does Hamburg need an Impact Hub?’, celebrating Social Business at the sequent housewarming party
  • The social innovation field shows strong conviction and boldness pointing to the necessity of everyone taking responsibility for the planet we live on


Metaphorically, the evening felt like a warm shower of emotions and intellectual inspiration among friends. What struck me most was the vigour, conviction and directness displayed by the panellists on their role as young entrepreneurs ‘#challengerbrands’ and the implicitness for putting the common good at the core of their activities. Embracing ethics, changing the way business works, seemed like the most normal thing in the world everyone would do. As challenging as ‘imagining a more beautiful world’ might be, this community makes it feel like a piece of cake.

Highlights from the Panel Discussion

Michael Schweikart, the co-founder of Tomorrow Bank (Banking shouldn’t cost the earth) confronted with the possibility the German unicorn bank N26 could shift focus on sustainability as core business principle, replied frankly ‘Than we reached our goal!’, clarifying that catalysing ethics in the banking sector is the intention they build their business upon.

Steffen Otten, co-founder of Runamics (Running gear without plastic), spoke about the sad fact, the business world needing small companies like his or places like the Impact Hub to challenge their status quo. Giving space for the grief and sadness lots of people in the social change field feel for the destruction of the planet we live on. At the same time Steffen pin-pointed, big businesses would not change, unless they see the business- and growth case, speaking to the primal story they run on. Profoundly true.

Natalie Richter, co-founder of Terrorists of beauty (Soaps as weapons), said it was not her company’s aim to grow as big as she could, but to catalyze changes in the way consumers engage with cosmetics and trigger production companies to consequently change towards sustainable ways of bringing cosmetics to the world.

Jose Saldana, Director of Impact Hub Hamburg (Impact cannot happen in isolation), confronted with the theme of competition between Social Impact Lab,  Climate KIC  and Impact Hub, concluded the Ecosystem in Hamburg needed a diversity of players to reach different sectors of society. He added that new collaborations with the big institutional players, companies and administrations are necessary to get a grip on system change (e.g. through Sustainable Development Goals) it needed everyone willing to take consequent action.

The party was also joined by changemakers from the Fridays For Future Movement. Florian König and Annika Rittmann commented they ‘have no choice’ but to be engaged for a better world they want to live in. With their initiative Entrepreneurs For Future they aim to kick-start conversations with all kinds of entrepreneurs taking tacit action. It struck me, so many young people today thankfully understand the power dynamics of business and politics and know they need to get their foot in the door to be heard and trigger much needed change.

Hamburg’s social innovation scene is grow and I am glad to witness this ecosystem moving towards the strong conviction that ‘being engaged for the common good is not a choice’.


Up next on Hamburg’s Social Innovation scene is Weciety.com on 29.09.2019 at Mindspace Hamburg.

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