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About Us

Bauhaus der Erde gGmbH is a non-profit organization with the objective to transform the built environment. Our purpose is to transform the way we construct and maintain the built environment so that the human species may live in dignity and harmony with the Earth’s natural systems.

 

The construction sector is responsible for 40 percent of global CO2 emissions and a host of other environmental impacts. Unless we change this, climate collapse is inevitable. We need a global transformation in construction. 


The challenge ­– implementing the change essential to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord – is gigantic. To this end, we have now established the Bauhaus der Erde gGmbH. A century after the founding of the original Bauhaus in Weimar, this new non-profit enterprise aspires to reinvent the Bauhaus concept to meet this pivotal historic challenge. 

 
Startup Room

Who We Are

Exactly 100 years after the original Bauhaus was founded, we gathered a broad range of like-minded individuals in Caputh to confront the dual crisis of inequality and climate change. Together, we strive to be the nucleus of a global movement whose aim is to create a built environment that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. 

 

We owe a special thanks to Laudes Foundation for being our partner in this exciting endeavor.

 

Leadership Team

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Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, CBE

Founder and Managing Director

Founder and Director Emeritus of the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research

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Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz

Co-Managing Director

Architect and urban planner, former Managing Director of the Institute of Architecture at Technical University Berlin and Chair of Habitat-Unit.de; partner of Urban Catalyst GmbH Berlin

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Alan Organschi

Director of the Innovation Lab

Principal of Gray Organschi Architecture and Senior Faculty in Design and Construction Technology at the Yale School of Architecture

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Marc Weissgerber

Co-founder and Partner

Former Managing Director and CFO of Veolia Germany and EU's climate innovation network Climate-KIC

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Prof. Dr. Jürgen P. Kropp

Strategic Advisor and Partner

Head of Urban Transformations at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and former CEO of Climate Media Factory UG

 

Content Team

Franziska Schreiber

Senior Researcher and Project Coordinator

Urban planner, Senior Associate and former Head of Urban Transformations at adelphi

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Christiane Walter

Head of Finance and HR

Project Coordinator of the Urban Transformations Group at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research with an academic background in Humanities, Sociology, and Journalism

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Ambassadors

Signatories of the Declaration of Caputh and members of the Initiative Group

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Annalena Baerbock

Federal Chairwomen Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

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Margret Boysen

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

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Prof. Dr. Philipp Bouteiller

Managing Director Tegel Projekt GmbH

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Heiner Farwick

Architect, former president, Association of German Architects

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Monika Grütters

Minister of State for Culture and

the Media

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Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Annette
Hillebrandt

Architect BDA, Chair of the University of Wuppertal Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering

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Barbara Hoidn

Hoidn Wang Partner Berlin

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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Achim Kampker

Professor RWTH Aachen University Entrepreneur

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Stephan Krüger

Head of Government and Economic Relations Germany, Rhomberg Holding GmbH

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Andreas Kuhlmann

Chairman of the Managing Directors Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena)

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Rafael Laguna de la Vera

Director, Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation SPRIND

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Regula Lüscher

Senate Building Director and State Secretary for Urban Development Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing Berlin

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Prof. Dr. Dirk Messner

President of the German Environment Agency

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Klaus Mindrup

Member of the Bundestag

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Dr. Brigitte Mohn

Managing Director Sunrise Capital GmbH

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Carolina Mojto

Architect, Founder and CEO Freiraum in der Box

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Reinhard Müller

Chairman EUREF AG

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Hans Wolfgang Pausch

Entrepreneur

Volker Schlöndorff

Director / Producer

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Dr. Manja Schüle

Minister for Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg

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Werner Sobek

Architect and Engineer

Erwin Thoma

Founder and CEO Thoma Forschungszentrum und Holzbau

Dr. Auguste von Bayern

Max Planck Institute for Ornithology Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Förderkreis Biotopia

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Dr. Nathalie von Siemens

Supervisory Board Member

Prof. Dr. Annette Hafner

Ruhr University Bochum

Sustainable Construction and Environmental Engineering

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Blechinger

Rector Salzburg University of Applied Sciences

Ólafur Elíasson

Artist

Thomas A. Brenninkmeijer 

Anthos

 

Companions

A special thanks to all those who have spent their time, energy, and effort in support of our work so far.

​​Margret Boysen (strategic planning, logo), Kathrin Bräuer-Niekamp (communication), Galina Churkina (research, strategic planning), Adrienne Feiertag (professional assistance), Michael Schneider for econnext KGaA (general advice), Philipp Gerstner (video), Lion Verheyden (strategic planning and IT), Eugenia Lagemann & Julika Hettlich from Fischer Appelt (communication), Martin Markstein (logo), Andrew Ruff (website), Wolfhart Pentz & Caspar von Blomberg von Egon Zehnder (Executive Search), Nathalie von Siemens & HW Pausch (hosts), Kira Vinke (strategic planning), BMH Bräutigam (notary services), and PXR Legal (legal adviser).

In particular, we are indebted to Kerstin Humberg for her tireless efforts during the start-up phase of the Bauhaus as interim managing director.

Image by Ben den Engelsen

What We do

Our aspiration is to break the mold of conventional construction and catalyze systemic change in the building sector to promote sustainability and inclusiveness by 2027. In addition, we aim to demonstrate the potential of organic, circular, polycentric and community-based construction.

 

To realize this aspiration, we focus on three strategic priorities:

  

1

Reinvent the traditional Bauhaus idea as a powerful “Gesamtkunstwerk” for sustainable and inclusive construction in the 21st century

2

Develop the sectoral “10-year roadmap” for systemic change in the built environment

3

Accelerate innovation along the extended lifecycle of bio-based construction and foster polycentric regenerative urban development

 
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How We Work

The Bauhaus der Erde will operate through three entities operating synergistically: a Think Tank, an Innovation Lab, and a dedicated network of key decision makers across sectors. 


Together with our partners, these three entities will realize deep demonstration projects in select geographies

 
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Think Tank

Delivers a systems analysis of the current and potential alternative models of the built and urban environment at the building, district, and city scale.

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Innovation Lab

Experiments with alternative approaches to energy and material utilization in building design, construction and operation, along the building products’ supply chain and across the building lifecycle, offering proof of concept for sustainable, circular economic construction assemblies for a range of building typologies.

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Network

Key decision makers across sectors (e.g. politicians, industry leaders, architects, engineers, planners, scientists, and investors) co-create solutions and help to leverage its interdisciplinary, trans-sectoral relationships and findings.

 
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"As cities go, so goes the planet! It is estimated that cities are responsible for 75 percent of global CO2 emissions, with transport and buildings being among the largest contributors. In Africa the urgency is even greater – a majority of the infrastructure needed for the next 50 years has not yet been built. This makes African cities the perfect platforms for innovation, particularly in the built environment and transportation – how we move people and goods within and between cities. Against this background, I am truly excited about the Bauhaus der Erde initiative!"

Wanjira Mathai

Vice President and Regional Director, World Resources Institute Africa

Chairperson, Wangari Maathai Foundation

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"In addition to eliminating all forms of environmental pollution, our biggest goal should be to reduce emissions of climate-altering carbon to lowest possible levels – and to mitigate the impact of the emissions we cannot eliminate through carbon-capturing practices such as tree planting.

 

If we can imagine something, there is a good chance that it will happen. If we don’t imagine it, there is almost no chance of it happening. The same holds true for the Bauhaus der Erde." 

Prof. Muhammad Yunus

Nobel Peace Laureate from Bangladesh

Founder of Grameen Bank

Author of “A World of Three Zeros”

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"The New European Bauhaus is a project of hope to explore how we live better together after the pandemic. It is about matching sustainability with style, to bring the European Green Deal closer to people's minds and homes. We need all creative minds: designers, artists, scientists, architects and citizens, to make the New European Bauhaus a success."

Ursula von der Leyen

European Commission President

 
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To cope with the multi-dimensional consequences of population growth, rapid urbanization and global climate change, we need to fundamentally transform the built environment and catalyze change towards inclusiveness and sustainability.