Keynote Address 2023

Every year we present a well-known personality from science, society, economy, politics or sports as speaker at the SEPAWA® CONGRESS. Be it current topics or perennial favorites, it will certainly spark your interest.

Dr. Theo Waigel | Kanzlei WAIGEL Rechtsanwälte

Politics and Economy in Unsteady Times


Thursday, 26 October 2023 from 13:15 – 14:30 hrs at Room Auditorium


“They are blind guides. If a blind man guides a blind man …”. Matth. 15:14

A world in transition! Inflation, war, power shifts, threatened democracies! What does history teach us? Has this all happened before? How were these challenges overcome? Can we learn from this?

Do we need more sighted people?

Quo vadis genus humanum?

Should we be confident or fearful?

Dr Waigel takes the listeners through history to the present and future, based on extensive political knowledge and life experience.

Dr. Theo Waigel was the longest-serving Federal Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Germany, from April 1989 to October 1998. He was Finance Minister at a formative time for Germany – including during unification – and played a key role in European monetary union and the formation of the euro.

Dr. Waigel started his career in public office as a member of the Krumbach County Council, and became a member of the Bundestag in 1972. He was a Personal Assistant to the Under Secretary of State at the Bavarian Ministry of Finance from 1969 to 1970, then to the Bavarian Minister of State for Economic and Transportation Affairs from 1970 to 1972.

He has held a number of leadership positions with the Christian Social Union (CSU) through the years. From 1971 to 1975, he was Chairman of the Junge Union Bayern, the junior arm of the CSU in Bavaria, then Chairman of the CSU’s Doctrinal Commission from 1973 to 1988. From 1982 to April 1989, he was Chairman of the Bavarian CSU faction in the Bundestag and First Vice-Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. From 1988 to 1999, he was Chairman of the CSU.

After leaving public office, Dr. Waigel practiced as a lawyer in the law firm GSK Stockmann + Kollegen in Munich from 1999 to 2014, and he was the Compliance Officer at Siemens from 2009 to 2012.

As of 2016, he is Of Counsel at WAIGEL Rechtsanwälte in Munich. He was member of the Independent Compliance Review Panel at Airbus from 2017 to 2020. He studied at the Universities of Munich and Würzburg and holds a doctorate in Legal and Political Science and is an Honorary Doctor of Law of the University of South Carolina.

Topics & Personalities

Keynote Address

Every year, SEPAWA® invites a renowned personality from the fields of science, society, business, politics or sports are invited to give a keynote lecture. In recent years, these were:

  • At the first post-COVID live congress in 2022, Jens Bode, as Innologe, inspired the audience with the topic: “The I-Point. With Your Own Talent, (Trend)Inspiration & Desire to Innovate.”
  • 2021, Prof. Dr. Dr. Manfred Spitzer, neuroscientist and psychiatrist, inspired us with a lecture about the brain, the computer and mental capacity and what we have learned in the last 20 years.
  • 2020, Prof. Dr. Dirk Notz, climate researcher, held a lecture titled “The Big Melt.” In his presentation, he shed light on global climate change. He linked his own experiences from his numerous expeditions with the scientific background of global climate change.
  • In 2019 Dr. Richard David Precht, author and publicist, talked about the topic “digital revolution and the future of how we work.”
  • 2018, Antonia Rados, foreign correspondent and journalist, held a lecture with the title: “Turmoil in the Middle East – Consequences for Europe.”
  • In 2017, Dr. Ulf Merbold took the delegates on a space flight with a critical view onto our blue planet Earth. Anyone who has ever had the privilege to see its beauty from space should make it their mission to preserve it.
  • 2016 Dr. Gregor Gysi gave an inspiring lecture on global consumption, its development and reduction and changes.
  • In the previous year, extreme mountaineer Thomas Huber was invited to talk about the “analogy between mountain and profession”.
  • In 2014 Prof. Dr. Gertrud Höhler, publicist and consultant, held a lecture titled “innovation starts with leadership”.
  • Brother Paulus, guardian of the Capuchin Convent “Liebfrauen” in Frankfurt am Main was invited in 2013. In his lecture titled “Heart Detergent”, he explained how the Ten Commandments liberate the mind and pave the way for success.


Marketing Lecture

Within the framework of a marketing lecture, current issues of general interest were ompetently and realistically dealt with by internationally renowned experts. These can be for instance: motivation, innovation, diversity or the role of the internet in our society. In recent years, we had the privilege to welcome the following personalities:

  • In 2018 Gerriet Danz, expert on innovation and creativity, held a lecture with the title: “Utopia Creates Sales! Success – Beyond 8/15.”
  • Antoinette Anderegg not only illustrated impressively how our body language can be used for communication, but also what we unconsciously reveal about our feelings and intentions.
  • In 2016, blogger and internet expert Sascha Lobo, explored the topic surrounding the web and how it changes sour society. He focused especially on changes for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).
  • In the year prior to that, Business Coach Anne M. Schüller was our guest. In her lecture, the audience learnt step by step about loyality marketing can bring lasting success to a business.
  • In 2014, Prof. Dr. Jutta Rump of the Institute for Occupation and Employability IBE, Ludwigshafen, gave a talk on the following topic: “The younger generation in an ageing society: Generation Y versus Generation Baby Boomer?”.
  • Dr. Michael Bartl, Hyve AG in Munich, talked in 2013 about the change in innovation models in a digital age.