ESMT Annual Forum 2011

ESMT Annual Forum

The Global Race for Competitive Edge

July 6-7, 2011, in Berlin

The ESMT Annual Forum 2011 "The Global Race for Competitive Edge" was held July 6-7, 2011 in Berlin. The business school's annual conference brought together academic experts, policymakers, and managers from around the world to discuss how companies and business units can best stay competitive. 

Can sustainable growth and competitive edge be engineered? The race to retain and gain competitive edge is a global contest. Innovation and smart resource management are key to building future success. How can business leaders and governments make an impact in a field of conflicting international interests, interdependencies, and regulatory intervention? And what role does the human factor play in long-term success?

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ESMT Responsible Leadership Award 2011

ESMT Responsible Leadership Award 2011

Honoree: Güler Sabanci

Josef Ackermann and Güler Sabanci holding ESMT Responsible Leadership Award

Josef Ackermann and Güler Sabanci holding ESMT Responsible Leadership Award

Güler Sabanci’s demonstrated skill in leading a profitable organization, strong commitment to the “triple bottom line” of sustainability together with her proven record of service and stewardship make her not only an inspiring business leader but the personification of the qualities the ESMT Responsible Leadership Award seeks to recognize. It is awarded annually to an outstanding business figure who has demonstrated a deep commitment to the principles of sustainability and whose actions have inspired others.

With 50,000 employees and operations in 18 countries, Sabanci Holding is Turkey’s leading industrial and financial conglomerate. It invests heavily in corporate responsibility programs and has a strong focus upon sustainable, competitive, and environmentally sound energy policies. Güler Sabanci heads not only this highly-successful business but also the Sabanci Foundation, which aims to strengthen the rights of women and girls in Turkey. In this and in her capacity as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Sabanci University, she has taken on a pioneering role.

Program 2011, July 6

Program 2011, July 6

Michael Diekmann, Chairman of the Board of Management, Allianz SE and Chairman of the ESMT Foundation Board of Trustees, opened this year’s Annual Forum. Followed a keynote address by Henning Kagermann, President of acatech and former CEO of SAP, the Cornerstone Panel on “E-Mobility: The Race is On” took place with Soumitra Dutta, Roland Berger Chaired Professor of Business and Technology and Academic Director, eLab, INSEAD; Michel Gardel, Vice-President, External Affairs & Environmental Affairs, Toyota Motor Europe; Jürgen Großmann, CEO, RWE, Henning Kagermann, and Levin Zhu, CEO, China International Capital Corporation Ltd.

2:00 - 2:10 p.m. Introduction
Lars-Hendrik Röller, Director General of the Economic and Financial Policy Division, German Federal Chancellery. Former President, ESMT

2:10 - 2:20 p.m. Opening of ESMT Annual Forum
Michael Diekmann, CEO, Allianz SE

2:20 p.m. Keynote Address
Henning Kagermann, President, acatech

2:30 p.m. Keynote Address
Jan Mücke, Parliamentary State Secretary, German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development; Member of the German Bundestag and Chief Whip of the FDP parliamentary party

3:00 - 4:15 p.m. Cornerstone Panel
E-Mobility: The Race is On


  • Soumitra Dutta, Roland Berger Chaired Professor of Business and Technology and Academic Director, eLab, INSEAD
  • Michel Gardel, Vice-President, External Affairs & Environmental Affairs, Toyota Motor Europe
  • Jürgen Großmann, CEO, RWE AG
  • Henning Kagermann, President, acatech
  • Levin Zhu, CEO, China International Capital Corporation Ltd.

Moderator: Henrik Müller, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Manager Magazin

4:15 p.m. Break

4:30 p.m. Award Ceremony: ESMT Responsible Leadership Award

ESMT Responsible Leadership Award honors Güler Sabanci, who has demonstrated a deep commitment to the principles of sustainability and whose actions have inspired others.
More about Güler Sabanci and the ESMT Responsible Leadership Award

Laudator: Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank AG

5:30 p.m. Reception
The evening reception serves as an opportunity to network and discuss with all participants.

Program 2011, July 7

Program 2011, July 7

The second day belonged to renowned scholars and international experts discussing the topics “Competitive Edge on the Net,” “The Race for Talent," and “New Technologies for Global Markets.” Panelists and speakers included Jan Muehlfeit, Chairman Microsoft Europe, Dietmar Harhoff, Director INNO-tec, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität LMU München, Francesca Gino, Professor, Harvard Business School, Detlef Eckert, Director, DG Information Society & Media at the European Commission, and Thomas A. Curran, CTO, Deutsche Telekom AG among many others. The BBQ lunch in the ESMT garden has already become a tradition concluding the annual meeting.

8:00 - 9:00 a.m. Breakfast

  • Presentation and Q&A with Peter Amon, President Continental Europe, Aramark GmbH, “Living Sustainability”.
  • Moderator: C.B. Bhattacharya, ESMT Associate Dean of International Relations and E.ON Chair in Corporate Responsibility

9:00 - 9:10 a.m. Introductory Remarks
Jörg Rocholl, Acting President; Dean of Faculty and Ernst & Young Chair in Governance and Compliance, ESMT

9:10 - 9:40 a.m. Keynote Address
Jan Muehlfeit, Chairman, Microsoft Europe

Globalization, Technology and People
Technology in next the 10 years will play an unprecedented transformative role in society and will even more dramatically influence further globalization.  People, organizations, states will mainly compete through their ability to use technology in innovation, creativity and design.
The paradox is that the more technology we use, the more human brains and people talent will be really the one and only long term competitive advantage for individuals, companies and countries. The implications of these trends for global competitiveness will be explored, also through discussion with the audience.

9:40 - 10:00 a.m. Coffee Break

10:00 - 12:30 p.m. Panel I: Competitive Edge on the Net

Two decades after the inception of the World Wide Web (WWW), which was developed to pool human knowledge and foster borderless cooperation on a unifying network, the Internet is an unquestioned platform for innovation and growth. While some large U.S. content providers have experienced stellar performance, Internet Service Providers’ (ISP) performance has been less spectacular. At the same time, ideas to offer exclusive services and differentiated quality classes on the net may help ISPs to regain competitive edge while shaking up the content providers. This, in turn, has sparked strong protests among user communities and political decision makers concerned with violation of net neutrality – the idea that everyone can have equal access to the net. This session will bring together industry experts and academics to discuss these dynamic developments and possible future scenarios for gaining competitive edge on the internet.


  • Johannes M. Bauer, Professor, Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media; Director of Special Programs, Quello Center for Telecommunication Management & Law, Michigan State University
  • Thomas A. Curran, Chief Technology Officer, Deutsche Telekom AG
  • Detlef Eckert, Director European Commission, DG Information Society & Media, Directorate C - Policy Coordination and Strategy, European Commission in Brussels
  • Dietmar Harhoff, Director of the Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (INNO-tec), Chairman, Expert Commission Research and Innovation (Expertenkommission Forschung und Innovation - EFI), and Visiting Professor, Stanford University, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität LMU München

Moderator: Michał Grajek, Associate Professor, ESMT

10:00 - 12:30 p.m. Panel II: The Race for Talent

This panel discussion is dedicated to the role of the human factor in achieving and maintaining long-term organizational success and associated leadership challenges. The panelists will interact with the audience to explore current thinking and practice in talent management and leadership development, as well as their place in ensuring competitive advantage. The session will highlight such issues as creative and ethical components of talent management and leadership, executive careers and career development, and shared leadership, and, in particular, the impact these have on our understanding of organizations today and in the future.


  • Francesca Gino, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
  • Monika Hamori, Professor of Human Resource Management, IE Business School, Madrid
  • Alexander Landia, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Siberian Coal Energy Company
  • Charles O'Reilly, Frank E. Buck Professor of Management, Hank McKinnell Pfizer Inc. Director of the Center for Leadership Development and Research, Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Craig L. Pearce, Donald Clifton Chair in Leadership, Director of the Institute for Innovative Leadership, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


  • Konstantin Korotov, Director of the Center for Leadership Development Research and Associate Professor, ESMT
  • Zhike Lei, Assistant Professor, ESMT

10:00 - 12:30 p.m. Panel III: New Technologies for Global Markets

In this session we will explore the new challenges faced by technology-based industries in new and mature markets. First we shall explore low cost as the key to enter the new markets. To succeed we may pare down products while fulfilling their basic technical function, and/or design products as simply and cost effectively as possible. Yet what are the challenges these developments pose with regard to brand, sales force, organizational structure, and company culture? In the second part of the session, we will take a closer look at our traditional markets, where we are confronted with ever increasing demands. Customized design of products and services has already become a matter of course, but what about the next evolutionary step, namely the long-term co-creation of value? We will elaborate on what it takes to share revenue and risk, and analyze how and when suppliers are paid - and for what exactly.


  • Ralf Koeppe, Vice President R & D, KUKA Laboratories GmbH
  • Felix Scheffler, Head of C top+ & CQM, Siemens AG
  • Franz-Josef Schürmann, Country Head, Infosys Ltd.


  • Olaf Plötner, Dean of Executive Education, and Managing Director, ESMT Customized Solutions, ESMT
  • Mario Rese, Full Professor, ESMT

12:30 - 12:45 p.m. Coffee Break

12:45 - 1:15 p.m. Presentation and Discussion of Panel Results
Panel Moderators

1:15 - 1:30 p.m. Closing Remarks

1:30 p.m. Lunch BBQ in ESMT Garden
Close out the ESMT Annual Forum "The Global Race for Competitive Edge” together with fellow participants at an informal lunch on campus.