27. - 28.06.

From eco to ecopreneur – interim conference


Leuphana Universität Lüneburg | Zentralgebäude
Universitätsallee 1, Lüneburg

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27 June 2024 | 13.00 – 18.00
Leuphana University of Lüneburg,
C 40.530 and C 40.704

28 June 2024 | 09.00 – 11.00,
Excursion to Utopia,
Katzenstraße 1a, 21335 Lüneburg

The interim conference of the DBU-funded project ‘From Eco to Ecopreneur – Between Activism and Entrepreneurship: Practical Approaches to Sustainable Transformation’ has two objectives: 1) to practically demonstrate the potential and range of sustainable entrepreneurship and 2) to give young people a platform and a place to exchange their sustainable start-up and project ideas.

The background to this is that there is often a lack of places and opportunities where initiators of sustainable start-up ideas have the chance to exchange ideas with sustainable founders in the early stages. There is also often a lack of entrepreneurial role models who combine start-up expertise and sustainability and contribute to sustainable transformations, as well as offering insights into how exactly the start-up process took place, what challenges had to be overcome and what sources of strength ensure a sustainable start-up process.

With its programme of keynotes, gallery walks, research input and panel discussions, the conference aims to provide impetus in this area. We have invited 5 exciting start-ups, all of which address ecological, social and economic challenges in their own way and contribute to the sustainability transformation. Im Zentrum der Konferenz steht ein Gallery Walk mit den nachhaltigen Gründungs- und Projektideen junger Menschen aus der Leuphana und dem Projekt.

This is your opportunity to discuss your start-ups and project ideas with people from the start-up world, the German Federal Environmental Foundation, researchers and other idea providers. If you would like to present your idea at the Gallery Walk in the form of a poster, please indicate this when you register. If you have any questions, please contact me:

Five exciting start-ups will be taking part as keynote speakers and panellists: LOKORA, Backdigital, BonusBot, Hempy Period and Nidisi. We also share initial research findings from the ecopreneur project, including which skills are important for sustainable entrepreneurship. Our funding body, the German Federal Environmental Foundation, will also be introducing itself and we will be organising a panel discussion on the potential and role of ecopreneurship with various stakeholders. We discuss with Fabien Matthies from Nidisi and Amelie Harm & Agnes Maria Paul from Hempy Period, Prof Dr Jana-Michaela Timm from the University of Hamburg and Verena Exner from the German Federal Environmental Foundation.

On Friday, June 28th 2024, the conference will then take us on an excursion to the heart of sustainable entrepreneurship – Utopia Lüneburg. A sustainable start-up centre, co-working space, start-up incubator, workshop and community in Lüneburg.


Thursday, 27.06.2024

  • 13:00: Start of the conference
  • Arrival and check-in with drinks and snacks framed by start-up and project ideas
  • Greeting
  • Keynotes: Start-up stories and perspectives on sustainable founding
    Finn Seidel (LOKORA)
    Malte Pfahl (Backdigital)
    Dr. Diana Schönenberger (BonusBot)
  • First results from the research project ‘From eco to ecopreneur’
  • Gallery Walk with the sustainable start-up and project ideas of young people
  • Panel discussion: Potential and role of ecopreneurship
    Fabien Matthies (Nidisi)
    Amelie Harm & Agnes Maria Paul (Hempy Period)
    Prof. Dr. Jana-Michaela Timm (University of Hamburg)
    Verena Exner (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt)
  • 18:00: Closing of the conference

Friday, 28.06.2024

  • 09.00 – 11.00: Excursion to Utopia Lüneburg
    Sustainable start-up centre, co-working, space, start-up incubator, workshop and community in Lüneburg
    Address: Katzenstraße 1a, 21335 Lüneburg

The Project

The project ‘From Eco to Ecopreneur – Between Activism and Entrepreneurship: Practical Approaches to Sustainable Transformation’ aims to raise untapped potential for environmentally oriented entrepreneurship (hereinafter referred to as ecopreneurship) and to encourage the founding of environmentally oriented companies by young, environmentally conscious adults.

Ecopreneurship describes the establishment of companies that contribute to solving urgent environmental problems through innovation. An increase in environmental awareness can currently be observed, particularly in the younger generations, which is reflected in the large number of civil society initiatives and the growth in environmental degree programmes.

In contrast to students of economics, however, students of environmental sciences and members of environmental protection organisations only very rarely aspire to set up a company. As part of this project, target group-specific educational measures are being developed and implemented to realise this potential and promote ecopreneurship.

The social significance of ecopreneurship arises, among other things, from the fact that newly founded, environmentally oriented companies create a better, demand-oriented offer for customers and put established competitors under pressure with this offer, as the expectations of consumers and legislation increase. Ecopreneurship therefore plays a central role in realising sustainability transitions.

The project is based at the Chair of Sustainability Economics & Management at the Centre for Sustainability Management at Leuphana University of Lüneburg under the direction of Prof. Jacob Hörisch. Maike Buhr is the project team member.


You can register for the conference, the excursion and the Gallery Walk via the following link:


Maike Buhr

Project collaborator ‘From eco to ecopreneur’
Leuphana University of Lüneburg


Leuphana Universität Lüneburg | Zentralgebäude
Universitätsallee 1, Lüneburg



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