DLD Munich 24
13/01/2024

Aenne Burda Award for Sandrine Dixson-Declève

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"Dare to know" – that’s the motto of Burda's international innovation conference DLD Munich 24, which has been taking place since Thursday. Since 2006, the Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership has been presented at the conference and has honoured women who have made a name for themselves with outstanding entrepreneurial and creative achievements – all in memory of the late Aenne Burda. Courage, optimism, innovation, creativity and inspiration are just some of the qualities that characterise the award winners. This year, the coveted trophy goes to the Belgian energy policy expert and Co-President of The Club of Rome, Sandrine Dixson-Declève.

Worldwide commitment

Climate change, the environment, sustainability, and energy – Sandrine Dixson-Declève has focused on these topics in both her political and economic leadership positions, which she has held throughout Europe and internationally for almost three decades. Today, she is Co-President of The Club of Rome, an association of experts from over 30 countries with the goal of a sustainable future, and she divides her time between facilitating change in business and policy models and advisory work, motivating and inspiring in lectures worldwide to commit to more climate protection. Sandrine Dixson-Declève has also been holding several advisory positions at the European Commission, including chairing the Expert Group on the Economic and Social Impact of Research & Innovation (ESIR).

Auguste von Bayern, Chairwoman Biotopia and 2017 Aenne Burda Award winner, gave the laudatory speech on behalf of Michael John Gorman, Founding Director Biotopia, and said: "Sandrine Dixson-Declève is an exemplary leader and champion in sustainable change, celebrated for her vision and commitment to bettering the world. As a trailblazer in sustainable development, she is a catalyst for change, a beacon of hope, and an advocate for action. Through her efforts, Sandrine pushes for systematic change, societal transformation, and human well-being, inspiring urgent action pathways for a more liveable future.”

Sandrine Dixson-Declève is a member of the "Platform on Sustainable Finance" and sits on several non-executives and advisory boards including BMW, EDP, UCB Climate KIC, UCL-Bartlett School of Environment and the IEEP (Institute for European Environmental Policy). She is also a Senior Associate and faculty member of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and an ambassador for the Energy Transition Commission (ETC) and the Wellbeing Alliance (WeAll). Dixson-Declève co-founded the Women Enablers Change Agent Network (WECAN) and has been recognised by GreenBiz as one of the 30 most influential women across the globe driving change in the low carbon economy and promoting green business.

Sandrine Dixson-Declève was visibly moved as she accepted the Aenne Burda Award on stage at the House of Communication in Munich. In her speech, she looked back on her career and admitted that her path was not always easy. She thanked her family, Felicitas von Peter (Active Philanthropy), Steffi Czerny and Burda.


"We have to become human again. I oscillate between hope and despair every day. I’m telling you this to demonstrate the vulnerability we all share as individuals and as humanity. We must return to a spirit of humanity, loving deeply as a collective and taking pride in being part of the human species and part of this planet we call home. It's not just about me, it's about the 'we' and therefore an award is always a reflection of a community."

Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Aenne Burda Award winner 2024


Many outstanding women have already been honoured with the Aenne Burda Award in recent years. These include Alzheimer's researcher Andrea Pfeifer, Maja Hoffmann (founder of the Luma Foundation), Nigerian entrepreneur Fatoumata Ba, Costa Rican politician Christiana Figueres and, most recently in 2023, Turkish chef Ebru Baybara Demir.

Live stream of the last conference day

DLD Munich 24 runs until Saturday afternoon, January 13. Follow the panels with the live stream on dld-conference.com.

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Auguste von Bayern, Chairwoman Biotopia and Aenne Burda Award winner 2017, gave the laudatory speech on behalf of Michael John Gorman, Founding Director Biotopia © Picture Alliance for DLD / Hubert Burda Media

The Belgian energy policy expert and Co-President of the Club of Rome Sandrine Dixson-Declève received the Aenne Burda Award at DLD Munich 24 © Picture Alliance for DLD / Hubert Burda Media

Since 2006, the Aenne Burda Award has been presented at DLD to women who have made a name for themselves with outstanding entrepreneurial and creative achievements © Michaela Stache for DLD / Hubert Burda Media

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