DLD Circular discusses the future of our world


While the IAA premiered in the Bavarian capital Munich, around 200 invited guests gathered at BMW World for DLD Circular – a conference hosted by Burda’s innovation conference DLD in partnership with BMW. The event circled around one of the most pressing topics of our time, which also dominates the world's largest automotive show: Sustainability.

“Climate Change is pressing us to action. We have to deal with it now”, said Steffi Czerny in her opening speech on the circular DLD stage which was designed as a roundel to reflect the motto "Circular Economy" large LED screens and spotlights.

But what does a "Circular Mindset" mean? Jens Thiemer, who is heading BMW’s brand management and marketing department, pointed out: He wants BMW to become a global leader in sustainability. To achieve this goal, everyone in the Group must have the right attitude and mindset, he said in an interview with Chris Grantham from the international design and innovation consultancy IDEO:

"It’s not enough to be the best IN the world. You have to be the best FOR the world.”

Jens Thiemer, Senior Vice President Customer & Brand BMW Group

The consumer as activist

Founder Nachson Mimran and manager Kristina Kloberdanz discussed how important it is that entrepreneurs, customers, and consumers interact with each other when it comes to sustainability. The panel was hosted by Greg Williams, Editor-in-Chief at Wired UK. Kloberdanz who is leading Mastercard’s approach to sustainability believes that „consumers vote with their wallets” and raising awareness for buying choices is the first step to more sustainability and a Circular Economy. Mimran, who invests in sustainable projects and companies worldwide, is convinced that founders can play a crucial role in this field:

"Founders whose focus is on sustainability and the Circular Economy should be the new rock stars!"

Nachson Mimran, founder and CEO To.org

Sustainable Fashion

A rock star from the field of fashion dialed in virtually to talk to curator Hans Ulrich Obrist at DLD Circular: Creative Director of Chloé, Gabriela Hearst. Two days before the launch of her new collection, she shared how her childhood on a farm in Uruguay still influences her work today: "It's about understanding and respecting the materials used", she said. To Hearst it is crucial which kind of materials are used and that natural materials need time to grow. That, she says, is reflected in both quality and carbon neutrality.

Recomposing the environment

A more artistic look at “circularity” was taken by composer Hans Zimmer and stage artist Es Devlin. These days, artists have the possibility to compose their own environment, Zimmer explained. "Finally, we can treat a car like an art sculpture. We can compose a symphony around it. It's about finding the resonance that connects us all." Partnerships are especially important in taking advantage of these opportunities, Zimmer continued.

"If we want to break out of our habits, we have to overcome the fear that ideas from others might be better.”

Es Devlin, stage designer and multimedia artist

Hubert Burda didn't want to miss the opportunity to drop by DLD Circular in person to listen to the talk of the two artists. After their talk, he had a lively exchange with Oscar-winning film composer Hans Zimmer about the magic of music, which "brings out the deepest emotions in us," according to the publisher.

A speculative vision of the world

Near the end of a packed conference day full of inspiring panels on "Circular Economy," Australian film director Liam Young took the audience on a journey through the science fiction reality of his "Planet City". The gigantic, sustainable city that houses the entire world's population is, of course, imaginary. However, he emphasized, that "fictional worlds give us almost limitless, technological possibilities." The resources to build them already exist and no new resources are needed, Young explained.

Free images for editorial use can be found here.

More images & downloads

Publisher Hubert Burda and composer Hans Zimmer © Florian Hagena for DLD / Hubert Burda Media

BMW Brand Manager Jens Thiemer live on the DLD Circular stage © Florian Hagena for DLD / Hubert Burda Media

Architect Francis Kéré on the DLD Circular stage at the BMW Welt © Florian Hagena for DLD / Hubert Burda Media

Kristina Kloberdanz, Mastercard, in conversation with Nachson Mimran, To.org © Florian Hagena for DLD / Hubert Burda Media

Steffi Czerny, Managing Director DLD, opens the conference focusing on circular economy © Florian Hagena for DLD / Hubert Burda Media

Kilian Kaminski from Refurbed listens to the different panels before he comes on stage to talk about „Tech-Enabled Circular Marketplaces“ © Florian Hagena for DLD / Hubert Burda Media

Designer Es Devlin presents an artistic view on circularity © Florian Hagena for DLD / Hubert Burda Media

Gabriela Hearst, Chloé, joined the conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist about sustainability in fashion virtually © Florian Hagena for DLD / Hubert Burda Media

Publisher Hubert Burda on the DLD Circular stage together with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Steffi Czerny, Es Devlin, Hans Zimmer and Jens Thiemer © Florian Hagena for DLD / Hubert Burda Media

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