#VE23 #SO23 with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier #VE23 #SO23 with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier #VE23 #SO23 with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier #VE23 #SO23 with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier #VE23 #SO23 with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier #VE23 #SO23 with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier #VE23 #SO23 with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier
A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the #SO22! Please click on the button above to watch a recording of the live stream. The whole main program has been shown online on both days. Stay tuned for further content and information.

A journey from the origins to the present day 

After last year’s SO:22 conference, we are on to the next round – this time with a Day of Steward-Ownership, a day in Berlin, a day of inspiration and exchange around the topic. At the SO:23, we will embark on a journey and pay tribute to some of the first companies to have implemented steward-ownership like Bosch, Zeiss, Novo Nordisk or John Lewis Partnership, and who have been living the model for decades and longer. We will tell the story of medium-sized businesses and value-oriented startups that are working for better conditions today. And we will shed light on the potential of this corporate model for the future and for the European social market economy. We are looking forward to participants from a wide range of sectors and regions who can contribute their individual perspectives. Together we will create a place where we can learn, discuss and develop from and with each other.

For long-term and independent entrepreneurship – and an economy that serves people and the planet.


According to our current planning, the main program of the SO:23 will start at 11 am. All participants will spend the day together in a big group – of course with lunch and coffee breaks. After that, we look forward to an evening together with plenty of space for exchange, time to get to know each other and a dinner buffet. Besides the main program, there will be no additional workshops this time.

The conference will present the different types of implementation of, areas and sectors of relevance for steward-ownership – with contributions from speakers of large corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises and startups, as well as from specific areas and sectors in which steward-ownership will play an increasingly important role, especially in the future.
The SO:23 will look at topics and questions such as: What role does steward-ownership play for business successions – for entrepreneurs and their successors? What kind of entrepreneurship does this ownership model enable? What do we already know about steward-ownership and what discourses can it be linked to? And, what is the status and political process behind the new legal form for steward-ownership that is currently underway in Germany?
On site, at the Radialsystem, there will be room for around 400 participants – from business, and entrepreneurial, political and academic backgrounds. During the conference we will also offer an online livestream on our website. Most of the program will be in German, for international guests, we will provide translations into English, both onsite and in the live stream. This year's focus will be on learning about and from each other as well as exchanging ideas, expertise and knowledge - both experts and newcomers are equally welcomed to join!

#SO22 in Numbers

Participants on site
Keynotes & Talks


Have a look at past conferences and events on steward-ownership to already soak up the conference spirit.

Recap – SO:22

This was the Conference on Steward-Ownership last year!

Welcome to the SO:22
Musical Opening
Maike Kauffmann
Moderation on Day 1
Prof. Katharina Pistor
Law scientist
Rutger Bregman
Meredith Whittaker
Signal Foundation
Lene Skole
Lundbeck Foundation
Gerhard Behles
Lena Marbacher, Ph.D.
Neue Narrative
Workshop with Patrick Boadu
Workshop on company succession
Workshop with Maike Kauffmann
Christian Kroll
Erinch Sahan
Doughnut Economics Action Lab
Thomas Bruch
Zarah Bruhn
Commissioner for Social Innovations at the Ministery of Family Affairs
Lena Marbacher, Ph.D.
Moderation on Day 2
Peter Kowalsky
Founder of Bionade and INJU
Talk with Jürgen Kaube
Publisher of the FAZ
Armin Steuernagel
Foundation for Steward-Ownership & Purpose Foundation
Talk with Verena Hubertz
Deputy Chair SPD Parliamentary Group
Johannes Vogel
Vice Chair of the Liberal Democrats
Ricarda Lang
Chair of the Green Party
Sven Giegold
State Secretary at Ministry for Economic Affairs
One of 23 workshops
Workshop on Alternative Finance
Thanks to the organisational team ...
... and the whole SO:22 team!

Fotos: Anna Wyszomierska

SO:22 on Video

You can watch the main program of the conference here:
day 1, evening of day 1, day 2, and closing of day 2.

Play Video
Play Video
Play Video
Play Video

Conference Partners

A big thank you to all our conference partners, enablers and media partnerships! Your support and collaborations allow us to organize the SO:23.

Media Partner

The Ownership-Conference 2018
Allianz-Forum, Berlin
Franz Fehrenbach, Bosch
Christian Kroll of Ecosia
Prof. Colin Mayer, University of Oxford
A little Stepdance
Big Event on Ownership
Kino International, Berlin, November 2019
Philip Siefer of Einhorn
Nadia Boegli of Wildplastic, November 2019
PURPOSE at work
Kasia Odrozek, Mozilla Foundation
Founding Event of the Stiftung Verantwortungseigentum
November 2019, Berlin
Peter Altmaier, CDU
Former German Minister for Economic Affairs, 2019
Prof. Anne Sanders, University of Bielefeld
Prof. Michael Hüther, Institute of the German Economy
Prof. Steen Thomsen, Copenhagen Business School
Get-together at Kalkscheune Berlin
Appeal for a new corporate form for steward-ownership
Oktober 2020, Berlin
Presenting the appeal to the federal government
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
Former Chairwoman of the CDU
May 2021: Discussing the new corporate form
Robert Habeck (GRÜNE) and Friedrich Merz (CDU)
Olaf Scholz, SPD
The later chancellor said the initiative was of "great importance to societal solidarity".
Verena Pausder, Fox & Sheep


The SO:22 conference will be hosted by Stiftung Verantwortungseigentum and the Purpose Stiftung gGmbH. Steward-ownership creates the possibility to bring together start-ups, medium-sized businesses and large corporations. It combines modern with traditional entrepreneurship, sustainability with profitable business. On the one hand, steward-ownership is a proven ownership model that has been in place for many decades and implemented by iconic German businesses such as Bosch and Zeiss. On the other hand, it presents a new alternative to conventional and more traditional ownership models. It allows start-ups to legally safeguard their purpose-oriented businesses and enables medium-sized business and Hidden Champions to set-up sustainable charters, where successors can become steward-owners  indepedent of family affiliation or acquisition power.

Steward-ownership has the potential to play a role in the transformation of the economy. It centers on the core of the company itself – ts ownership, its DNA. The goal is to (re)prioritize the purpose of the company – to the maximization of short-term profits; and to safeguard its independence in the long-run.

In short:

With steward-ownership, assets and control remain within the company in the long term.

This is based on two key principles:

First: Asset lock, or put differently profits serve purpose. For steward-owner companies, assets and profits are not an end in themselves, but a means to an end. They are reinvested, used to pay investors, shared with stakeholders or donated to charity. They cannot be withdrawn for personal benefit.

Second: Self-governance. Steward-owned companies keep control within the business.  Voting shares can only be held by the stewards; this way the company can not become a speculative asset.  Voting shares cannot be inherited or sold for profits, but are passed on in trust and alignment of shared values and necessary skills.

The Purpose Stiftung gGmbH (Purpose Foundation) was established in 2015 with the goal to inform about steward-ownership and to facilitate its implementation worldwide. As a non-profit, the Purpose Foundation focuses on education and research. Knowledge generated through the practice and experience of and with steward-ownership is made accessible through publications, events, and open-source materials. Its mission: to contribute to an economy that serves people, society and the planet. 

The Stiftung Verantwortungseigentum (Foundation for Steward-Ownership), founded in November 2019, connects steward-owned companies in Germany and advocates for a better legal framework for the implementation of steward-ownership. To this end, the foundation is in exchange with six independent legal scholars, who have drafted a bill for a new legal form for steward ownership, and is in direct contact with politicians. The coalition of the new federal government, comprised of social democrats, greens and liberals, has committed itself in its coalition agreement to introduce such a new legal form. In addition to the political work, the foundation promotes education and research as well as information and the exchange of experience on the topic of steward-ownership within the framework of a non-profit cooperation.

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