Protagonists

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Rudolf Wötzel

Severe burnout caused the former investment banker to leave his job with "Lehman Brothers" and set out on a five-month alpine tour from Salzburg to Nice. On this journey, he experienced a profound shift in consciousness that gave his life a completely new direction. "The greatest miracle of my journey is that I learned that body and soul are fully capable of healing themselves." He recorded his experiences in the book "Über die Berge zu mir selbst". Today he works as a consultant and coach for managers and operates a mountain hut in the Swiss Alps.

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Reinhard Stachel

As a project manager of large-scale projects, he has worked in the automobile industry for over 25 years. Over the last 20 years and in particular since the financial crisis, he has observed increasingly greater demands on performance and time pressure in the industry and a loss of perception and appreciation of the individual. He experienced first-hand how detrimental to your health such a working environment can be. Today it is important to him that people in companies have a healthy balance of engagement and boundaries. "Individuals must first recognise that they are able to assume responsibility and that they have options."

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Torsten Müller

The manager at the pharmacy chain "dm" supervises 29 branches in the Regensburg area, as area representative he is responsible for over 500 employees and as referee for "dm leadership seminars" he is involved in staff development and training. A good leadership style for him entails "allowing people to adopt a self-management regime and to support their individual development, both personally and professionally". In his role, he would like to encourage people to understand themselves as designers of their own lives. He discovered meditation as an opportunity to generate a deeper understanding of oneself, people and the world.

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Pier Carlo Padoan

The former Deputy Secretary-General and Chief Economist of the "Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)" and today‘s Minister of Finance and Economy of Italy has identified "a lack of leadership" as one of the main challenges of the global financial and economic crisis. "Markets are not powerful mechanisms. Markets are scared mechanisms. They are longing for leadership. And this is a situation where the world needs to understand where they want to go. In terms of, say, environment, in terms of social policies, in terms of innovation. This requires leadership."

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Dr. C. Otto Scharmer

The action researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge and author of the books "Theorie U" and "Leading from the Emerging Future" develops technologies for social change processes. With his latest approach he intends to transform the thinking within society and in the upper echelons of organisations from an ego-consciousness to a holistic eco-consciousness that is "at the service of common good and does not merely focus on the well-being of the individual".

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Prof. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn

The molecular biologist, meditation trainer and researcher is founder of the world famous and successful mindfulness-based stress management, also known as "Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)", an outpatient therapy for stress reduction in the form of an eight-week course. In his studies, he was able to demonstrate the effectiveness of this mindfulness training on emotional and physical health. His motto is: "It’s always NOW!". He sees awareness of the moment and acting in the now as prerequisites for good human relations and for a healthy, spirited and exciting life. "The real meditation is how you live your life from moment to moment."

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Janice Marturano

Based on her experience with mindfulness meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the lawyer and former Vice President of General Mills founded the "Institute for Mindful Leadership". Due to today‘s working conditions such as complexity, a fast pace and the requirement to generate ever better results with fewer resources, she considers executives overburdened and insufficiently trained. In the "mindful leadership training" that she characterises with the skills of "clarity, focusing, creativity and compassion" she sees an opportunity to adequately meet these new challenges.

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Prof. Dr. Arthur Zajonc

The Emeritus quantum physicist has practised meditation for over 40 years. As President of the "Mind and Life Institute" he campaigns for a combination of modern sciences and spirituality in cooperation with the Dalai Lama. As a meditation trainer he has developed new approaches under the headline of "Contemplative Inquiry" that are of great interest to executives and consultants. "How is it that you run an economy? If you factor out the interior dimensions, you get a solution, but the solution is predicated on a kind of fragmentary understanding of the human being. So that partial understanding means that you are going to have an inadequate economics."

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Prof. Dr. Tania Singer

The neuroscientist and psychologist heads the department for social neuro sciences at the Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. With the "ReSource project" she currently carries out the world’s most comprehensive study on the effectiveness of meditation on the human brain, on behaviour and experiencing the world. Another focus of her scientific work lies on the topic of "empathy". Together with the Kiel Institute for World Economy she is developing a new economic model within the framework of the "Caring Economics" project where the main goal of economics is the concern for others and the world.

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Prof. Götz W. Werner

The founder of the pharmacy chain "dm" and of the "Unternimm die Zukunft" initiative that campaigns for an unconditional basic income, is considered a pioneer and progressive thinker on organisational culture with flat hierarchies based on consciousness, self-responsibility and on the promotion of the personal advancement of employees. "What is important in life is change, development and that the community is there to make every individual aware of themselves." In 2014, he received the German Founders Award (Deutscher Gründerpreis) for his lifetime achievement.

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Erich Harsch

The chairman of the board of the pharmacy chain "dm" advocates overcoming hierarchical power and pyramid thinking. "That simply means taking people and what constitutes humanity seriously, where freedom primarily means responsibility not just for oneself, but for the whole, the greater good." In today‘s complex times sole, imperial decision-makers are not required, but rather "decisions that are developed consensually".

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Rudi Ballreich

The management consultant and executive coach has successfully worked with meditative methods in his working environment for many years. "Meditation makes us wake up in our own consciousness. In my view, that is the key element to leadership competence". Training consciousness allows you to recognise your own stimulus response patterns and to be open to new ones. "Good leadership means resting in yourself. Being able to wind down, to look at things from a perspective of prudence, to be able to develop new ideas simply because I can remain in a state of openness and not to be determined by patterns, but can calmly ask: What could happen next? "

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