Case Study: Munich’s Impact Festival 2018
25/10/2018 - Impact Hub

Impact Festival took place in Impact Hub Munich from 11-12 October 2018. Here, Sabine Brunnmair of Impact Hub Munich makes a guest contribution to our blog as she looks back on the key takeaways from the event…

The future of work: with a human-centered approach

‘Enabling people to do good’ has been the focus of Impact Hub Munich since it was founded in 2012. We view collaboration as the key to growing successful businesses and a sustainable future for all.

With that in mind, in 2017 we held the first Impact Festival to provide the space for purpose-driven businesses to share and develop their ideas, practices and experiences of social entrepreneurship.

One year later, from 11-12 October 2018, we focussed on how we work. For the latest Impact Festival we brought together over 80 changemakers to discover what is truly possible, through the way we work.

Photography by Axel ÷land

Unconference: Getting out of our comfort zone

Every one of the ~80 attendees played a key role in this event by actively contributing their expertise and perspectives to the Unconference. Applying the ‘law of two feet’, where you’re encouraged to move to where you can learn or contribute the most, we held 24 discussion groups in our 850m² workspace.

It was filled with the buzz of ideas, exchange and learning.

Photography by Axel ÷land

Focusing on the future of work, with a human-centered approach, we covered a wide range of topics including: ‘Staying consistent in the new’, ‘The Future of Organization’, ‘Cookbook for a Successful Cooperation’ and ‘What Can We Learn from Artists When Conventional Measures Have Not Worked?’

At the end of each session, using an open space framework, participants’ contributions were collected, harvested and shared. Even the spaces between sessions were utilized and successful relationships were built over cups of coffee and cake.

Photography by Axel ÷land

‘The meeting of self-employed people, members of start-ups, medium-sized companies and corporations is representative of everyday life at Impact Hub Munich,’ said Jakob Assmann, Managing Director of Impact Hub Munich.

‘We are pleased to be able to consolidate this at the Impact Festival and provide concrete opportunities for the next step towards New Work.’

Photography by Axel ÷land

New Work in the forestry and baking

As part of the festival we hosted three leaders from different working contexts to discuss how New Work can and has been applied in multiple workspaces. In so-called ‘deep-dives’, they shared their expertise and experiences as well as providing surprisingly thought-provoking insights into New Work.

Eva Ritter (head of the forestry department in Augsburg, Germany’s second biggest forest territory) presented the connections between natural and economic work, and how we can use these links to work in a sustainable way.

For example, trees and fungi benefit equally from a symbiotic relationships in the same way that organizations grow through successful cooperation. Additionally, the right resources and foundations can limit or grow companies – similarly to what we see in nature.

Photography by Axel ÷land

Katharina Mayer came straight from her bakery to talk about the diversity within her business. As the founder of Kuchentratsch, which provides local cafes with cakes baked by grandmothers and grandfathers, Katharina built a business with a focus on intergenerational interactions.

After founding Kuchentratsch in Impact Hub Munich, she is now receiving international press coverage. Katherina spoke humbly about the role of cake in society and how working with both students and pensioners encouraged her to rethink her own contribution to diversity in society, and how we can work to improve it.

Photography by Axel ÷land

Paul Habbel, former managing director of Gutmann Aluminium Draht (GAD) GmbH, showed that even a traditional line-driven industrial company can transform into a learning organization. Using his own experience of differentiating between ‘new’ and ‘old’ work, he highlighted the importance of change in a sustainable future. Paul perfectly summed up the essence of the Impact Festival:

‘Technology-driven digitalization alone will not get us anywhere.’

People must be the focus of New Work!


Founded in 2012, Impact Hub Munich is a 850sqm space for changemakers who share a vision of a sustainable future. Here, 14 makers foster collaboration, community growth and inspiring events that enable people to do good. Inspired by the Impact Hubs’ Global Gathering in Berlin, Impact Festival was initiated in the format of an Unconference in 2017. Following the mission that it requires collective action to make impact happen, events like the Impact Festival bring people with a variety of backgrounds together. To see more, check out Impact Hub Munich on facebook!

The Impact Festival Munich works towards achieving the following SDGs: