Der Moment der Wahrheit - Innehalten. Verstehen. Umdenken

Sustainable change in the economy and society can only happen when we are ready to change ourselves. In our podcast, we ask ourselves the question: at what point are people ready to pause and suddenly understand exactly what is happening around them and start to rethink? Resilience theory describes this as a “crisis” that we urgently need to go through in order to be able to start the transformation. We lovingly call this point, “The moment of truth.”


In a good hour we remember together with our guests their moments of truth and manoeuvre through these personal and emotionally charged stories. Usually we learn a lot and draw new courage for new challenges.

The Podcast (only in German)

Sequence 1

Michael Pachmajer & Carsten Hentrich talk about their journey. When did they realize that digital transformation is more a people change than a tech change. They are change makers and sought-after sparring partners for leaders. They are founders of d.quarks, the platform for entrepreneurial and societal digital transformation.

Sequence 2

Michael Rüffer is a tinkerer, can drive a tram, loves nature, the mountains and football. He is a family man, loves dogs and trains youth teams.
‘Can’t be done, doesn’t exist’ is the motto of the managing director of the Frankfurt Transport Company, who is responsible for technology and operations. The digital transformation and the mobility turnaround not only play a role for him when it comes to the development of self-driving buses and trains, but also in the context of a completely new public transport image. 

Sequence 3

Not data is the new oil, but knowledge is the new water, says Dirk Ramhorst, who has been working for many years on building and above all on access to knowledge in companies. He was CDO at BASF and is now CIO & CDO at Wacker Chemie. DAX group and family business – both have the same challenges in the digital transformation. And what role do technologies and above all IT play in this. IT, which previously provided hardware and software cost-effectively, is now becoming an innovator. Really? How can that be? Dirk Ramhorst knows his way around, knows what to do and talks.

Sequence 4

No more e-mail! That was Klaus-Peter Fett’s vision when he became Head of Innovation and Collaboration at Google 10 years ago with “Wave”, an application that offered real-time collaborative communication. The idea came several years too early.
Klaus-Peter Fett, who studied economics and computer science, is a digital transformer from the very beginning, an enthusiastic mountain biker and an energetic change evangelist. He worked for the industry giants IBM, HP and Google before he decided to take up the position of Chief Information and Digital Officer at the Röchling Group in 2018.

Sequence 5

His path seemed to be mapped out. Nicolas Reitmeier made a young and fast career in one of the big consulting firms. Fast promotion and high remuneration were tempting.
Then came the year 2017, when Nicolas took part in a social project for Syrian refugees in Lebanon and saw poverty, uprootedness and social misery up close. The  needed medicines cost as much as his new pair of sneakers. A moment of truth that changed his life fundamentally.
After moving from Hesse to Berlin and meeting his co-founder Oshko Mejia Spiegeler, the story of KINAM, an art and clothing label (Social Impact Brand) began, bringing the tradition and culture of the Central American Maya into the 21st century.

Sequence 6

Marco Bühler, family entrepreneur and family man, sportsman and doer, travels a lot and is always on tour. He is the fourth generation of his family to run the family business, Beurer GmbH in Ulm. It started in 1919 with the production of the 1st electric heating pad, among other things. Today, this has given rise to a diverse range of products: medical devices and apps, beauty equipment, activity sensors and special “babycare” products and, most recently, breathing masks. “We want you to feel good,” is the Beurer claim.

Marco is always on the move, always looking for innovations. He is fast – he thinks and acts quickly, and once he has understood what he is doing, he doesn’t hesitate to explore new avenues, which is easy for him thanks to his optimistic outlook.

Sequence 7

German rapper of the first hour, successful producer, free spirit. Moses Pelham is an integral part of the music scene in Germany. Rödelheimer Land/corner of Kleemannstraße where the shit started here…-3p-RHP-Glashaus-Geteiltes Leid-Herz-Emuna…he says the most important award he has received is the Goethe Plaque of the city of Frankfurt am Main. His city. Our city. From Frankfurt with Love.
His moment of truth, however, has nothing to do with music, but with nutrition. He became a vegetarian first, then a vegan. He tells this story to host Michael Pachmajer in a very personal conversation. Both know each other since their common school time. Moses impresses again and again with his thoughtfulness, with the seriousness with which he takes positions, with a clear attitude. His attitude.

Sequence 8

Jeannine Koch was born in East Berlin, moved with her parents to the west of the city as a child at the age of 8 – two months before the Wall fell. She is a child of the Wende and was brought up “East German” and socialized “West German”. When her parents decided to move back to East Berlin in the mid-1990s, it was clear to her that this “return” did not exist at first. Later she studied in Berlin and Sydney and is a certified media consultant and systemic business coach.
As a proven expert in digital communication, she led marketing and communication at the first International Garden Exhibition in Berlin and has been director of republica GmbH since 2018.

Sequence 9

“Keep moving without losing your balance” – the motto of Jutta Rump. As a scientist she knows it’s a priviledge to be able to freely say what she thinks. Without restrictions. She is in great demand as one of the leading 40 heads of human resources – because she takes a stand. She interferes, advises many in business and politics and sees her institute as an incubator for a new working world.

Her personal journey has always been marked by goals and strategy. And she has always wanted to have influence, to be able to shape things, to have a say. As an analytical thinker, Jutta Rump puts people at the center of her considerations.

Sequence 10

She calls her software Tandemploy “a kind of business Tinder” so that colleagues in companies can finally know who has what skills. In order to get jobs done in tandems, she brings together targeted people for projects, jobs and conversations quite simply. Together with her co-CEO Jana Tepe and the company Tandemploy, Anna Kaiser is a pioneer of New Work meaning new forms of work.

Anna Kaiser started out quite differently: she studied to become an elementary school teacher because she was driven by a deep desire to change schools, to fundamentally reform the curriculum and to introduce school subjects such as “utopia”. She wanted to know what it would take to build a different, a new kind of school. And today she is still looking for fellow campaigners.

Sequence 11

She: One of the best-known scientists in energy and climate economics, head of department at the German Institute for Economic Research, university professor. One of the major voices for the energy transition for many years.

He: a representative of the next generation, business lawyer who advises energy suppliers and hospitals, and chairman of the large SPD district of Hesse-South. For him, everyone deserves a chance.

Claudia Kemfert and Kaweh Mansoori, two guests from two generations, two bridge builders towards a climate-neutral economy with 100% renewable energies and social progress, who impressively show at the moment of truth how important the dialogue between science and politics is.

Sequence 12

He is always curious, someone who tests boundaries, a knowledge vacuum cleaner who always questions supposedly immovable positions. For him, eyeballs trump doctrine. Raphael Gielgen is a trend scout at office designer Vitra. His workplace is the world. The future is his field of research.
When he’s not at Corona, Gielgen travels the world, taking in cities, working environments and cultures. Meets the protagonists of a new age. When he talks about it, it’s never quite clear whether he’s talking about lived reality or virtual utopia. During the pandemic, he spends a lot of time at home, in the Bavarian “outback,” as he says, has time for his house, yard, pets, reading and thinking.


Simone Menne is a well-traveled Kiel native, a top manager, a driving force in business when it comes to the introduction of new technologies, to equality, to honesty. For her, our economy needs to be more open, more digital, more inclusive.

In 2012! she was the first female CFO of a DAX company (Lufthansa). Then in the same role at the family-run company Boehringer Ingelheim. Today, she oversees executive boards, is a supervisory board member at BMW, Deutsche Post, Henkel and Johnson Controls.

Simone Menne is also a gallery owner in her hometown of Kiel and a podcaster with the production “Die Boss – Macht ist weiblich”.


Lena Marbacher advocates a new world of work, a new world of business. Today, she does this through the business magazine she co-founded, Neue Narrative. The publishing house is responsibly owned. On her homepage she says: “I don’t believe in transformation through consulting, but in transformation through content. Those who have the knowledge have the means.”
But how can an ego-free economy be organized at eye level? How do equality, self-organization and participation of employees work, how does shared leadership work?
Lena Marbacher studied product design and earned her doctorate at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. Today she teaches at the School of Design Thinking in Potsdam.


Peter Felixberger is a book maker. The printed word has been his medium for more than 40 years. He was a trainee, then editor at the Süddeutsche Zeitung, book critic, non-fiction editor, founder of the independent online magazine changeX in 2001, today editor-in-chief and co-publisher of the “Kursbuch” and program managing director of Murmann Publishers in Hamburg.

Publishers don’t have it easy in the age of the Internet. Photos, short messages, moving images, spoken words seem to be replacing the printed word bit by bit.
It’s all about the approach, the willingness to change in publishing, says Peter Felixberger, and he set out on a journey together with Murmann Verlag. In the process, he has rethought book publishing several times in order to become more independent of retailers & Amazon.


Grades, school subjects, exams, a tripartite school system? All yesterday’s news, says Margret Rasfeld, founder of “Schule im Aufbruch. We won’t be able to cope with the major transformation processes of our time with a performance principle that starts in elementary school and runs through our school system like a red thread all the way to graduation.

It’s time to radically change the education system, says the forward thinker and change agent, who was influenced by the social movements of the 1970s and demonstrated against nuclear power plants and for peace, who herself was a high school teacher of chemistry and biology before she radically rethought school and put it into practice with the founding of the comprehensive school in Essen and Evangelische Schule Berlin Zentrum.


He wanted to become a teacher. Then he became a communicative border crosser. On the one hand, Martin Wimmer was a brand strategist for McDonalds and Ratiopharm, took care of communications at Siemens, on the other hand, he was the office manager of the mayor of Frankfurt and is now the first CDO of the German government in the Federal Ministry for the Environment. On the side, Martin Wimmer is the author of “Ich bin der neue Hilmar und trauriger als Townes,” a history of German-Texan relations and a plea for a wild, free life full of love. He comes from Bavaria, loves Texas and especially singer songwriter Townes van Zandt, and lives in Berlin with his wife and dog.
A life in search of the self, with changes, breaks, full of curiosity for new things and change.


Jascha Rohr is a philosopher, method developer, an intellectual who deals with the theory as well as the practical methods of co-creative and participatory transformation processes.
He studied historical musical instrument making and London, also psychology, sociology and philosophy in Oldenburg and Trier.
The Bertelsmann Foundation and the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs honored him as a Future Global Leader.

Jascha Rohr founded the “Permakultur Akademie”, the “Institut für Partizipatives Gestalten “and last year the “Cocreation Foundation”.


Ralph Sina lives and breathes radio. From 1998 until last year, he was radio correspondent for ARD in Nairobi, Washington and Brussels. He has experienced politics, society, culture and business on three continents first-hand and intensively, from terrorist attacks in Kenya and Brussels to Barack Obama’s presidency in the USA. He is a reporter of contemporary history on three continents.

Ralph Sina, a frenzied reporter and a globetrotter, but also a voracious listener who has experienced several moments of truth and is convinced that journalists must once again be more fearless in their reporting and less afraid of the mainstream. 


Kristina Jeromin‘s concern was and is the development of a sustainable financial system – as Head of Sustainability at Deutsche Börse AG, as a Bundestag candidate for the Green Party or today as Managing Director of the Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany. To achieve the Paris climate targets, the financial system must be transformed. She is convinced of this. Because the socio-ecological transformation costs money. A lot of money. Investments have to be made, loans have to be granted. But what are the rules of the game? What do sustainable financial products actually look like?


Nicolas Gallenkamp became Managing Partner of the NOSTA Group in his early 30s. The medium-sized logistics company is an owner-managed, 2nd generation family business based in Osnabrück.
Nicolas describes NOSTA as traditional and future-oriented. Transformation in a family business means dealing with two systems at the same time, the company itself and the family.
For him personally, it’s always been about more than just transporting goods from A to B. Nicolas is very focused on sustainability and the common good. He runs his business with this attitude. At the same time, he is working to positively shape the image of entrepreneurs:inside in Germany.


The Moment of Truth, this time in a historical place: the Institute for Social Research at Frankfurt’s Goethe University. Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno and many others developed critical theory here. The Frankfurt School.
Today, Stephan Lessenich heads the institute as director. The sociologist-professor is an observer and explainer, a politician and activist, father and soccer fan, with a penchant for old cell phones. He is one who likes to cancel newspaper subscriptions when there are stories in the paper that he cannot reconcile with his stance. Talking about current social conditions, the place of social sciences today, about the institute with its great history, about sociology, society and politics and the post-growth society.


Future is basically absent. Is never there. Is never attainable. With regard to the future, we are left only with our own imagination. In short: Future is an imagination. Because the future is not predictable, it is not possible. But we can recognize trends, make assessments and formulate forecasts.
What will happen after the pandemic? What will happen after the war in Ukraine? How will digitalization and sustainability influence the economic and social future?
Harry Gatterer is no clairvoyant, but he takes us into his Future Room and explains how we can better understand our future. His work always starts on a blank sheet of paper. It’s this open space that excites him most about the future.


Armand Zorn moved into the German Bundestag in 2021 as a directly elected member from Frankfurt am Main and is now the deputy finance policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group. The former management consultant for digital transformation is a member of the Finance and Digital Committee.
Armand was born in Cameroon and grew up in Halle an der Saale. He experienced injustice in Africa and as a person with darker skin in Germany. Fighting every form of injustice was the reason for him to become a social democrat. To be politically active, to stand up for other people.


Our premiere. Live podcast from futurework22 in Berlin.
Maja Göpel is a political economist, transformation researcher and sustainability expert and professor in Lüneburg and Bruges. She is co-founder of Scientists4Future and a member of the Club of Rome.

Like us, she is concerned with reducing the complexity of transformation processes. To make them comprehensible. To show the interdependencies of the different levels, to explain them. Always with the aim of providing orientation and showing how we can shape a future in which we bring our way of life and economy, our well-being, into harmony with the ecological limits of the earth.


Hadija Haruna-Oelker is a passionate journalist and author, political scientist and expert on intersectionality, racism and discrimination. She intervenes in current political and social debates, explains, mediates, creates clarity regarding power structures and individual imprints that determine how we think and act in our interactions. In this sense, she is an activist who brings the realities of disadvantaged people’s lives to our attention. And at the same time, dealing with these issues is part of her self-discovery.


Markus Richter is a jurist and has worked in the Berlin federal administration for many years. He has had a career from clerk to state secretary. Was Vice President of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and is now the Federal CIO and State Secretary in the Ministry of the Interior.

Berlin’s traffic light coalition has made digital transformation and administrative modernization a priority and immediately included them in the first chapter of the coalition agreement.
But how do awakening and transformation, digitization and administration, federalism and departmental battles, over-bureaucratization and short-term thinking fit together? Markus Richter sits at the interface between administration and party politics. He is a border crosser, a translator, and a technology expert.


It seems like a Silicon Valley story. Janosch Kühn and his friends, downright nerds and computer gamers who studied at the Karlsruhe KIT, founded Kolibri Games. In the founders’ flat-sharing community, a first mobile game is created between pizza boxes in a few weeks. With a little marketing effort, awareness and download numbers increase. The inventors improve their game, more and more users download it and make in-app purchases. The French game company Ubisoft takes notice. After four years, Kolibri Games is sold for a three-digit million sum. A mobile game for the whole world.
How does that work? Janosch Kühn says in this episode, “The Moment of Truth,” that it comes down to having the right nose at the right time, luck, but above all, working hard for several years and “not doing nonsense.”


Michael Pachmajer and Carsten Hentrich dealt with the future in a digital and sustainable economic world. They are the pioneers of change, transformation experts and sparring partners. Whether in medium-sized businesses, family-owned companies or in the public sector, for 20 years they have been empowering people in positions of responsibility to successfully shape the transformation of their organization – sustainably, strategically, participatively and, above all, self-determinedly.

In this podcast, Michael and Carsten take a stand on the current transformation in business and society.


Uli Weinberg is fascinated by technologies again and again. Technologies that serve to unleash creativity. He studied graphics and painting, witnessed the early digitalization of ARD’s television technology, is now a professor of computer animation at the Academy of Film and Television in Potsdam-Babelsberg, and was the founder and is still the director of the School of Design Thinking at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, the equivalent of the at Stanford.

Uli Weinberg is a thought leader of Design Thinking in Germany. He is convinced that we need to overcome our “Brockhaus thinking” in silos in order to overcome the complex problems of our time. We need to take a collaborative rather than competitive approach to education, research and development in order to overcome crises, he believes.


Louise von Stechow does science communication from different angles. At the Moment of Truth, she looks with us into the future at what biorevolution is doing to us – humans. As a doctor of cell and molecular biology, author and consultant for pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech companies, she explains and clarifies the fundamental connections between technology and biology. In doing so, she not only looks at what is technically feasible, but also questions critically. Incorporates ethical aspects and justice into her world of imagination. Gives orientation without condemning the new technologies.


Representing the interests of employees – especially in the metal industry – is the common thread in his life. Hans-Jürgen Urban has been a union member of IG Metall for 40 years. Since 2007, he has been its executive board member responsible for social policy, work organization and qualification policy. For the employee side, he is a member of the Administrative Board of the Federal Employment Agency and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Salzgitter AG.


Dirk Brockmann is a complexity researcher, physicist, professor at the Institute of Biology at Humboldt University in Berlin and scientist at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Someone who deliberately crosses disciplinary boundaries. He is interested in how things are connected, how complex systems, multi-layered networks are built, how they communicate and how the individual building blocks determine each other. High complexity exists in nature in microscopically small and in enormously large systems.
Often social systems and societal developments behave like complex interrelationships in nature. That is why answers to difficult political and social questions can sometimes be found in the forest, in the close observation of how flora and fauna interact. He is convinced of this.


Brother Paulus Terwitte is a Capuchin friar, pastor and director of the Frankfurt Franziskustreff Foundation, which cares for people without a fixed abode.
This summer, the religious will leave Frankfurt and move to Munich in un-retirement.
Brother Paul is a churchman, theologian, philosopher. He interferes in a popular, cosmopolitan, inspiring, spiritual and humorous way in the discourses of our time, from questions of social justice to climate change to digital transformation and ethics in business. He radiates great calm and has presence. With powerful baritone, he convinces both from the church pulpit and on the media stage.


As a child, she solved tricky math problems in a notebook with a pencil, and her fascination with numbers and codes has never left her. Today, she uses artificial intelligence, robots and the PC for this purpose.
Kenza Ait Si Abbou is an AI expert, author and citizen of the world. She works as Director Client Engineering Germany, Austria, Switzerland at IBM.
She speaks 7 languages, lived on three continents, is passionate about people and technology – is a people and technology savvy. She advocates for AI for everyone, is committed to equal rights and anti-discrimination for women, and works to embed digital responsibility at various levels of society. A nerd by training as an engineer and electrical engineer, her stated goal is to bring together people from different backgrounds and mindsets. And in doing so, to adopt the attitude of not having to understand everything at all.


Danijel Višević is interested in stories. Storytelling, research, writing, making complex issues understandable and thus changing people’s attitudes, that is his passion.
He studied economics with a social science orientation, attended journalism school, reported on start-ups and venture capital at Deutsche Welle, was a communications consultant and media trainer.
As an expert for audiovisual content, he was jointly responsible for the communication strategy of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

As co-founder of the online magazine “Krautreporter”, he campaigned for better journalism on the net.
For six years, Danijel Višević has been a venture capitalist, first at Project A Ventures and now as one of the founding partners at World Fund, which invests in ClimateTech start-ups and thus paves the way for a sustainable economy.


He was the first official hacker at Deutsche Telekom, founder of the cyber security start-ups Perseus and Suza. He drove the establishment of the first German FinTech unicorn Kreditech. Today, he is head of the Cyber Innovation Hub of the German Armed Forces and was named “Top 40 under 40”.
Sven Weizenegger has been passionate about data and its security, the internet and its innovations since childhood. He is quick to talk and think and impatient at the same time.
As a member of the “Network for Innovative Administration”, he advocates for a modern, effective administration as a prerequisite for a strong democracy.
Having grown up in the Berlin district of Neukölln, Sven Weizenegger believes that equal opportunities, access to information, books and education are central to the future viability of our country.


He is a botanist, computer scientist and Academic Director at the Museum of Natural History in Berlin. He says: “Whether we as scientists are silent or talk – both are political!
His topic: evolution and biodiversity research.
Gregor Hagedorn is an admonisher, an explainer, an advocate of progress in small steps and still an optimist, even though climate change is becoming increasingly noticeable, even though biodiversity is declining at a breathtaking pace.
In 2019, Gregor Hagedorn was one of the founders of Scientists for Future, an association of scientists and academics who support the work of the Fridays for Future movement, which works together to ensure that the Earth remains worth living on in the future.


Sebastian Klein is a psychologist, organizational developer, founder of Blinkist, the well-known online platform for short summaries of nonfiction books, and “Neue Narrative,” the magazine for new work.
He says, “If you want real impact, you have to sacrifice returns.” He could have become very rich by selling his shares in Blinkist, but he decided against the money. He looked at what he really needed and what he thought was fair to own himself, with an eye on the rest of society.
In his opinion, we can only get a grip on many problems and crises, from the social gap that is widening to climate change, with more community spirit. Those who have a lot must give more. He is convinced of this. He is concerned that the great inequality of wealth in Germany has the potential to divide a society and lead to upheaval.


Aya Jaff belongs to Generation Z, the group of people born between 1995 and 2010. As imprecise as the definition of this generation is, it is difficult to describe Aya Jaff. She is passionate about technology and finance. Is a founder. Has been programming since the age of 15 and describes this work as a tool for self-empowerment.
Aya Jaff studied economics and sinology, worked as a programmer at Hyperloop, among others, wrote the bestseller “Moneymakers” and developed the largest online stock market game in Germany. She was named “Mrs. Code” by ZEIT and made it onto the 2019 Forbes “30 under 30” list of influential, successful young players in business.


If a female voice calls out loudly during the Bundesliga conference on ARD radio stations on Saturday afternoon: “Goal, goal in Frankfurt”, then it will probably be the unmistakable voice of Martina Knief.

Radio and soccer, especially women’s soccer, are the passions of the journalist and sports reporter, who has been following the action on the pitch and in the studio for decades, from the small beginnings of women’s soccer with the players’ families as an audience to the Olympic Games and World Championships for women and men. From the “most beautiful minor matter in the world”, which has become “big business” over the last few decades.


If a female voice calls out loudly during the Bundesliga conference on ARD radio stations on Saturday afternoon: “Goal, goal in Frankfurt”, then it will probably be the unmistakable voice of Martina Knief.

Radio and soccer, especially women’s soccer, are the passions of the journalist and sports reporter, who has been following the action on the pitch and in the studio for decades, from the small beginnings of women’s soccer with the players’ families as an audience to the Olympic Games and World Championships for women and men. From the “most beautiful minor matter in the world”, which has become “big business” over the last few decades.


Family and business are two sides of the same coin for Nadine Kammerlander, which she looks after with passion and dedication. Family businesses are and will remain the backbone of the German economy. Reconciling the old and the new, stability and transformation, is a major challenge when it comes to the future viability and grandchildren’s ability of these companies.
How can the transition from one generation to the next be successful? How can family businesses position themselves to meet the challenges of digitalization, sustainability, climate change and a shortage of skilled workers?
Nadine Kammerlander studied physics, worked for a renowned strategy consultancy and has been Professor of Family Business and Head of the Institute for Family Business at WHU in Vallendar near Koblenz since 2015.

Accelerate with us. Order the d.quarks newsletter