Axel Springer acquires majority stake in WORLD.MINDS

Axel Springer has taken a majority stake in WORLD.MINDS through its event management arm, WORLD.MINDS MANAGEMENT AG. This is another step in Axel Springer’s aim to professionalise and grow its community business catering quality insights to select audiences.

Formats like WELT WIRTSCHAFTSGIPFEL and POLITICO LIVE events have achieved landmark status in their respective target groups. WORLD.MINDS will add scope and width to the existing portfolio. The not-for-profit WORLD.MINDS FOUNDATION remains independent.  

WORLD.MINDS is an exclusive, invitation-only community of more than 1,000 leaders in science, arts, government, and business, which hosts events to facilitate exchange about pivotal and new insights across business, geopolitics and science. Founded in Zurich in 2008 and based in Switzerland, WORLD.MINDS is recognised for its inspiration and aspiration to further the causes of science and international collaboration. Axel Springer is investing in WORLD.MINDS to foster its growth and support its plans in becoming a leading international forum for exchange of critical insights among world leaders in business, science and politics.   

Christoph Keese, Managing Partner and CEO of hy – the Axel Springer Consulting Group, has additionally become co-Managing Director at WORLD.MINDS, joining founder Rolf Dobelli as of 1 February 2022. Together, they will work on selectively expanding the unique WORLD.MINDS community in and beyond Switzerland. Peter Würtenberger, Executive Vice President of Axel Springer SE, will also join the company’s board (Verwaltungsrat). Kipper Blakeley will continue serving as Chief of Staff and producer. 

Mathias Döpfner, CEO Axel Springer SE, said: “WORLD.MINDS brings together an extremely bright, passionate, and intellectually vibrant group of people to make the best of tomorrow’s world. It resonates beautifully with our existing thought leading conferences and communities. We will further expand WORLD MINDS internationally with the help of those two people best suited for this endeavor: Christoph Keese, an innovative mind and proven entrepreneur, as well as Rolf Dobelli, the founder of and innovator behind WORLD.MINDS.” 

Rolf Dobelli, Founder of WORLD.MINDS commented: “When I first brought together 20 scientists and 20 CEOs, it was meant as a one-off gathering. Today, WORLD.MINDS has become a global community with real people, sharing real insights that are pivotal but not widely disseminated, and trusting and helping each other. Humanity has created a world that is difficult to understand, and it becomes more difficult by the day. Our aim is to increase the quality of our decisions as private individuals, leaders and citizens of this planet. Therefore, I am thrilled about the possibility to work together with Axel Springer on leading this absolutely unique community to new horizons.” 

Christoph Keese said: “A world challenged at an unprecedented scale and confronted with numerous challenges hinges on open dialogue between thought leaders of science, business and politics. In Switzerland, WORLD.MINDS has established itself as a leading and highly innovative forum for exchange. They do what I love doing, so I am proud to be joining forces with the amazing team to grow WORLD.MINDS in and beyond Switzerland. This is a very fitting addition to my responsibilities at hy.” 

The independent not-for-profit WORLD.MINDS FOUNDATION is governed by its own board. Its charitable purpose is to provide funding for scientists to disseminate their insights and participate in events of the WORLD MINDS community.  


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