Leadership Forum at GIZ & Fraport

Two days. Seven sessions. 17 Speaker. Over 50 guests from science and practice. New inspiration on current issues in corporate communications. Room for discussion. Time for encounters. The Leadership Forum 2024 at GIZ and Fraport was all this and much more. A big thank you to the hosts and to all the guests who were in Frankfurt on June 13/14, 2024. A look back.

From polarization to positioning – our topics

Crisis communication in global hotspots

Joachim Göske and Dorothee Hutter reported on the engagement of the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit in crisis regions such as Ethiopia. It is obvious that communication is not always easy in these fragile regions with the most diverse interests. Therefore, GIZ has set up a global network of communicators with 800 employees worldwide supporting communication in the approximately 1,700 GIZ projects.

Joachim Göske, GIZ
Joachim Göske und Dorothee Hutter, GIZ
Leadership Forum 2024

Polarization of society

We are observing an increasing polarization of society and debates around the world. “In principle, it’s a good sign when opinions are articulated openly,” says Olaf Kramer, Professor of Rhethoric and Knowledge Communication (University of Tübingen). However, an increasing “loss of common ground” makes it difficult for communication to take into account the different expectations of its stakeholders.

Sabine Einwiller and Vanja Bojanic (University of Vienna) discussed with Matteo Scaravelli (Schaeffler) how companies and their CEOs can successfully position themselves externally. Ulrike Röttger (University of Münster), Frederic Vuillermin (University of Hohenheim) and Gerd Koslowski (Metro) looked at how critical issues can also polarize internally.

Prof. Dr. Olaf Kramer, Leadership Forum 2024
Vanja Bojanic, Prof. Dr. Sabine Einwiller, Matteo Scaravelli
Leadership Forum 2024

Reputation and positioning of the communications department

What is the reputation of the communications department in large German companies? A new study by the University of Leipzig examined the public image of corporate communications in large German companies. Ansgar Zerfaß presented the results: “Communication work is rated quite positively, especially by top management, although the added value is not always seen. There are clear shortcomings in middle management and among employees.”

This makes strategic internal stakeholder management particularly important in order to enhance the image and acceptance of communications department. This was emphasized by the three CCOs Birgit Hiller (Continental), Nicole Mommsen (Deutsche Bahn) and Christoph Ringwald (EnBW).

Nicole Mommsen, Birgit Hiller, Christoph Ringwald, Prof. Dr. Ansgar Zerfaß
Nicole Mommsen, Birgit Hiller, Leadership Forum 2024
Nicole Mommsen, Birgit Hiller, Christoph Ringwald

Shaping the AI transformation

US companies currently dominate the AI market. “It is important for Europe to secure its sovereignty and remain capable of acting,” says Jan Hiesserich, Head of Strategy at Aleph Alpha. This starts with questions about a European strategy for value creation and ends with questions about cloud capacities. “Tech companies should not be the only ones to benefit from the AI transformation. Instead, companies should use AI to transform their own value chain.”

Stefan Stieglitz and Sünje Clausen confirm the importance of AI literacy in their presentation and workshop. The participants worked together to develop application scenarios, strategies for introducing AI in the communications department and ideas for building AI skills.

Leadership Forum 2024
Prof. Dr. Stefan Stieglitz, Leadership Forum 2024
Leadership Forum 2024

Evening event at Frankfurt Airport

Northeast wind, runway 03… In the evening our guests had the chance to experience Frankfurt Airport up close. Jürgen Harrer and Christian Engel (Fraport AG) welcomed us in the FRALounge – with a direct view of the planes taking off and landing. An exclusive tour of the new Terminal 3 gave us a sense of the scale of Europe’s largest private construction project. A new terminal building designed by star architect Norman Foster, three piers, a new skywalk. An investment of around four billion euros, up to 3,000 construction workers. From 2026, up to 19 million passengers are expected to travel here every year.

Leadership Forum 2024, Fraport
Leadership Forum 2024, Fraport
Leadership Forum 2024, Fraport