GreenTech Late Night


To Solve the Climate Crisis, You Need Both an Ear for Science and a Commitment to it.

Two men talk to one another Copyright: © Andreas Schmitter

Monday, June 19, 2023, 6:30pm, Theater Aachen



Team Knowledge Hub



First RWTH GreenTech Late Night at Theater Aachen

The audience was a diverse mix, the theater was well attended, and the topics were exciting, entertaining, and highly topical: The first RWTH GreenTech Late Night on the evening of June 19, 2023 had a lot of variety.

The program took place on three different stages - the main stage, the Spiegelfoyer and the Kammer. The program was designed to search for the answer to the question: How can we bring science, technology and politics together to protect the climate? While the main stage focused on keynote speeches and short interviews, the Spiegelfoyer offered a real late-night talk atmosphere. Moderated by Aachen poetry slammer Oscar Malinowski, actor Hannes Jaenicke, founder Kelly Bencheghib, physicist and political satirist Vince Ebert and Dominik Eulberg, biologist and techno DJ, the event offered the very best in evening entertainment. Things got a little experimental in the Kammer with a staged reading by ensemble members Nele Sommer and Philipp Manuel Rothkopf and a performance by Dominik Eulberg.

How do we address the climate crisis? Through technology? Through giving up certain things? The good news that came out of this evening: We are not helpless. We can still do something, it just has to be done quickly. Horst von Buttlar, one of Germany's best-known business journalists, offered encouragement: He set out on a journey for his book "The Green Decade". The editor-in-chief of "Wirtschaftswoche" presented selected projects, such as a company that removes CO2 from the air, in a rousing lecture.

The activists of the "Last Generation" are not being applauded everywhere these days. What's more, you wouldn't imagine FDP member Dr. Mathis Bönte to be on the protestors' side at first glance. The Münster-based lawyer defends activists nationwide, and on Monday evening he made some people think and took up the case for climate activists and their associates: "Let's be honest with ourselves: Nothing else has been of any use so far. Nothing." And his commitment to the FDP? "Anyone can complain, but if you want to change something, you have to get involved," says Bönte. There was plenty of applause for his statements, which were both calm and clear.

The actor, documentary filmmaker, and environmentalist Hannes Jaenicke also sympathizes with Bönte and the "Last Generation": "I'm totally disappointed in politics, it's a catastrophe, I'm really at a loss for words," said Jaenicke at the Theater Aachen, who can't understand "why we talk more about climate activists than about the climate crisis." He is encouraged not only by the activists but also by "start-ups like here at RWTH Aachen University, which don't just talk but also take action; this is also true of the professors who have spoken on stage here today." His conclusion? "We need to listen more to science and technology, and we need to have a bigger commitment to nature."

RWTH professors Kai-Uwe Schröder and Dirk Uwe Sauer have an ear for science and a commitment to it. Lightweight builder Schröder and battery expert Sauer also demonstrated solutions, as did both David Oudsandji, one of the three founders of the highly successful start-up "Voltfang" and Dr. Kai-Philipp Kairies of "Accure". Incidentally, Kairies is a former student of Sauer. Scientists and start-ups impressively demonstrated how Jaenick's motto "Taking action instead of just talking" can really be put into practice.

Openness to technology is also the key for Vince Ebert. The physicist and cabaret artist is quite contentious about this, and in addition to renewable energy, he also considers nuclear energy to be part of the debate. The debate on the subject annoys him enormously, however: "Here you're either a left-wing, green-suited climate terrorist or an AfD member who denies climate change. But the vast majority of the population is neither one nor the other. Anna Katharina Meyer also believes in cohesion: "We are all shapers of a future worth living. And together we can make it happen," says the member of the steering committee of the German branch of the Club of Rome.

The evening was moderated in an extremely entertaining manner by journalist and podcaster Yasmin Polat and RWTH professor and start-up expert Malte Brettel.


How Can We Address the Climate Crisis?


We explored these questions through panel discussions, expert assessments, late-night talks, political satire, art, and music on the big stage, Spiegelfoyer, and Kammer of Theater Aachen.

Several invited several guests who take action against the climate crisis in their very own way shared their points of view. The GreenTech Late Night brought together the worlds of science and culture, offered new insights and discussions, shifted between quiet and boisterous moments, and had many surprises in store.

The aim of the GreenTech Late Night was to answer complex questions at the crossroads between research & technology, climate policy, and the economy in a well-founded, informative, and entertaining way. What contribution can innovations and environmental technologies make to the challenges of the energy transition? What can we as individuals do about climate change? What can activists and NGOs achieve, who all feel responsible to take action?


Photos From GreenTech Late Night

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Thomas D at GreenTech Late Night via video


We have invited high-profile personalities from science, culture, NGOs, and business:

Hannes Jaenicke©Oliver Lozano

Hannes Jaenicke

Actor, Author, Documentary Filmmaker, Environmental ActivistHannes Jaenicke
Kelly Bencheghib©privat

Kelly Bencheghib

Co-Founder of Sungai Watch and Make A Change WorldKelly Bencheghib
Vince Ebert©Frank Eidel

Vince Ebert

Physicist, Author, Political Satirist*** Vince Ebert ***
Dominik Eulberg©Natalia Luzenko

Dominik Eulberg

Techno DJ, Biologist, Bird ExpertDominik Eulberg
Professor Dirk Uwe Sauer©privat

Professor Dirk Uwe Sauer

Battery ExpertProf. Dr. rer. nat. Dirk Uwe Sauer
Horst von Buttlar©Maximilian Virgili

Horst von Buttlar

Editor-in-Chief of WirtschaftsWoche, AuthorHorst von Buttlar
Professor Kai-Uwe Schröder©Martin Braun

Professor Kai-Uwe Schröder

Chair of Structural Mechanics and Lightweight DesignProf. Dr.-Ing. Kai-Uwe Schröder
Dr. Georg Angenendt©private

Dr. Georg Angenendt

Co-Founder of ACCURE Battery Intelligence GmbHDr. Georg Angenendt
David Oudsandji©Ben Korte

David Oudsandji

Founder and CEO, VoltfangDavid Oudsandji
Dr. Mathis Bönte©Mathis Bönte

Dr. Mathis Bönte

Lawyer and Climate ActivistDr. Mathis Bönte
Anna Katharina Meyer©Anjuschka Pilz

Anna Katharina Meyer

Member of the Executive Committee, German Association for the Club of RomeAnna Katharina Meyer


The theater, designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the early 19th century, features a big stage, a smaller stage – the Kammer, and the Spiegelfoyer, a mirrored lobby which serves as a meeting space. RWTH has been closely collaborating with Teather Aachen in several projects and initiatives, including Einstein's Musicbox, the Music Lab, and the Mörgens Lab.


Green Technology

Green Technology, abbreviated GreenTech, brings together environment and technology as well as science and business and focuses on forward-looking developments while adhering to environmentally friendly production. GreenTech stands for innovative green technologies and effective measures in the fight against climate change, resource consumption, and environmental degradation, and thus for sustainability.