Prof. Dr. Ing. Berthold Bäuml

Short biography:

Berthold Bäuml is founder and head of the laboratory for "Autonomous Learning Robots" at the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics as well as professor for "Intelligent Robotics" at the Technical University of Deggendorf and lecturer at the Technical University of Munich on the topic of "Advanced Deep Learning for Robotics". The aim of his research is to use learning as a basic principle for perception and action in humanoid robots in order to come as close as possible to the abilities of humans in intelligent and dexterous manipulation. The humanoid robot "Agile Justin" developed in his laboratory is one of the most advanced robotic systems in the world and has been awarded numerous prizes at international specialist conferences and received a great deal of media coverage. An important motivation for Mr. Bäuml is in particular the future use of such robot systems as helpers with household chores, especially to enable older people to lead a self-determined life for longer.


Within less than ten years, the rapid developments in artificial intelligence (AI) have enabled true technological breakthroughs that directly influence our everyday lives. Think, for example, of reliable automatic speech recognition in cars or mobile phones or automatic facial recognition from images. Modern AI is essentially based on methods of so-called "machine learning", i.e., knowledge and rules are no longer programmed, but - similar to humans - connections and solutions are learned independently from given examples. In the field of robotics, a revolution is now also imminent in the next few years when such methods of learning AI are combined with advanced robotic mechatronics (i.e. the combination of mechanics, motors, electronics, and sensors) and the almost unlimited computing power available in the cloud.

Such intelligent robot systems pave the way to completely new areas of application, especially in medicine, for example as sensitive and intelligent assistants in the operating theatre. But above all, they can also be used as so-called "humanoid service robots" (i.e. mobile robots with wheels or legs equipped with arms and hands), which can be used as helpers with household chores to enable elderly and disabled people to lead a more self-determined life, or to relieve nursing staff in old people's homes of routine tasks - a "hot topic" especially in Germany in view of the over-ageing society and the shortage of nursing staff.

In my lecture, I would like to give an overview of the current state of research in these two fields of application of intelligent robots and also report on our experiences with the almost universal and surprising openness and lack of fear of contact, especially among the elderly and the nursing staff.

Prof. Dr. med. Alena M. Buyx

Professor of Ethics in Medicine and Health Technologies
Director, Institute for the History and Ethics of Medicine
Technical University of Munich
Ismaninger Str. 22, 81675 München
Twitter: @alena_buyx

Prof. Dr. med. Alena Buyx, M.A. phil., FRSA, is W3 Professor of Ethics of Medicine and Health Technologies and Director of the Institute for History and Ethics of Medicine at the Technical University of Munich. She holds the triple venia legendi for the subjects Ethics, History, and Theory of Medicine.

Alena Buyx works on the whole range of biomedical ethics and theory, from the 'classical' questions of medical ethics from clinical practice to challenges posed by biotechnological innovation and medical research, to ethical and justice issues in modern health care systems. She is particularly keen on interdisciplinary approaches and collaborates with clinical colleagues as well as lawyers, social scientists, philosophers, health economists or theologians. She publishes high-ranking articles on her research topics in journals such as Science, BMJ, or Bioethics. In the last five years, she has raised over €3.5 million in third-party funding for her own ethics projects (EU, the German Research Foundation DFG, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF, etc.) and was or is PI in various major proposals (Wissenschaftsrat, Exzellenzinitiative, etc.). She is a member of various national, international and university committees, regularly advises large international research consortia and gives numerous lectures to a wide variety of audiences. She has been a member of the German Ethics Council since 2016 and was elected its Chair in 2020, and a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Committee on Developing Global Standards for Governance and Oversight of Human Genome Editing since 2019. In 2020, she became a member of the Leopoldina.

Professor Alena Buyx is a fully qualified medical doctor with further degrees in philosophy and sociology. Before her appointment in Munich, she worked at the University of Kiel, the University of Münster, and Harvard University; she was Deputy Director of the English Ethics Council and Senior Fellow at the University College London.


2014 – 18 Professor of Medical Ethics and Co-Director of the Institute for Experimental Medicine, University of Kiel
2012 – 14 Head of the DFG Emmy Noether Research Group Bioethics and Political Philosophy (Münster University); Senior Research Fellow at the School of Public Policy (University College London)
2013 Habilitation (Münster University), venia legendi for Ethics, History, and Theory of Medicine
2009 – 12 Assistant Director of the English Ethics Council (Nuffield Council on Bioethics, London)
2008 – 09 Visiting Scholar at Harvard University Program in Ethics and Health (Harvard Medical School)
2006 – 08 Assistant Professor, Institute for Ethics, History, and Philosophy of Medicine (Münster University)
2005 Med. licensure, MD, Magistra Artium Philosophy/Sociology (Münster University)
1997 – 2004 Double studies in Medicine, Philosophy, Sociology (Münster University, York University (GB), University College London)
1997 A-Levels (Abitur)


Research focuses
Ethical implications of modern biomedicine and health technology
Current fields of application range from digital self-care and brain stimulation to genome editing, big data, artificial intelligence, and robotics.

Research ethics
Current focus areas include citizen science and new approaches to participatory research and medical practice, as well as data-rich research, research biobanks and embedded ethics in medical technology development.

Social and Public Health Ethics
The focus is on solidarity research on a wide range of health-related topics

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Ewers

Germany, Your Care Sector – Reflections from an international comparative perspective

For a long time now, the care sector in this country has been struggling to be taken seriously as a health profession. Care has all possibilities to maintain and promote the health of people of all ages in different phases of life. The care sector encompasses a wide variety of care settings for the recovery or support in serious phases of illness and at the end of life. At the same time, there is striving for higher education and professional autonomy, for more responsibility as well as for rights of co-determination and co-design for nursing staff. The successes achieved in this regard have remained modest. Based on a critical stocktaking from an international comparative perspective, the presentation will ask about successful paths of professionalization. At the same time, it will show how the future of care in Germany could be shaped.

About the speaker:
Michael Ewers is a university professor for health and nursing science and its didactics at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Director of the Institute for Health and Nursing Science of Charité, and head of the master's programme in Health Profession Education. His main areas of work include health care research on care at home and community-based care for the seriously ill (high-tech home care, hospital-at-home, palliative care, community care), on the educational tasks of the health care professions (e.g. health literacy, patient education) as well as international comparative research on questions of academization and professionalization as well as the training and further education of the health care professions - especially nursing (e.g. interprofessional education, clinical competence development).

Contact data:
Univ.-Prof. Dr Michael Ewers
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Institut für Gesundheits- und Pflegewissenschaft
CVK – Augustenburger Platz
113353 Berlin / Germany


Dr. Thorsten Hinz

Zum Vortrag:
Exclusion and participation of people with disabilities – past and present

Throughout history – from ancient times to the present day – disabled people have been marginalised, persecuted, discriminated against, or humiliated. Lack of rights and prejudice made it difficult for them to participate in social life. After the horrors of the Second World War, in which, among other things, people with disabilities were systematically persecuted and murdered by the National Socialist dictatorship through so-called "Euthanasia Decrees", the situation for people with disabilities improved significantly worldwide after 1945. A breakthrough for the equal participation of people with disabilities was achieved through the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2006.

What is considered normal or abnormal or disabled or non-disabled in a society is determined by the values and norms that apply in each case. Any deviation from the norm usually leads to stigmatisation and exclusion of the affected individual or certain groups. In almost all cultures and throughout history, this has affected people with disabilities to a great extent.

In a journey through time and culture, Dr. Hinz attempts to trace in his lecture how people with disabilities have been exposed to processes of exclusion and discrimination from the past to the present. The equal participation of people with disabilities is a legal entitlement that only became politically accepted towards the end of the 20th century.

Prof. Michael Kabesch

Michael Kabesch is professor of paediatric pneumology and paediatric allergology at the University of Regensburg and head of the department of the same name at the KUNO Klinik St. Hedwig of the Hospitaller Order of St. John. Following a training at the Haunersches Kinderspital of the Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich, a fellowship at the Respiratory Science Center in Tucson, USA, and a professorship at the Hannover Medical School, he came to Regensburg in 2012, where he has been medical director of the St. Hedwig Clinic since 2018, as well as head of the Regensburg Science and Development Campus (WECARE).

He has authored almost 250 scientific publications and was significantly involved in the development of the "hygiene hypothesis" and the first genome-wide studies on asthma and allergy. In 2015, he launched the KUNO KIDS study in Regensburg, currently the largest active birth cohort in Germany, which serves for researching child health in its complex interrelationships together with many partners.

Prof. Dr. med. Karl-Heinz Leven

About the speaker:
Karl-Heinz Leven, Professor Dr. med., has held the Chair for the History of Medicine and Director of the Institute for the History and Ethics of Medicine at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg since 2009; he has been a member of the Leopoldina (National Academy of Sciences) since 2011.

His fields of work are the history of epidemics, ancient medicine, faculty history and medicine during the Nazi regime.

Priv.-Doz. HH Dr. Dr. Emeka Ndukaihe

Emeka V. Ndukaihe (22 Nov. 1964) holds two doctorates in Theological Ethics (2006) and Educational Sciences (2014). Since 2009, he has been a lecturer in intercultural ethics and human rights at the University of Passau and at the same time a pastor in Straubing-Christkönig as well as a logotherapist.

He gives lectures and talks at several universities on an international scale.

Scientific languages: - German and English

Jesús Puente Belda

Born in Madrid in 1987, Jesús Puente Belda studied teaching at the Autonoma University of Madrid. He worked as a special education teacher at the Fundación Instituto San José, where he coordinated communication stimulation and positive behaviour support programmes. With a critical and transformative spirit, he has always been committed to the inclusion of people with disabilities and the need to break down barriers in a world marked by inequality.

In 2015, he started working at the Juan Ciudad Foundation, from where he coordinates European programmes aimed at innovating and testing intervention models for people with disabilities. He currently lives in a town north of Madrid, where he tries to find a balance between his work, his family life, and his love for the vertical walls of La Pedriza, where he practices climbing.

Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rosa

Short biography

Hartmut Rosa, born in the Black Forest in 1965, has been Professor of General and Theoretical Sociology at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena since 2005 and has also been Director of the Max Weber College at the University of Erfurt since 2013. Before that, he taught at the University of Augsburg, at the University of Duisburg-Essen, and at the New School for Social Research in New York. In 2016, he was a visiting professor at the FMSH in Paris. He received his doctorate from the Humboldt University in Berlin in 1997 and habilitated in Jena in 2004. In 2006, he received the Thuringian Research Award for Basic Research, in 2016 the Tractatus Prize for Philosophical Essayism, and in 2018 the Erich Tromm Prize and the Watzlawik Ring of Honour. He leads several research projects, including the DFG-funded research group ‘Landgrabbing, acceleration, activation. Dynamics and (De-) Stabilisation of Modern Growth Societies'. His books have been translated into numerous languages and received worldwide.

Prof. Peter Schmieder

Peter Schmieder is a professor at the Technical University of Deggendorf for the teaching area of "Human Skills Management", which includes the areas of business ethics, social competence, and emotional intelligence. Visiting lectureships and professorships have taken him to the University of Leipzig, to China and the USA, among other places. He founded the THD's academic partnerships with Jiangnan University of Wuxi/China and California's elite Santa Clara University, with which he created the unique "Silicon Valley Program", ranked 5th in the world in 2021. He has received several awards for his lectures. After an international education with a scholarship at the highly renowned University of Notre Dame, USA - one of the leading Catholic institutions in the USA - for many years he was entrusted with the restructuring and reorganisation of national and international companies. Since 2002, he has accompanied the development of national and international companies, from Bavarian medium-sized businesses to globally active organisations, as a seminar leader, coach, and keynote speaker within the framework of the "School of Skills" founded by him, especially in the area of personnel and strategy development.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Unterburger

Prof. Dr Klaus Unterburger, born 1971, contemporaneous studies in Philosophy and Catholic Theology in Munich, doctorate in Church History in Munich in 2004 (Dr. theol.), postdoctoral thesis in Münster in 2008, since 2012 Chair of Middle and New Church History at the University of Regensburg; currently Dean of the Faculty of Catholic Theology there.

Chairman of the Working Group of Catholic Church Historians in the German-speaking world and Chairman of the Catholic Adult Education in the city of Regensburg.


Prof. Dr. Harald Welzer

Prof. Dr. Harald Welzer is a sociologist and social psychologist, co-founder and director of "FUTURZWEI. Stiftung Zukunftsfähigkeit", permanent visiting professor for social psychology at the University of Sankt Gallen/Switzerland and is head of the Norbert Elias Centre for Transformation Design at the European University of Flensburg. He has written numerous books on socio-political issues and sustainability, including "Climate Wars. What is being killed for in the 21st century"; "Think for yourself. A Guide to Resistance"; "The Smart Dictatorship. The Attack on Our Freedom", most recently "Everything Could Be Different. A Social Utopia for Free People", all published by the publishing house S.-Fischer-Verlag. He is also the editor of "tazFUTURZWEI" - Magazine for Future and Politics. Harald Welzer's books have been published in 22 languages.

Doris Zwick

  • Staff member at the Hospitaller Order of St. John since 2007
  • Diploma in Social Pedagogy and Master of Leadership and Communication Management
  • Palliative care specialist, ethics advisor in health and social care, conversation facilitator pursuant to Sec. 132g (German Social Code), sex educator and sex advisor
  • Member of the European Working Group on Social Inclusion
  • Head of the Department Strategic Development of Services for Disabled Persons of Barmherzige Brüder gemeinnützige Behindertenhilfe GmbH