Meet the Speaker of our Scenario Workshop on June 17

Questions Max Jungmann

Dr. Max Jungmann will be the speaker for the interactive scenario workshop “The Future of Climate Action”, co-organised by the Heidelberg University Association, Hasso-Plattner-Institute (HPI), Momentum Novum, Climate Action Summit (CAS) and the DWIH New York. In a short interview, he tells us about his background, what motivates him at work and what participants of the workshop can expect.

Hi Max! Tell us a bit about yourself and your connection to the USA and New York.

Despite being born and raised in Germany, I have a long-lasting and strong connection with the US, especially New York. During my undergraduate studies in Political Science, Media, Communication, and Sociology, I came in touch with Model United Nations (MUN), where students simulate different committees of the UN to learn more about diplomacy and international politics. After I first participated in National Model United Nations (NMUN) in New York with my university, the world’s largest MUN conference, I joined the volunteer staff and served as a Director and later Under-Secretary-General throughout my graduate studies and PhD. With all the great memories in the city, New York feels like a home away from home now.

You are the Founder of “Momentum Novum.” How did you decide to start your own sustainability consultancy?

Since high school, I have known that the most important thing in my professional life would be to have a positive impact and contribute to combatting climate change. But for a long time, I was looking for the right avenue to realize my dreams. Most traditional jobs did not work for me and through Model United Nations I got to know many international friends who felt very similarly. We then asked ourselves: How can it be that there is so much knowledge about climate change, and the need for sustainability, but we’re not acting quickly or effectively enough? What can and should we do to turn these challenges into opportunities? So, we decided to join forces and help those who want to act more but don’t know where to start or how to implement sustainable ideas. We also realized that there is currently a gap in the market – at the intersection between traditional strategy consultancies and corporate social responsibility agencies. Since it is our goal to really integrate sustainability into business models, we believe that sustainability needs to be an essential component for all strategic decisions. If integrated, it can unleash huge potential for all kinds of organizations, while at the same time contributing to the health of our planet.

What motivates you at work, what do you like most about your job?

The most motivating part of my work is to see how many people put in so much energy, day after day, to contribute to a better world. It is now safe to say that the business world really is changing – sustainability is finally getting out of the niche. We are very fortunate to work with organizations who really take the transformation process seriously.  Supporting them on their path towards a more sustainable and prosperous future is incredibly rewarding.

Let’s talk about the upcoming workshop in New York on June 17. Why should our readers participate, what can they expect?

The workshop is a great opportunity for everyone to learn more about the different approaches and methods of strategically thinking about the future, also called strategic foresight. They will get insights into scenario development techniques, while at the same time learning more about climate action. The workshop will be very interactive so it is also a unique opportunity to get to know other participants and work together on potential future pathways that help us understand how we can develop current strategies on climate change mitigation.

What is sustainability in a nutshell and why should we focus our attention on sustainable solutions?

In essence, sustainability means that we use our resources today in a way that later generations have the same opportunities to use such resources in the future. This applies to environmental, social, and economic resources. It also has a geographical dimension since our actions in one part of the world, influence the possibilities of people living somewhere else to use such resources. In theory, this principle sounds very simple and straightforward, but in practice we are far from integrating it into our lives and across different business sectors. Mainstreaming sustainability across all sectors holds massive potential for individuals, organizations, and the world we are living in. Businesses for instance can reduce financial and non-financial risks, attract, and motivate more skilled workers, gain competitive advantages, and benefit in many other ways. All while contributing to a healthier planet and healthier people.

Thank you for the interview, Max. We are looking forward to seeing you in New York this month!

Headshot Max Jungmann
Max Jungmann is the Founder and CEO of Momentum Novum, a sustainability consultancy based in Heidelberg, Germany, and Quito, Ecuador. He is also a researcher in the Climate Action Science Project at the University of Heidelberg. After studying political science as well as sociology, media and communication science at the Universities of Trier and Heidelberg, he completed his PhD on health policy challenges of climate change at the University of Heidelberg.  He teaches seminars at the Chair of International Relations and Foreign Policy at Heidelberg University, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Steinbeis Business Academy (SBA), and the German Foreign Office. He is a trained scenario workshop facilitator and sustainability consultant. He has worked as a freelance journalist for many years, and has several years of experience in University level teaching. Max is a Climate Reality Leader and has served on the Senior Staff of National Model United Nations New York for over 7 years.
Max Jungmann, Founder and CEO of Momentum Novum