GDC Summit 2023

connect. collaborate. continue.

Are cross-sectoral cooperation and collaborative approaches the key factors for successful innovation processes in companies? Is this what a promising work culture of the future looks like? Under the theme "connect. collaborate. continue." the GDC Summit 2023 explores these questions.

One thing is clear: companies must position themselves in a solution-oriented and flexible manner and openly approach diverse fields of transformation in order to ensure long-term value creation. A strong brand today is characterised by the interplay between adaptation and permanence. The exchange and cooperation with other experts is becoming increasingly important in order to promote the transfer of knowledge and technology and to drive innovation in companies. More than ever, design plays a fundamental role in this process in order to develop new solutions.

Together with industry experts, brand specialists and designers, the congress will discuss what potential lies in knowledge-networked and collaborative approaches for successful transformation processes.

Event details

When: 9 November 2023
Where: Porsche Museum, Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen

>> The GDC Summit is aimed at all decision-makers and creative professionals, developers, brand managers and entrepreneurs.

*Please mind: The event will be held in German only.

We also offer you an event ticket for travelling to the event by train with Deutsche Bahn (DB). With this ticket you can travel to the event at a reduced rate:



Julian Aisslinger

Head of Sustainability, Innovation and Responsible Communication at Marc O'Polo

How does a brand communicate its sustainability goals in a target group-specific and promising way? Which measures have a positive impact on the perception of the brand?

Julian Aisslinger, Head of Sustainability, Innovation & Responsible Communication at Marc O'Polo, reports on how the fashion label Marc O'Polo has established sustainability as a benchmark (for the brand) and as a communication tool for customers. He shows where the company enters into brand collaborations, how innovations are driven forward in the MOP LAB, the brand's internal product innovation lab, and how the brand enters into an intensive exchange with suppliers and customers alike.


Ann-Louise Collin and Lena Hansen

Ann-Louise Collin, Brand Manager Trend Editions, Cosnova

What characterises a successful brand cooperation? And what conditions must be created for the joint project to succeed?

For the German candy manufacturer Katjes and the successful beauty brand essence (a Cosnova brand), this meant bringing together the requirements of two contrasting industries and daring to experiment in a way that would convince the common target group. Lena Hansen, Senior Brand Manager at Katjes, and Ann-Louise Collin, Brand Manager Trend Editions at Cosnova, tell us how the joint Trend Edition came about, with what objectives the companies approached the project and what challenges arose during implementation.

Lena Hansen, Senior Brand Manager, Katjes

Jörg Heidrich

Manager Digital Brand and User Experience, Corporate Design, at Robert Bosch GmbH

How can digital accessibility be established in product development?

The European Accessibility Act 2025 aims to prioritise digital accessibility for businesses and organisations in the European Union by June 2025 in order to improve the participation of people with disabilities and older people. This results in new requirements for designers and developers to create digital accessibility on websites, digital platforms, assistive technologies and audiovisual media and to ensure unrestricted access to digital and physical services for all people. How can inclusive design increase the accessibility of websites and apps and already be established in digital product development? Robert Bosch GmbH has been promoting digital accessibility for people with disabilities within the company, on digital channels and in product development for years. Jörg Heidrich, Manager Digital Brand and User Experience, Corporate Design at Robert Bosch GmbH, explains how Bosch is implementing the global accessibility requirements in the Bosch Digital Design System and the challenges the company faces in doing so.

Dr. Florian Imgrund und Philipp Thesen

Dr. Florian Imgrund, Global Category Director - Road

How can virtual experiences be linked to real-world interactions?

XR technologies offer new opportunities to digitally enhance, improve or even partially replace the retail experience. Especially for online direct sales, these technologies are highly interesting and have the potential to revolutionise the customer journey. In a one-year cooperation with Canyon Bicycles, one of the most innovative bicycle manufacturers in the world, young designers from the Human Factors Lab at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences worked on the development of new interaction possibilities for the virtual extension of the customer journey. Canyon faces the challenge of lowering online purchasing barriers and addressing new customer groups. The further development of the digital buying experience is thus forward-looking in order to increase the customer's perceived value and competitive advantage. Philipp Thesen and Dr Florian Imgrund from Canyon provide insights into the cooperation at the GDC Summit 2023.

Philipp Thesen, designer, strategy consultant and professor for human-system interaction, head of the HUMAN FACTORS LAB, University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt

Gerhardt Kellermann

Gerhardt Kellermann, designer and co-founder of Relvãokellermann and part of the J*GAST collective

What if design is a collective act?

... ask the five founders of J*GAST. Sven Petzold and Tobias Petri, managing directors of the kitchen manufacturer Holzrausch, together with designers Ana Relvão, Gerhardt Kellermann and Jan Heinzelmann, deliberately forgo authorial design in favour of the ideal concept, which, in the designers' opinion, can only be created in a multi-layered collaboration. What distinguishes this collaboration from conventional collaborations in the furniture industry? Designer Gerhardt Kellermann represents the team at the GDC Summit and provides insights into the design process behind the kitchen modules and insights into the brand development of J*GAST and explains what it means to work collectively.

Andreas Kurbos

Andreas Kurbos, Designer and Founder, studiokurbos

How do innovations become working products?

Andreas Kurbos is an automotive designer and founder of studiokurbos. After working for smart and heading the design team of the MBtech Group of Daimler AG, he founded studiokurbos in 2013, based in Stuttgart and Shanghai. With his team, he works on mobility, product and UI/UX design projects for international clients. At the interface between idea, digital application and analogue product experience, studiokurbos not only designs exteriors and interiors for automobiles, but also advises companies on how to develop their ideas as well as technical and technological innovations into production-ready experiences. At the GDC Summit 2023, he will present the innovation of loudspeaker manufacturer Warwick Acoustics and show how the electroacoustic panel can transform interiors for automobiles and provide insights into the design process as well as the relevant interfaces to the company and the automotive industry.

Marco Limm and Marcel Moritz

Marco Limm, Designer, founder and managing director of cre[ai]tion

How to get inspired by artificial intelligence?

To support the creative process, Marco Limm has developed "cre[ai]tion", a platform based on artificial intelligence that provides infinite inspiration for the design process. In practice, it shows what this can look like: In the cooperation project between cre[ai]tion and BLANCO, an artificial intelligence was trained specifically on the manufacturer's products for sinks & kitchen taps, with which the company should be able to generate new products and accelerate the design process. At the GDC Summit 2023, Marcel Moritz, Global Head of Design & Innovation at BLANCO, and Marco Limm will report on how this can be applied and what challenges a company faces when introducing AI. The project explores the potential that AI can have in design at BLANCO and opens up new perspectives.

Marcel Moritz, Global Head of Design & Innovation at BLANCO GmbH + Co KG


Wilhelm und Johannes Seibel

Wilhelm Seibel, Owner, Managing Partner, Mono

How does the traditional brand Mono reach new target groups and set impulses for the further development of the brand?

The family business has been producing cutlery at its production site in Mettmann for over 125 years. The Mono brand was created in 1959 with the development of the award-winning Mono A cutlery series. Since then, the company has strived to develop products that outlast trends and are manufactured with the highest standards of workmanship, material and origin. Today, the company is run by Wilhelm Seibel and his sons Johannes and Matthias in the fifth and sixth generation. The brand's strategy includes developing products in collaboration with freelance designers or design agencies. Most recently, the "Mono Residency" was successfully launched in cooperation with German Design Graduates, the first support project with young designers. How can cooperation with young designers and author-designers become effective levers for brand development? What role does design play in the further development of the brand? At the GDC Summit 2023, Wilhelm Seibel and his son Johannes will talk about productive connections with young designers and present successful cooperation projects.


Johannes Seibel, Owner, Managing Partner and Creative Director, Mono

Nicola Stattmann

Product designer and owner of Büro Nicola Stattmann, Co-Founder OMC°C

How can new impulses for climate-friendly urban development be effectively implemented and which cooperation partners are needed for successful execution?

The "VERD°" project and greening system, which Nicola Stattmann successfully set up with the Office for Micro Climate Cultivation, or OMC°C for short, shows that such ambitious projects can only come about through close cooperation between players from architecture, design and urban policy. OMC°C was founded as a start-up by Nicola Stattmann and Carlotta Ludig in 2020. The two Frankfurt designers also brought on board the designer Stefan Diez, the architect Malte Just from Just Architekten, the engineering firm Bollinger + Grohmann and the gardener Dieter Gaißmayer. Nicola Stattmann will present the conditions under which this project could be realised and the cooperation partners it requires at the GDC Summit 2023.


David Wojcik

Product Designer, Co-founder of Boxbote, Innoit and krootInnovator

What does agility mean for young designers?

David Wojcik, German Design Award Newcomer Winner 2021, is a multi-talented and enterprising entrepreneur. At the GDC Summit 2023, he reports on how design inspires his entrepreneurial activities and how ideas grow into marketable start-ups. While still studying product design at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Schwäbisch Gmünd, David founded the start-up Boxbote GmbH in 2015. The multi-award-winning marketplace for regional products employs its own courier fleet with over 100 employees. Shortly after completing his bachelor's degree, David founded the social media agency Innoit, which now has 15 employees. This was followed in 2021 by the founding of kroot GmbH, which supports companies in recruiting employees with the help of an AI-supported digital tool.

Host: Ines Marbach

Ines Marbach holds a PhD in environmental science and is a specialist moderator for sustainability.

She worked in higher education for many years, intially as a student and research assistant of the master's programme "International Information Management" at the University of Hildesheim. After successfully completing her studies, she was offered the opportunity to start writing her PhD dissertation. Following her interests as an environmentalist, she chose the field of environmental sciences. Entitled "Cultures and climate change: an empirical study on the climate awareness of German and Spanish students", she investigated the climate awareness of German and Spanish students as part of her doctorate.
Ines Marbach is a presenter at congresses, events, trade fairs, award ceremonies and galas related to sustainability and climate protection. She has also hosted programmes on German TV and is the host of the YouTube series "Grüner wird's nicht" (It's not getting any greener), in which she interviews people and companies who present innovative ideas in the field of climate protection.

Review of 2022 Summit

recreate. transform. be resilient.

Under the key note "recreate. transform. be resilient", the GDC Summit 2022 posed the question "Can good design increase the crisis resilience of companies and entire sectors of the economy? Are strong brands and companies with high design standards and adaptable products more resilient?"

Speakers from different disciplines talked about the influence good design can have on long-term success and what the most important factors for resilience are. At the congress, experts from research and science discussed with successful brand managers, creative people from agencies - and of course with the congress participants from the most diverse sectors and professional fields.

The speakers from 2022:

Eberhard Becker, Managing Partner at asp Architekten
Astrid Fontaine, Head of Human Resources at VW Commercial Vehicles
Marc Hadorn, Head of Brand & Identity at Swiss Post
Marc Haines, architect, project manager for Gassmann & Grossmann and Drees & Sommer, among others
Julius Jäger, Executive Strategy Director at Jung von Matt BRAND IDENTITY
Antje Kruse-Schomaker, Design Principal and Executive Design Director at IBM iX
Michael Lessman, Managing Director DACH+Nordics at Ritter Sport
Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Professor of Internet Governance at Oxford University
Stefan Ponikva, Vice President BMW Brand Communication and Experience
Room Zero
Dr. Christopher Stillings, Head of Colour & Design for the Engineering Plastics Business Unit at Covestro
Marko Thorhauer, Executive Creative Director and Design Principal at IBM iX
Maren Urner, Neuroscientist, Professor of Media Psychology HMKW University of Media, Communication and Business in Cologne
Christina Widmann, Communication Designer, Design Director at Jung von Matt BRAND IDENTITY