Walflosse. Ocean. Bildquelle: pixabay.com

Water Festival Freiburg 2022: Transforming Ocean Plastics!


A international innovation and cultural event.

The Water Festival Freiburg is an international innovation and cultural event. This will be provided by the Freiburg-based Change Management Consulting "Zukunftsmoderation! Henrik Langholf & Friends "in collaboration with the London-based NGO "Plastic Oceans UK" founded by Jo Ruxton, the future trauma therapist Ann Forker and other partners from business, science, politics and civil society.

The beloved plastic has a dark side:

it threatens our ecosystem and our food cycle.

The first solutions are illustrated in the film "A Plastic Ocean".

By viewing the video, you agree that your data will be transmitted to YouTube and that you have read the privacy policy.

At the heart of the Water Festival Freiburg is the powerful vision: by 2050, our oceans will be free of plastic!

The Water Festival Freiburg is part of the "global heartbeat" of committed people, innovative entrepreneurs, deep-diving scientists, environmental education organizations, echo-producing media and change-oriented politicians who feel called upon to embark on the sweeping "plastic crisis" not just with dismay but with concrete change and innovation.

We invite these many with their knowledge, their intelligence, their connections and their passion to events in the Green City Freiburg every year. There they find a space where they can show their burning questions concerning the guiding theme "Transforming Ocean Plastics". With the help of inspiring and integrating facilitation these questions are moved on and answers can be found in five fields of action:


1. „Garbage out“

How does the plastic get out of the sea and out of our regional waters or not in at all in the first place? The challenge with macroplastic is big enough: how do we come up with promising approaches for this and even more also for microplastics and nanoplastics?

2. „Recycling“

What are the process innovations and political decision-making processes to ensure that (marine) plastic can be recycled in the best possible way, regionally, nationally and internationally? Which prototypes are already in place?

3. „Bio-based Plastics“

What are the latest trends in the development of degradable plastics? For which products is bio-based plastic suitable, for which not? What is needed for further scaling?

4. „New Lifestyle“

What approaches are there for a life "without plastic", what are the alternatives? What kind of attitude is needed and possible to reduce the "plastic footprint"?

5. „Transformation Management“

How to transform complex social and industrial challenges? Which examples can be inspiring? What kind of awareness and tools promote "open innovation" and successful change?

Together we develop a "Change Roadmap 2050" for these five fields of action that makes a difference that we can only dream of today.

We are pleased that once a year the Water Festival Freiburg is the "home" of this exciting, global movement!


This year, 3 live events will be held as part of the Water Festival Freiburg.

The venue is the Bürgerhaus am Seepark in Freiburg.


„We need a Wave of Change: Transforming Ocean Plastics!“
English-speaking Event

Start: July 7th, 2022 1pm, End: July 8th, 2022 5pm

Access: corportate membership

The Water Innovation Lab is an invitation to all pioneers, innovators and game changers in industry, science and civil society that have deeply understood that we need a second wave of change! The first wave started 10 years ago, when individuals such as Jo Ruxton started collecting facts about our plastic foot print in the ocean and its impact on the marine and human ecosystem. After having seen the movie „A Plastic Ocean“, or having read one of the numerous studies, reports or articles that have been published especially in the last couple of years, we know „all“ the facts and we know that it is time to innovate and change now.

The Water Innovation Lab is a barcamp type gathering focused on the five action areas as described in our vision and dedicated to co-create the prototype of our global change roadmap towards plastic free oceans by 2050.

I'm in!

Find your detailed information here (PDF)



„Being inspired by the Beauty of our Oceans“

July 9th, 2022, Start: 7.30 pm, End: 10 pm

Access: personal/ corporate membership or ticket

Change starts where connection is. Yes, there is the shudder that is caused by the marine litter, and there is the beauty of the oceans, which often touches and delights us deeply. We want to SEE and celebrate this beauty together. This evening, we are looking forward to the CineMare Int'l Ocean FilmFestival Team from Kiel, presenting a selection of their best short films.
Afterwards Ocean Lover and "DJane for the future“ Aniketa will invite us to dance a „wave“ - offering the best from all continents.

I am in!

The Water Celebration Nicht at a glance (PDF)



„It's our turn: clean oceans through plastic free communities?“

July 9th & 10th 2022, Start: 11 am, End: 6 pm

Access: personal/ corporate membership or ticket

"It's our turn!" ... so the call of the Club of Rome in the face of the current world problems. The "Fridays for Future" movement gives an example. Waiting another 30 years "for those" in politics and business is not on. All of us together have enough knowledge, wisdom, ideas and also resources to make the necessary changes for truly sustainable living and business styles possible.

"It's our turn!" - that's also true for the big, global plastic crisis, which has been extensively described in studies and media of all kinds in the last 3 years. Meanwhile we know that plastic not only kills whales, dolphins and sea birds or makes them ill, but has become increasingly detectable in our human organism through the consumption of micro-plastic contaminated fish.

Often quoted is a statement from a study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation “that in 2050 the amount of plastic will exceed the amount of fish”, further ongoing exponential increase in plastic input in the oceans assumed.

  • What if we - civil society, business sector, science, politics together - deprive this statement of its frightening power by developing a concrete vision in which all the waters of the world will be plastic-free again in 2050?
  • What if we, as "active citizens", inform each other about new possibilities and develop ideas and initiatives that nobody had hoped to believe just before?
  • What if we start to further develop the first solutions that are available in many places with the help of "collective intelligence", network them globally and implement them in our local communities?
  • What if we jointly develop and communicate a "Change Roadmap 2050" that clearly identifies which actions will make the vision of plastic-free oceans in 2050 more likely?
  • What if we stay tuned until we experience it by the sea and the oceanographers confirm that we have reached our destination?

If you want to be part of this journey, you are welcome to the Water Citizen Lab!

After an introduction, we will have the opportunity to come together in a barcamp-type set up to share our questions, ideas and contributions and to develop answers to the deep questions that are burning within us.

The five fields of action of the Water Festival Freiburg serve as orientation.

I am in!

For free - become a member and be invited

The Water Citizen Lab at a glance (PDF)

Becoming a member

In you burns an important question in the context of the vision "plastic-free oceans by 2050" and you want to help shaping the necessary changes within your possibilities?

With your annual membership, you become a part of the Open Innovation Network and different ways to get involved in it open up for you.

E.g. your membership offers you the opportunity to participate in annual live events in Freiburg. For 2022 an additional online conference is planned.

Your personal burning question and your decision, with which commitment you want to participate, make up the Water Festival Freiburg. With your contribution, whether in your power as an active citizen, as a sympathetic sponsor, as investor by heart, as a partner in crime, as an innovator or as a game changer, you become the enabler of something completely new. We look forward to seeing you!

We offer you several options in each of the categories "corporate membership" and "personal membership". Which one suits for you?

(Corporate Membership)

Your company is working on solutions in one of the five fields of activity of the WFF. You want to be a part of it, to make your own approaches known and to bring burning questions to the WFF community in order to come to new ideas, approaches and cooperations in a co-creative way.

Game Changer
(Corporate Membership)

You are working in your organization or your company on solutions that can mean a "real game change," a major change for industry or society. According to this self-image, you also want to support the WFF with a greater contribution and want to help to spread the spirit of the WFF further, “to make the impossible possible".

„Active Citizen“
(Personal Membership)

"Old & Wise" 67plus | "Full life" 27 to 66 | "New Generation" 16 to 26
You love the sea, you drink water daily preferably without nanoplastics ; ) and as citizen you feel in the co-responsibility for plastic-free oceans. Consequently you would like to be a part of the WFF with your personal contribution.

„Sympathizing Sponsor“
(Personal Membership)

You have great "sympathy" for the Water Festival Freiburg and have the opportunity to express this through a higher annual membership fee.

„Investor by Heart“
(Personal Membership)

You recognize that the Water Festival Freiburg has the potential for bringing exciting and necessary technological and social innovations to life. You want to invest in this potential so that new ideas, even through incubation phases, can survive and grow.

Partner in Crime
(Corporate Membership)

You are a NGO or solo self-employed in a related spirit and you definitely want to be there to bring your know-how and your burning questions in the WFF community.

(Honorary Membership)

You have been active in the field for a long time and, thanks to the effectiveness of your activities, you are a lighthouse which gives orientation for many. It is a very special honor and joy for us that you support and inspire the Water Festival Freiburg as you have already shown what is possible when you "believe in the impossible" and set off.


Open-Innovation Netzwerk


Aktive Bürger

Maria Forker, Dresden, Deutschland
Matthias Krause, Weimar, Deutschland
Sande-Ann Maila Forker, Staufen, Deutschland

Uta Sankowski, Berlin, DE
Maciej Szymczyk, Freiburg, DE
Franziska Kleiner, Staufen, DE
Petra Leibfried, Homburg, DE

Dietmar Hass, Freiburg, DE
Lioba Lühl, Freiburg, DE
Bettina Richter, Buchholz, DE
Juana Kofler, Freiburg, DE
Janin Schindelhauer, Au, DE


Sympathisierender Sponsor

Hier könnte Ihr Name stehen


Investor by Heart

Hier könnte Ihr Name stehen



Green City Freiburg
Green City Freiburg

Karin Gal-Oz-Naveh, Freiburg, DE


Partner in Crime

CineMare International Ocean Film Festival Kiel, DE

Haaweata Holly Bryson, Shamanic healer | NATURE KNOWS, Hawaii US
Leah Lamb, Storyteller | The Whale Dreamer, Topanga, California US
Norman Brown, Life Transformation Course, US & Thailand
Aniketa Hofmann, DJane for Future, Freiburg, DE
Nona C. Bosse, Architektin und Coach, Freiburg, DE
Sonja Kreiner, Wasser-Liebende, Kirchzarten, DE

Ulf Bley, Campfire, Stockholm Schweden
Ahmad “Aki” Allahgholi, Coralive, Zürich, Schweiz

Cäcilia Bosch, Einfach so, Freiburg, DE
Ansgar Hufnagel, Einfach so, Freiburg, DE


Game Changer

Zukunftsmoderation! Henrik Langholf & Friends, Freiburg, DE
Zukunftsmoderation Henrik Langholf & Friends

RAUM IM SEIN - Die PerlenTaucherin, Freiburg, DE
Raum im Sein - Die Perlentauchen

Daniel Bichsel Coaching & Freediving, Freiburg, DE

Unterwasserwelten, Freiburg, DE



Plastic Oceans UK
Plastic oceans UK



About us - today & tomorrow

The Water Festival Freiburg was initiated in 2016 by Henrik Langholf and Daniel Bichsel, later Sande-Ann Forker came "on board" of the core team. Our first coming out was in January 2017, when we hosted the German premiere of the film “A Plastic Ocean” in the Green City Freiburg, combined with creative World Café dialogues. These provided a first space to inspire each other and to develop ideas to "change the game" that more and more plastic gets into the oceans. The most successful initiative launched on this occasion is the “Plastik Edukation” lectures by Anna Neubauer & Daniel Bichsel. They have already reached hundreds of people in Germany and Switzerland with their message and have become a Highlight TED Talk.

Meanwhile, the Water Festival Freiburg is developing into an international open innovation network of people and organizations inspired by the positive vision of plastic-free oceans until 2050. The Water Innovation Lab, the Water Celebration Night, and the Water Citizen Lab, all taking place between July 09-11, are the projects we are dedicated to in 2020. A global online congress is in the early stages of preparation.

If much of the time and energy of the core team has been spent on the vision development, planning and implementation of the project for more than 3 years, now is the time for additional support from courageous women & men for further project development.

Do you want to contribute your special know-how in an area such as graphics, communication, event organization or fundraising and do you like to donate your time in a pre-agreed framework? Or would you like to engage yourself, your time and talents as a volunteer during the concrete event days?

In what step could be an opportunity for you to outgrow yourself, as you know yourself so far? This is the invitation and challenge that we ourselves experience through the project "Water Festival Freiburg" and we look forward to continuing on our way in a growing team with high synchronicity and fun.

If you are interested in our sources of inspiration, here you`ll find some food for thought:

  1. Otto C. Scharmer: "Leading from the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies. Applying Theory U to transforming Business, Society, and Self”, Berret Koehler Publishers Inc.
  2. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker: " Come On! Capitalism, Short-termism, Population and the Destruction of the Planet”, Springer Science & Business Media LLC
  3. Charles Eisenstein: "Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition”, North Atlantic Books Berkeley, California
  4. Peter A. Levine: "In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness”, North Atlantic Books Berkeley, California
  5. Thomas Hübl: " The Power of We: Awakening in the Relational Field", Audible CD

Water Festival Freiburg

"Transforming Ocean Plastics"
July 07 - 10, 2022