About us_

About Waterkant Futures Thinking Lab_
Our vision & values_
Waterkant chronicle_
About opencampus_

About Waterkant Futures Thinking Lab_

We are a festival of the future. We bring together forward-thinkers of all kinds and from various industries to help shaping the society of tomorrow. We are part of the non-profit association and have been offering creative minds, start-ups and companies alike a stage and serving as a space for further education and inspiration since 2016. This has created a community of over 25,000 people who come together at our festival every year to inspire each other, learn from each other, look for new solutions to current problems and present them in a relaxed festival atmosphere in interactive formats such as workshops, talks and meet-ups.

The two-day festival will be accompanied by an exhibition, which will take place at the same location from June to September. The exhibition and festival are dedicated to the question "What if...?", which is intended to inspire exhibitors, speakers and visitors alike to break new ground and leave the festival full of energy.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Our vision & values_

The explicit goal of the Waterkant Futures Thinking Lab is to retain young talent in the region and attract new talent. Our opportunity spaces, programs and events motivate our participants of all ages and backgrounds to develop and reinvent themselves. We lower entry requirements, provide an open climate of support and incubate (start-up) ideas. Talented people who would otherwise have moved to other areas and cities are found and retained. The training and support of multipliers increases the ideal and material values for Schleswig-Holstein society.

The value of this network increases with the number of its nodes. Thanks to funding from the Schleswig-Holstein state economic program and co-funding from the ERDF, we are now able to actively pursue our goals throughout the year. In addition to the annual Waterkant Festival as a highlight, the exchange with companies, start-ups and universities can be maintained throughout the year in order to recognize their challenges more clearly and to be able to transfer them into new, suitable formats. both formats are financed by the Ministry of Economics, Transport, Employment, Technology and Tourism.

Waterkant Chronicle_


On June 16 and 17, 2022, we welcomed more than 1400 visitors and speakers to Hall 51 on the MFG5 site in Kiel Holtenau. Startups, companies, innovators and creatives came together to discuss, try things out and network. More than 100 speakers brought their versions of a technological, sustainable, fairer future to the stage in 99 sessions - innovations and the future were brought to life.

The Waterkant exhibition was also held for the third time in 2022. Almost 30 regional and national start-ups, projects, initiatives and topics presented their visions of a better future in an interactive exhibition format under the motto "What if ...?". From June to September, a diverse exhibition was created that welcomed more than 3,400 visitors and made Schleswig-Holstein's innovation potential visible. You can get a good impression of the year here.


The following year on June 15 and 16, 2023, we went one better. As many as 124 speakers came together in around 90 sessions. The topics of artificial intelligence, new work, the future of ageing, nutrition, artificial intelligence and many more were particularly present this year. You can find the aftermovie of the event here. The Green Unicorn Award, a start-up competition for sustainable business models, also entered the next round.

This year, we were able to attract and inspire more than 5,500 people to the exhibition, which was open from June to September, with more than 35 exhibits and interactive exhibits.

About opencampus.sh_ is the umbrella brand of the non-profit association Campus Business Box e.V. offers a wide range of further education opportunities for all curious people - regardless of age, educational background or nationality. Since 2009, different projects have gradually developed under the umbrella of, all of which open up new educational paths with different focuses. These include the Edu-Program with 4200 registrations per year, the co-working space starterkitchen with over 30 early stage startups, the open high-tech workshop Fablab including Makercube, the social entrepreneurship program for over 162 schools, the first Machine Learning Degree in the north of Magnet and many more.

Around these complementary projects, we have been able to build an independent regional, national and international network of companies, non-profit organizations and startups with around 25,000 people since 2009. With the help of mentors, the participants in our formats use and create their own unconventional ways to implement their project ideas. The association is financed by institutional funding from the city of Kiel, project funds and EU funds.


You're a press representative and interested in our Waterkant Festival? Here you can find our press kit and pictures in our Flickr gallery.

You're also welcome to contact us at

Experience tomorrow today at a place that brings together the best speakers, the most exciting start-ups and hidden champions from the SME sector: #Waterkant24

We connect_

How to find us_

The best way to get to the Waterkant area is by bus (Lines 12 & 13 to Schusterkrug) or by Bike (Holtenauer Str. Out of town to the canal ferry and then following our signs).

Always up to date_

News about tickets, speakers, exhibition & content, community, events, networking and even more you will get  in our Newsletter!

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