our story

about us

about us

how it all started

The connection between Wuppertal and the Solar Decathlon Europe started at the very beginning of the whole SDE Story. At the first event 2010 in Madrid Karsten Voss, now Competition Director of SDE21, was the faculty advisor to a team from Wuppertal. Since then, a lot of activities to support the idea and scientific outreach of SDE have taken place like the Building Energy Competition & Living Lab 

Knowledge Platform and constant work with the Energy Endeavour Foundation,  the International Energy Agency and various other national and international Partners.  As the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in 2017 issued a call for a competition of ideas for an international energy building competition (“EnEff“.Gebäude.2050”), it was the spark to light the fire.

interdisciplinary team

At that point, two paths of science and society in Wuppertal found each other. One was the SDE path already mentioned, and the other one was the well-established path of scientists and civil society actors in Wuppertal, acting for a sustainable future. Those handle especially with topics of urban transformation and how to transform a city actively, especially Wuppertal. On that path, Daniel Lorberg, now

Project Director of the SDE21, came to join the first meeting about applying for the competition of ideas. He was administrative head and scientist at the Institute of Political Science that days and also a member of the Center for Transformation Research and Sustainability. At the end of that first meeting, he also was head of Wuppertals application and the one to lead both paths together.

together we can make a difference

Long Story short: It that constellation Wuppertal was able to join all economic, social and scientific forces to form a great team and develop the idea of an urban edition of Solar Decathlon Europe. 
The Wuppertal Concept won the German Competition, got the funding to do a Solar Decathlon from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and finally won the Call for Cities for SDE21.

For the tough two last steps, Katharina Simon, now Director for Architecture and Urban Innovation, joined the team in early 2018. And together with Bärbel Offergeld, Creative Director of the whole process, we got where we are now. Since then, great people from various backgrounds joined the team to make a difference in urban energy transition; together with all the Decathletes and partners. Let’s make the world a little bit better!

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