“A unique international platform for leaders from the worlds of science, business, politics, the arts and society”

Falling Walls is the unique global hub connecting science, business and society. We shape the future of humanity by impact-oriented ideas and discoveries, driven by our shared dedication for creating breakthroughs across borders and disciplines. As a vessel for the world-changing spirit of 1989 in and beyond Berlin, we are on a relentless pursuit to find out: Which are the next walls to fall?

The mission

The crumbling concrete blocks of the Berlin Wall marked the dawn of a new era of freedom by breaking barriers both physical and imaginary on the night of 9 November 1989. The Falling Walls Foundation is channelling this iconic image as a not-for-profit organisation based in Berlin, devoted to the mission of bringing together those who set out to tear down the next walls in science and society. Starting with the inception of our first Conference on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 2009, Falling Walls has become an ever-growing network of the most ambitious and forward-thinking minds from around the globe. Our community is built on outstanding experiences of gathering, learning and the connection to a higher purpose by tackling the greatest challenges of this planet. Together we stand for the freedom of thought and scientific research, and for making ground-breaking ideas accessible to society.

The work

We create initiatives, innovative real-world spaces and novel digital platforms for future-paving scientific ideas worldwide by utilising a carefully curated blend of sharing information and experiences. We inspire by tapping the wonder and awe inherent in science and by building bridges between those who dedicate their lives to world-changing tasks. We facilitate discourse and cooperation among the global avant-garde of researchers, decision-makers, thinkers, artists, and emerging talents. We believe in the value of dialogue beyond borders, building alliances for a more open, peaceful and sustainable world to live in. Therefore, we enable scientists to share their knowledge with an audience as wide as possible, generating socially and geographically inclusive thinking and impact.

As a science-driven creative organisation with an international and interdisciplinary mindset, we set the highest standards for our work, particularly in upholding the relevance and the quality of our activities to help science engage audiences in innovative and impactful ways.

We aim for the United Nations to proclaim an International Year of Science Engagement in 2027

The International Year of Science Engagement (IYSE 2027) will inspire and empower people with knowledge, tools, and platforms designed to share their know-how, skills, and experiences. It will provide the interactive space in which the citizens of the world can engage with science and achieve the SDGs.

An International Year is a powerful tool for building global multi-stakeholder networks. Through activities, events and campaigns, International Years reach an audience of tens of millions of practitioners, scientists, industry leaders, decision-makers and members of the public worldwide.

This global initiative will build the momentum necessary to engage more voices and more minds with science and showcase its opportunities and contributions directly. It will equip the international community with the tools needed to push harder and further for transformative change. It will engage scientists worldwide with diverse stakeholders and the public to build consensus, test solutions, improve their theses, methods, and enable change.

  • Director of Science and Society: Wiebke Roessig
  • Head of International year of science: Whitney Buchanan

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