Conference 2018

Elfriede Dambacher and Wolf Lüdge

Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference Berlin: Courage and Humanity

Inspiring presentations, lively discussions, top-class speakers, innovative ideas, insistent pleas and emotional moments: the 11th Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference, hosted by the naturkosmetik verlag in cooperation with VIVANESS, was held September 25-26, providing an abundance of valuable impulses for the approximately 240 decision makers attending the event in Berlin.

The figures actually speak for themselves: More and more customers are favoring organic cosmetics, customer reach has been increasing for years. But this positive development also brings some challenges for the industry: The market is becoming more diverse, digitalization is rapidly changing the world, traditional distribution and marketing concepts are no longer effective, consumers have increasing demands and the procurement markets for raw materials are under growing pressure – and above all is the responsibility of the industry to act authentically, sustainably and ethically. But, stated Wolf Lüdge, organizer, program chairman and managing director of the naturkosmetik verlag, in his opening speech: “the current challenges are also an opportunity for the industry, as they affect the values that organic cosmetics have been dedicated to since the beginning.“

The current volume of organic cosmetics and nature-inspired cosmetics amounts to 12,5 billion US dollars globally, according to industry expert Elfriede Dambacher, who provided a market inventory with her presentation. And various market research companies are forecasting a continous growth for the next six years. By 2025, the current volume is expected to double, which would correspond to a global market share of 10 %.

Tailored to this year´s conference motto “humanity and brand management in the era of digitalization“, British Beauty & Personal Care Analyst Charlotte Libby showcased future global trends for organic cosmetics, such as innovative bio-technologies, customized cosmetics, mood beauty and intelligent refill systems. She considers ensuring the sustainability to be the biggest challenge for the organic cosmetics industry of tomorrow. The renowned keynote speaker Nicole Brandes, Management Coach, Author and Partner of the Zukunftsinstitut (Future Institute) focused on the topic of Leadership 4.0 – heroes between digitalization and humanity. She strongly believes that “we will achieve more change in the next 20 years than we have in the last 300 years. For this, we need people that convey visions, provide a purpose and are able to create relations. Digital is the base, emotional is the key.“

A novelty during the conference program: on the first day, moderator Janine Steeger introduced four Newcomers in organic cosmetics. They shared their innovative approaches – and the hurdles a new brand has to bravely master to be successful in the market. “The Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference puts trends, changes in the market and novelties into focus, so it´s only consistent to provide a stage for new products and brands and interesting people“, explains Wolf Lüdge.

Brand and positioning strategist Hassaan Hakim looked at the brand identity of organic cosmetics with a critical eye. Hakim considers natural beauty to be a guiding principle, as naturalness stands for the relationship a person has with himself and his body. Since that´s where organic cosmetics has its roots, this should sustainably be used in the communication, delving deeper into the own identity – and positioning both products and brands in a more emotional manner. His recommendation for newcomer brands: “make life more meaningful! Find guiding principles, go deeper, emotionalize your brand – and courageously implement ideas.“

Bold and profound at the conclusion of the 1st conference day: The insistent plea from charismatic creative consultant Hans Reitz to find a solution for the global predicament of the century – plastic waste. His goal: “in 8 to 10 years, our industry will be completely plastic-free!“ This he wants to implement together with the organic cosmetics industry: “We should return to the community era to work together on the most pressing social challenges. I would like to invite you to discover social business and circular economy for yourselves.“ As this emotional plea was met with much positive feedback, the conference organizer spontaneously initiated a joint pilot project, which is to get under way before the year´s end.

The popular diversity expert and global makeup artist Eryca Freemantle from London closed her presentation about multicultural beauty and holistic beauty solutions that take social and ethnic changes into consideration with an emotional appeal as well: “embrace new cultures and be an agent for change!“
After lunch, the author and High-Performance Business-Coach Bert Martin Ohnemüller received much enthusiasm from the audience: He opened his both passionate and entertaining inspirational presentation with “welcome to the decade of humanity“. His credo: only those that understand people will achieve long-term success, as selling is closely linked to understanding. And that includes appreciation, fairness, trust, authenticity, honesty, ethics, awareness and emotionality.

This year´s conference closed with a lively discussion panel featuring retail experts. All participants agreed that digitalization reduces old marketing tools ad absurdum and new, courageous concepts are needed for customer, brand and retail relations, so that the organic cosmetics industry is fit for the future. Conclusion: The human is taking center stage – both in stationary and online retailing.

Wolf Lüdge closed the annual conference with a short summary – and three personal wishes he addressed to the participants: “1. Show your emotion and passion. 2. Do not fear and be bolder in your communication. 3. Be transparent.“

The international Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference 2018 with its diverse program has once again established itself as a trendsetting conference for the industry, retail and the media. Top-class presentations, profound market and trend analyses, interesting people, fruitful discussions and animated networking in a relaxed environment offer valuable orientation during turbulent times and are providing constructive impulses for the organic cosmetics industry of tomorrow. Confidently, courageously and with a distinct focus on humanity.

The next opportunity for the industry to meet will be February 13-16, 2019, at the international trade fair for organic cosmetics VIVANESS 2019 in Nuremberg. The next Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference will be held September 24&25, 2019 in Berlin.


You can download the conference program 2018 here:

International Natural & Organic Cosmetics Conference 2018 - The Program

Program: Tuesday, September 25, 2018

8:45 – 9:30 a.m. Registration, reception with coffee and tea

9:30 – 9:35 a.m. Welcoming speech
Wolf Lüdge, naturkosmetik verlag lüdge GmbH & Co. KG Greeting words: Danila Brunner, VIVANESS, NürnbergMesse GmbH

9:35–10:00 a.m. Taking stock: natural & organic cosmetics market
• Current data & facts
• Transforming markets and the consequences
• What is shaping the international market?
Elfriede Dambacher, Program Chairwoman, Owner naturkosmetik konzepte (DE)

10:00–10:30 a.m. Organic Cosmetics – a future-oriented product
• Organic cosmetics: will the influx of new consumers continue?
• Natural beauty – an ethical & ecological driver in a changing world?
• Product, ingredient & packaging trends of the future
Charlotte Libby, Senior Beauty Analyst Mintel Group Ltd. (GB)

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. The most important growth drivers for organic cosmetics
• Insights into four types of consumers
• What motivates the desire for sustainable consumption?
• Why is everyone keen to try something new?
• Millennials: Challenges and opportunities for brands and retail
Dr. Meike Gebhard, CEO Utopia GmbH (DE)

11:00 – 11:30 a.m. Meetingpoint coffee break

11:30 – 12:00 noon Financing succession& growth without “selling” yourself
• How to deter acquisitions by large corporations?
• Reasonable business entities for the future
• Transfer with continuity instead of identity loss
Armin Steuernagel, Co-Founder Purpose Stiftung (DE)

12:00 noon–1:00 p.m. Leadership 4.0 – heroes between digitalization and humanity
• How can executives stand up to the digital tornado?
• What are the four areas of tension for leaders?
• What skills do executives need to build upon?
Nicole Brandes, Owner Empowering New Leadership (CH)

1:00 – 2:15 p.m. Lunch break

2:15 – 3:30 p.m. Cultural change & shift in perspective in the natural cosmetics market
• How can companies retain their authenticity?
• What are possible differentiating strategies in times of ISO 16128?
• How can continuity be achieved in an increasingly turbulent era?
Discussion participants: Nicole Brandes, international Management Coach, Author & Partner of the Zukunftsinstitut (CH), Armin Steuernagel, Co-Founder Purpose Foundation (DE), Ulrich Jensch, Managing Director Robertet GmbH (DE), Alban Muller, Managing Director Alban Muller (FR), Julia Keith, Owner (DE)

3:30–4:00 p.m. Meetingpoint coffee break

4:00–4:30 p.m. New players in natural cosmetics
Dr. Theresa Friedrich, Owner DERMA ID (AT), Bernd Albrecht, CEO BAIMS Organic Cosmetics GmbH (DE), Ernest Schmidt, CEO Dryman’s Cosmetics GmbH (DE), Eva Galik, Senior Business Development Manager bitop AG (DE)
New brands interviewed by Janine Steeger

4:30–5:00 p.m. The brand spirit of natural & organic cosmetics
• Organic cosmetics: From interchangeable to unique communication
• What is the communicative potential of organic cosmetics?
• How can values be communicated emotionally and creatively?
Hassaan Hakim, CEO YOOL GmbH & Co. KG (DE)

5:00–5:45 p.m. From linear to circular – how we can stop the flood of plastic and benefit economically
• Why do 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year?
• What are the responsibilities of the cosmetics industry?
• What is the potential of a circular economy?
• Social Business as a new solution to old problems?
Hans Reitz, CEO The Grameen Creative Lab (DE)

5:45 – 6:00 p.m. Review 1st Conference day

6:30 –10:00 p.m. Get-together powered by VIVANESS
Look forward to interesting conversations and international networking.


Program: Wednesday, September 26, 2018

8:00 a.m. Reception

8:30–9:15 a.m. Diversity in beauty – Multicultural beauty
• Which challenges of societal change are communication and product development facing?
• How should brands expand their assortment?
• How should product development and marketing respond?
Eryca Freemantle, Global Beauty Educator and Strategist (GB)

9:15–10:15 a.m. Brazil
• Land of raw materials and emerging cosmetics market
• Opportunities & challenges for certified organic cosmetics
• Introduction of rainforest project Natura/Symrise/GIZ
Discussion participants: Frank Krämer, Project Manager GIZ GmbH (BR), Sascha Liese, Manager Corporate Sustainability, Symrise AG (DE), Alexandre Harkaly, CEO IBD (BR), and company representatives from Brazil and Europe.
Introduction and moderation: Moritz Aebersold, Owner Contura Consulting AG (CH)

9:15 –10:15 a.m. GMO/GMM – a no-go?
• GMO-free: a quality label for organic cosmetics?
• The role of GMM in manufacturing
• Procurement markets under pressure
Discussion participants:
Dr. Christoph Then
, Managing Director Testbiotech e.V. (DE), Dr. Roland Grandel,
Specialist Member Counseling and collaboration with COSMOS – BDIH (DE), Dr. Mark Smith, Director General NATRUE (BE), Dr. Wilfried Petersen, Managing Director Evonik Dr. Straetmans GmbH (DE), Dr. Alice Kleber, Programme Manager System Products Cosmetics B.R.A.I.N. Biotechnology Research and Information Network AG (DE)
Introduction and moderation: Gerald A. Herrmann, Managing Director Organic Services GmbH (DE)

10:15–10:30 a.m. Discussion Panel A and B

10:30–11:15 a.m. Meetingpoint: Coffee break

11:15– 11:45 a.m. Digitalization in retail – answers to the demands of modern consumers
• What do modern consumers expect from retail?
• How will the significance of the POS change in this environment?
• How can retail improve customer loyalty and its position through digital approaches?
Roland Grassberger, Managing Director Grassfish Marketing Technologies GmbH (AT)

11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m. The biology of loyalty – successful brands are not selling products, but affiliation
• Who are we? How do we think? Why do we act the way we do?
• How do evolutionary filters influence economic success?
• Why is humanity the most important prerequisite for long-term excellence?
Bert Martin Ohnemüller, High-Performance Business Coach (DE)

12:45–2:15 p.m. Lunch break

2:15–3:30 p.m. Customer loyalty in the era of digitalization
• Do retail and brands subsist on human encounters?
• What are the binding forces between customers,
   brands and retail in the future?
• What is the DNA of customer appeal?
Discussion participants: Christoph Werner, Managing Director Marketing & Procurement dm-drogerie markt GmbH + Co. KG (DE), Bert Martin Ohnemüller, High-Performance Business Coach (DE), Georg Schweisfurth, Co-Founder basic AG and Entrepreneur (DE), Kathrin Nusser, CFO Flaconi GmbH (DE), Gundula Böger-Heidenreich, Head of Purchasing drug store EDEKA Handelsgesellschaft Minden-Hannover mbH (DE)

3:30–3:45 p.m. Summary, review and farewell from organizer Wolf Lüdge and Danila Brunner, VIVANESS

Here you can download the  Natural Cosmetics Conference Program: