About us

Who we are

We are a student-run non-profit company based in Cologne, the OfW. But most people know us as the the organisers of the World Business Dialogue. Here, students become entrepreneurial at an early stage and work on projects and events. With our connections to the business and start-up scene, but also to students worldwide, we create a platform for exchange. An exchange between entrepreneurs and students, between generations and between countries. At our events, we enable conversations at eye level in an informal atmosphere. Since 1984, many stories, ideas and careers have been created in this way.

The OfW Group

Experience meets innovation. The OfW group (registered group) consisting of the board of trustees supervising and advising both, the Organisationsforum Wirtschaftskongress gGmbH and OSCAR GmbH. Due to the inherent short lived nature of OfW employees the board of trustees brings the necessary constancy to oversee and plan long-term developments.
In addition, the OfW group also supervises the OSCAR GmbH, which is a management consultancy with a start-up character. 1992 OSCAR was founded as a subsidiary of the OFW.

Because of the growing number of alumni, the “OfW & Oscar Alumni Club” (OOAC) was founded in 1984. Many of our alumni started incredible careers after time at the OfW or Oscar and joined the OOAC to stay connected with each other and with the OfW as well as Oscar. Today we (the OfW) have over 700 Alumni from 25 generations.

The Start
The “Organisationsforum Wirtschaftskongress” (OfW) was founded in 1984 to build a bridge between academic theory and business practice.
First Conference
The topic of the first conference in 1987 was "space as a market". The first conferences were called "Deutscher Wirtschaftskongress" (German Business Conference). With increasing numbers of international participants the conference was renamed as the World Business Dialogue.
Fifth Conference
The undoubted highlight of the fifth conference (1995) was the attendance of Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft
First World Business Dialogue
For the first time the conference took place under its new name in 1999: World Business Dialogue
The 20th conference
In 2017 the 20th conference celebrated the big jubilee by picking up the topics of the first three conferences (space as a market, artificial intelligence and transformation in transportation)
The Restart
Emergin from the global pandemic we restarted the World Business Dialogue in June 2022. Although facing some major troubles with international travel, visa applications and a brand new team. We were able to host a smaller version of the World Business Dialogue to get back on track.

Partners of the Past


We create a dialogue between leaders of today and leaders of tomorrow to shape a better future for all of us.


Bring together bright young minds and senior decision makers to push forward networks across borders and hyrachies and to openly discuss future ideas.


Create a unique experience for every participant and thrive to grow our global network and diversify yet more.

Voices of Past Participants


If there is anything else you would like to know, please contact us.