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2015 John Arthur Wilson Memorial Lecturer -- Dr. Dietrich Tegtmeyer

The 56th John Arthur Wilson Memorial Lecture will be presented at the Annual Convention by Dietrich Tegtmeyer at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, June 10, 2015.


The title of his presentation is "Sustainability - Our Passport for the Future."

  • A retro-perspective, what all happened and why until it came to our current understanding.
  • Necessary paradigm changes for companies and people like you and me


This presentation will give an overview and a clear understanding of global sustainability as well as the urgent need and the importance of necessary paradigm changes in all kind of human life.

In the last 100 years the economy was driven by growth and innovation optimism. Inventers and researchers, of course, did not know where all the developments finally will end up.  However, the playground was so big and discoveries have been so interesting and fascinating that the developments process was self-running and could not be stopped or redirected. An extrapolation of this process will sooner or later end up being mortal because necessary resources are not available anymore to feed such a process.

We are now fully arrived in the 21 century. The world today is already very much different than the one from the recent past 20 or even 50 years ago. We have generated for many people overwhelming prosperity in many countries which no one even dreamed about 100 years ago. The industrialization and joint fast growing global population has led to a point that the human race occupies nearly all livable land on this planet and utilizes resources to the last tiny corner of earth.

A big mistake was that consequences for health and environment unfortunately have not been in the focus for a long period of time. If we and our next generations still want to enjoy life on our planet, a huge process of change is ahead of us. Never ever before in history have humans faced such an awesome task.

Dr. Tegtmeyer will review the evolution process of the megatrend sustainability from its beginning up to its mindset of today; what have been enablers, what unfortunately preventers during the industrialization process of the past 150 years, and what have been major milestones on the path to our current understanding of sustainable development.

Based on this he will point out important challenges for our planet and our life. He will review guiding principles and rules, which have been identified as being required for necessary paradigm shifts in all levels of our day-to-day life: from a global economic and political point of view, from a company perspective as well as for each of us as an individual. In conclusion, he will briefly give my view on the positioning of the leather industry and comment on key items he believes our industry has to focus on.

A PhD chemist graduating from University Witten/Herdecke, Dietrich Tegtmeyer commenced his career in the chemical industry in 1989 in various management positions and international assignments with Bayer, Germany.  He became involved in the leather business in 1999 with responsibility for Bayer headquarters leather R&D; then later was in charge of global marketing of the business unit leather.  Since 2005 he has been employed by the spin-off company LANXESS as vice president for product and applications development.

Industry representations:

        Since 2008 executive member of the International Union of Leather Technologists and Scientist (IULTCS); Chairman of the R&D Council

        From 2009 to 2014 executive member of Leather Working Group (LWG)

        Since 2011 vice president of IULTCS

        Since 2012 member of the board of the German counterpart of ALCA, the VGCT


Dietrich Tegtmeyer is married and has 3 daughters.