About Us

The Planetary Health Academy was set up in spring 2020 by the German Climate Change and Health Alliance e.V. (KLUG). While globally the world was put on a hold we were looking for opportunities to move on. More than ever we learned that human health depends on the health of the surrounding environment. The Planetary Health approach examines this interplay between human health, political, economic and social factors and the natural systems of our planet. Finally, the insight of the interplay between human and planetary health highlights the need to take action.

As education on Planetary Health was more or less unavailable within the health care sector we took the chance of online lectures and created the first lecture series of the Planetary Health Academy.  After the great success of our first cycle with more than 4000 registrations, we are continuing our work: As a free online live lecture series with leading experts in the field of Planetary Health, we will deepen our understanding and enlarge our perspective on the interdisciplinary field of Planetary Health. We will not only focus on the consequences of man-made ecological destruction – namely the loss of biodiversity, climate change, pollution, and change of land use – but also point to windows of opportunity and find solutions to these problems that can help both humans and the environment thrive. Our knowledge will help us to become change agents and to make transformation happen.

Our team:


As a pedagogue and adult educator, Marischa Fast worked with general practitioners for many years in order to establish high-quality further training. Her main focus is the shaping of group processes, consulting and the conception of teaching and advanced training events. At KLUG, she is now connecting her expertise with a matter of heart: designing educational processes about transformation and planetary health.


Friederike von Gierke worked as an anaesthesiologist, until she decided to put all her effort into socio-political change. At KLUG, she is part of the projects Planetary Health Academy and Sustainable Practice. She contributes her experience from the current reform of medical studies as well as from the public relations work of a climate justice group and combines her personal core topics of communication and climate with her medical expertise.


Founder and chair of the German Climate Change and Health Alliance – KLUG.  Martin Herrmann has accompanied transformational change processes in global health and commercial contexts for more than 30 years. A doctor by training, he soon started to advise companies and NGOs, creating new concepts for organizational development. Today he teaches at international business schools and universities. He is especially passionate about   linking complexity science and  Hannah Arendt political philosophy to the transformational challenges of our time.


Theresa Gemke is a medical student from Mainz. She spends a lot of her free time to engage in climate and environmental activism, especially with Fridays for Future and Health for Future. Since 2021 she is part of the Planetary Health Academy Team.


Hannah Otto is studying medicine and philosophy in Freiburg with an interim year in Lausanne. Having intensified her engagement for the climatestrike movement in Lausanne in the organisation of the European climatestrike summit, she is currently active in the Health for Future movement.

Former team members:


Sylvia Hartmann is a medical doctor. She is a founding member and the vice-chair of the German Climate Change and Health Alliance. Early during her studies she got interested in the larger influences on human health. Her engagement at the intersection between climate change and health started at the German Medical Students’ Association. As a delegate of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations she participated twice at the UN Climate Change Conference in 2017 and 2018. Sylvia Hartmann has been a speaker for the young generation of doctors on the topic of planetary health at several events auch as the World Health Summit or the Nobel Prize Dialogue.


Felix Bittner supports the Health for Future movement and tries to identify synergies between different groups and projects. He holds a BA in Management of Social Innovations from the Munich University of Applied Sciences and an MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation from the London School of Economics.


Sophie Gepp is a final year medical student at Charité Berlin and holds an MSc Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is an active member of the German Climate and Health Alliance since 2018.


Leah Schirren is a medical student at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and has been involved in Health for Future for over one year. She co-founded the Hamburg group and is accompanying the Planetary Health Academy with a focus on the social media campaign.


Lisa Patzelt is a medical student at the TU Munich. She has been active in environmental and climate protection since school days and is educating herself in Environmental Studies at the Rachel Carson Center of the LMU Munich. She has been involved in the German Climate Change and Health Alliance and especially Health for Future for more than one year.


Louise Hegge is studying medicine at the TU Munich. Since several years, she has been involved in the German Medical Students‘ Association (bvmd) and has been active in the German Climate Change and Health Alliance since spring 2019, especially in the Health for Future Initiative.

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