Sign of hope:100 trees planted in Egyptian White Desert. Recipient of Future Economy Vision Award Otto visits Al Wahat project

On the occasion of hosting the World Future Forum Annual Meeting in Egypt, Prof. Dr. Michael Otto, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Otto Group and Co-Founder of the World Future Council, visited SEKEM’s Wahat desert project and was honored with the planting of 100 trees for his life’s work and contributions to a sustainable future.

Please read the official press release below to learn more.

World Future Council Press release: 

25 April 2024 – On the margins of the World Future Forum in Egypt, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Otto Group, entrepreneur and Co-Founder of the World Future Council Prof. Dr. Michael Otto has visited the desert project Al Wahat in Egypt. 100 trees have been planted for him for having received the prestigious Future Economy Leadership Award for his life’s work.

Accompanied by Mr. Helmy Abouleish, CEO of SEKEM, Co-Founder of the Future Economy Forum and representative of the World Future Council, Prof. Dr. Michael Otto witnessed that Al Wahat Desert, located in the Egyptian region of Al Wahat Bahareya, is undergoing a remarkable transformation. Thanks to the efforts of the Egyptian initiative SEKEM, this once arid landscape is now turning into a thriving oasis spanning 1,000 hectares through biodynamic farming, compost production, date palm trees and biodiversity boost.

Mr. Helmy Abouleish with Prof. Dr. Michael Otto at Al Wahat Farm

This “miracle in the desert” demonstrates that even seemingly inhospitable landscapes can be transformed into thriving ecosystems with determination, innovation, and sustainable practices.

Mr. Helmy Abouleish pointed out that Prof. Dr. Michael Otto, 81, has taken on responsibility for the global community far beyond his work in business, with his attitude being manifested in the founding of various foundations and the co-founding of the World Future Council: “He is a role model in business and philanthropy and very active in his foundations.”

Prof. Dr. Michael Otto expressed his sincere thanks for the planted trees. “The greening of Al Wahat desert is very impressive and I thank SEKEM for planting 100 trees in my honor. Through my work within the Otto Group and with my foundations, I hope I can contribute to ensuring that the planet we leave behind for future generations is one worth living in.”

Dr. Otto received the Future Economy Vision Award in November 2022 from the Future Economy Forum. The award honors individuals or organizations that make an outstanding global contribution towards a new economic mainstream that integrates business success with the regeneration of climate, nature, societies and people.

Following the trip to the desert, the World Future Council will hold its World Future Forum/17th Annual General Meeting in SEKEM, Egypt from 26 to 29 April 2024.

A Group photo of the World Future Council Members at Al Wahat Farm