A Job for Developing the Future (Both Mine and That of Others)

2 months ago I started a new job after finishing my Master Thesis (which also happens to be the reason that I did not blog that much lately – sorry for that!).

So far I have to say that I simply love it! I have the feeling that I am building the future for myself and the company, both driving the company to the next level of innovation and preparing myself for the awesome job of sharing, enabling and promoting opportunities for personal and professional development as a business model. But how does this actually all pan out? Bear with me as I go through the different points of explaining the setting, the changes, and the outcome for both the company, my business model and innovation…

Continue reading A Job for Developing the Future (Both Mine and That of Others)

The Importance of Feeling Alive

Especially during the christmas and family time, one thing often comes to my mind.

Feeling Alive
Living your Dream

Robot Mode

Whenever I work for several months quite intensively, even though I may be more or less passionate about them, I get into a more robotic mode, where things just “have to function properly” and the beauty of things often gets lost. This includes emotions every so often. There is a saying, stating “eventually, all decisions are made from gut feeling”, which is why you should Continue reading The Importance of Feeling Alive

Hamburg City Guide

"Binnenalster von der Lombardsbrücke aus"
Wikipedia (Link zum Bild / Fotograf: Rainer Marks)

While I lived in Hamburg I have been giving friends a tour of the city quite frequently. Since I do not live there at the moment (to give tours) but people ask me to give them “a list of what they should see” I figured I could make a central one here. If you have anything to add that people should see – just let me know! 🙂

"Binnenalster von der Lombardsbrücke aus" Wikipedia (Link zum Bild / Fotograf: Rainer Marks)
“Binnenalster von der Lombardsbrücke aus”
Wikipedia (Link zum Bild / Fotograf: Rainer Marks unter CC Lizenz)

This is going to (obviously) be a longer post. It might also be interesting for people who just want to get to know more about the city.  In general the city seems rather relaxed although it has 1,7 Million inhabitants! You definitely don’t feel the stress that you would expect at this size! 🙂

Main Tourist Attactions

When you arrive in Hamburg from Central Station, you should first Continue reading Hamburg City Guide

Will we drown in a Sea of Mediocracy? / The Future of the Newspaper Companies in the Age of Social Media


The Movie

Just recently I watched the Movie “PressPausePlay”, an Open Source movie with famous artists like Moby, Seth Godin, and then also some less famous up-and-coming ones. It talks about the future and current state of Art – Music, Movies, Texts and how they are produced and how people could potentially live from it.

It makes several statements:

  • free ideas spread faster and wider than those that require payments
  • everybody can contribute now and art is becoming democratized

Based on this it also raises some questions:

  • Do we drown in a sea of mediocracy if everybody shares and most of them do not have talent?
  • Also unknown artists can potentially make a living out of music and become famous now more easily as opposed to before – the (music / film / …) industry as a gatekeeper is dead

The best example of those theories are the ones in the movie and also the (open source and free) movie itself – check it out for yourself on vimeo (see below) or on their website www.presspauseplay.com

PressPausePlay from House of Radon on Vimeo.

Newspaper boxes (source (1))

The Questions

I also took these questions to a barcamp on Social Media and even went one step further: if it is possible to still make money in different way with music (e.g. pay-what-you-want, concerts) and books (publish online free and pay for hardcopy) as proven in the movie – what about newspapers and journalism? How can people live off that in the future? What is the role of Social Media in this? Continue reading Will we drown in a Sea of Mediocracy? / The Future of the Newspaper Companies in the Age of Social Media

Some Downsides of almost constant Travelling

I just watched the movie “machine gun preacher” and besides it being an intense movie based on true events, it also raised another consideration again in me. The main character is helping kids in Sudan against the by-now-famous Kony and LRA, but  he is mainly also torn between his family back home and his “new family” in Sudan.

As several of you might know I have already been in several different countries around the globe for a longer time – the US (Texas), Togo and Brazil for a year each. Often people say that it must be quite awesome to get to travel that much. But there are also some rather longer-term downsides. I by no means want to leave the impression that they outweigh the benefits, but they seem to be not so visible to the non-travellers. I already explained the potential loss of a “home” to come back to in another post. It might also have the aspect that you have several homes and obviously you cannot be in all at once – with all the friends you made there.

Feeling at home in Brazil
Feeling at home in Brazil - I am the guy on the very right btw 🙂

But I am not talking about the direct impact, like getting Malaria or being stuck in bureaucratic processes – which make life rather more interesting!


Just take relationships e.g., which either become long distance or take longer to build up in my experience – since they often evolve in environments where you are comfortable and can be yourself, which takes a while in new environments. And when you have finally found somebody – they tend to have the same passion as you and are thus probably abroad once you finally got some time back home. 😛 But obviously there are also some good side about it as this blog posts beautifully states – “date a girl that travels“. Of course you can also take somebody with you during the journey – but also that has pros and cons. 🙂

Then, depending on how much you travel, your best friends might be all over the world, in different time zones and difficult to visit again (although it becomes easier and cheaper to travel these days).

Personality and Understanding

Longing for different places, friends and being understood might be a bit harder sometimes
Longing for different places, friends and being understood might be a bit harder sometimes

You also change a bit every time you  leave, which is not a bad thing in itself, but it may become more problematic blending in again. I always need some internationality in my life now (which is easily served by further travelling and studying an international master), but it also becomes more difficult for people to understand you sometimes. Especially family.


Voodoo in Benin
Voodoofestival in Benin - Explaining Voodoo experiences in full intensity can be quite a challenge 🙂

My mother has also already been backpacking in India in the 70ies, hitch-hiking around France with sometimes just about 23 cents left in her pocket, being robbed in Paris under the bridge and asking via collect call for more money from home. She was also hosting international students at her house later, so I think so got the same bug I did, but still sometimes it becomes difficult to really grasp what I am telling her. Might also be due to parents and their kids having generation differences, but still …

Other Perspectives

For more impressions on this topic also read other interesting blog posts (not by me):

The Ups and Downs of a Nomadic Lifestyle and Are you a Good Traveler?

They provide some insights from a constant traveller / nomad. I personally still love more to have a place that I can call home and do not just “check up on” as some other people have the tendency to do after they have been abroad for too long – they simply cannot settle anywhere for a longer time anymore but “have to keep going”. It gives me the impression that the beforementioned blogger already has the tendency to do so. It took me several years abroad and also some good talks with e.g. children of diplomats (that have to change the country every 3-5 years) to see how much I want to be mobile and where I draw my limits. Right now I see that I want to at least have a fixed place called “home” that I can and do come back to at least every week on average. But obviously it also depends on whom I call my family – a wife and such – that I want to be closest to. If they are there it does not really matter all that much …

Sometimes your life might also change forever after your experiences – but then mostly for the better. 🙂 Check out this blogpost if you want to travel just for some time and then get back on track and really do your thing …

Did you have similar experiences? Did I miss something? Do you have questions? Let me know in the comments! Looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂

Sources: Pictures are all my own.

The many Faces of a Chair – but not the one you sit on!

This post has become a little longer again – sorry for that but I hope you still enjoy it! For sure there are also some complementary videos that should be interesting 😉

After I have already been writing about the general tasks of a chair and my experiences with it – here comes some more detail in case you are about to consider or even do it yourself or are just interested in a deeper explanation – and some further experiences (I just chaired another conference in Poland :))

Major Principles

Much of this can actually be attributed and used in any leadership position and for any change management. Check out these important principles for inducing change. Also make sure you do not fall into the dangers of collaboration.

The Plenaries

Be Yourself and find your own Style

As a chair, you are not there to use the right tools, make everything perfect and then leave, but to inspire, share your experience and challenge people by providing a different perspective. Bring something different. Something either from you personally or your country that they have never heard or thought of before. Let them try it themselves! Maybe some German words? 

German Words
German Words - 1. little Matchbox, 2. Squirrel's Tail, 3. Danube Steamboat Capitain 🙂

Also contribute personal learnings that will have to do with something you consider a failure for yourself. When you learned something from it, that can be quite worth sharing!

You will not have the glow and fire in your eyes if it does not come from the heart and you are not Continue reading The many Faces of a Chair – but not the one you sit on!

Sudden Change – British style -> Leider Geil! (“Unfortunately Awesome”!)

So I hopped over to London to visit family, my coach and friends. I have been a bit around the globe, but one thing still struck me odd:

Driving on the left.

Obviously I had already heard about it but forgotten about it when arriving at the airport at 7 am after having just spent the entire previous night trying to sleep at another airport!
I got onto the bus and actually got the seat in the very front with a clear view ahead!
This can be quite refreshing / shocking / awakening at once but then you probably adopt to it. Or so I thought. Because it is part of a lot of subtleties as well! Obviously you overtake also on the left, you walk on the left side of the street (if not too many tourists make you feel on the wrong side of the road whatever side you are on!), the metro (/tube) leaves to the left and not the right. Every time I had to think AGAIN!! Nothing normal! But then – what is normal?

Being normal - embrace change!
People don't resist change - but nobody likes being changed!

“Being normal is boring. Be yourself and LIVE!” ~me 😉

What does this have to do with change and change management? Sometimes things (or the current “normal”) change. It is not about Continue reading Sudden Change – British style -> Leider Geil! (“Unfortunately Awesome”!)

My cool Experiences with my Personal Coach – do you have one? :)

My Coach and Me

So how does this work (for me)?

For about 3 years now I have a personal coach  and he has definitely brought me forward! We do not talk every day but still every once in a while.

He does not provide me with answers but rather the right questions to come to conclusions by myself. There have been several bigger crossroads in my life in these 3 years that have been heavily influenced that way. He lives in the UK but works in different countries, soon being Mongolia! When we talk, it works over Skype and upon needs rather on short notice. I also just met him physically again last week – yay! Once again, it was a very interesting and insightful evening that both of us enjoyed. Before I met him physically in Brazil in 2008 and in Malaysia in 2009.

So what can you take from this?:

My Coach and Me
My Coach and Me in 2009

Continue reading My cool Experiences with my Personal Coach – do you have one? 🙂