This page is generally less interesting than my weblog, which gets updated a lot more often than this does. So please read that instead – unless you’re looking for a bio of me which is what more or less follows below.
We compose our lives, and live the composition we write.
I work as a freelancer and I’ve never been on anyone’s payroll.
Through my entire life I never had a so-called “business plan”, things mainly “happened”. And surprisingly enough – when I look back today – somehow an order emerged.
What I have to offer
Basically the projects I am currently working on – listed below – define my expertise.
And this is what I offer to people who want to pay me for my work: I connect them across sectors, disciplines & continents to help improve the world & enrich our lives.
The idea behind we-magazine is most aptly described as being dedicated to the “empowerment of the many given to us by the Internet”. WE stands for a community of believers, high profile visionaries and innovators, who, in their work and studies, have proven that the Internet is shaping and transforming society, education, politics and economics.
Together with Bea Gschwend and Dominik Wind I share the we-passion.
We are also working on WE_the_movie. Its genre is Oral History. You could call WE_the_movie Oral Futurology. Futurology is the science, art and practice of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them. A key part of this process is understanding the potential future impact of decisions made by individuals, organisations and governments. “Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you.” Patrick Dixon, author of Futurewise
Together with Prof. Peter Kruse and his company I am working on setiing up the What’s next? Institute. This institute is intended to research the dynamics of cultural value preferences and social megatrends, and develop how innovative forms of participation are organized in social systems. All its activities are geared to empowering and vitalizing public discourse through publication of its research findings and networking of concerned stakeholders. The creative use of new forms of communication – as given by the internet and Web 2.0.applications – is at once the technology principle on which the Institute is built and a field of exploration for further development.
Reboot_D (D=Deutschland = Germany) deals with the way the internet is shaping and transforming society and politics in Germany. The starting point of this initiative was an unconference a year ago which brought together netizens, activists and politicians. We discussed the status quo and tried to raise the most important questions. Afterwards we published a book including best practices in Germany. We also tried to raise awareness of the present discrepancy between what is possible and what politicians really do. The book is available for free as a PDF-file under a creative commons license. The next unconference is scheduled for March 2011.
WEbenin goes straight to my heart. It is a “social” project I am working on with my son Tim. Help people to help themselves is the motto of our projects in Benin, West Africa. The following brief interview will give you an idea of what we do and of our own understanding of “development aid”.
Older work: whoiswho.de
whoiswho.de was a publishing house founded in 1994 together with Ingo Braun, then of kulturbox.de and Thomas Pflanz. It was an internet platform connecting up thousands of internet companies across German-speaking countries and one of the very first cross-media-projects in Germany. In 1996 the team parted company and for more than 10 years afterwards I worked alone on whoiswho.de, establishing it as “the place to be” in the German-speaking internet. whoiswho.de published close to 50 books and CD-ROMs. In late 2006 I sold off parts of it and finally in early 2010 I sold the whole domain.
In 2004 – the 10th anniversary of whoiswho.de – I edited and published “Digital Transformations”. This weighty (4 kilo) beautifully made book quickly became a benchmark. It deals with the fundamental transformations in business, culture and science driven by digital technologies. Unfortunately it is only available in German.
SCOPE – Web meets HR is basically a conference. It first took place in 2007. Our audience is HR people dealing with the challenges the Internet gives them in their daily business lives. We touch more on cultural aspects than on tools. Since its beginning SCOPE has always experimented and explored new formats of presenting these challenges – virtually and real.
Much older work: ARD and ZDF
I worked for ARD and ZDF, the two main German public TV channels, while I was a student at the University of Mannheim reading business administration and majoring in marketing and human resources, and while I was writing my thesis (Product Placement and Sponsoring for Public TV),– all in all for almost 5 years. These were very exciting times because they saw the advent of private TV and radio in Germany. The monopoly of public TV and radio was broken and competition for advertising budgets and audiences started in earnest, completely changing the face of the market.
In a way it’s all very similar to what is happening today with the Internet. Only some 30 years on.
If you’d like to contact me, email is the best bet.