I really don’t like CVs. Therefore I don’t have a traditional one.
Here is a bit about me
When I step aside and let my thoughts, ideas, experiences and actions pass in front me, I – the observer – see that the WE is the common thread in my life. And that I am a pretty strong ME.
The first WE I experienced was my family, in Heidelberg, Germany. The city back then was still ‘colonised’ by the American GI’s – they had chosen this old university town as their headquarters after World War 2. I remember vividly my days in kindergarten and at school – my teachers had quite a hard time ‘taming’ me. I was ‘labeled’ student at the Mannheim University of Economics (Marketing and Human Resources). Besides my studies I practiced ‘hands-on’ work at the German Television stations ZDF and ARD – they were partially financing my studies and thesis.
My travels led me to more than 120 countries and I’ve spoken with even more Nobel prize laureates, leading scientists, company executives, activists and ‘normal’ people on the ground. I visited war zones, some of the most remote areas on this planet, I’ve seen the wilderness and the mega cities and I slept under the stars, in cars, private homes, and countless hotels – all this opened new horizons and perspectives for me. A vast and rich pool of experiences and observations. I felt that we were not always told what I experienced by myself and I started to question why is this so? The only answer I could come up with so far is – it is interest driven what people / organisations would show and tell you. Which is a fair deal, but it wasn’t what I was looking for.
I opted to observe and experience the ‘unfiltered’ version, the version which is not influenced by media, government, people or corporate interests. Therefore I was never employed at any company – companies require ‘filtered’ perspectives. I always worked as a freelance consultant and interestingly enough media, governments and corporations would hire and pay me for my ’unfiltered’ views. My clients include Bertelsmann Foundation, NATO, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, ZDF, CoreMedia, next practice, Synaxon AG, Google (think quarterly), Facebook – just to name a few. I shared my observations, views and experiences on seven TEDx stages and discussed them at multiple MIT / Havard University / United Nation workshops with students around the world and I published more than 50 books and magazine with the focus on the Internet and its capacity to ‘unfilter’ and create all kind of WE’s.
In 2012 I touched ground in India for the first time. Not even in my most lucid dreams I saw myself in India for 10 years. But this is what happened. I got the chance to start a social experiment in a remote area in Madhya Pradesh and I was drawn into it. I’ve built a skatepark in a small village called Janwaar. My vision was that this skatepark would disrupt the local community to an extend that it would break down old caste-dominated structures and create better living conditions for all the villagers. The skatepark gave the village a new identity all villagers were proud of and it created a greater WE among two former separated castes. The project became well-known as Janwaar Castle and it was multiple times named as one of the biggest transformation processes in rural India.
My laptop and smart phone are my only constant travel companions. Over the years I minimalized my life to the extend that I don’t have a physical home anymore – I travel light, I am a nomad. I have my suitcase and an open mind. And I go where my heart and mind are leading me. No plans. ‘Life is happening while you are busy making other plans’ – John Lennon once famously said. Imagine!
I immerse myself in the moment – no matter where I am.
In 2015, Peter Kruse, the “muse of the Internet”, described me as follows:
“There are some people whose lives followed the logic of dynamic networks long before the internet appeared on the scene. In my time I’ve met a handful of individuals who were digital natives in a much more radical sense than their date of birth might lead you to suppose. Ulrike Reinhard is one of them. She has the genius to be able to think and act in terms of interaction. In conversation with her, it’s easy to be carried away by her enthusiasm for open processes.
Ulrike Reinhard is a catalyst for collective intelligence and network nodes, an enabler who forges direct links that bring people together. She’s a virtuoso across the whole repertoire of modern technologies, but she would still be adding more reality to the We in this world if she had to use smoke signals and pigeon post to do so. Ulrike Reinhard is an impassioned explorer of frontiers with an astonishing faith in her ability to find her way even in new and uncharted territory. She seldom follows a steady straight line but always shows an unflappable sense of direction.
Like the path she’s carved through life, Ulrike Reinhard is never boring and always good for a few surprises!”