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Thursday, December 20, 2007

self meets AIESEC alumni

End of November, we had 20 AIESEC alumni visiting our space in transition. A ladder was transformed into a Hub Christmas tree and we used the Hub space to create 3 dialogue islands to talk about “What have change agents and social pioneers in common?”

AIESEC is the world’s largest student organization that develops change agents for a positive impact on society. self connects a new way of entrepreneurship: social pioneers. We started our conversations with the question: “What question is moving you at the moment as a change agent/social pioneer?”

Social pioneers from the self network hosted the 3 islands. Thank you to the following pioneers for sharing their insights on that evening. We generated some interesting thoughts also around the second question “How is your question reflected in your current work/project?”:

Conrad and Andrea from Land des Gelingens

Gertrud a systemic coach and pioneering teacher in Wedding and Anna Lena & Bieke from the Kaospilots

Sebastian from ecochoice and Basti, also an AIESEC alumni, from Helpedia

We continued our conversation (e.g. pro and conse of the basic income model) in a next-door Café.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

selfHUB Community Meetings - December

We are currently meeting every Wednesday starting 18:30 in the selfHUB kitchen (if not noted otherwise!). Here are the dates for December/January

19:30 combined We Are What We Do network meeting

Community Cooking - simply bring 2 ingredients for 2 people for a starter or main course or desert and we decide on the spot what to cook

20:00 Café Tasso, Round Table "Grundeinkommen" (Basic Income)

Christmas Break, no meeting

New Year's Break, no meeting

First meeting in the New Year - We are open to your suggestions

Monday, November 26, 2007

Greetings from the selfHUB

The selfHUB is a room for people with ideas for social innovation. After we have moved in, we are now inviting our friends to join us working from the selfHUB.

We have made post cards to invite 5 of our friends personally.

Those friends have then the possibility to invite another 5 of their friends.

We Are What We Do has already moved into the selfHUB and ecochoice and Standardfinanz will follow December 01.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Our Social Pioneers: Gabriela Ender

Gertrud Graf, a teacher from the self network, has interviewed Social Pioneer Gabriela Ender about her social technology OpenSpace-Online for the German magazine "ab 40":

"Each day, millions of people travel around the globe to attend meetings, workshops, trainings and conferences. The cost for organizing, traveling and time are enormous and the CO2 exhaustion levels are gigantic. What can we do? Should our "globalized" world renounce its most valuable kind of communication, the meeting of people face-to-face? No, says Gabriela Ender. The question is not one of renunciation but of how to consciously create sustainable bridges between our offline and online modes. Gabriela Ender is a visionary, a progressive thinker and an enabler. She puts the people squarely into the center of her internet-based conference method and initiates on a global level totally new processes for learning, finding solutions and initiating change in society, economy, politics, education and research."

Click here to read the interview in English.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

We are moving in!!!

We have received the keys for the selfHUB last Thursday and are slowly moving in.

Frauke is already working from the selfHUB since her internet broke at home ;-)

Thank you to Johannes, Tanja, Sebastian, Jürgen, Hans-Albrecht, and Konrad for helping us last week in cleaning, moving, painting, and drilling.

We will continue our work the next Saturdays building shelves and separation walls using old carton boxes. If you would like to join in with helping hands, please email Lucas at:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

On which issues will Social Pioneers be working in Germany?

The Federal Network for Civic Participation has published a discussion paper with "The Future Trends of Civil Society" in Germany.

Areas for Social Pioneers to start social businesses include:
  • The Aging Society
  • New Social Networks
  • Local Community Development
  • Social Divide
  • Health Services
  • Environment and Consumer Protection
  • Education and Life-long Learning
  • Potential of Diverse Social Groups
  • Relationship between Work and Volunteering
  • Change of Values

Sunday, October 14, 2007

self Stakeholder Dialogues - Nina

1. What is your most important objective, and how can self help you realize it?
I have a great interest in new concepts. Concepts for innovation in society. How can we design our future and what is the role of social entrepreneurship in Germany? self is a network in Germany that I would like to be engaged with. The self network can help me to introduce me to new concepts to make them more tangible. Concepts that inspire me to work with them on social entrepreneurship in Munich.

2. What in the past has been your most useful contribution to your work?
Communication. I have appreciated in the past to get things done through personal talks or dialogue. AIESEC has been a very valuable platform to exchange ideas with like-minded people: working together, being at conferences, meetings, etc. Furthermore, the work in different networks: to discover similarities and to keep developing them together has been very useful.

3. What criteria will you use to assess whether self’s contribution to your objective has been successful?
Planting new ideas, new networks, knowledge sharing in regards to social pioneering. To discover my own contact nodes to products and services of self.. To establish a win-win relationship. To make my personal contribution and experiences in this area. If this is happening then self’s contribution is successful. I want to learn about concepts that are possible to implement in Munich, as well. I am hoping for inspiration to start this in Munich.

4. What would constitute success for self; what would success look like?
The people who work for self need to achieve personal financial sustainability. To be profitable. To create the opportunity for all self stakeholder to satisfy their needs, i.e. to learn and to reflect together. self is well-known as a brand in Germany. The selfHUB attracts interesting organizations/projects and those organizations work from the selfHUB because they value the network of social pioneers. self offers a room for creativity, dialogue, ideas. What is the new that emerges due to the fact that social pioneers are working together? How can competences through mentoring be passed on?

5. How could such a future success be prototyped and tested on a small scale, in order to “learn by doing”?
Asking selfHUB users: how effective is the network factor? What can we learn from other incubators at universities in Berlin? Exchange experiences with other consultants in this area. Ask social pioneers when they join the network: what do you expect from the selfHUB? What are your challenges? What are your needs?

6. What would be practical next steps?
Find exchange partners for a community of practice use the experience and learn with the international HUB network. Promote the concept through personal networks in Berlin and Germany. Build a pilot group of 2-3 social pioneers.

7. After this conversation: what is your burning question now?
What is self thinking about these questions? How can all self stakeholders connect?

8. Mark’s question: what will self do with the profits it makes?
Reinvest it in the own organization to develop new business areas. Fund new ideas by Social Pioneers. Develop new concepts. Start a Fellowship Programme? Start a self Foundation. Reduce prices for selfHUB users in need.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Pioneers of Change meets Unfolding Cards

Last month Wiebke and Frauke took part in the Unfolding Cards workshop in Berlin. Here are some questions from the game and some impressions:

What are the principles upon which you live and work?
(Unfolding Cards principles)

How could a logo for you look like?
(Felix plays, doodles, draws...)

When are you yourself?

(Felix and Gabi)
How do you stay present in the process of emergence?
(Frauke and Leon)

What do you do to nurture yourself? (Wiebke reflecting and presencing with others)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Social Pioneer Conrad fragt...

Wo ist das Land des Gelingens in Deutschland?

Wir sind auf der Suche nach Beispielen für „Gelingen“ in Deutschland. Wovon habt ihr gelesen oder gehört, wo ihr denkt, dass das ein Beispiel für das Land des Gelingens ist?

Bitte bis zum 22.10. per Email, Fax oder Post an Conrad Thimm: , Fax 030 2363 4596, Crellestr. 19/20, 10827 Berlin

Looking for volunteers - Freiwillige gesucht

Im November brauchen wir ganz viele Heinzelmännchen. Dringend gesucht werden:
- Möbelbauer
- Maler

...und ab sofort einen pfiffigen Trockerbauer, der aus "eckig rund machen" kann und einen Experten für Netzwerkverkabelung!

Anmeldungen nimmt ab sofort Lucas entgegen:

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The self Academy - A vision

Once the selfHUB is up and running, we plan to work on the self Academy - a school for social pioneers.

A great inspiration for the planning are the Kaospilots from Denmark

Saturday, October 6, 2007

self Stakeholder Dialogues - Mark

I am currently taking part in Otto Scharmer's Global Classroom on Presencing. One exercise is a stakeholder interview that I have applied to the self context. My first interview has been with Mark who is a member of the self co-operative.


  • Assess the value that self can create for its stakeholders
  • Create a personal relationship to self stakeholders
  • Apply my personal learnings from the MIT Presencing online course

1. What is your most important objective, and how can self help you realize it?

I am exploring different forms of social investment and I would like to find out where is the new border of a business framework working in the context of social ideas. self being a co-operative what is the difference/social benefit compared to a corporation or a limited company? self should make interesting social ventures visible, i.e. offering new relevant opportunities for investment. self is build on social investment: how can the venture self fulfil the interest of its investors?

2. What in the past has been your most useful contribution to your work?

Being invited to participate. Asking myself: what am I looking for? To have tools and a framework to go on that quest (e.g. conferences, methods, etc.). To find ideas and to continue working on them and having the possibility to mirror it with a group of people. To have an environment to meet people with useful but unexpected connecting ideas/thoughts. To enjoy working through my daily task list.

3. What criteria will you use to assess whether self’s contribution to your objective has been successful?

If I feel comfortable in the end: what creates that feeling? If I can draw personal conclusions and define key learnings that I can integrate into my day-to-day life.

4. What would constitute success for self; what would success look like?

Being interested in social investment: to have a manual/book “Principles of co-operatives in social entrepreneurship” (legal structure, org. structure, etc.). How does the decision-making process work in a co-operative? How can learnings be formalized?

What makes self successful? To be able to separate learning and doing into two processes. Both need to be professional but should not be mixed. To have cool projects in the portfolio: self is successful, if the self projects are successful. People are an important factor: the sustainable growth and maturity of the network is key. What makes the self community sustainable? How to create and implement a culture of a sustainable community?

Success is: finding a social innovative answer to “What is self doing with the profit of the co-operative?”

5. How could such a future success be prototyped and tested on a small scale, in order to “learn by doing”?

Engage with Pioneers of Change: there is no better sandbox to play in. Start a project and prototype it in Pioneers of Change. Create a project around best practices of business models from the self social ventures and create new business models. The project could be called “Business Models for Social Innovations”.

6. What would be practical next steps?

Free time: donate 4 hours a week to develop the prototype project further. Look for partners to start the project. For example: Jonathan from The Hub London.

7. After this conversation: what is your burning question now?

Does self want to make money?

A purpose is to create a network of social pioneers: building a community of social pioneers does not make money traditionally. How does community-building fit into the business context?

How does your motivation change, if you make money with your idealism?

Key question of this conversation: What will self do with the profits it makes ?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Social Pioneer Konrad auf dem WeissSee Ideencamp

WeissSee°2250 Ideencamp, Rudolfshütte, 10.9.-13.9.2007

Um die Mittagsstunde des 10. September erreiche ich nach S-Bahn, Flughafenshuttle, Flugzeug, Bus, Jugendherberge, Regionalbahn, Schmalspurdiesellok, Ford Transit, Gondellift, etwa 900 km und fast 24 Stunden auf der Strecke die Rudolfshütte am WeissSee.

Die Sonne scheint, der Himmel ist so blau wie er nur in den Bergen ist und überall liegt tiefer Schnee. Ein idealer Ort, um sich zu zentrieren und fokussiert über das nachzudenken, wofür wir alle gekommen sind: die (Weiter)entwicklung unserer Ideen.

Mit mir kommen im Laufe des Nachmittags noch 15 andere junge Kreative an. Gemeinsam treffen wir auf die drei Organisatoren, die neun Experten, unsere Entspannungstrainerin und unseren wunderbaren Fotografen, mit denen wir die nächsten Tage verbringen werden.

Nach einem lockeren Kennenlernen und einigen Gruppenfotos auf der Terrasse des Hauses vor atemberaubender Bergkulisse beginnen wir ohne Zögern das Programm mit einer Übersicht über die nächsten Tage sowie einer angeregten Debatte über den Begriff „Nachhaltigkeit“, seinen Umfang, seine Implementierungsmöglichkeiten sowie seine Anwendung in unserer Gesellschaft. Das folgende Abendessen leitet die erste Teilung der Gruppe ein: solche, die bereits eine konkrete Idee haben und solche, die noch eine entwickeln wollen. Für Erstere, darunter mich, gibt es das leicht abgewandelte Speed-Dating: jeder Teilnehmer hat drei Minuten Zeit bei jedem Experten, dann wird gewechselt.

Relativ schnell stellt sich heraus, dass meine Idee bei Weitem nicht so konkret ist wie von mir bisher angenommen. Die wertvolle Runde mit Florian enthüllt noch etwas Anderes: meine Funktion bzw. Rolle in dem Projekt ist mir gar nicht bewusst.

Mit einem ziemlichen Motivationsdämpfer starte ich in den nächsten Tag, in dem es darum geht, die Idee auf Grundlage des gestern gesammelten Wissens zu konkretisieren. Er endet mit einer ersten Vorstellungsrunde, in der mir ein weiteres Mal bewusst wird, dass noch viel Arbeit vor mir liegt.

In einem sehr persönlichen Gespräch entwickeln Hannes T. und ich dann ein kleines Organigramm auf der Grundlage seiner emotionalen Intelligenz und Lebenserfahrung, das mir enorm hilft, mich selbst innerhalb meiner Idee einzuordnen. Die folgenden Gedanken und Überlegungen sowie das Elevator-Pitch-Training mit Christina, Markus und Florian geben weiteren Input bzgl. der Konkretisierung einer Idee und mir die Gelegenheit, meine Gedanken weiter zu kanalisieren und das Unwesentliche auf später zu verschieben.

Der dritte Tag wird für mich der entscheidende: Burkhard stellt seine mit Hannes T. und Hannes O. entwickelte Ideenskizze vor, die ich gewissenhaft ausfülle und dabei wieder mehr über mich, die Idee und die Unwuchten darin lerne. Ein Gespräch mit Burkhard darüber am Abend desselben Tages klärt die Vorgehensweise und die weiteren Schritte in naher und mittlerer Zukunft auf Basis der Skizze und der im Gespräch mit Hannes T. gewonnenen Erkenntnisse. Dazu erarbeiten wir Alternativen zur Umsetzung des umfangreichen Projekts, die ein Netz bieten sollen für den Unterhalt meiner Familie im Falle einer erfolglosen Umsetzung.

Ich entspanne mich etwas, weil ich nun weiß, wer ich in dem Projekt bin, was ich wann zu tun habe und wie die Realisierung dieser Idee in den nächsten Jahren aussehen könnte, ohne dass ich mich mit allem, was ich habe, daran festkralle. Florian kommt mir in den Sinn, der am Vortag sagte: „Die größte Stärke eines Entrepreneurs ist es, seine Idee bewusst an den Nagel zu hängen.“ Nun, mit einem vernünftigen Plan zur Herangehensweise der Umsetzung und handfesten Alternativen für deren Scheitern geht es mir doch um Einiges besser.

So stellt sich für mich am Abschiedstag denn auch heraus, dass das Camp genau das war, was meiner Idee zu diesem Zeitpunkt ihrer „Mensch“werdung gefehlt hat. Besonders zu nennen ist hierbei die Arbeit mit den Experten Florian Moritz, Hannes Treichl und Burkhard Schneider, die mir bis dato nicht bewusste konkrete Probleme an der Idee herausgefiltert und mit mir angegangen sind.

Neben der Weiterentwicklung meiner eigenen Idee habe ich die Möglichkeit bekommen, an zwei großartigen Projekten mitzuwirken, die die Welt verändern werden. Ich habe mit vielen angenehmen Menschen eine sehr anstrengende, aber gleichzeitig erfüllende und streckenweise auch durchaus sehr entspannende Zeit an einem inspirierenden Ort gehabt und außerdem eine großartige Freundin für’s Leben gefunden.

Bezüglich meiner Erwartungen vor und meiner Empfindungen nach dem Camp kann ich also, verweisend auf mein Interview am ersten Tag, nur sagen, dass ich Recht behalten habe: das Team ist großartig; was es auf die Beine stellt, ist einzigartig. Das Camp war ein Riesenschritt für alle, die ihn zu nutzen wussten und ich bin froh, dass ich diese Community getroffen habe und mit ihnen gemeinsam diese Zeit verbringen durfte. Ich bin zuversichtlich, dass diese Beziehung lang und fruchtbar wird und ich freue mich bereits auf unser nächstes Treffen und auf die nächsten Aufgaben.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Designing the selfHUB - part 2

10 days ago, Michael presented the design concept for the selfHUB that is due to open on November 01. Again, we managed to be in the future location: making sure not to damage the still drying renewed floor.

Here is a first glimpse of how the selfHUB could look like (we are still co-designing and playing with the colors):

Anja from the core team is currently passionately fundraising the material for some of the furniture and sponsorship for our community kitchen.

And we have also started to plan days of opening activities: organized by Social Pioneers for Social Pioneers.

If you would like to be involved with your project in the opening week, please email

Sunday, September 30, 2007

More about Victor...

I (Victor) described some of my background. I am an organizational psychologist and work in academia, where I ended up somewhat by mistake. I was first introduced to the term "social entrepreneurship" in 1987, when I went to work for a project trying to develop alternative approaches to schooling and especially "marginal" or "at risk" youth. Since then I have been involved in social entrepreneurship, mainly as an action researcher whose role is to discover the "theory" implicit in the practice so that social entrepreneurs can more clearly "see" what they "do" and also deal more effectively with barriers, dilemmas, and conflicts they are experiencing along the way.

In 2000, I was the action research-evaluator for an Israeli incubator of social entrepreneurship that was started by a very high level consortium of government ministries and NGO's for the purpose of stimulating social innovation and change. Unfortunately, the incubator failed but the experiment generated some very important knowledge which I am trying to implement in the "Incubator for Integrative Social Enterpreneurship" which we are developing at College in Israel with the goal of being a catalyst for development and transformation in both the College and the region we serve.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Strategic storytelling and social innovation

I found this article on the socialedge blog today. We would like to tell the story of Social Pioneers in Germany. This article includes some questions to tell your story. If you would like to share your story on this blog, please email f.godat(at)

Strategic storytelling and social innovation

by Social Edge — last modified 2007-09-25 11:47

Hosted by Michael J. Margolis (September 2007)

Strategic StorytellingThrough THIRSTY-FISH, the consulting firm he launched, Michael Margolis helps business and social innovators find the essence of their story and make it real to those constituencies that matter most. He enables organizations to shift perceptions, raise money, and reframe conversations.

What do stories have to do with social enterprise?

At its core, social entrepreneurship is about introducing a new story of social innovation – and convincing others to believe in your market-based solution. Too often, the status quo stands in the way of behavior change and idea adoption.

Most social entrepreneurs must ask others to reframe some of the basic assumptions that we all take for granted. That’s why reason alone cannot overcome the intractable forces of culture. You need a story that inspires and emotionally connects to what people care about.

A well-crafted story becomes the platform that allows people to See, Feel, and Believe in what you are doing. By starting with the right story frame, you accelerate the pace at which people will be able to locate themselves and feel drawn into your story.


Your story should call people to a higher truth. Help people see something we tend to ignore or overlook. Illustrate a new path where everybody wins. Frame your message around universal needs and aspirations. What do we all deserve or want? Rather than pontificate on the moral value of this truth, develop a point of view that is refreshing, unique, or even provocative. Get people to think from a new perspective.


Great stories are driven by sincere emotion. This kinetic energy is what engages people, and gets your audience to invest in the outcome of your story. We make choices based on feelings, not reason. Your story must establish an emotive connection, compelling someone into caring and wanting to be a part of what you do.


Every story is ultimately at the mercy of its audience. They hold the power to judge and perceive your story however they wish. Get clear on the audience you are trying to persuade and take the time to understand their motivations. How will they identify with your story, and why should they believe in your ability to deliver on your promise?

Let's explore key questions as they relate to social entrepreneurs:

What is the truth at the heart of your story?

Why would someone feel connected to your story?

Who do you need to believe in your story?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Building a Community of Social Pioneers in Germany

I had the big opportunity joining self 4 weeks ago to write my own job description. Almost 4 months ago, I defined that I want to work as an “Initiator & Facilitator of Change Networks”. I see the Social Pioneers community in Germany as a pilot project for me to define my practice more clearly. Looking at the Social Pioneers community, I would like to develop and connect people who are working on social innovation. Furthermore, I would like to inspire people to take responsibility and leadership for implementing social innovations in an entrepreneurial way in Germany.

The tools I use for practicing as an “Initiator & Facilitator of Change Networks” are dialogue tools which provide the space and the time for social pioneers to have the conversations that matter to them. In the upcoming weeks, we will be experimenting with different community-building tools such as Communities of Practice, the Chaordic Design Process, Learning Networks and Success Teams, Netweaving, dialogues tools (such as World Café, OpenSpace, Appreciative Inquiry, Presencing, Dialogue Games), methods from intercultural trainings, and personal leadership development modules.

I would like to start our dialogue in the Social Pioneers community with these 2 questions:

  • Where do you see your role in developing this community?
  • What is your practice that you can contribute?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Social Entrepreneurship in Germany - An Israelian Perspective

At the beginning of September, we met here in Berlin with a group of people working on Social Entrepreneurship. One of them was Victor, a professor from Israel. Here are some of his reflections:

"When Markus (whom I met in Copenhagen at a conference) heard I was coming to Germany, he suggested we meet with the people at SELF, an incubator for social entrepreneurship that is just opening up in Berlin. The driving force behind SELF is Wiebke Koch, a German woman, who was born in the East and has moved a great deal since the age of 14. Wiebke began in the business world but was disturbed by that world, which she said made people "sick". So she began to work for NGO's, but there too she found that there was tremendous "waste" and "inefficiency" (and perhaps more than I cannot remember). In Australia she was introduced to social entrepreneurship. When she came back to Germany, she wanted to get involved in the the social entrepreneurship community, but she couldn't find it, so she decided to start one. She became involved in SOL (the Society for Organizational Learning) and there she met the people who were developing "the Hub". Essentially the Hub is a developing network of incubators for social entrepreneurship. This meeting gave her the idea of creating a Hub, which they call SELF, in Berlin.

Wiebke has been developing this idea of SELF for at least two years and it is set to open in November. SELF, and "Hubs" in general, are physical spaces, generally in large cities, that provide space, facilities, infrastructure, networking, and other services for social entrepreneurs. In addition to the physical space and infrastructure, SELF will offer three "business models" or services: an "incubator" for starting entrepreneurs, an "academy" for functioning entrepreneurs, and consulting services to business on the issue of innovation.

After much searching and almost giving up, SELF found the "perfect" space, over 600 square meter in a big residential-industrial building in Kreuzber. The space is currently being renovated, so we saw it in the middle of construction. There will be a large space for offices, to be rented to SE on a kind of time-sharing basis (from a few hours a week to full time). The offices will be located in a large open space with no dividing walls, so that the entrepreneurs will be in constant contact with each other. There will be another space for the academy, a "chilling" space as Wiebke called it (a kind of a lounge with food, informal meeting), meetings rooms, a library, and a kitchen.

Wiebke has put together a very impressive team of people to bring SELF into reality. Although each member of the team has a nominal role, they all are in the process of defining their roles individually and relative to each other and this role definition process is something that will continue to evolve as SELF comes into reality and evolves. "

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The selfHUB - A Community of Social Pioneers

Some of the selfTeam has been sitting together yesterday with researchers from universities who work on social entrepreneurship. Victor, a professor from Israel asked us how we capture our learning in this very hectic and crucial phase of setting up the selfHUB by November.

We were struggling for an anwser and even today, I spent the whole day in front of the computer with a very long ToDo list and many emails sent. In one of the last emails sent today, I was asking the to-be hosts of the Pioneers of Change Peacebuilders community these 2 questions:
  • What is your passion that has made you join this Peacebuilders community?
  • What makes you feel that you belong to this Community?
And at 22:17, after a long day and with 82 emails still in my Inbox to work on, I pause and ask myself:


I "ended up" in the social entrepreneurship field (the Fourth Sector), after I felt a great disconnection in the other 3 sectors: I have studied political science and wanted to work for the government in the Foreign Office. But I did not belong: it was way too little space for change, creativity, and innovation . To pass the entry test it was not important to know how to apply knowledge but to reproduce facts without questioning them. During and after my studies, I was involved for 7 years in the world largest (business) student organization AIESEC where students wanted to change the world but most of them ended up in big multinational companies to make the big money, one day. I belonged and still belong to that organization but not to the business world of making profit for the sake of making profit. 3 years in the NGO sector that followed have exposed me to social organizations that do not work because the people working for these organizations get sick from the inhumane system. NGOs are not learning from the business sector which has role-modeled those unhealthy organizations - the third sector is even copying those systems and on top of that is missing a lot of the times the business knowledge to run them.

Why do the traditional organizational systems not work? How does the organization of the future look like? What are the new working roles evolving? What is my role in this?

I feel that I belong to the selfCommunity because I have the safe space to ask these questions and to have conversations with like-minded people about those and other questions. And slowly there are even working projects emerging around those questions that I can sustain myself with financially...

22:47...going back to my emails...

Monday, September 3, 2007

Spiral Dynamics

Here a piece from the newsletter of our Dutch friends from engage!interact:

DVD "A Spiral Dynamics Perspective on Fundamentalism in the Dutch context"

A special recording of the presentation "A Spiral Dynamics Perspective on Fundamentalism in the Dutch context" as presented by Dr. Don Beck and Peter Merry in Driebergen on 28 January 2005. The DVD contains: Video Footage, Integrated Powerpoint Slides, Introduction to Spiral Dynamics, Background reading material and Links. Click here to order.

Albert from Berlin is also blogging on Spiral Dynamics:

Friday, August 31, 2007

Why are we blogging?

I just fished this out of the "Global Business Women" group at XING (

“So why should professional women blog?”

Bob wrote:

In a word, power.

It’s the power to create without the baggage of other people's limitations. In the blogosphere - some 70 million people worldwide and doubling every 6 months - general ideas rule, not preconceptions, as one 17 year old women found. Ashley Qualis’ ( has earned her over $1 million in advertising revenues by doing her business her way.

It’s the power to connect across all the borders and boundaries offline society thrives on. Nationality. Gender. Race. And across the subtler boundaries of occupation, profession, employer. Having a blog - which you can get for free or a few dollars a month - is like getting a magic passport that can instantly put you in touch with other people all over the world interested in exactly the same things you are.

It’s the power to become a leader, an authority, a person of influence outside all of the existing power structures all so very well established in the offline world. From the 22 blogs that are now among the top 100 web sites visited worldwide, to attorneys whose network of referring attorneys now resides in their blogs, blogging aggregates attention and authority as you post and interact with your readers.

"Your blog is your CV or resumé in a world where what happens online is increasingly important."

It’s the power to learn fast. Whether about the latest developments in your profession, a world crisis, what’s really happening inside the beltway, why are iPhones the new power status tool or any other topic people are interested in blogs have the traditional news networks, trade associations and specialty publications well and truly beat. Knowledge is power. And information from bloggers whom you’ve come to trust and from people who trust you because of what and how you blog - that is a new coin of power.

The best way to decide if you should be blogging is to start reading a few blogs.

Some of my blogs are:
The We Are What We Do 50/50 project
Frauke at Ode Magazine
AIESEC Imagine Community blog

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Hub Community on Facebook

...and I just remembered that the global Hub community is meeting on Facebook:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

9to5 - ein paar Eindrücke

Heute morgen um 02:30 verliess ich das Radialsystem V am Berliner Ostbahnhof.

An die Arbeitszeiten (21:00-05:00) der digitalen Bohème werde ich mich nicht gewöhnen wollen: ich bleibe lieber bei 9to5 oder so ähnlich (08:00-19:00)...aber ich habe tapfer durchgehalten gestern...

Am letzten Festivaltag zum Thema "Weltverbesserung" hatte ich dann auch noch mal Gelegenheit die Sofalandschaft mit W-Lan auf dem Sonnendeck an der Spree zu bewundern. Und hier ein paar meiner pers. Highlights aus dem Programm (mehr pers. Eindrücke dann in den nächsten Tagen hier)

- Wer von euch kennt vertikale Gärten in Deutschland?
- Beim Pecha Kucha blieb mir vor allem das Buch "Umbauland" von Ingo Niermann in Erinnerung
Warum fand ich es anstossend bei der Lesung von Kathrin Passig die 5EUR Zuschauersubventionen anzunehmen? Ich schlich mich unauffällig an Kathrin am Eingang vorbei...
- den Vortrag zum Social Networking per Handy verpasste ich, aber man kann sich hier zum Betatester anmelden:
- Zwischendurch schaue ich ganz schnell mal beim Ping Pong Country vorbei
- hier gibt es das Buch "Die Riesenmaschine" zum kostenlosen Download:

Wird es ein weiteres "9to5. Wir nennen es Arbeit Festival" geben? Man weiss es nicht...vielleicht finden sich ja Macher in unseren Reihen?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

selfHUB goes XING

We have posted an article in the dropping knowledge group in XING where you can add your ideas on the HUB design until 29.08.07;id=5393616

Friday, August 24, 2007

Designing the selfHUB

We had an AMAZING meeting with more than 40 people interested in experiencing the selfHUB for the first time. Luckily, we were allowed to be in the space-to-be where currently the printing company is still moving out...

We used the U-Model to look at different areas in the Hub and how a space for Social Pioneers needs to look like in Berlin:

- to meet & connect (initiating)
- to learn (sensing)
- to relax (letting go)
- to vitalize and re-energize (letting come)
- to work and realize (enacting)

In addition, we looked at how to design the overarching network & community of Social Pioneers.

And participants had time to connect and plan in a process that was a co-creation between Open Space and The World Café...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tomorrow is an important day

We will be having the “selfHUB desing input gathering” workshop and I have just finished copy + pasting quotes from the experiences of The Hub members in London in order to hang those up tomorrow.

I think they are really inspiring and here are some of them with a few pictures from The Hub London


“It brought me/Lightweight Medical & ELEMENT 06 into the world of social enterprise. Although we’re a 100% sustainable company in both our operation and the products we design the team are not from a social enterprise background.”


“You get this kind of mirror to talk at, so you get this environment to try out things. And it’s also a place full of people who know lots of people, like I feel that in London, without a network, without knowing people you can feel incredibly alone and everything can be incredibly difficult and if you tap into one network it’s like pum-pum-pum, you have access to lots of people.”


“The other thing is about being around people who are very serious about their work and motivated by their work because it’s productive. You couldn’t easily get that in other offices…there is something which is uplifting about being in a place where people are committed to similar things…”

Access to Jobs

“Straight away, after 3 days in the Hub I got some work, I got a new project, so the networking element in this place it’s just been unexpectedly fantastic really.”

Community Support

“The major impact it had was on my psychological health, and I am not exaggerating. I was almost not functioning in that tiny office on my own.”


“The impact on my work/skills were to have fantastic references to where progressive initiatives in social and leadership development are happening, helping a great deal in my own educational and research activities.”

Creative Environment

“You can just walk across the room and sit in a corner and get a different perspective, crawling to this soft library…you get the impression that the place is not frantic, that people are allowing themselves time to think. There’s no rules as well, people do their jobs in so many different ways.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

self sucht Verstärkung

Wir suchen zum nächstmöglichen Termin Unterstützung für den Aufbau des selfHUB. Wir suchen noch Projektmanager, Helfer, die beim Aus- und Umbau mit anpacken, Tischler, Elektriker, Sachspenden wie Möbel, Computerhard- und software, Fundraisingexperten uvm.: Kontaktieren Sie uns einfach unter

We have a home!

We did it! We did it! After 14 months of search, we have actually signed a renting contract: the selfHub will be in the heart of the multicultural Kreuzberg, 2min walk from a major city canal.

Our pre-tenants, a printing business have been in the location for 40 years and it was with real luck that we have found out that they are leaving the place to go into retirement.

We have 637sq in a typical Berlin-style courtyard building with trees growing high up from the ground ;-), and a shared BBQ area.

Here are the first pictures....