2010 was a remarkable and rewarding year for me and I am very grateful.
I’ll start with the top private thing: I got married to the most marvelous man in the world on 11th September and managed to get 250 of the most wonderful people – friends and family (especially Grandma, aged 90) – to Heidelberg to party with us – some of them for nearly a week.
And now for the other stuff: the best job in the world:
Some of the most talented leaders and thinkers asked me to work alongside them – as process designer, facilitator, moderator and consultant for communication. I took them on and have – amongst others – been part of
- strategy implementation processes in successful companies
- citizen involvement in research, science and technology issues
- international conferences on important issues for the world we want to live in tomorrow, dealing with
- energy mix
- climate change adaptation
- child poverty
- cultural heritage
- EU integration and migration
- societal change
- organisational development processes in SMEs
- large-scale communication campaigns
My goal of creating a balanced and stimulating mix of international and local work as well an equal mix of corporate and non-corporate appointments has been met exactly.
I am lucky enough to work closely with a large and highly ethical and professional German company on their strategic development – and they are definitely coming out on top. I’m also a consultant for a select group of local and international SMEs who want my help when it comes to developing their leadership, communication and intercultural capacity and process orientation. And I also work for some of the most innovative and effective Foundations in Europe – foremost for Belgium’s King Baudouin Foundation, and also for the Siemens Stiftung, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Essl Stiftung (Austria) and for the Network of European Foundations. This, along with my precious collaboration with Ashoka (www.ashoka.org) and exciting projects conducted for different government bodies, brings me into contact with leading thinkers and doers, with social entrepreneurs, with movers and decision makers from the EU and other governmental organisations in Germany and beyond.
I love working in Germany in my chosen home. It gives me the chance to work particularly closely with my clients – becoming part of the extended team and being able to pay attention to every detail and demand – the moment it arises. I also love working in my native tongue – don’t get me wrong, my German’s second nature, but working in English gives me an immediate interface with my roots. And international work also takes on another degree of significance – for our society’s development. Working for the UN and the EU, for GTZ and for international companies helps to prepare for decisions which will effect many people, cultures and economies. It increases the complexity and I love dealing with complexity. I’ve also been able to conduct debates and workshops with people from over 170 countries and in fascinating parts of the world this year.
Another wonderful thing about working for myself is that I can also decide to give things back and work “pro bono” based on my own impetus: thank you to Arbeiterkind.de and to the Faculty for Economics at the Fernuniversität Hagen for the opportunity to support your work and have a lot of fun at the same time!
I have been working exceedingly hard and with great gusto and dedication. I must admit I’m pretty tired now and am looking forward to a few days’ rest over Christmas with my lovely family, before flinging myself into 2011 with the commitment and creativity my clients and partners require, desire and deserve.
Thank you to the hundreds of people I’ve worked with this year: for your trust, comradeship and feedback. And thank you for the love, support and (sometimes cheeky) feedback of my family and friends.