Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
I am very proud that I founded the CSR sustainability forum at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Berlin (IHK Berlin). Through the different events such as working groups, impulse lectures, panel events and of course the annual CSR day, it has resulted in the exchange of knowledge on the topic all around corporate responsibility. Many highly qualified experts nationally and internationally have had the opportunity to come together to discuss how to implement CSR into their businesses. For me, these events have been one of the most fulfilling and impactful. Nothing is greater than when you feel that others have learned something, felt inspired and made valuable connections, especially on a topic such as sustainability.
What sustainability communication trends do you love? Or which do you hate?
Sustainability communication is in fact still too cautious, too green or grey and too report-like. Unfortunately fun communication belongs to “the others”. Sustainability communication has, in the last years, withdrawn itself to reporting, correctness and verifiability, because many have been lead on to believe that it could be greenwashing. Before a company risks to hear that word, they would rather be too cautious and communicate cautiously as well. Because, if you’re fun, you couldn’t possibly be serious about being sustainable, right? This is so not true. If you, as a company has done everything right you should be able to express that and celebrate it. If you act with love, you can communicate with love!
Communication in the sustainability segment is always between the topic of crisis and creativity. When you are dealing with the topic of change you will always have critics, seeing if you are doing it right, you are being permanently screened. If you have high claims you must have a good radar for what is susceptible to a crisis, and during all of that you also must not lose the fun. You can make it so desirable and fun so that your critics will be astounded how you managed it - between crisis and creativity.
What are you currently learning about now? Why is it important?
Currently I am learning a lot about working with self-organised teams as we at sustainable natives are in this state transformation and growth. We are exploring different forms of working together specifically digitally and how we want to develop our communication and feedback culture as a decentralised cooperative. I also am personally in my own transformation phase within leadership. I am researching and exchanging a lot with others on this topic, and developing my own concept for a two-way leadership. This means looking at the classic top-down and the revolutionary bottom-up approach and seeing where the middle is, and how we can build trust that the one or the other is doing the right thing. This for me is an especially interesting area where I am learning a lot about.
What’s your superpower?
Trust. I have a lot of trust in people and I notice that people who are around me feel this trust. I think I bring that out of people. I make them feel that they can do things themselves, that they have good ideas and that can bring these ideas into action. I approach people with this, encourage and empower them to have fun, be a bit more daring than they normally would and trust themselves. That is my superpower.