The Sense Network is our global community of smart and articulate individuals that share their collective wisdom to help make things better and make better things. The Sensers (as we call them) are our eyes and ears on the ground, always scouting out the latest trends, able to bring fresh views when collaborating on projects. Every couple of weeks we have a new ‘Featured Senser’ which is our way of showcasing some of the high calibre members with unique interests and passions. This week we’ve been catching up with Sina from Berlin.
Hey Sina, please tell us a bit about yourself…
Hi! I’m Sina, a Senser in Berlin, the ever changing capital of Germany. I like to be involved in different projects of all kinds. At the moment there are 4 main things I’m working on:
1. I am introducing the concept of Human Resources to Blinkist, a start-up company based in Berlin. They have successfully emerged from the “Hey I’ve got a cool Idea let’s try it out” – phase and are transforming into a proper business, with a substantial amount of employees. I – as their first employee in this field – am helping them professionalize their structure.
2. I am still involved in psychological research with my former University, working on publishing articles with my colleagues there.
3. I built a personal website where I give online tuition (http://psychologie-aufnahmetest.de) for those preparing for entrance examinations.
4. Even though I tuned it down a bit, I still organise some events and work as a DJ here and there.
What do you find most inspiring about your city? And what would you recommend a visitor should see or do?
I’ll try to bring up a point that you have not heard already, as Berlin is a hot topic in small-talk all around the globe. One thing that separates Berlin from other hip cities like Barcelona / London / New York etc. is it’s unique relation to space. In the beginning of the 20th century, Berlin was meant to hold a maximum of 6 million people. Because of the second world war and it’s isolation during the cold war, Berlin now actually holds less inhabitants than it was built to accommodate! This is absolutely unique. Despite the huge growth in numbers during the large decades, this fact leads to Berlin still holding open spaces, unused territories and (comparatively) low rents. In my opinion, this single fact is responsible for creating the room for opportunity, flexibility, craziness and venture that made Berlin what it is today. In Berlin, you can find an unused room somewhere for a really low rent, set up some tables and call it a Club. It might work, it might fail, but there’s not much to lose, you don’t need to invest much. This drives innovation.
Are there any trends, cultural shifts or movements emerging in Berlin right now that really excite you?
The Berlin start-up scene is very vibrant in Berlin, I am particularly interested in how this sector develops. Will the next European Facebook / Google / Twitter emerge here?
What do you think the major changes in Berlin will be in the next 5 years?
The biggest challenge is coping with all the people moving into the city. Will Berlin become a void, colourless, mainstream and student-oriented place or will it keep it’s quirky and very diverse identity?
Which brand would you most like to have an influence on and how would you like them to change?
Probably the FIFA and UEFA. Ever since I read “how they stole the game” (I have some substantial criticism with the book itself too) I developed a deep disgust with these organisations and if I could choose, I would transform them. They have no interest at all in change though. Speaking of product-based brands: I’d kind of like to change the way almost any given traditional company (as in companies that exist for more than 10 years) speaks to their sub-30 year old customers. They have a horrible, horrible intuition of how to communicate with them.
If you could improve just one thing in the world what would it be?
Transparency where it is appropriate. In private, in public, in economics. In the right places, it’s the antidote to a lot of problems.