On February 10, 2022, we once again gathered for our annual Think-Tank. The 7th! While last year we filled our think-tanks at a completely online thought-charging event, this year, for the first time, we created a hybrid platform. Thus, we welcomed our guests both onsite and online, enabling everyone to lend their eyes and ears to stimulating talks and discussions.

Caroline Mölling from Steelcase did the honors and opened the event with her talk entitled  Hybrid office – a new suit or old hat? She illustrated the importance of working space and how profoundly it influences productivity. By appropriately adapting office floorplans, creating inviting and inspiring rooms, employees are invited to leave their home offices and return to collective productivity.

At the end of her talk, Steelcase’s Customer Experience Director, Marc Nicolaisen, tuned in live from the company’s Munich headquarters. A brisk discussion ensued in which Marc answered several questions while virtually 😊 working hybrid via video. He made clear that investing in costly renovations and furniture will not solve inhouse problems but creating new working worlds can go far to diminishing them. His company’s approach has proven to significantly improve the attainment of goals as well as reduce prevailing home-office fluctuation. Interior design influences many business areas, contributing much to a company’s success and well-being.

During the breaks, Paderborn guests helped themselves to finger-food, coffee and fresh popcorn, while our livestream guests could have lunch delivered, making use of a gift certificate posted prior to the event.

After mingling among new and known acquaintances during the lunch break, it was time for the day’s second contribution. Angelo Simon, former YouTube influencer and now campaign and talent manager at Audiencly, took us on a tour of his world – influence marketing. Numerous examples of campaigns illustrated how influencers credibly integrate products and services into their videos. The resulting numbers, dates and facts revealed to our audience influence marketing’s possibilities. Naturally, influencers and businesses must be perfectly suited to one another for an authentic rendering of the product or service promoted. Influence marketing reaches a variety of target groups in different business areas and is considered to be the advertising format of the future, capitalizing on long-term, sweeping marketing potential.

Rahman Jamal completed this year’s think-tank program. A Paderborn (and world) citizen, he is recognized as a conscious technology & business thought leader and has published numerous books, articles and conference proceedings. A mentor and respected advisor on many current technological issues, Rahman has over 30 years’ leadership experience, holding various positions within the global high-tech realm. He opened his talk with an overview of our world’s technological development, giving us an entertaining, quite graspable technology crash-course interspersed with personal insights, drawing from his most recent book  Der Mann ohne Muttersprache/The Man without a Mother Tongue. Until his 10th year, Rahman grew up in three different developing countries (Burma, Bangladesh and Pakistan) before he and his family arrived in Paderborn. It was particularly the enormous technological chasm between Germany and developing nations that motivated him to study engineering. He closed his talk offering food for thought, “Approaching one another openly is the language of the heart, independent of mother tongue or cultural conventions.” A lively round of Q & A topped off the day.

What an inspiring day! Three very different talks from three diverse speakers, guests both onsite and live streaming on-liners, stimulating discussions and let us not forget the homemade honey pralines.