Giving Back

One of my passions in life is to help creative people - be it designers, artists or engineers - succeed. It takes a particular mind to embark on a long and often lonely road to make a creative calling a profession with one is able to make a living. Very often, many years of dedication to the work, focus and overcoming hardships stand in the way. Nearly all makers have day jobs early in their careers. Painters and writers notoriously do. If you're lucky you can get a day job that's closely related to your real work. Musicians often seem to work in record stores. Many more, before one even starts to approach mastery.  

Over the years I've worked with some of the best ones and I find that creatives that succeed, surprisingly, often have some of the same traits and characteristics across the disciplines as software, painting, sculptures, architecture, mechanical engineering, product or graphical design. 

However, I find that each of the communities and industries have different rules of the game and different levels of upside that allow creatives to thrive. In painting, for example, one can participate in many youth competitions up until the age of 45. The art scene, unlike its public image, is very conservative, oligopolistic and exploitative. A creative in that scene has, in comparison to my own tech scene, significantly less opportunity to make a living and a much smaller financial upside in their work.  

As a consequence of my passion and these challenges I try to spend around 5% of my time on giving back to various creatives and help them in their efforts to make a living with their work. 

Below is a selection of projects I am currently involved with on a pro bono basis:
Berlin - Member of the Advisory Board

The Wye is a hybrid that melds the most productive elements of  creative agency, art house, community initiative, incubator, lab into one company to evolve culture, industry and society.
London - Advisor 

The Footsoldiers is the largest independent footwear design studio in the world.
Berlin & Tel Aviv - Co-Founder

Twin Tech Towns: Berlin - Tel Aviv (TTT) is a private crossover initiative that provides founders in Berlin and Tel Aviv with a unique competitive advantage in establishing new startups or expanding existing enterprises within and between our two fair cities.