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"Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward."

by Oscar Wilde
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2022





Follow-Up Challenge 2022: 12 Months - 12 Books

12 months 12 books Source: Franz Seher

I started last year with this method for personal growth. The idea is to set a quite high target of books that you wanna read and succeed in reading more than in a "regular" year. Normally I read about two books per year. In 2021 I finished nine of my annual target of twelve books. I think this is not bad. This year I want to increase that level with more evening discipline where at least three times a week I want to reserve the evening for an reading hour. The reading list for 2022 is as follows:

  • Nine Lies About Work - A Leader's Guide to the World
  • Outliers - The Story Of Success
  • The Right It - Why So Many Ideas Fail and How to Make Sure Yours Succeed
  • Switch - How to change things when change is hard
  • Working Backwards - Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon
  • Noise
  • This is Lean - Resolving the Efficiency Paradox
  • Manifesto for a Moral Revolution - Practices to Build a Better World
  • Humankind - A Hopeful History
  • Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders (And How to Fix It)
  • Large-Scale Scrum - Scrum erfolgreich skalieren mit LeSS
  • Agile Teams lösungsfokussiert coachen

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2021





Obeya and the Customer Journey

Product Development Source: https://www.quality.de/lexikon/obeya-raum/

Obeya is Japanese for "large room". As many other agile concepts it was originally developed by Toyota. It is said that with the method of Obeya the development time was reduced from three to one year. The basic ingredients of Obeya are quite simple: Use a large room, visualize all relevant information about the product development on the walls, and the most important part: Invite all teamleader that are needed for decisions. It should not be forgotten that all has to be focused on the customer goals. Therefore, in many cases the customer journey as a visualization can be helpful to understand the "What", the "Why" and the "How".

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What is the Color of my Brain?

Product Development Source: https://www.pngegg.com/en/png-bixix

What is the colored brain test? It is actually not another personality test, but how your brain processes and communicates information determined by your genes. You'll find the test here and the consulting agency that facilitated this exercise with us here. A short preview: After answering some questions it is said that my brain is "green". This means that my brain is good at creative problem-solving, because my basic pattern is that nothing is connected and each problem has many solutions. Green brains are also able to see the big picture. But I have to act first to understand the picture and to solve problems. And there are more insights about my way of dealing with team issues, leadership and also relationships.

There are three more colors - blue, red and purple. The ingenious part is that it can be used as a team exercise, where you make all brain colors transparent to each other. There are colors (people) that fit together (e.g. green with blue), but also colors (people) that are not a good fit (e.g. green with purple). That does not mean that you have to put only green and blue brains in one team. Instead, you can work things out, if you know how to deal with each others brains. My personal result and how to deal with other brain colors is attached below that you can have a closer look what a possible result could look like.

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How to steer a product (development) as a product owner

Product Development Source: https://blog.mindmanager.com/blog/2021/05/13/product-development-roadmap/

As a product owner you work very closely with the development team to create a product that fits perfectly to your customers’ expectations. At the beginning it is hard to know where to start and where to go to which is crucial to know, because the product owner has to lead the development team in this matter. In the following story I want to explain some helpful concepts that could make life easier for the product owner, especially in the beginning.

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Top Ten Meanest Scrum Anti-Patterns

Top Ten Meanest Scrum Anti-Patterns Source: https://agileswag.com/

There is a lot of discussion around what is part of Scrum, what is not part of Scrum, etc. that goes mostly very much into details. Whereas most of the time the obvious things are not done correctly when doing or using Scrum. The 10 meanest anti-patterns by Scrum trainer Stefan Wolpers are a good way to look at the big picture of Scrum.

No. 1 - No Product vision, no product goal
No. 2 - Micromanagement
No. 3 - No failure culture
No. 4 - Dogmatism
No. 5 - Hippoism
No. 6 - The use of a hardening sprint
No. 7 - Product owner by proxy
No. 8 - The developers code fallacy
No. 9 - Misaligend incentives
No. 10 - The oversized product backlog

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The Happy Path

Climate Crisis Source: https://www.ekoenergy.org/de/extras/climate-change/

If there is no other hyper-crisis coming, the main topic in the 21st century will be the reduction of the global CO2 emissions. One part of the solution is technological, but the other part is a change in our society, more concretely a change in everyones lifestyles which means a change in our consumer behavior. A prophecy: The future versions of ourselves will probably buy refurbished or recycled products instead of completely new products, vegan or vegetarian food instead of meat products, electric-powered instead engine-powered products, CO2 neutral services instead of services that are causing CO2 etc. etc. etc.

But how do we become this super eco-friendly humans? Or in other words, how can be speed up the process to change an entire society from zero to hero?

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Insights from "The Righteous Mind"

Moral Foundations Source: Jonathan Haidt: The Righteous Mind

Maybe you know this feeling, there are rare moments in our lives where we really understand something deeply and the perspective on our life changes instantly. I did not expect this life-changing moment from a book about morale to be honest. The book covers so much more and goes to the heart of all of it, who we are, why we are as we are, what keeps us apart, and why it is so fucking hard to change someone's opinion or perspective. Although it is just a theory (Morale Foundation Theory) it all makes sense for me when it comes to my personal history. I'll try to cover the most crucial insights from the book in the following story. One hint in advance: There is no universal morale right or wrong.

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Zakynthos

Greece, Zakynthos Source: Franz Seher

I am a big Greek lover and Zakynthos is personally my favourite choice of all islands in the Ionian Sea. Food, people, marvellous sea with turquoise and blue colors and the wild cost line are the perfect mix. Every day you can experience different, hidden and beautiful spots and beaches. Call me in for the next visit, Zakynthos!

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Global State of Agile Report

Global State of Agile Report Source: https://stateofagile.com/#

We all work in professional bubbles, in this case in agile bubbles, where we know the company's agile setup, some colleagues that practice agile in other organizations and of course books and papers related to agile knowledge. But I was always curious how is that practice really used, how many companies struggle with the adoption of agile frameworks in the world and which framework is really trending. I found all answers to my curiosity at the annually published "State of Agile" reports. Really beneficial is the indication of the development compared to last year, so that you can interpret tendencies where the agile world is moving towards in the future. I am looking forward to the 15th edition of this report coming out in the next weeks. Stay tuned.

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Maldives Escape



"We want to break free!". The song of Queen was exactly the motivation to escape from the pandemic to the magical island Fushifaru on the Maldives. As marketed the Maldives are really the paradise on earth as the video shows.

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Agile Explained for Management

Agile Beneftis Source: https://www.mindcypress.com/benefits-of-agile-training-and-best-courses/

Agile product (or project) development has proven beneficial compared to classic waterfall approaches, at least when technology and/or requirements are not known in advance in every detail (complicated or complex environments).

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Poka Yoke

Poka Yoke Source: https://www.dasleanprinzip.de/woerterbuch/poka-yoke-baka-yoke/

As I love to design efficient, user-friendly systems the goal is to make these systems bullet proof. I was not aware that there is a professionel term for this. Poka Yoke or Baka Yoke is Japanese and means to error-proof a system. Especially if someone is using a system for the first time and it has to function, error-proofing is critical. This way of designing systems is part of the continouos improvement mindset and so forth part of the lean management spirit. Poka Yoke examples are as folllows:

Safety Features at Cars (e.g. automatic brake assistants)
Household appliances (e.g. Microwave or washing machine stop function when the door is open
Elevators and garage doors (e.g. sensors prevent harming people when shutting doors)
Power outlets and USB plugs (e.g. they are desiged so that they can used in only one orientation)
Overflow outlet in sinks
Spell-check
Credit card number checks at online shops
etc. etc. etc.
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How to Find Your Why

Find Your Why Source: https://simonsinek.com/

As in professional and private life I was always wondering what drives people, what motivates each one of us. According to bestseller author Simon Sinek everyone has exactly one specific inner drive - the "Why" - mostly fully developed after our teenager time. Unfortunately, most of us have never made it explicit. To know your "Why" early in your life has a major advantage: You can validate every decision in your life against your true inner purpose. Most probably you will be more successful throughout your life. Thanks to the book "Find Your Why" I found my "Why". Read more to get to know how I came to my personal purpose.

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How to do Change Management Right?

Change Management Right Source: Adapted from Knoster, T., Villa R., & Thousand, J. (2000). A framework for thinking about systems change. in R. Villa & J. Thousands (Eds.), Restructuring for caring and effective education: Piecing the puzzle together (pp. 93-128). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

I've seen many IT projects where new systems were introduced in an organization. Unfortunately, mostly there was no budget and/or no willingness for change management initiatives accompanying an IT project. But if you do consider it, think about options how to enable people to adapt to the change. There are many things to consider, and so many things could go wrong. The matrix above is a good overview which areas have to be considered to not only have a working IT system, but also people who uses it, people know why to use it, and at best, people like to use it.

Any successful change management intiative needs to provide the people with a vision, they have to develop the according skills, should know why the change is good and/or is beneficial for them, people should have the time to adapt to the change and of course there has to be an action plan to accompany that change.

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How to Practice Agile Methods with Shu-Ha-Ri

Shu-Ha-Ri

A question that arises very quickly when an organization is confronted the first time with agile frameworks like Scrum is: Why can't we adapt the framework for our needs? Basically this desire is understandable, but also wrong with sometimes fatal consequences. Agility is nothing that can be learned by just reading a book, or doing it for only one day. It is something that has to be experienced and practiced by repition over a longer time period. The best timing for adaptions or variantions is never at the beginning. The basic principle behind this is "Shu-Ha-Ri".

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How to Prioritize Product Features

Business Prioritization Source: https://habr.com/en/company/hygger/blog/455916/

Prioritization can be a mess in complex business and/or technology ecosystems within organizations. Due to a lack of resources new features for systems demanded by various stakeholders in organiatzion are sometimes overwhelming to manage. The question why the desired feature is still not implemented arises very quickly and has to be answered in one or another way. A transparent and effective prioritization system is at some point inevitable in the context of expectation management.

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Challenge 2021: 12 Months - 12 Books

Cupcake Method Source: Franz Seher

In 2021, I wanna proactively create my personal environment again. Last year lots of things were controlled by the pandemic outbreak. But at the end, there are so many opportunities independent of the virus. This is why I set my agenda towards personal growth. The challenge I set for myself is to read 12 books in 12 months, see list below. Most of the them are the basis for another goal as finally doing certifications in my job field in "Agile Project Management". Of course it is an online exam that you can do for example at scrum.org.

  • Check! Scrum Mastery - From Good to Great Servant Leadership
  • Check! The Professional Product Owner - Leveraging Scrum as a Competitive Advantage
  • Check! Agile Retrospectives - Making Good Teams Great
  • Check! Find Your Why - A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for you and your Team
  • Check! Home Deus
  • Check! Agile Leadershiop Toolkit - Learning to Thrive with Self-Managing Teams
  • Check! Foundation - The Foundation Series (Part I)
  • Check! The Righteous Mind - Why Good People are divided by Politics and Religion
  • Check! The Expanse - Leviathan falls
  • Large-Scale Scrum - Scrum erfolgreich skalieren mit LeSS
  • Agile Teams lösungsfokussiert coachen
  • Nine Lies About Work - A Leader's Guide to the World

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My Cupcake for 2021

Cupcake Method

What is a cupcake and what it has to do with my personal targets for the upcoming year? Check out in my story here.

Due to a challenging (Corona) year 2020, some goals could no be accomplished and moved to 2021. With the upcoming vaccine the hope is big that travelling is possible again. Greece, Italy, France and New Zealand are one of the planned destinations for 2021. One of the focus areas is also education. Accomplishing certificates, teaching myself with educational books and learning new stuff. Luckily, In the last years I could manage to accomplish a lot of my financial goals (kill some debts) and this year it is time to repay society and donate in climate funds.

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2020





Road to a New Webshop Platform in Six Months

Road to a Webshop Platform with Product Management & ESB in Six Months Source: https://www.digitalberatung.at

In February 2020 I started working at the Leiner & kika HQ in St. Pölten. The task was clear, but challenging: Re-Launch with a completely new webshop platform (Adobe Magento) and get rid of the two current, but outdated webshop systems within six months. At first, it seemed as a "Mission: Impossible", also because it was not only a webshop platform migration, but a total re-platforming of major parts of the Leiner & kika IT Landscape. Two more systems were necessary to accomplish that: the introduction of a PIM and an ESB system.

But there was an happy ending and we launched in October (kika) and November 2020 (Leiner). I only could have achieved all this with an outstanding team effort. Cudos to the Leiner & kika Multichannel and IT team.

kika Shop Leiner Online Shop Back to Top

Dynatrace: My First Austrian Company Shares

Dynatrace - My First Austrian Company Shares Source: https://www.dynatrace.de

For almost a year I started to invest in shares and used for that large amounts of my savings. It is obvious that it is not smart to keep it at the bank account what your safety instinct would recommend. Although there was the Corona crisis the return is tremendous, currently about 30 percent. My last addition is the first Austrian share - Dynatrace. I know a lot of friends working there and I heard a lot of good stuff about the product and the team. This is always good when investing in a company if you have at least some insights. The product is software, cloud and technology based, so it fits perfectly in my portfolio.

As for the moment I hold shares from: Adobe, Akamai, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Atlassian, Carl Zeiss Meditec, CD Projekt, Cisco, Dynatrace, Microsoft, Netflix, Oracle, Paypal, SAP, Tesla. Not surprisingly Apple is the best performer, but also Microsoft, Adobe, Amazon, Netflix and CD Projekt are good runners.

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The Most Beautiful & Sustainable EV (Electric Vehicle) I Have Seen So Far

Polestar 2 Source: https://www.polestar.com/de/polestar-2/

Does automobile, sustainability, innovation, design and performance fit in one sentence. Not so long time ago I thought this is just a dream, but with the new sub brand of Volvo - Polestar - this dream become real. It is all about reducing the carbon foot print, not only by the electric engine, but more about the production and use of sustainable (re-use of plastic bottles) and also vegan materials. And the good thing is, this will be affordable in less than two years when the price of the Polestar 2 will reach below 40.000 Euro.

If a long term investment should be too high there is now another option in Austria with CARL, a subscription model for EVs. You can choose between cheaper EVs as well as performance EVs like the Polestar 2.

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Corona Time is Streaming Time

Corona Time is Streaming Time Source: https://www.amazon.de/Expanse-Staffel-4K-UHD/dp/B082FNBWTS

One of the few positive things of Corona is the additional time to watch some good stories. I like good storytelling, especially when it is an epic journey like Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones or also Star Wars. As for the moment my favourite series - mostly with adventurous epics storylines - are the following:

  • The Expanse
  • Game of Thrones
  • Watchmen
  • Stranger Things
  • The Boys
  • Ozark
  • Thirteen Reasons Why
  • Mr. Robot
  • Westworld
  • The Mandalorian
  • La Casa de Papel
  • A Handmaids Tale
  • Chernobyl
  • Snowpiercer
  • Mindhunters
  • You
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Agile Grundlagen

Agile Basics Source: https://www.mendix.com/de/blog/agile-prozesse-darum-benotigen-sie-feedbackschleifen-wahrend-und-nach-sprints/

Ich habe seit über 10 Jahren mit dem Thema Agilität in Theorie und Praxis zu tun. In dieser Zeit habe ich so viele Mythen, Vorurteile und Klischees über agiles Arbeiten gehört, dass es für mich an der Zeit ist ein paar Zeilen über dieses Thema zu schreiben. Ich werde nicht besonders ins Detail gehen, sondern mich an den grundlegenden Prinzipien und Grundhaltungen von Agilität orientieren, um eine Übersicht über das Thema zu erlangen.

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My Cupcake for 2020

Cupcake Method

What is a cupcake and what it has to do with my personal targets for the upcoming year? Check out in my story here.

2020 is personally a year of change. A new job opportunity is going to happen in February and with my girlfriend I move to our new acquired apartment in Marchtrenk. This year is also a year of sports with running events like the Linzathlon or Grazathlon, focus deeply on squash training, a lot of mountain hikes, but also try out new things. Because in early 2021 my dream will come true - to return to New Zealand for some weeks - there is a lot of preparation and tour planning necessary. Another dream could be becoming more and more reality, to publish my own board game. Still there is a lot of testing to do, but I am looking forward to present it to professional game editors this year.

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2019





Our Song of the Year 2019

As every year my girlfriend and I choose a song of the year that represents a very special moment or phase in this year. This year we chose Sarah Connor and her song "Vincent". We like the dynamic of this song and its positivity and of course it is a real sing-along-song. It reminds us of the rainy Waldfest in a hot summer night in Klagenfurt, Carinthia.

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Life Goals Revisited

Life Goals Revisited

It is interesting to see if you plan your life goals in the early 20s (when you have actually no plan of life at all) and check 10 to 15 years later what you have reached, what is still on the to-do-list and what changed totally. And luckily I wrote a list when I was about 20 years old, and this list I've found these days on my computer. Still, it is a lot to accomplish in the next years and decades in my life.

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When Dreams Come True: A Concept for a Strategy Tabletop Game

Board Game

This idea slumbered for a long time in my mind. I think I had first thoughts about a thrilling strategic board game 15 years ago. At this time I played a lot with my friends, day and night. Why it come exactly now? I don't know, but it was as you describe in creativity research a "flow". I took me only four weeks from a rough idea to a first concept and a playable prototype. But the hard work is coming in the next weeks and months - the perfect balance of the game mechanisms - and I am not sure when the game finally will be ready to send it to various board game publishers.

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Flatex, Wikifolio & Co: How to Invest Money in 2019

Cupcake Method Source: https://www.ls-tc.de/de/wikifolio

Since one of my personal goals for 2019 is to save money I thought about my financial account at my bank. The good thing is that I am able to save some money, but the reality is that all the saved money loses value day by day. This is no news, because this development has started since the financial crisis in 2008. Surprisingly, Austrians have not changed their finanicial behaviour much since then. About five percent of Austrians invest in shares. My thought was, to risk or invest at least a quarter of my savings in shares. At the beginning it seems as a big step, but if you are in the process of investing itself, it feels not that risky anymore as most Austrians would believe.

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My Cupcake for 2019

Cupcake Method

What is a cupcake and what it has to do with my personal targets for the upcoming year? Check out in my story here.

In 2019 my focus is more on saving money with the target to build a house or buy an apartment in the next years. In my job I have to manage two company-critical projects where the major effort as well as the main project phase has to be implemented in 2019. Big moments are of course my nephews first communion and the visit of my girlfriend's homeland Romania.

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2018

Our Song of the Year 2018

As every year my girlfriend and I choose a song of the year that represents a very special moment or phase in this year. This year we chose Max Giesinger and his song "Wenn sie tanzt". We like the attitude of the story always follow your dreams in life, although life is not easy.

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Bohemian Rhapsody

Freddy Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody

Passion is the right description for Freddy Mercury of the legendary rock band Queen. Unfortunately, I was too young to see a live performance of his band, but I watched videos and documentaries. I was very pleased to hear that there is a movie - Bohemian Rhapsody - about the extraordinary life of Freddy Mercury. And I have to say, Wow! All the years after his dead I never saw a person in music business that was living the music so strong and spirited. It was not about singing perfectly, but also to show such a strong physical experience on stage. And Rami Malek did a wonderful job to show this part.

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Kanban in Action

Kanban in Action

Kanban boards are mostly used in agile software development settings as for example SCRUM. With this method a software team is organized without concrete leading functions. The team organizes itself with specific tools and defined meetings and rules. One tool is the board where the team organizes its shared work packages to accomplish the overall sprint goals. But Kanban boards are not limited to agile software teams, it could be used in production lines, service departments, house construction projets and nearly infinte other use cases. At my company - the Trodat Trotec Group - I introduced the Kanban board method to the entire IT department.

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Best Practices for an Enterprise Architecture Definition

IT Enterprise Architecture

An enterprise architecture defines the global overview of all IT systems (applications) and their connections (interfaces) to each other. The IT department has per definition the function to steer all IT-related activities in an enterprise. Unfortunately, if the IT has no concrete knowledge of the existence of all IT systems and no idea of the communication between the systems with each other, the department is more or less a ship without control. As in my experience, most companies face such situations. When I startet at the Trodat Trotec Group I wanted to change this situation and proactively create a steering wheel for the IT.

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After Single

After Single

Who do you think is the majority? Is it people that celebrate their single's life or is it people that are in a classic relationship. Statistically, not surprisingly the majority is in a relationship. Although, most online services and apps focus on the minority of people. There are good reasons for that, for example not being alone or just having fun. Transforming from single to be with a (fixed) partner is somehow the end of the journey, isn't it? I think of an service that it is not for singles, but it is for couples that are challenged day by day in their relationships.

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The Experts Illusion

Experts Illusion

Have you ever worked with professionals or experts? If not, I am sure that you have good or bad experiences with doctors, mechanics, finance and insurance guys and so on. What they have in common is that like you they are experts in their field. It is their daily job to be good in what they are doing. But everyone knows experts that are not really good at their job, right? And what also happens is that the guy is competent, but lazy to support in your cause. My thesis is that there are at least three groups of professionals out there: the losers, the lazies and the heroes. My assumption is that most of the time we have to deal with losers and lazies, but our main goal should be to stick with heroes in all fields.

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Table Tennis: The End of my Career

Table Tennis

Some say, it is the fastest ball sport in the world. I was happy to learn it with the support of good trainers in my childhood where I started with 10 years playing at tournaments. For nearly 25 years I practiced this sport and played in different leagues in Austria, for a short time also in the second division of the national league. At some point of time in life it is necessary to change things. Of course, I'll miss this sport, but I am happy to learn new things and sports in the future.

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Minimalism & How I Get Rid of Hardcover Books

Minimalism

I became a big fan of minimalism that means in other words to prefer experiences and personal growth over material property. As many of us I believed that adding material stuff to my private belongings is part of everyone's life. Wrong! I tried to reduce this in the last couple of years. Obviously I like books (not really the digital ones) as you can see in the picture, but most of them I already read or had no use of it. So, I decided to get rid of about one hundred books. There are a lot of online portals to sell old books. One platform is Bonavendi that supports you with price and merchant information. With some merchants you can also automate the checkout process. It is a win win. On the one hand, I can go for minimalism and on the other hand one user can buy a nice book to a reasonable price. If you have too less free space in your book shelf then check out your options to go for minimalism!

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Upper Austria Dream Team - How to Work Together in the Digital World

Upper Austria Dream Team

I was happy to be part of the "Dream Team" at the blog of the University of Applied Sciences, Upper Austria. The dream team were graduates from the University that used specific digital tools in the study and afterwords also at the workplace. It was nice to see that many of the writers were close friends of mine, and one of the tool presentations came from the founder of of Runtastic, Florian Gschwandtner. My favourite tool to describe was Prezi, a very visual and easy-to-use alternative to Microsoft Powerpoint. Thanks also to Susanne Reindl that composed and layouted the final blog result.

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Mauritius: A Pearl in the Indian Ocean

Mauritius

I am always very humble that I am in the comfortable situation to travel the world when I want. This time I had the chance to get to a very exotic country in Africa. Mauritius is a small island (from one end to another you have to drive one or max two hours) next to Madagascar. The diversity of this paradise was amzing. Especially nature with its rivers, mountains, waterfalls, dreamy beaches, and the colourful sea life, but also the cultural part (hindu temples) was worth the Where I travelled. If you are not only a beach-lover, but an active traveller this could be your next destination.

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Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation means the transformation of our society, as well as organizations and individuals, through an increasing development of digital technologies. In each sector there is a different speed of the transformation, but it is pretty realistic that in some years each sector - business and non-business - is digitized. Similar to the industrial revolution the digital transformation is a paradigm shift changing working models, job types, individual and organizational behaviors and generating complete new opportunities. As it is a paradigmn shift there is no alternative or exit scenario. As I am living in this exciting times, one of my career challenges is to navigate organizations through this partly painful transformation.

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XXXL Digital at XXXLutz - A Short Retrospect

XXXL Digital at XXXLutz - A Short Retrospect

Unfortunately, in my time at in the digital departmment - xxxldigital - of one of the largest furniture companies in the world the negative experiences overshadowed the positive ones. In general, there was a lack of employee orientation in the sense of focusing on their strengths instead of their weaknesses, a lack of process, structure and strategy in the department as well as in the entire organization, a lack of IT competences in general and sadly also a lack of leadership skills at all.

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My Cupcake for 2018

Cupcake Method

What is a cupcake and what it has to do with my personal targets for the upcoming year? Check out in my story here.

In 2018 my focus is on starting fresh in a new company with more responsibilities and gaining more competences in the IT sector. Change is a constant in this year as for example ending my table tennis career after 25 years of playing in various championships. The gained time I want to use for new sports and fitness training to have good balance between cardio and muscle workouts. This website launch about my personal and business life is another new step in my life, as well as learning skiing and scuba diving. Vacations in Mauritius, Zakynthos and London are big moments in this year, and of course the new member of our family, Lilly the male cat.

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2017

Our Song of the Year 2017

As every year my girlfriend and I choose a song of the year that represents a very special moment or phase in this year. This year we chose Ed Sheeran and his song "Shape of You". It is the song where we danced a lot to this year.

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The Holis Market - A Retrospect

Holis Market

If you have no idea what I am talking about, the holis market was my first baby (startup) founded in early 2015 in which the first roots go back to 2013. During my master program I played with various ideas. One idea of a holistic supermarket system with no-line commerce got a lot of attention of people till the sad end of the bankruptcy of the first market store in Linz. This review should illuminate some of the major failures we faced at this time.

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IOTA - The Smart Crypto Alternative

IOTA

IOTA is a cryptocurrency focusing on the machine-to-machine communication in the future context of the Internet of Things (IoT). Briefly explained, it is the "Skynet" bringing it into our reality, but of course, hopefully without the negative consequences. Opposed to Bitcoin it has many advantages, e.g. it is totally scalable and has fee-less transactions.

I am convinced that this future is coming sooner or later, therefore I invested in this cryptocurrency a minor amount. Please be aware that it is obviously a risky guess, and no serious amounts should be invested in any cryptocurrency out there.

Go to the IOTA Foundation Back to Top

Holacracy - A New Organizational Model Based on Agility

Holacracy

Holacracy is new organizational system removing the management layer and focus on self-organization. The organization is mostly re-aligned by the concrete value-generating processes. Interdisciplinary teams instead of departments are a basic rule. More and more organizations are pioneering into this new model of organizing companies. I would say it is a long way to go, but for most companies it is inevitable. This is because of our fast-pacing economy and society where change remains the only constant. To my mind, holacracy levels agility (related mostly to teams) up to an entire organization.

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Mentoring Program of the University of Applied Sciences

Mentoring Program University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria

Mentor of students at the University of Applied Sciences Wels. Mentoring is an education principle to generate learnings for the mentee as well as for the mentor. Mentoring sessions centre around innovation and product management, agile methods (e.g. SCRUM) and agility as a mindset, (customer experience) design and design thinking, job application and career opportunities as well as general advice.

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Visionary Elon Musk

Elon Musk

I love visionaries that have the capacity and the will to create the future, not only by thinking but also by doing incredible stuff. My favorite is Elon Musk. His ideas are sometimes very futuristic, but I think it is necessary to go sometimes in the future to enable current movements. Tesla for example started an electric-car-competition throughout all car manufacturer worldwide. Maybe Tesla is not winning this, but it was the driver of all this.

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Steve Selzer & Design for Friction

Steve Selzer

Steve Selzer is the design chief of Airbnb. I met him in Linz when he talked at the Tabakfabrik about design. It was a thrilling performance, because he talked about design and beyond. I learned that design is so much more than just pixels and methods and strategies, but it is about creating the moments when people meet and interact. Design for friction is his term to say that technological efficiency is not the answer for everything. Stunning!

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Lean Thinking

Lean Thinking

Lean thinking originated by the lean management model of Toyota. Thinking is a bit misleading, because it is also meant "doing". The basic principles is to get rid of waste in organizational processes focusing on the pure value generation. The model is opposed to managing roles and paperwork or bureaucratic structures. I am huge fan of lean thinking and doing, because according to the minimalistic principle you get rid of inefficiencies and waste in your life or organization. No one wants to do stuff that is not necessary for anyone. Not just in organizations, but also in your daily life you can question your daily routines and look where you have potentials to improve getting more quality time.

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PIG - The Process Innoation Group at XXXL Digital

PIG - The Process Innoation Group at XXXL Digital

At my department "XXXL Digital we are working on the eCommerce system for the three brands "Mömax", "Möbelix" and "XXXLutz" in Austria and several more European countries. The eCommerce ecosystem has grown for over fire years with hundreds of eCommerce members involved. Although the software development is agile, the phases before - requirements definition, prioritization and concept - are done in a waterfall manner. This has many reasons, but the major effect is that the output in the software is very often not the initial requirement of the stakeholder or the customer. This is the reason why some of my colleagues and myself are working on a solution that I want to share with you.

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Minimalism

Minimalism

Minimalism is in general about owning less and being more. So it is a practical method instead of just criticizing the consumer culture driven by our capitalistic economic system. Concrete it is stated to own less than 100 items. But it is not about counting items, but more about focusing on non-material things as for example what are you experiencing day-by-day in real life. For some years I try to reduce my stuff piece by piece and focus on what is really necessary. It is good to play the game with each item in your home using once a day, once a month, once a year or more seldom. If it is the latter case you can get rid of it. The concept of minimalism is about freedom and I try to increase mine day by day.

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Innovation Week

Innovation Week of University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria

Client for Design Thinking Student's Program at the University of Applied Sciences (Upper Austria) On behalf of the company XXXLutz I developed an assignment for the yearly design thinking challenge of the university of Applied Sciences.

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Agile Mastermind Henrik Kniberg

Henrik Kniberg

Henrik Kniberg is an agile evangelist. He worked for Lego and Spotify, but his ideas are applied worldwide in many organizations. SAFE, LESS, SCRUM, Kanban and other agile methods sound maybe very sophisticated and complicated at first, but the basic idea behind all this is more or less very simple. Henrik Kniberg has the skill to explain this with very simple and funny analogies, so almost everyone understands it. I learned a lot about his way of communicating complex stuff. I can recommend for examaple his storytelling about the resource utilization trap. Watch out!

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My Cupcake for 2017

Cupcake Method

What is a cupcake and what it has to do with my personal targets for the upcoming year? Check out in my story here.

In 2017 my focus is to come back again, step by step. After a hard 2016 (by far the hardest one) with losing nearly everything, I want to focus on meeting new people, but also doing vacations with my good old friends. Finding my role in the new job life is another crucial step forward. Last but not least, I have to deal with the financial mess after the startup years 2014 to 2016, where a plan is a good starting point and get rid of things in general. Trying out new stuff is also part of this year as for example crossfit and online dating.

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2016

Customer Experience Design

Customer Experience Design

Customer Experience Design relates to the experience of the customer with a brand or product at all touch points. Although the term was defined in the digital world, also the physical touch points should be considered at the same extend. In my previous companies it was or it would have been helpful using customer interviews, customer Where I travelled mappings or the persona method to know exactly the direction of the product development and engineering. Sadly, it is not happening so often, but I try to use it whenever possible and necessary using the customer voice to create an outstanding product experience.

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The Cupcake Method in a Nutshell

Cupcake Method

The cupcake method can be used in project management, designing customer experiences and in my case for personal future plans. In a nutshell, a cupcake supports you in focusing on three levels: You should include a "Wow" in your plans, some elements to increase your "Performance", and last but not least the "Basics" that represent the crucial goals. With this distinct separation you broaden your view on your personal goals, customer features or projects requirements.

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Agility

Agility

Agility has risen because of the deficiencies of the waterfall model. One of the major principles of the agile manifesto is responding to change instead of sticking to a fixed plan. This statement is not only valid for software, but for a growing number of "things" in our life environment. Personally it is far more than a software model, but a lifestyle. Many organizations are wrongly using it, because they are just using processes, methods, tools and so on, but they forget to understand the agile principles and mindset in the first place.

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Slack

Slack

Slack is a lightweight either web-based or stand-alone collaboration and communication tool. In my experience this tool eases communication in projects and teams so that productivity increases tremendously. The tool is really self-explanatory (nearly zero training needed) and has many plug-ins being adaptive to different contexts and situations. You can feel that Slack is putting a lot of effort in interaction and information design. Last but not least, the good thing is that the tool is free in general, of course there are limitations in messages archived or data storage.

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The Holis Market

Holis Market - Introduction

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Innovation Week

Innovation Week by University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria

Coach for Design Thinking Student's Program at the University of Applied Sciences (Upper Austria)

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2015

Austrian State Award

Austrian State Award

Austria State Award 2015 by the Federal Ministry of Environment - Category: Startup - Award: 10.000 Euro

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Tesla

Tesla

Tesla is a well-known electric car company owned by visionary Elon Musk. Although there are many insecurities about this company and the electric car market in general, Tesla proves there is a paradigm shift just in front of our doorsteps. If you know the feeling of driving a Tesla there is no other way than to say "Wow". I like the branding and the vision-driven approach to a new business model. It is a risky approach, but otherwise no change is triggered in society. I am curious if Tesla is also in future a driver in the e-mobility sector.

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My Definition of Design

Definition of Design

Design by definition is an interdisciplinary field that has so many perspectives that it is usually hard to grasp. Many intelligent people tried to break down design to a few elements, but it is never universal, always subjective. Design is floating through time & space and is so forth not a constant, but always changing. At this time in this place I picked the following six elements, that are important to consider in a design-related activity.

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Innovation Award

Innovation Award by University of Applied Sciences Wels

Innovation Award for the best Master Thesis

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2014

Designing the Zero Waste Experience

Designing the Zero Waste Experience

The assumption of this master thesis is that the majority of modern supermarkets has no proactive interest in sustainability related to the reduction of material streams. The vision of this thesis is to design a sustainable grocery market with focus on the customer experience. Zero Waste is a movement originating from sustainable development to save resources, preventing them from becoming disposable in the first place. The research question of this thesis is whether a grocery market based on the idea of Zero Waste offers a special shopping experience and in further consequence, under which circumstances Zero Waste can create a better customer experience.

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Design Thinking

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a more or less new method, process, practice or mindset to come up very fast with ideas, concepts and mainly prototypes based on complex problems. It originated by the issue that managers could not solve complex problems just with the analytical system. So, the creative aspect was added to the problem-solution-process. I did my master thesis about design thinking in 2011. Since then many organizations tried to integrate the model into their processes, especially in innovation and product development. Most of them failed, because the right frame or support was missing by the organization itself. Some organizations are still using this approach, sometimes in a very tiny area of the organization and sometimes as a general mindset or philosophy. I am curious what will bring the future.

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Archery

Archery

Some years ago I tried 3D archery and was in love at first sight. It is a nice mix of being outdoor in nature and doing sports. The focus on your own body while shooting to hit the target is as yoga for other people.

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The Design of Zero Waste

Design of Zero Waste

Die folgenden Zeilen beschäftigen sich weiterhin mit dem Thema wie man die Lebensmittelgeschäfte der Zukunft gestalten und denken kann, das bereits in Beyond Organic aufgegriffen wurde. Dabei wird das Konzept Zero Waste im Detail aufgegriffen und die Probleme der Verpackung von heute und die Möglichkeiten deren Vermeidung von morgen beleuchtet.

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2013

Solar Concept Car

Solar Concept Car

In the first two semesters of the master’s program Innovation and Product Management (IPM) it was the semester assignment to develop two different solar car concepts from scratch to a final 1:6 scale model.

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Urban Farm Concept

Urban Farm Concept

The basic assumption of our semester design project for an Austrian company in the agricultural sector at the University of Applied Sciences (Wels, Upper Austria) was: "Farming in future will change." As a medium-sized company in agricultural machinery you have to deal with a lot of global trends that could change the market completely in a relativly short time.

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How to Find People to Help You with Your Business Idea

Buddy Check for Startups

Maybe you know this situation. You have a brilliant idea – at least for your understanding of things – you tell friends and other people about your idea and in return you get some nodding, some agreeing, but most of your colleagues are not very convinced or just baffled. Due to that, you find out that maybe the idea is not so promising as you have thought. Some time ago, I hit a very nice visualization of the different types of buddies to consider in a startup or business idea.

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Strategic Design - How to Align Product, Brand and Business Strategy

Strategic Design

Designers often work in an agency-like environment to consult or support companies in their new product development. So, designers are good at ideating new products and services for the company and how to get them alive and in shape. On the other hand businesses have to struggle with short- and long-term goals and strategies to accomplish them. Therefore, it can happen that design agencies provide good concepts for new products, but they are not fitting to the overall business strategy or in other words, there is no alignment of new products, brand and business strategy. Abby Goddey of frogdesign mentions this issue: "Design firms are generally good at addressing what should be made, but their abilities may vary based on the how and the why. Many designers, in their design training, are not initially prepared to address what a client needs to understand around the why, and design firms can often leave a client hanging regarding the how."

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The Future of Agriculture

Future of Agriculture

At my master program „Innovation and Product Management“ we (an international team of eight students) are concerned with the future of the agricultural sector. The aim is to develop a vision and future scenarios for an Austrian agricultural machinery manufacturer. A few future agricultural scenarios of hanging gardens, floating farms, vertical and urban farming are seen below in the image. Due to our findings and research there would not only be a change of machinery and technology, but also a different view of how and where to farm. Buildings, rivers & ships, the sea and also our homes are places for future farm spots.

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Beyond Organic - The Grocery Store of the Future

Beyond Organic Food

„Last year the USDA announced that the number of farmers in the U.S. had increased for the first time in 150 years ... There’s no other trend in our society anywhere near as cheerful as this swell around food – what it means, how it’s produced and under what circumstances.” Bill McKibben in his blog The Era of Small and Many. The last time I was shopping in the grocery store I was really surprised when I came back. Nearly for half of the goods I got completely rid of their package hulls.

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Design Project Retrospect

Design Project Retrospect

At my master program „Innovation and Product Management“ it was the task to design the solar car of the future. Divided in two groups I was the project manager of one group that dealt with the concept of a solar muscle car. Because it was, at least for most of us, the first industrial design project in our career, I did a short review about some aspects that are important to consider in design projects in general and especially if you work in larger groups.

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The Missing Spark of Decision-Making in Design

Missing Spark of Decision Making in Design

The following essay tries to discover how decisions are made within a design process. They can’t be made by means of analysis and logic. This is due to the specific type of problems that design has to deal with. These so-called ill-defined problems are ambiguous and not well-defined. Decisions in design processes happen constantly, but on an abstract level between divergent and convergent modes of thinking. To bridge this transition there is a powerful tool in design called synthesis. A designer using synthesis is able to grasp multiple, incongruent, competing ideas and manipulate them at once and in parallel into something new.

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2012

Best Team Performance at A1 Telekom

Best Team Performance at A1 Telekom

A1 Telekom Award for best project - Category: Simple Application

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Master Degree Program Innovation and Product Management

Master Degree Program Innovation and Product Management

The international master degree program "Innovation and Product Management" (IPM) at the University of Applied Sciences in Wels deals with the topics innovation, design, engineering and management. I am in the class of 2012 and I am lucky that it is quite an international class. From 33 students 16 are not from Austria and 12 are not from Europe. This multicultural mix fuels the program with lots of different perspectives, ideas and attitudes. The attendees of my master program are for example from Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Germany, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nepal, Philippines, Romania, Switzerland, Syria, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.

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The Azores

The Azores

The Azores are a group of islands in the Atlantic ocean between Europe and North America. It consists of nine islands each different in shape and size. The main island is Sao Miguel. The fascination comes with the amount of islands where each island has its specific beauty. One island is more volcanic, the other one is full with beaches and another one is more for hiking with many green areas and many flowers etc. I was three weeks there and at least entered six islands. If you wanna get the best of all islands maybe Sao Miguel is the best place to be.

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Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

From my point of view Lionel Messi is the best soccer player ever. His passion and talent for this sport and of course the perfection he has with the ball is outstanding. It is always a pleasure to see how he solves a problem on the field with surprising passes, tricks or shots.

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2011

Designing Innovation

Design Thinking Thesis

Design Thinking has been increasingly associated with innovation in recent management literature. In this context, the term illustrates an indefinable construct, which has been understood and used in various ways. Despite the present terminological fuzziness, it can be declared that Design Thinking is inconsistent with the analytical thought and action patterns in major enterprises and their innovation processes. This work aims to uncover if and how Design Thinking affects the innovation skills of large-scale companies.

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Airbnb

Airbnb

Airbnb is an online accommodation platform to create individual experiences instead of the standard hotel system and is part of the sharing economy world. As for many new business models "the current system" is complaining about the tax-free solution, but from a customer perspective it opened nearly endless opportunities to share accommodations or travel around the world with personal contact to native hosts. I gathered many experiences with Airbnb throughout the last years traveling to the Azores, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Germany and many more. I have to say that I was never disappointed. Instead of hotels you get a mostly not perfect or standardized solution, what also can be called design for friction. Sharing is for me also a better model than owning.

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Mythos Innovation

Mythos Innovation

Dieses Essay kann nicht bis ins letzte Detail die Frage klären, wie Innovation entsteht oder wie man die eierlegende Wollmilchsau produziert. Vielmehr sollen grundsätzliche Denkhaltungen über die Entstehung von Innovation gegenüber gestellt werden. In weiterer Folge sollen Argumente und Gegenargumente für diese Perspektiven entwickelt werden, um am Ende eine Präferenz für eine Sichtweise zu erlangen. Der eingeschlagene Weg soll nicht der Weisheit letzter Schluss sein, sondern vielmehr als Diskussionsanstoß dienen.

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2010

European Forum Alpbach - Retrospect

European Forum Alpbach - Retrospect

Ich hatte in diesem Sommer das Privileg das „Europäische Forum Alpbach“ (EFA) besuchen zu dürfen. Im Rahmen der Initiativgemeinschaft (IG) Linz konnte man sich im Vorfeld um 13 Stipendien bewerben. Einzige Voraussetzung war ein oberösterreichischer Geburtsort oder wie in meinem Falle der Studien- und Ausbildungsort Oberösterreich. Ausgestattet mit einem griffigen Motivationsschreiben und einem prägnanten Lebenslauf konnte ich mich gegenüber 60 Mitbewerbern durchsetzen. Die Freude war dementsprechend groß, doch eigentlich war mir noch nicht klar auf was ich mich überhaupt eingelassen hatte.

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European Forum Alpbach - Application

European Forum Alpbach - Application

Im Rahmen meiner Bewerbung für das Europäische Forum Alpbach wurde ein Motivationsschreiben zum Thema des diesjährigen Forums – Entwurf und Wirklichkeit – gefordert. Im Folgenden der Originalwortlaut von damals, der die Spannung von Entwurf und Wirklichkeit in verschiedenen Lebensbereichen aufzeigt.

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New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand is an island next to Australia, separated in a north and south island. A short ferry trip connects both islands. I learned about this place when I watched Lord of the Rings. At this time I was not aware that on this earth this place even exists. I was there for five weeks in 2010 and was so overwhelmed about everything that homesickness was not existing at all. It is simply the perfect mix of each continent and area of the world. Glaciers are next to rain forest are next to beautiful beaches and are next to stunning volcanic landscapes. I want back!

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2009

RIP Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Similar to one my favourite music performer Freddy Mercury passion for music was a trademark of Michael Jackson. But in this context it was more his perfectionism for performing that fascinated me. Besides that, I liked his attitude to transport an important message to the people in his songs. It was not just music, it was more. The intense call for positive change. Money was not the motive in the first place.

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Go - The Game

Go - The Game

Go is a Chinese strategy game. It is not well-known, but the most difficult game in the world. Just to have an idea: For learning the rules of the game you need a master, because the basic rules or an instruction book is not enough to understand the rules in each situation. I love this game, because there are nearly infinite variations to play, so much more than in chess.

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