I grew up in the 70s, with my grandparents, on a small mountain farm in Austria – guess that’s why I feel such a strong connection to nature.
Although we didn’t have much money, my grandparents supported me in taking a higher education. They simply knew that I’ve got an excellent brain and wanted me to put it to good use.
So, I started out as a chemical engineer, hence the Austrian title “Ing.” – which is the German shortcut for engineer. First I worked in genetic research, then in inorganic analytics and quality assurance. IT played a big role from the beginning. I worked with MS-DOS, OS/2 and Unix systems as well as with Macintosh – not only as a user, but also as an administrator.
In my twenties, I was lucky and got a healthy, beautiful daughter. I married my daughter’s dad and changed my name from Elke Brunthaler to Elke Bachler (btw, Barbara is my baptismal name, I quite like it, that’s why I use it, too).
The 90s were the time the WWW went mainstream, and we taught ourselves how to use that stuff. After some time as a stay-at-home mum I started working within the creative industry as a web designer and project manager.
In 2008, I completed an extra-occupational study at the University of Applied Sciences Campus 02 in Graz and became one of the first Bachelor of Sciences for Engineering in innovation management.
The same year I got self-employed, but that didn’t work out well enough. So I took a job as a chemical engineer in R&D, then worked as an innovation consultant, followed by a job as innovation manager in e-mobility. My last job before I decided to become self-employed again was in technical documentation, as a team leader, supporting the introduction of a new editorial system.
Based on my education and job experience, I am an innovation facilitator, adept at empowering people to generate useful ideas and at supporting the set-up of frameworks to implement and communicate these ideas – especially when it comes to IT tools and digital communication design.
- Chemical engineering -> structured complex problem-solving;
- Web design -> communication design and IT;
- Innovation project management -> generating knowledge bridges;
My foremost personal motivation is to create and support the creation of SEED – sustainable ecological economic design. And yes – I am a lifelong learner. Never stopped doing that, not planning to.