As my » Biognosis Toolbox still takes time to take off, I am looking for a new “work home”. Therefore, I’d like to describe my educational and occupational portfolio.
As promised, I’ve split my years – so here’s to the “00” years.
Web Design (2001-2006)
The days when the internet became mainstream and websites were in high demand. As I had a knack for online communication, I was hired by a small and creative company. We did classic websites in HTML and CSS, had a PHP-based content management system of our own making, did a bit of print, had a most interesting time schedule software tool, a successful tourism platform … and we were an incredible team. Nobody talked about start-ups back then, but in retrospect – we were. Not working in a garage, but in the basement of a single-family home.
Competence gained: Coding (HTML, CSS, a bit PHP), using web/print design software, planning and creating websites, online and classic advertising, press releases, event management and PR, sponsor search and care, customer care and consulting, translating the needs of the customer to our programmers and finding sensible solutions.
Main reminisce: The company was renowned and awarded for their virtual outdoor activity platform. In order to have perfect data for this platform – pictures, tour descriptions, GPS tracks – we collected them ourselves. My, I was fit as a fiddle back then!
Studying (2005 – 2008)
In 2005, I applied for and was granted a student place at the university of applied sciences Campus 02 in Graz, for their first study programme “innovation management”. It was an extra-occupational education, very demanding, but worth every invested hour. We were taught a perfect mix of
- technical lectures (like different engineering fields and IT),
- natural sciences, personality training, economic lectures (e. g. innovation funding),
- management lectures (like research, product, project, quality, process and knowledge)
- as well as creative problem-solving, IPR and marketing … a wide range of fields to be prepared for innovation project management, no matter in which trade.
I passed with distinction and became a Bachelor of Sciences in Engineering. Both my bachelor theses are available via » grin.com.
Project Management (2006-2008)
To make more use of my studies, I decided to switch jobs and was hired by the city administration of Graz, the department of economy and tourism. They needed a “liason officer” for their knowledge transfer project, where SMEs and universities are brought together. Later on, the department was tasked to support the creative industries, and with my experience in the field, I took that project on, too.
Competence gained: All things project management, from planning to doing to supervising to evaluating to reporting. How to prepare expert panel discussions. How to design an award, from planning to communicating to creating a fair assessment structure. How to moderate stakeholder workshops. How to act in front of a camera. How to organise an exhibition. How to coordinate with other creatives.
Main reminisce: The creative:graz award. I guess that was one of my most comprehensive projects ever. As we had no idea how to get to know the local creatives, I used a TRIZ approach and did it “the other way round” – calling for creative project submissions first and designing an award assessment based on the submitted projects (a bit over 100). The second time, I had “lessons learned” to draw from. Very challenging, very rewarding … and the approach worked perfectly.
There was always a part of me wanting to be self-employed. During my studies, we had a semester “Business Planning”. My colleagues where kind enough to do my kreaWERFT business plan with me. And my bank lent me money. I was all up for being one of the first creative problem-solving facilitators with main focus on biomimicry, creating a wholistic Biognosis method, and establishing a train-the-trainer business.
Competence gained: How to be self-employed and deal with completely different framework conditions. Here in Austria, there is a big difference between being employed and being self-employed. I learned the hard way. And I failed in realising my plan. But I wouldn’t want to miss a minute. Concerning work – I used all my up-to-then gained competences to the fullest, further honing them.
Main reminisce: There are two – my own project “Denkstelle Liezen” and being part of the South-East-Europe EU project “Green Mountain”. The “Denkstelle Liezen” was a project of my own design to connect local innovative companies and organisations. The EU project was about rural regions in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, Hungary, Italy, Romania and Slovakia – and how to create sustainable businesses there, so that people can make a good living.
Coming up: The next diary entry will be about the following decade … failing in being self-employed, going back into the lab, followed by going back to Tyrol, followed by … going back to Styria again, and back to being self-employed.