Roland Dürre
Friday April 29th, 2016


Denker, Künstler und vor allem Mensch.

Thinker, artist, and, above all: human being.

It seems that yesterday’s kick-off for the project peace was a success. I think we, and in particular Jolly, reached the people. We also produced nice video material and will soon discuss what and how to best process all this material.

Roland M. DürreNewly invigorated, we will now continue on our way. We are looking for allies and collecting crazy ideas. And we will all think about it all and then start new activities.

I would like to thank all those who came for being there and supporting us.

In my presentation of a little more than 30 minutes, I introduced Jolly, related why I, from now on, will focus more and more on the project PEACE, told you why I am optimistic and tried to make you understand that it is time to act.

We will make Jolly’s and my presentations available online. Here is mine in a nutshell, along with a few links for video recordings:

Introduction: Jolly (we are project partners)

  • First met at the Munich Chess Academy;
  • Immediately understood that we are “brothers in spirit”;
  • He is an artist and philosopher and a
  • Modern Robin Hood;
    Through his life philosophy he convinces the rich to share their wealth with the poor.
  • He lives what he talks about and engages himself for more togetherness and peace.

Why do I do this (motivation)?

  • Grateful for so many good things life gave me, wanting to give something in return;
    • Private reasons (marriage, family, children);
    • Always having enough to eat and never going cold;
    • Wonderful teachers, circles and communities;
    • Learned endlessly;
    • Successful in business and social life;
  • Adventures
    • War and early home – 1950ies;
      (inner peace)
    • Tschernobyl – 1980ies;
      We have to join;
    • Cuba crisis – 1960ies;
      (a still traumatized society is afraid of the great war)
    • Vietnam
      (My experiences with young GI-s in the 1960ies);
      And many more wars!
      (peace among humans, nations and all sorts of societies)
    • Annoyed about not having done things better, regardless of having known better.
    • Continue with the task that generations before me started (forefathers – models).
      (Carl Amery, John Lennon, Konstantin Wecker, Willy Michl, Ghandi or Martin Luther King)
    • The engineering knowledge that we need a great transformation, and that we need it rather quickly and perhaps on a radical scale – otherwise we will be finished in a few generations.
    • Soon 66 years old – and I feel more and more that Peace is the only thing that really counts in my life

Why I am hopeful (optimism)?

  • War gets more and more absurd!
  • 13,500 cyber soldiers (13500 Cyber-Soldaten)
    (harmless model – the concept of a permanent cyber war give me pause)
  • Body leasing of soldiers as a new quality of mercenaries
    (they used to sell individual persons as mercenaries, today this habit becomes the normal entrepreneurial profit concept of capital companies).
Examples: Academi (between 1997 and 2007 Blackwater USA, until 2009 Blackwater Worldwide, until 2011 Xe Services LLC, since 2014 part of Constellis Holdings) is the biggest US security and military enterprise.
  • War robots
    Atlas  is a Boston Dynamics project for the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency and as far as I know, Boston Dynamics used to be Alphabet (Google), now sold, because it is military-oriented and On new ways of warfare, an overview (Übersicht).
  • New knowledge from neurology and philosophy
    • We totally misunderstood issues such as personal criminal responsibility and free will;
    • Ratio is only a very small part of the human being;
    • We are not those free thinkers and controllers. Instead, we are all trapped in our socialization that is formative for our subconscious. This might be another reason why, when all is said and done, we are all very much social creatures. After all, our subconscious has been generated by socialization, i.e. by other people.
  • The internet changes the world.
    The digital and social networks of “friendly persons” with their readiness to act together increases.
  • Success stories:
    (NextHamburg, Urbanauten, self-made, Open Source Communities, NGOs but also enterprises)
    Installing these “free communities” by yourself will become the main means by which to solve actual problems in the future (infra-structure topics and smart cities). Among other things, this is because it would be asking too much of the fatherland to do it.

So how to go about it? (strategies)

  • Instead of talking, we have to act! Get up! Do something!
  • We have to begin with ourselves;
  • No indoctrination, only impulses and inspiration;
  • Peace and liberty;
  • Living in love;
  •  Connecting with art and artists?
  • Snow-ball principle?
  • Plenty of ideas.
  •  …

And then came: Jolly …

Finished late in the evening in the train from Stuttgart to Munich, going to a good weekend and already a little on the way to Rome on Saturday.
(Translated by EG)

JOERG ROTHERMEL wrote a beautiful facebook comment:

“Instead of talking, we should act! Get up”! Do something!“
well, here is an feminist article:…/ich-denke…/
I find it especially nice to read the question if “Macker“ is derived from “Macher“!

Well, this really hits home. Because my formulations were very masculine. Except: I think this is how men and women are. This is totally free of judgement. And since I am a man, I consider women beautiful goddesses. Incidentally, the post behind the link is worth reading.

Yet, I do not see it as a contradiction. It looks more like a huge supplement to me.

Because in my concept, you will find:
“Instead of talking, we have to act! Get up” Do something!“
NOT to mean: COCK-FIGHTS, WARS, DEMONSTRATIONS, PROPAGANDA and MISSIONARIES: It almost annoys me that I called our enterprise “PEACE” project PEACE. After all, in my personal radical concept, the common understanding of project is already typically chauvinistic behaviour. And I consider it important that teams of men and women basically NEED NO project managers.

For me, it is the METAPHER for:

FOR: “Not letting us be suppressed by YOU CANNOT DO THAT, not letting us be manipulated by MARKETING, or influenced by INDOCTRINATION.
FOR: “Stopping to swallow all the RUBBISH POLITICIANS try to tell us and instead COURAGEOUSLY reacting with CIVIL COURAGE.
FOR: “APPRECIATING ourselves and ALL HUMAN AROUND US, winning back the CREATION and our ENVIRONMENT, and living with mutual respect and LOVE as a formative maxim and ELEMENT of OUR EVERYDAY LIVES.
FOR: “Quickly forming alliances with FRIENDLY PERSONS (rather than angry citizens) and actually changing the world for the better through COURAGE and happiness”
FOR: “first and foremost: changing your own habits and finding JOY and LOVE inside!“


Why should not the sexes meet on that basis!?

In the country of horse-trading …

After previously having written in my last two articles (1 and 2) about what generally happens, I will now continue this small series on corruption by relating to you two things that actually happened to me. Here is one example of what I experienced.

As most of you know, I founded an enterprise more than thirty years ago and was its managing director and board member.

Even as early as in the 1980ies, cars were highly subsidized in the FDR as business vehicles. Since in those days it was a matter of course that everybody went places by car, we offered our employees to get a so-called business car as part of their salary if that was what they wished. If you buy a “business car”, you save the entire added value tax, you can deduce all (!) costs, such as the purchase of the car, repair parts, tyres, additional gadgets, insurance, maintenance and repairs, service and the entire cost of gas as normal business expenses. This is how you can economize on the entire added value tax and more company taxes (income, trade).

Calculated over the entire life of a vehicle, you can save an enormous amount of money in taxes, even with a medium-size car. The sum is considerably higher than the money the employee has to pay in taxes for “money-worth advantages”. Especially if the employee has only a short way to go from his home to his work place. And “prudent” employees usually have a short way from their home to the work place, even if sometimes only on paper.

The subsidized profit (difference between the added value tax you saved and the tax the employee has to pay for “money-worth advantages”) can easily be divided between the employee and the enterprise, which means both sides will profit from the car-industry subsidy. And since in those days I was still rather naïve when it came to driving cars, I used the incentive “you will get a business car” frequently when looking for new employees.

Thus, the number of business cars grew as massively as the number of employees in our firm. After a short time, the term “small fleet” was actually adequate when we talked IF cars. And it kept growing in size (10, 20, 30 …). If you have a fleet, the car salesperson will come and talk you into a fleet contract, pointing out the many advantages of same. So I also signed said contract.

Auch die Rückseite dieses Scheines hat manches Herz erfreut :-)

The opposite side of this bill, too, has delighted many

Well, now I believed that, since we had a fleet contract, we would get the cars cheaper than private buyers. But as it turned out, this was not the case. Again and again, I heard from friends who had “privately” bought a car, that they had been granted a higher individual discount – after long and intense negotiations, but still – than I got for the fleet. This annoyed me.

Additionally, the fleet contract salesperson made all kinds of promises, but the service was abominably poor. Consequently, I sometimes changed suppliers, once even the brand. The negotiations were always a disgrace, because the salespersons always used their entire sales repertory in an offensive way, which, to me, was very disagreeable.

And when I absolutely refused to continue, the super salesperson came to see me. He entreated me to remain with him as a supplier and with his brand. Everything was going to get better. And he also offered me a special extra treat, one he only offered to his very best customers:

He offered to pay 5% of the value of every car I would buy in the course of the fleet contract into an account of my personal choice!

I was shocked and replied that I had no account for this kind of purpose. His reply was that he could help me when it came to starting such an account – preferably abroad. Did he mean a letter-box company?

This was a time when InterFace had high growth rates. We always renewed our car fleet early and consequently ordered 10 cars for the year. I am sure that the total value was more than 250,000 DM. Consequently, the 5 % he had offered would have easily equalled 12,500 DM. Well, that was 12.5 times the bill you see on the picture – and in those days you actually got quite some material for this kind of money. And it was all tax free and would have had a tendency towards growing in the future. …

I declined, because for me such behaviour would not only have been bribery, but also fraud against my partners and employees. Today, I am very happy to have refused the then very seriously made offer. I will not tell you the brand and the supplier, because I assume that this was not usual business behaviour but the individual activity of one person. But then: who knows?

(Translated by EG)

I took the picture from Wikipedia.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday April 27th, 2016

Stupid (?) Questions?

Here are a few current events that I find questionable:

Negative interest
Once upon a time, they actually paid you interest on what you had in your savings account. However, then came the tax at source  and made the interest dwindle.

If now we get negative interest rates, how about taxes? Will I automatically get a tax bonus (Quellensteuer)?

Plastic bags
Now we have a voluntary obligation by trade that they will take money for plastic bags. I doubt that it will help very much.
Why don’t they do something about all the other considerable plastic rubbish (plastic sacks for dog shit, all the products for sale wrapped in plastic)?

At long last, someone is facing trial.
But why are the whistle blowers those who face trial, instead of those who committed the bribery?

Higher pensions.

The government is rather proud to announce that, for a change, the retired persons got a considerably portion of the cake.
But why do they not tell us that the money some retired persons get will be less, because now some of the retirees have to pay income tax?

They announced it today: starting now, the purchase of e-cars will be subsidized. The same is true for hybrid cars. I understand the latter even less than the former. If at all, e-cars are a small part of the solution at best. Their total environment balance is nowhere near good (Rentner jetzt Einkommens-steuerpflichtig).
If they want to give subsidies, why not to the carrier bikes? They are actually beneficial!

Continue: on many topics. Perhaps I will do it. But I would also like to publish all your “stupid questions”. Feel free to send them to me. This will make the blog a little more interactive.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday April 25th, 2016

The Masters of Reforms.

Here is what happened before I wrote this article:
Currently, I have much-loved visitors from China. Yesterday, Sunday (April, 24th), our visitor wanted to see the Federal Talk Show “Anne Will“.

Well, there is nothing you will not do for your guests, is there? So we watch “Anne Will” together. The show is about the current EU politics and its relationship with the partner Turkey. Particular attention is given to Erdoğan, the twelfth president of the Turkish Republc (whom I personally see more as a dictator). The guests are mostly the usual candidates … (here is the link to the Show).

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 2015

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 015

A Great Reformer?

Initially, it is quite boring. Then Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is praised by one of the guests as a great reformer.

What annoys me about this statement is that all the other guests not only agree, but that this also gives the dictator a better reputation in the assembled circle. As a counter-argument, you get the question why he now “abolishes all his (good) reforms”?

Before talking reforms, maybe you should think about the definition (Begriffserklärung) of “reforming”. So I first look up the term reform in Wikipedia.

The first item given in the listing says that reform is:
“The planned and violence-free change of prevailing circumstances“.

To me, this looks like a halfway valid definition. And alas – it is totally unbiased. It does not say anything about being “positive” or “good”.

Neither does the definition ask about the purpose of change. Consequently, a reform is still a reform, even if, for example, it introduces a (good or bad) dictatorship or a (perhaps just as good or bad) democracy.

The actual Wikipedia article on reform does not look very convincing to me. All it does is give examples for reforms out of history; political reforms in current Germany and church reforms. It also suggests that a reform only deserves the name if it causes a modification that brings considerable change.

It seems that the only way of realizing reforms in a democracy is legislation. Reform means introducing a new law. So where does the constant cry for new reforms come from? Since we do not have the strength to remove old legislation, it means we demand new legislation all the time. And that is exactly what happens both in the counties, on state level and in the EU at an inflationary rate.

For me, the history of the German Railway is a good example for studying reforms and the consequences thereof. Initially, they merged all the county railways to become the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR). This generated one of the world’s biggest enterprises and the biggest job provider world-wide. The advantages were easy to see: now they could build “standardized parts” in huge amounts. This “reform” probably also made the organization rather capable. Allegedly, the German Reichsbahn actually was more punctual during the first years of WW-II than the DB AG and its competition are today.

After WW-II, the Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB) in West Germany succeeded the DR. In addition to the GDR taking over the Deutsche Reichsbahn, the Deutsche Bundesbahn was privatized and converted into the DB AG, along with it being divided into many small railway societies and an extension by “private” competition.
One could easily have a long discussion about the purpose of these reforms.

But back to the Anne Will Talk Show.
Initially, when the Erdoğan reforms were mentioned, I had to think of Adolf Hitler. After all, he was not only the greatest warrior of all times (GröFaZ), but also the greatest reformer of all times (GröRaZ)? After all, many reforms and the resulting legislation that is still valid today have been initiated during the Third Reich (labour, maternity protection, relationship between church and state – including the church tax, protection of cultural goods and much more).

Here is Turkish history as I learned it:
When I was a child, I learned at school and during my socialization as a citizen of the FRG that Turkey and the Turks are very friendly-minded towards us Germans. In military terms, Turkey has always been a good partner. The fear of the Turks as we had it in medieval times is no longer appropriate. To be sure, Turkish internal policies are a sensitive issue, because the separation of church and state is never an easy thing with Islamic countries. Luckily, however, the secular heritage of Atatürk (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk), who was the father of all Turks, was protected by the generals of the strong armed forces, which in doing so also guaranteed the Turkish democracy. And, of course, they also taught us that Turkish labour was also an important factor for the German economy. This was about it when it came to information about the NATO country and then still soon-to-be member of the European Community.

Well, perhaps Erdoğan and his reforms did bring some change.

(Translated by EG)
I took the picture from Wikipedia
Встреча Президента России Владимира Путина с Президентом Турции Реджепом Тайипом Эрдоганом в Баку

Roland Dürre
Sunday April 24th, 2016

Project PEACE – Thursday, April, 28, 2016 – IF Forum

On Thursday (April, 28) at 18:00 hours, yours truly and Jolly Kunjappu will start our project PEACE. We look forward to welcoming our guests.

»Jolly Kunjappu – »Jumbo‘s first birthday. Celebrate your life.« Acryl und Wachskreide auf Leinwand

»Jolly Kunjappu – »Jumbo‘s first birthday. Celebrate your life.«
Acryl and wax crayon on canvas

On this day, we will “let the ideas flow freely”, give impulses and try to inspire “the nice persons” we like so much. We want to stir your desire to question all those things that go without
We want to promote your willingness to constructively work towards the necessary big changes in our society and way of life and in doing so make the initial situation a little better for a future that we can actively be a part of.

It is more important to act than to talk!
On this evening, Jolly and I want to bring something into motion and then, together with you, develop ideas as well as think about what we could do.
🙂  (Perhaps initiate a snowball system for peace and transformation?)

This is how we want to learn from our friends. We want to win insight and work towards our own enlightenment 2.0.
🙂  Indoctrination and religious wars are things we neither like nor wish to practice, because we are not missionaries!

Basically, PEACE is simply our central metaphor for a necessary change, because peace has a three-fold impact: on every one of us personally; in our connections with the world we live in and consequently our environment; and, of course, also in our relations between individuals and collectively between nations and all kinds of societies of our wonderful world.

And without PEACE, a happy and content life is not imaginable.

For me personally, the project PEACE is extremely important. As of now, it has highest priority. It is to become the last big project of my life, which is why, in years to come, I want it to become my central topic. In order to make this happen, it is important for me to have the support of you all, my friends.

But regardless: first and foremost, we want Thursday evening to be a meeting of aforesaid “friendly persons” of our world who meet with great JOY and give us lots of courage and trust! Jolly und I are sure that, together with you, we will manage to do just that. And there will also be a few surprises…

Here is a link where you will find three IF blog articles on the topic, including the invitation the event. I would kindly ask you to tell me if you come, because we want to have enough food and beverages. Feel free to either register through a blog comment or send E-Mail to the InterFace AG or to me.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday April 23rd, 2016

New Barcamps is What the Country Needs!

Now I know why my enthusiasm about barcamps is dwindling …

PM_BannerDiese Woche war This week, I was invited to attend the first (!) barcamp organized by one of the really huge German world concerns in their enterprise building. The “anti-conference” was announced as an experiment and was about “modern leadership principles“.

They wanted to try something new and invited around 50 internal employees and a few external persons (one of whom was me). Almost all of the concern employees were young “high potentials”, among them many personal assistants of directors or persons responsible for a sector of product.

With respect to the degree of freedom, the barcamp was a little restricted. For instance, the “feet principle” and the roles of “butterflies and bees” were intentionally not formulated. When I asked about those, the organizers told me they had been afraid that this would have been a little too much innovation – a fear that I do not happen to

But: the event was an extremely good experience.

To me, it seemed that, after a short phase of scepticism, all participants were really enthusiastic and active. And that it was a great thing for all parties concerned. Not one of the participants had actively prepared for the event by writing a presentation or some such! Consequently, all session givers formulated their problems, anxieties and experiences spontaneously after having spent only a short time pondering. And that really found its target – in the sessions, we always worked on topics that seemed really important and very exciting.

I, too, again, learned a lot and was truly glad to have been there. In particular, I now understand far better how huge concerned work today when it comes to leadership and management. As an extra knowledge increase, I also realized that, today, it is actually no longer the rule that new products need to be found useful by the customer.

In fact, first and foremost, it is all about evaluating where and if there are under-provided sectors on the market (product-free spaces), yet where the majority of persons who have been asked think they might need it.

As soon as this requirement is met, all you have to do is come up with a good marketing strategy and a concept that will make a basic scaling and good profit (production costs / price acceptable for the buyer) possible. I was actually a little taken aback when I heard that the usefulness of a product no longer plays any role when it comes to creative planning.

However, one (indirect and), for me, very important realization was (and this is why I write this article) that this “concern barcamp” made me aware of why I get more and more tired of barcamps:

The longer you have had a barcamp, the more people come with topics they prepared at home. They no longer formulate what is on their minds spontaneously and/or in the context of what actually happens.

pmcamp3Unfortunately, this is a tendency I see more and more often in the once so much-loved PM-Camps that, so far, I have always remained true to. And when I am there, I mostly stay in the coffee room and talk to the many great persons present. Also, it seems to me that, as the years go by, other barcamps have more and more “ready-made” session, which causes the anti-conference to slightly differ only in one respect from the good old classical conference: its format-based freedom.

Here is a possible solution to the problem:

a) communicate in no uncertain terms that it is better to let the moment determine what happens on a barcamp and have sessions develop from the individual and shared situation and

b) make the planning phases more iterative and “shared” (i.e. just fix the sessions for the morning after breakfast, then reflect in the forum for a short time what is going to happen and what should be continued).

To be sure, the constant tightrope walk between individually (alone) and collectively (together) and between agile and planned in advance is certainly not something easily done. But that does not mean we should not keep trying.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday April 21st, 2016

Basic Knowledge: Traffic Ecology –

Basics, Areas of Interest and Measures to be Taken for a Change in Transportation

That is the sub-title of the book Grundwissen Verkehrsökologie by Udo J. Becker. It was published by the oekom-Verlag, which also published the book Die digitale Mobilitätsrevolution by Canzler/Knie I already discussed here some time ago.

Titel_Becker_Verkehrsoekologie_4cIf the oekom-Verlag did not exist already, you would have to invent it. I keep finding great titles among the books they publish, all of which inspire me. The publisher specialises in expert literature – and as I see it, said expert literature is rather useful and reasonable, dealing with what really matters in this world and what is really important in our lives. To prove this thesis, I added a few new publications of May, 4th, 2016, along with a list of recently published books under the PS of this article.

For example, a short time ago, I found and ordered the book “Besser leben ohne Plastik“  by Anneliese Bunk & Nadine Schubert from the oekom-Verlag. Incidentally , although I have already practiced using as little plastic in life as possible for a long time, I still found a few useful ideas. The two co-authors absolutely live up to their high standards and expectations of “showing how you can do it differently”.

Consequently, I will include the book as part of my new list of “what to give others on special occasions”. But here comes: “Grundwissen Verkehrsökologie“/Basic Knowledge: Traffic Ecology”. I often have discussions with people about life-styles and topics like “Active Mobility in Everyday Life” or “The Future of Mobility” and am shocked at hearing the theories I get in reply. And then I realize how little even wise and well-educated persons understand about the problem.

The book I am discussing might be of some help. It is exceptionally rational. All facts have been under precise scrutiny, a long list of literature makes it possible to dig deeper. To me, it all looks quite complete. At least I found answers to all the questions that currently move me. Since it is a very long work, you need not read it all in one go. I enjoy reading the occasional chapter every now and then. I also like reading a chapter once in a while and then putting the book back on the shelf for some time. Until the next time.

The book is an absolute MUST for all those who want to get a valid idea about the real traffic situation – and even more so for those who think themselves competent to speak about our traffic situation. For city planners and politicians, as well as experts in our administrative offices, it should be made mandatory reading material. Personally, I would also be in favour of adding it to the reading list when the elective subject “Our Future” is taught during the final years before graduation in our educational institutions.

I was also a little frustrated when reading the book: basically, we know all that is written therein, especially, we are aware of all the mistakes we make. We also know what is beneficial for us and what is detrimental for us. Except that whenever we do something, we do not really follow this knowledge of ours.

(Translated by EG)


Zum 4. Mai gibt es auch wieder sehr interessante Neuerscheinungen im oekom-Verlag!

Rudolf Buntzel, Francisco Mari, Brot für die Welt – Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst, Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung e.V. (Hrsg.)
» Gutes Essen – arme Erzeuger. Wie die Agrarwirtschaft mit Standards die Nahrungsmärkte beherrscht «
Ca. 368 Seiten, ISBN 978-3-86581-797-6, 29,95 Euro / 30,80 Euro (A). Auch als E-Book erhältlich.

Peter Berg
» Endliche Welt, unendliches Geld. Das wahre Dilemma der Nachhaltigkeit «
190 Seiten, 978-3-86581-803-4, 19,95 / 20,60 (A). Auch als E-Book erhältlich.

Angela Franz-Balsen, Lenelis Kruse (Ed.)
» Human Ecology Studies and Higher Education for Sustainable Development. European Experiences and Examples «
168 Seiten, 978-3-86581-299-5, 29,95 / 30,80 (A). Auch als E-Book erhältlich.

Alrun Vogt
» Wirtschaft anders denken. Vom Freigeld bis zum Grundeinkommen «
200 Seiten, 978-3-86581-805-8, 16,95 / 17,50 (A). Auch als E-Book erhältlich.

Und hier noch der Hinweis auf vor kurzem erschienene und schon verfügbare Fachbücher aus dem oekom verlag:

Ute Dechantsreiter (Hrsg.)
» Bauteile wiederverwenden – Werte entdecken Ein Handbuch für die Praxis «
224 Seiten, ISBN 978-3-86581-786-0, 29,95 Euro / 30,80 Euro (A). Auch als E-Book erhältlich.

Christian Blasge
» Idealtheorie und bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen. Konzept, Kritik und Entwicklung einer revolutionären Idee «
252 Seiten, ISBN 978-3-86581-800-3, 29,95 Euro / 30,80 Euro (A). Auch als E-Book erhältlich.

Günther Reifer, Hans-Ulrich Streit, Evelyn Oberleiter
» Sustainable Companies. Wie Sie den Aufbruch zum Unternehmen der Zukunft wirksam gestalten. Ein Leitfaden «
252 Seiten, ISBN 978-3-86581-795-2, 19,95 Euro / 20,60 Euro (A). Auch als E-Book erhältlich.

Hans Holzinger
» Von nichts zu viel – für alle genug. Perspektiven eines neuen Wohlstands «
232 Seiten, ISBN 978-3-86581-794-5, 18,95 Euro / 19,60 Euro (A). Auch als E-Book erhältlich.

Kirsten Radermacher
» Ökologisch-ökonomische Entscheidungen in Unternehmen. Auswirkungen auf die Produktqualität am Beispiel der Druck- und Verpackungsindustrie «
350 Seiten, ISBN 978-3-86581-793-8, 18,95 Euro / 19,60 Euro (A). Auch als E-Book erhältlich.

Frank Stolze, Anna Petrlic
» Nachhaltigkeit für Einsteiger. Geschichte, Konzepte und Praxis «
116 Seiten, ISBN 978-3-86581-788-4, 12,95 Euro / 13,40 Euro (A). Auch als E-Book erhältlich.

Melanie Groß
» Und plötzlich gärtnern alle. Theoretische, konzeptionelle und methodische Perspektiven für Gardening und Commons in der Jugendarbeit «
122 Seiten, ISBN 978-3-86581-758-7, 19,95 Euro / 20,60 Euro (A). Auch als E-Book erhältlich.

Thomas Hammer, Ingo Mose, Dominik Siegrist, Norbert Weixlbaumer (Hrsg.)
» Parks of the Future. Protected Areas in Europe Challenging Regional and Global Change «
280 Seiten, ISBN 978-3-86581-765-5, 29,95 Euro / 30,80 Euro (A). Auch als E-Book erhältlich.

Markus Große Ophoff (Hrsg.)
» Nachhaltiges Veranstaltungsmanagement. Green Meetings als Zukunftsprojekt für die Veranstaltungsbranche «
274 Seiten, ISBN 978-3-86581-783-9, 39,95 Euro / 41,10 Euro (A). Auch als E-Book erhältlich.

Sylvia Wölfel
» Weiße Ware zwischen Ökologie und Ökonomie. Umweltfreundliche Produktentwicklung für den Haushalt in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und der DDR «
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Today: Bribery & Secret Accounts

When I was still generating application software, I always had to do requirement engineering. Well, the term had at least the advantage that the word “management” was not part of it. Today, one would probably call it “requirement management”. Now, however, I prefer the more agile approach of a system outline with “user stories” and “use cases”.

Regardless of how you name it, you will always find something like Entity-Relationship-Models (ERM). Objects, or rather classes of objects, are described along with the qualitative relationship between said objects or classes of objects.

For me, the best example of an ER model is love. You have the lover (entity E1), love (relationship L->) and the beloved (entity E2), also E1 L-> E2. Of course, it is true for both sexes.
And as soon as the relationship is symmetrical (<-L->), you get a “Happy End“.

Even the doubtless very clever Jesuits as the best thinkers of the Catholic Church used exactly this same metaphor in order to make the incomprehensible and often doubted Trinity Dogma look humane. They simply made God the Father the lover, the Holy Spirit love and Jesus the beloved one.

:-)Those were the days when we still kept this sad piece of paper in our purses, neatly folded and deeply buried as a last resort.

🙂 Was waren das noch für Zeiten, als wir diesen tristen Schein sauber gefaltet und tief versteckt als eiserne Reserve in der Tiefe unseres Geldbeutel hatten.

Bribery can also be defined as an entity relationship model. There is a briber, the bribery and the bribed person. As early as a few decades ago, we had a controversial discussion and debate during a Rupert Lay – at the time he was considered the doyen in business and society – seminar.

All managers present agreed that bribery, at least if a German civil servant is concerned, is an absolute “no-go”, because it is definitely forbidden by law. However, bribing a buyer in a society that is definitely corrupt – for example in order to preserve jobs – might well be ethically acceptable. After all, someone else might otherwise do the bribing. And besides, our tax offices accept a declaration where “special expenses” are permissible up to a certain amount of money without giving the name of the recipient.

So much on the management concept of the 1980ies. Personally, I saw – and still see – matters a little differently. One reason is that such reasoning would make any behaviour acceptable, even using other unethical means – for instance violence. Another reason is that this kind of bribery would just make the wheels of corruption turn even faster.

How does bribery look in (real) life?

As a general rule, corruption consists of a system of illegal accounts. After all, it can only work if the briber (E1) and the bribed person (E2) remain unknown. Consequently, you have to take the money out of the enterprise circle as early as possible and transfer it into the shadow realm of illegal money.

In this realm, there are no rules – or rather, individual persons make the rules. As we all know, individual persons are weak and can easily be tempted. Especially if their social background is a corrupt system like the illegal account system showing them how to do it.

Humans love themselves most. And their sense of justice will protest if a corrupt person from an alien world is to get such a huge amount of money on top of everything. Consequently, they take a considerable sum out of the bribery money for themselves – which, in my opinion, is easy to understand. Any other behaviour would be more than stupid.

I assume that (more than) half of the bribery moneys paid never reach the bribed persons. Instead, it remains with the bribers. That is what makes bribery so problematic. Because all of a sudden, the ERM becomes symmetrical. The briber wants the bribery as much as the bribed person, because they have become accomplices. The lie “you have to bribe because it is the general rule” becomes even weaker than it already was.

It goes without saying that the money that has been paid to both parties must end up somewhere – and, again, it gets clear why so many fake companies exist. This is how we get back to my first article of this small series. In my next two articles, I will describe in detail how I was to be bribed.

(Translated by EG)

I took the picture of the 1,000 – Euro bill fromWikipedia.

Modern enterprises want their employees to “actively participate” in the company. The participation of the employees when things are developed and their actively being part of decisions is considered a positive asset and a necessary requirement for a secure future. Terms such as “democratic enterprise” are en vogue. Some even get enthusiastic about holocracy (Holokratie), which is a term I like to intentionally misspell as “holocrazy”.

Yet I have all the respect in the world for the underlying intensions. Just as I also very much appreciate the ideas about “Common Good Economy” (“Gemeinwohlökonomie” – for instance as initiated by Christian Felber). But how is an enterprise supposed to manage the necessary change?

Meine Twitter-Fenster.

My Twitter Windows.

As I see it, social media play an important role when it comes to trying to establish the culture of an enterprise – both internally and externally.

For change and modifications, communication at eye-level and an internal intranet that works a little like the well-known social media systems à la Facebook are an important requirement. Today, we also call these concepts “Corporate Social Media (CSM)“. Perhaps we will soon have an “SMO” on top of the SEO (search engine officer who is responsible for the search engine optimization) – with the SM, naturally, not being short for sado-maso, but for Social Media (Social Media Officer).

I am a little sceptic about a CSM who has been appointed from the top. The employees should initiate the transformation. The same is true for the very popular term CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). It is about how an enterprise can live up to “ethical expectations”. This is also one of the tings the basis must want and work towards.

You will immediately understand my scepticism about CSR initiated by leaders after, for instance, having read the books by Mr. Otfried Höffe. His books have become standard literature at universities in the ethics faculties. I have no idea why this is so, because, as I see it, the books contain poor material all the business students have to learn. They do not satisfy any philosophical requirements.

But then, I am an evil sceptic who even considers the valuable term BGM (company health management) ridiculous, regardless of it not even beginning with a “C”. Incidentally, I distrust abbreviations that start with a C as a matter of principle. This is not only in politics and not only when the C is for “Christian” or “Corporate”. I am also very cautious when it comes to all combinations and abbreviations that contain terms such as management, manager or officer.

But now let me write the constructive part of this article. I would like to show with the example of twitter how you can actually manage to make people inside an enterprise really enjoy the meaningful use of corporate social media addressing the world outside the firm. The motivation of the employees is joy and intrinsic, without any special incentives or such.
How to make an entire enterprise twitter and thus authentically demonstrate its strength in the network, at the same time showing its nice collection of great individualists and presenting them to the market?

As you can easily imagine, this cannot be done through centrally controlled marketing strategies that follow ancient concepts. The role of marketing is among the things that need to undergo drastic change. Virtues – and I do not mean new virtues – such as the subsidiarity principle that is based on trust and error tolerance must also be re-established.

Before I elaborate on the details, I would like to point out the difference between “collective enterprise twittering” and the “functional twittering” as it is done by the National Railway (Die Bahn@bahn) or the Telekom with their twitter accounts (“Telekom hilft” @Telekom_hilft – I tried it myself when I was in an emergency situation and it helped me a lot). It makes a lot of sense and is often a good way to get the attention of these enterprises when you have problems. And it is also often the only chance a user has of being heard when the hotline or other “normal” channels that should connect you with the enterprise fail.

For the enterprises, the use of these social media channels is quite beneficial, because it helps to release the burden of the expensive hotlines that by their constantly being busy already annoy the customers. And, as a general rule, good social media services can be offered much cheaper than the classic help desk.

But this has nothing to do with “corporate social media” as in “here, the employees twitter”.
In order to twitter collectively as an enterprise, the first thing you need is a shared twitter account that is used by many, ideally all, employees. Initially, a defined team should do the exemplary twittering for the enterprise on this account and maintain the account. In the long run, it is, of course, desirable that all the parties concerned share the maintenance work and responsibility for the account.

Perhaps such a team should also help with some advice and organizational assistance as to what sort of communication is supportive of the enterprise and what is not. But then, most employees have quite a good instinct when it comes to this issue.

Also, all office buildings should have a screen installed in rooms such as the entrée, meeting halls and kitchens. On these screens, a twitter wall (here is the example of the ActMobCmp-Twitter-Wall) with current tweets is running at all times. Because reading the tweets your friends and colleagues have written will whet your appetite and encourage you to do some twittering of your own. This is how activity and shared directing will start happening by itself.

In this article, I used “twittering” as a kind of metaphor (pars pro toto) for social media in general. With Facebook, Google+ or also a Corporate Blog, it is not much different. Thus, Corporate Twittering is a good way to start more social media activities. As soon as (almost) everybody is enthusiastic, you can also try “Corporate Blogging”.

(Translated by EG)

For more articles of my entrepreneur’s diary, click here: Drehscheibe!

Roland Dürre
Thursday April 14th, 2016

Everything Smart, or What? Smart Cities!

Or: Why I like “Friendly Persons” better than the “Angry Citizens”!

On April, 5th, there was another big event in Munich:
The “Forum UnternehmerTUM“ at BMW Welt.

Here is the original text announcing the event as published by UnternehmerTUM:
The Forum UnternehmerTUM is the biggest and most important network event organized by UnternehmerTUM, hosting guests from politics, business, science and the founders’ scene. This year, the motto of the forum is: “Smart Cities“.

This is quite true and consequently, I always like being part of it. Every time I go there, I meet many old acquaintances from “academia”, as well as from the enterprise scene. The young start-ups I counsel or used to counsel are present. So it is always a great “hello-again” with old friends. Consequently, I went there on April, 5th, 2016 and I gladly point you towards the report on the event. You can find it at MUNICH STARTUP.

munich-startupThe event started with a nice and short “keynote”. Julian Petrin opened the meeting with a short and precise impulse. His words made a huge impression on me. Julian is often called an “urbanist” and “city visionary”. He is probably one of the founders, probably the one founder of Nexthamburg. His presentation was about:
Smart City or The City of the Future that Deserves to be Loved.

Well, the term “smart” is basically a little ambivalent, isn’t it? And, if you first hear it, “Smart City” does not really strike you as something you would immediately feel comfortable with, does it? MBW director Peter Schwarzenbauer said as much during the – quite exciting – podium discussion.

However, Julian Petrin made the term clearer for us with the following positive explanation. For him, the “smart” part of “smart city” is made up from the sum of the terms “digital” and “social” (smart = digital + social). It is about the “friendly persons” themselves taking care of things and starting to develop concepts. This “doing yourself” must not be confused with “self-service” as often offered to customers by the government and all sorts of enterprises. Instead, the term means that you are willing to take matters into your own hands that used to be left to third parties from politics and administration. Part of this scenario are, for example, “hacking” the public urban area and “friendly squatting“.

I found the term “the friendly persons” especially attractive. In all my projects, I also always look for solidarity and cooperation with exactly those “friendly persons” – for instance also at barcamps for project management #PM-Camp and for “active mobility in everyday life“#AktMobCmp or with my PROJEKT FRIEDEN.

Also, I only support start-ups if I get the impression that they are “friendly persons”. I no longer wish to deal with “angry citizens”. They always do huge social damage, which is why I avoid them. Besides, as a general rule, “friendly persons” who work with joy and courage on their projects are usually a lot more successful.

At the BMW-Welt, I only met “friendly persons” and consequently, felt very much at home.

(Translated by EG)