Interviews with Berlin-Partners ...

Karsten Kluge - DVI Gruppe (Kurzportrait)

Portraitfoto Karsten Kluge, Partner, DVI Gruppe - © Benno Kraehahn

Karsten Kluge, Geschäftsführer, DVI Gruppe


1. Beschreiben Sie Ihr Unternehmen in einem Tweet! 

Die DVI ist ein Bestandshalter von Wohn- und Gewerbeimmobilien mit einem großen Teil seines Portfolios in Berlin. Wir handeln mit Weitblick, daher stehen langfristige Investitionen in unsere Wohnungen und Gewerbeobjekte sowie eine hohe Kundenzufriedenheit im Fokus unseres Unternehmens. Sämtliche Leistungen rund um die Immobilie erbringen wir selbst oder durch eigene Unternehmensbeteiligungen.


2. Warum engagieren Sie sich als Berlin-Partner? 

Berlin ist unsere Basis. Die DVI wurde hier gegründet und rund 90 Prozent unserer Wohnbestände befinden sich in Berlin. Diese enge und langjährige Verbundenheit wollen wir mit dem Engagement als Berlin-Partner intensivieren und verstärkt nach außen tragen. Berlin-Partner eröffnet uns die Möglichkeit langfristige Beziehungen zu Experten aus dem Netzwerk aufzubauen und gemeinsam die Zukunft Berlins mitzuprägen.


3. Was macht Berlin für Sie besonders? 

Berlin ist einfach anders als andere deutsche Städte. Vor allem ist es die polyzentrische Prägung, die unsere Stadt reizvoll macht. Statt einer City oder Innenstadt hat Berlin viele Zentren mit einem jeweils ganz eigenen Charakter. Berlin steht für Urbanität, Internationalität, Innovation und Start-ups genauso wie für Tradition, überschaubare Kieze und weitläufige Wälder. Dabei schafft es die Stadt, sich immer weiterzuentwickeln. Diese Dynamik und Vielfalt zeigt sich mittlerweile auch auf dem hiesigen Immobilienmarkt. Wir haben mit der DVI bereits früh auf den Standort Berlin gesetzt. Die Hauptstadt ist sozusagen die Heimat des Unternehmens, deshalb freut uns die positive Entwicklung und die Möglichkeit der aktiven Mitgestaltung umso mehr.

Bildcredit: Karsten Kluge © Benno Kraehahn

Christoph Hohmann - Volkswagen We (Interview)

Portrait photo Christoph Hohmann, Head of Marketing, Volkswagen We

Christoph Hohmann - Head of Marketing, Volkswagen We


1. Why are you involved as a Berlin Partner? 

The Berlin location is very important for us - just last year we moved into a larger building and will soon have up to 900 employees here. The Berlin Partner Network brings us many advantages, from networking with other partners to interesting discussions with Berlin politicians.


2. The world is changing. How is your world changing? 

The automotive industry is undergoing radical change. Volkswagen We stands for new mobility services (such as our 100% electric car-sharing offer "We Share") and for a mobility platform that everyone can help shape. We are all "We"!


3. What is "typical Berlin" for you? 

I love living in Berlin and appreciate the versatility! This city has so many faces and invites everyone to help shape the future. The cultural, culinary and other offers are unique in Germany. But it is also typical for Berlin that not everything always runs perfectly. But somehow this is also part of the charm of this city!


4. One more question: How do you see the "mobility of the future" in Berlin? 

We have to think mobility very much in terms of the user. This means "convenience" via sensibly networked, intermodal offers. However, the car will continue to play an important role here.

Alexander Kaczmarek - Konzernbevollmächtigter für das Land Berlin, Deutsche Bahn AG (Interview)

Portrait photo Alexander Kaczmarek, Konzernbevollmächtigter für das Land Berlin, Deutsche Bahn AG

Alexander Kaczmarek, Konzernbevollmächtigter für das Land Berlin, Deutsche Bahn AG


1. Why are you involved as a Berlin Partner? 

Berlin's development into an economic, scientific and cultural metropolis has been closely linked to the railway for 182 years now. Berlin's enormous economic upswing in the 19th century would not have been conceivable without the railway as a means of transport. The buzzword "railway city Berlin" does not come out of nowhere.
With the further expansion of the infrastructure, we will continue to reliably guarantee mobility in the growing metropolitan region of Berlin / Brandenburg and ensure that Berliners and their guests enjoy using environmentally friendly means of rail transport. 
As the largest employer and trainer in the region, we would like to play an active role in the future development of the capital city and in doing so fulfil our social responsibility. Not least because we see ourselves as a Berlin company. After all, our corporate headquarters is located at Potsdamer Platz! And yes, being part of a powerful network with over 230 partners from business and science is both an exciting challenge and a unique opportunity.


2. The world is changing. How is your world changing? 

The human task of climate protection is playing an increasingly important role. Thanks to its high level of environmental friendliness, rail is the mode of transport of choice for combating climate change. However, more rail traffic also means a comprehensive expansion of the railway infrastructure in Germany. We are right in the middle of it and the challenges are enormous. With our "Strong Rail" programme, we also want to create the necessary capacities in our region.


3. What is "typical Berlin" for you? 

These are first and foremost the Berliners themselves, with their - let me say this as a native of Neukölln - robust charm. Just one example from the real life of the big city: Once again, far too many passengers crowd together at just a few doors of an S-Bahn train in Friedrichstraße station. Delay threatens. What is the announcement of our train driver over loudspeakers? "Gentlemen! My train is keen Advent calendar. You may use all the doors in the building." See this is Berlin!


4. One more question: What changes the job profiles at the railways faster and / or more sustainable - corona or artificial intelligence? 

Currently, more than 323,900 people work for DB worldwide in over 500 professional fields, almost two thirds of them in Germany. In addition, DB trains around 10,600 apprentices and 1,000 dual students in more than 50 apprenticeship occupations.
Recruiting new employees is already a demanding task throughout the industry. And at Deutsche Bahn alone, at least 100,000 new positions will have to be filled in the next few years.
I do not fear any effects on the job profiles through Corona.
In the course of digitisation, changes have been taking place for some time now with regard to existing forms of work, organisational structures and work content. New fields of activity entail new job descriptions. This trend will continue to strengthen.

Hans-Christian Veith - Hyundai CRADLE Berlin (Short Portrait)

Portrait photo Hans-Christian Veith, Business Development Manager, Hyundai CRADLE Berlin - © Hyundai CRADLE Berlin

Hans-Christian Veith, Business Development Manager, Hyundai CRADLE Berlin


1. Describe your company in a Tweet! 

Hyundai CRADLE Berlin is the European investment and innovation hub of the Hyundai Motor Group. We are interested in innovations in the fields of Smart Mobility, Smart City, Robotics, Energy, AI and work together with start-ups, corporates and other stakeholders.


2. Why are you committed to the Berlin Partner Network? 

Through our commitment we hope to expand our network in Berlin. We would like to promote mobility and sustainability as a key topic and build new sustainable business opportunities through cooperation.


3. Why is the network important to you especially in times like these? 

Especially in times without physical contacts such as trade fairs or congresses, it is very important to have a strong network at your own location. As a platform, Berlin-Partner offers us the opportunity to initiate new contacts, collaborations and projects quickly and efficiently. In addition, you get a good feeling of what the current Pain Points are, even from other companies, so that you can work together more effectively.


4. How does your company implement the topic of sustainability?

We implement sustainability in mobility with our electric and hydrogen vehicles. In particular, we are trying to advance the topic of mobility based on hydrogen (e.g. with cars, buses, trucks).

Photo: Photographer

Stefan Brünner - Procter & Gamble (Short Portrait)

Portrait photo Stefan Brünner, Leadership Team, Procter & Gamble - © Stefan Brünner, Procter & Gamble

Stefan Brünner, Leadership Team, Procter & Gamble


1. Describe your company in a Tweet! 

For more than 115 years, Gillette has stood for the highest quality and precision technology. Our drive: to make shaving for men even better, more thorough and more comfortable. We offer a broad product portfolio worldwide - including our blades "Made in Berlin".


2. Why are you committed to the Berlin Partner Network? 

Gillette has been firmly rooted in Berlin since 1937. The blade factory in Tempelhof is the most important production site for Gillette worldwide, alongside the factory in Boston. Today, about 700 employees of 14 nationalities work in the traditional Berlin company. Around 50 percent of the Gillette premium blades produced worldwide come from here. The location impresses with its high innovative strength, productivity and teamwork. We use the most advanced technologies and work continuously to offer every man the best products for an optimal shave. Innovation, training and further education, digitalisation and close cooperation with start-ups from the region make these innovative production technologies possible. Berlin is therefore a central location for Gillette, which we would like to strengthen further in the future together with Berlin Partner.


3. Why is Berlin attractive for your company? 

Gillette took over the Berlin site from the German blade manufacturer Roth-Büchner in 1937 to gain a foothold in Europe. As a result, Gillette is not only an American shaving brand, but has long been firmly rooted in Berlin. We have unique expertise here, including highly qualified and long-standing employees - the average company tenure is 16 years. Only here in Berlin and in our Boston factory is it possible to produce the world's best and sharpest Gillette blades.

Photocredit: © Stefan Brünner, Procter & Gamble

Thomas Löbke - Powerstories (Short Portrait)

Portrait photo Thomas Löbke, Geschäftsführer, Powerstories GmbH

Thomas Löbke, Managing Director, Powerstories GmbH


1. Describe your company in a Tweet?

People to people marketing is the new trend in digital communication. Reach your target groups with authentic #Stories in the right #channels and show what really makes your company stand out. Increase your turnover through #interaction and #transparency


2. Why are you committed to the Berlin Partner Network?

Berlin is full of stories, exciting people and companies. Given this diversity, the need for professional support in digital communication 2.0 is great. This is where our company was born, this is where we belong, this is where we like to get involved!


3. What does Berlin stand for you?

For individuality, diversity and unlimited possibilities.


4. Why is the network important to you especially in times like these?

At Berlin Partner, we're receiving super support in the form of digital information events, especially in these times of crisis, with professional expertise. A wave of solidarity can be felt throughout the network and we greatly appreciate the exchange.


Burak Eres - insha GmbH (Short Portrait)

Portrait photo Burak Eres, Commercial Sales Lead, insha GmbH - © insha

Burak Eres, Commercial Sales Lead, insha GmbH


1. Describe your company in a Tweet? 

insha is a FinTech StartUp. Our interest-free and digital banking not only handles your banking transactions quickly, digitally and free of charge, we also support you in your everyday life and share your principles and values. Our vision: sustainable, digital banking for everyone!


2. Why are you committed to the Berlin Partner Network? 

We, as FinTech StartUp and part of the business location Berlin, are always striving to offer added value to society as a whole at the interface of innovation and value-oriented corporate management. Berlin Partner's strong network is an optimal platform for jointly mastering the challenges of developing new digital processes and infrastructures. In this sense, our primary goal is to establish ourselves as a strong partner for a strong city through our involvement with Berlin Partner.


3. Why is Berlin attractive for your company? 

As a leading FinTech metropolis with young talents from all over the world, Berlin is located in the middle of Europe. The dynamic ecosystem in Berlin acts like a magnet for FinTech companies from all over the world and helps us to build a strong sector-specific network. Being a player in the epicenter of this industry is especially important for insha.

Photocredit: © insha

Stefan Unterlandstättner - DKB (Interview)

Portrait photo Stefan Unterlandstättner, Vorstandsvorsitzender Deutsche Kreditbank AG (DKB)

Stefan Unterlandstättner, Chairman of the Board Deutsche Kreditbank AG


1. Why are you committed to the Berlin Partner Network? 

DKB is as rooted in Berlin as the Alex or the Currywurst: Since our foundation almost 30 years ago, we have grown continuously and are now one of the largest employers in the capital with more than 2,000 employees. We wanted to strengthen and clearly demonstrate our long-standing ties with the metropolis on the River Spree through our membership of Berlin Partner: DKB is literally an important partner for Berlin, actively helping to shape the city's transformation - whether as a financier, employer, sponsor or patron.


2. The world is changing. How is your world changing? 

The world has been and will be constantly changing. But the pace is increasing significantly. For DKB and also for me, this means being constantly on the move, understanding developments and using them positively for us as a company and for our customers. The banking market is undergoing radical change and we are on the way to becoming a technology company with a banking licence. This is both a challenge and an opportunity to be among the winners of the digital transformation. Berlin as a location offers many advantages and is virtually the digital finance capital.


3. What is "typical Berlin" for you? 

For me, typical Berlin means versatility in every respect and a good dose of Berlin humour and easiness. Compared to the well-known financial metropolises, Berlin is a digital playground for numerous start-ups and masterminds. But Berlin also symbolizes freedom and self-determination. The DKB is part of this and I am firmly convinced that Berlin will continue to gain in importance for the new, digital financial market.


4. One more question: What makes the sports metropolis of Berlin so unique? 

Sport imparts values and brings people together. Berlin has a long tradition here - whether in competitive sports or in popular sports with many small clubs, where volunteers work daily for young and old. DKB has been supporting top German athletes, sports clubs and associations since 2002. We support regional teams at our locations: In Berlin, we cheer for games by Hertha BSC, Union Berlin, Alba, the Berlin Volleys and the Foxes, among others. Above all, however, popular sport can and must become much more visible to the public - and not only at major events. Because supporting sport is also a social task. Berlin is on the right track here.

Michael Hapka - Anschutz Entertainment (Interview)

Portrait photo Michael Hapka, VP und Geschäftsführer, Anschutz Entertainment Group Operations GmbH - © AEG_Joerg Klaus

Michael Hapka, VP and Managing Director, Anschutz Entertainment Group Operations GmbH


1. Why are you committed to the Berlin Partner Network? 

Because we are part of this city and also want to contribute something to help shape the future of Berlin. Berlin Partner is a community of like-minded people who care about this city.


2. The world is changing. How is your world changing? 

More than ever before, politicians, companies and every individual has the responsibility to get involved and set the course for a future worth living. In our world this means continuing to turn over every stone in order to act more sustainably and conserve resources.


3. What is "typical Berlin" for you? 

Berlin is first and foremost an attitude. It is characterised by openness and a serenity that tolerates contrasts, which means that diversity is more part of life here than elsewhere. Unfortunately, in some places the serenity also leads to too much indifference.


4. One more question: How does Berlin benefit from flagship events and which event would you like to bring to Berlin? 

I believe that the Olympic Games would give Berlin the necessary impetus to push forward many things that Berlin is struggling with at the moment. The first things that come to mind are affordable housing and a turnaround in transport. These topics would have to be at the top of the list of priorities for an application, so that the city can benefit from them in the long term.

Photocredit: © AEG_Joerg Klaus

Christian Arbeit - 1. FC Union Berlin (Interview)

Portrait photo Christian Arbeit, Geschäftsführer Kommunikation, 1. FC Union Berlin - © Christian Arbeit

Christian Arbeit, Managing Director Communications, 1. FC Union Berlin


1. The world is changing. How is your world changing? 

Soccer is the dominant sport worldwide. Hardly anything touches people more, lets them come out of themselves and polarises them as much as this game does. At the same time, in view of the astronomical sums involved in football, an increasing alienation becomes noticeable for many people. Is this still my game? Does my opinion still count? What does my voice do in my club? These questions move many football fans and we try to offer these people a home: Yes, you are important! Soccer takes place mainly live in the stadium! It is played for the people who love it and want to be part of it! This is how we at Union see it and this is how we love the game: pure football and very close to the people.


2. The world is changing. How is your world changing? 

Soccer is the dominant sport worldwide. Hardly anything touches people more, lets them come out of themselves and polarises them as much as this game does. At the same time, in view of the astronomical sums involved in football, an increasing alienation becomes noticeable for many people. Is this still my game? Does my opinion still count? What does my voice do in my club? These questions move many football fans and we try to offer these people a home: Yes, you are important! Soccer takes place mainly live in the stadium! It is played for the people who love it and want to be part of it! This is how we at Union see it and this is how we love the game: pure football and very close to the people.


3. What is "typical Berlin" for you? 

Berlin is direct and straight out! It does not have to be a ribbon around everything. That may feel a bit rough for New Berliners and visitors sometimes, but that usually disappears quickly. You simply know quickly where you stand and don't have to puzzle for long. Also quite nice: the ability to improvise. Nothing is as boring as the finished product. True perfection lies in the imperfect. Who would know that better than us Berliners?


4. One more question: What makes the sports metropolis of Berlin so unique? 

There are six major professional clubs that rank among the top performers in their sports in Germany and attract tens of thousands of spectators every week. As if that wasn't extraordinary enough, these clubs work closely together to present Berlin's sport in the best possible way. Joint mass sports programs for children and young people round out the picture: Here, competitors for resources and attention also work in partnership to promote sports in their home cities. This only exists in Berlin.

Photocredit: © Christian Arbeit

Gabriele Hässig - P&G (Interview)

Portrait photo Gabriele Hässig, Geschäftsführerin Unternehmenskommunikation & Nachhaltigkeit P&G Service GmbH - © Procter & Gamble

Gabriele Hässig, Managing Director Corporate Communications & Sustainability P&G Service GmbH


1. Why are you committed to the Berlin Partner Network? 

P&G has had vital roots in Germany for many decades. And our Gillette brand is a "true Berliner". For more than 80 years, our sharpest blades have been manufactured at our factory in Tempelhofer Feld. We are facing great challenges in Germany, economically, industrially and socially. We want to play an active role in shaping this change and creating perspectives for the future. Berlin Partner provides important impulses in this process.


2. The world is changing. How is your world changing? 

Trade is and always has been change. Today, digitisation is changing everyday life and the way people shop and where they shop with increasing dynamism. This has major implications for brands. People want to know what a brand stands for. That's why we focus on transparency and use our strong voice in advertising to take a stand and challenge social stereotypes. The way we as a company work on innovations is also changing. I enjoy being part of this development. But change always has to be explained, so that everyone can participate. This is a great challenge, not only for companies.


3. What is "typical Berlin" for you? 

In any case straightforwardness, cultural diversity and internationality. Certainly sometimes a certain degree of disorder. That can be very creative and inspiring, but every now and then I would like a bit more structure.


4. How important is internationality for the innovation and sustainability of the production facility for Gillette premium products in Berlin? 

Berlin is a key location for Gillette, because "Made in Berlin" will continue to be a decisive promise of quality for our production of the world's sharpest Gillette, which goes from Berlin to half the world. Internationality, like diversity, is an elementary component of our values. Both are strengths of Berlin. In addition, we work together with start-ups in many innovation projects. Berlin also has a lot to offer in terms of the start-up landscape, which is also very international.

Photocredit: © Procter & Gamble

Christoph Paul Ritzkat - Kieback&Peter (Interview)

Portrait photo Christoph Paul Ritzkat, Vorsitzender der Geschäftsleitung Kieback&Peter

Christoph Paul Ritzkat, Chief Executive Officer Kieback&Peter

1. Why are you committed to the Berlin Partner Network? 

With 1,400 employees at over 50 locations worldwide, we are one of the leading experts in building automation. Many large and famous buildings in the world are equipped with our building intelligence. The Reichstag in Berlin is just one example. And yet we are a "hidden champion" - only a few Berliners know Kieback&Peter. As a Berlin Partner we would like to increase the level of awareness of our company. Throughout Germany we are always on the lookout for excellent professionals whose heart beats equally for smart building solutions as ours. We would like to present ourselves to these potential colleagues and employees as an attractive employer - with secure jobs and good pay in a green industry of the future.


2. The world is changing. How is your world changing? 

Digitalisation has long since also shaped everyday life in the world of building automation. More than 20 years ago - when, by the way, nobody was talking about digitalization - we were already offering solutions for networking building technology in such a way that it could offer maximum comfort with maximum energy efficiency under computer control. As time and technology have changed, we have reinvented ourselves again and again. This smart foresight has not only put us in a good position for the present. It also allows us to look confidently into the future and all the changes that come with it.


3. What is "typical Berlin" for you? 

Typical Berlin for me is the coexistence of extremes. We find them in many areas of the city - in art and culture, but also in the economy. On the one hand, Berlin is a hotspot for the start-up scene. On the other hand, there are the many Berlin old-established companies that make Berlin an important industrial location. We have also been contributing to this - for over 90 years. In a way, we see ourselves as the oldest start-up in Berlin. Although age and size don't quite fit, we have retained our spirit, heart and passion. This is why we at Kieback&Peter are also "typically Berlin".


4. What does the future of building automation look like with regard to the use of artificial intelligence? 

We see great potential for machine learning in buildings. After all, they often consume more energy than necessary. By using data-based models and machine learning methods, we are able to significantly reduce the energy consumption of buildings.
Commercial buildings are equipped with measurement and control technology. The data generated there contains potential that can only be exploited automatically. Prepared with machine learning and data-based forecasting methods, this enables high energy savings in buildings. Robust, fast-learning models are the key to creating a data-based image of buildings and automatically recording future changes in use. The complexity is managed by artificial intelligence - much more efficiently and with better performance than any human being could ever do. Artificial intelligence methods therefore have a great future in building management. They will automate routine processes in building operations and provide support especially where large amounts of data cannot be evaluated by humans.

Helmut Schramm - BMW Group Plant Berlin (Interview)

Portrait photo Helmut Schramm, Leiter BMW Group Werk Berlin - © BMW AG, Peer Schröder Hardcopy

Helmut Schramm, Head of BMW Group Plant Berlin


1. Why are you committed to the Berlin Partner Network? 

Because I think in terms of cooperation and always use partnerships for further development and growth. A metropolis like Berlin needs industrial value creation. We rely on functioning structures and resilient networks. Above all, it is much easier to set the course for successful economic and industrial policy together. Together, we can make a much stronger impression on and promote Berlin as an industrial location and provide the necessary impetus. With this partnership, the BMW Group Plant Berlin strengthens its presence as a Berlin industrial company, as an economic partner and employer in the region.


2. The world is changing. How is your world changing? 

Very fast. Our internal world is changing at least as fast as the outside. Growth, innovation, digitalisation, complexity, individuality - the constant change of our customers and employees with their expectations and demands on our products and processes is reflected in our internal organisation, in the inner change, in our attitude. If we are good, and this is our claim, we are always one step ahead. We must always develop further with the help of innovations in terms of processes in order to maintain our good market position and the future viability of the site. In the long term, these developments will also change the role of people in production. In the future, they will be even more than today's designers and enablers of processes. The working world will thus be further modernised. And the reduction of physically strenuous activities is also a gain against the background of demographic change.


3. What is "typical Berlin" for you? 

BMW motorcycles are typical Berlin for me, because we have been producing them in Berlin for exactly 50 years, only now several more than back in 1969. We benefit greatly from the location and are proud that our motorcycles have Berlin air in their tyres. Furthermore, two-wheel mobility and Berlin, as the largest metropolis in Germany, go well together. This is precisely where answers to the challenges of urban space are to be found, where people individualize their mobility according to their own needs in a very confined space. In recent years, a very innovative climate has developed in Berlin, with many start-ups, complemented by the proximity to scientific and research institutions. This also makes Berlin very attractive from a production perspective. Last but not least, I also experience the city as a citizen, sometimes with a smile and sometimes with a shake of the head. In Berlin, chaos and beauty are very close together, vision and tradition, speed and cosiness [laughs], innovation and improvisation. This city is wonderfully international and diverse, colourful and rich, beautifully green and last but not least the home of many of our employees. We would like to keep it that way.


4. What kind of artificial intelligence can you expect from BMW motorcycles? 

The keyword is connectivity, i.e. the connection between motorcycle, driver and environment. And we do a lot to achieve this. As proof of the BMW Group's high level of expertise in the field of automated driving, we recently presented a spectacular test and research vehicle at CES 2019. The self-propelled BMW R 1200 GS is capable of starting up, accelerating, performing winding manoeuvres and then braking to a standstill. The development of the test vehicle aims to use the knowledge gained about driving dynamics processes to support the driver in future in recognising dangerous situations and mastering demanding driving manoeuvres. Thus, the self-propelled motorcycle, with its comprehensive knowledge of the ideal line and perfect lean angle in bends, the correct braking point and traction-optimised acceleration, can help the rider to constantly improve his or her skills. Our VISION NEXT 100 vision vehicle also uses the possibilities of the digital world to take the analogue riding experience on a motorcycle to a new level. Here too, the basis for the special experience of freedom is intelligent networking. All this is incorporated into the development of our series products, which are now equivalent to intelligent computers.

Photocredit: © BMW AG, Peer Schröder Hardcopy