“When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Berlin, do as the… Germans, Turkish, Polish, Italians, Serbians, Russians, Bulgarians, Franks, Americans, Vietnamese, Britons, Spanish, Greeks, Indonesians, etc. do. You can do whatever you want to do in Berlin.”
Written by KaosPilot Switzerland team SUI 6
Berlin, the land of milk and honey. For citizens, immigrants, tourists, businessman, and entrepreneurs alike, Berlin is well known as the land of freedom and opportunities, the city where literally everything can happen and be realized. You could find something that is in your wildest dreams or even that you never would believe to exist in the first place. From European to African restaurants, Turkish to Indochina markets, Berlin has it all and due to this cultural diversity, one might say that you can see the whole of Europe, or even the world, in Berlin. As witness of a rather complicated and unfortunate history of mankind, this city bursts out from its wall and amazes the world with its charms.
We, the creatures of Team SUI 6, were fortunate enough to have an opportunity to explore this wondrous city in May 2018. We, as creative entrepreneurs, summoned ourselves to the heart of Berlin to see, learn, and be inspired by the creativity, possibility, and entrepreneurial spirit that exists in each nook and cranny of this European mecca. For us to be able to better look through our magnifying glasses, we were guided and hosted by Berliners Helle Marietta Pedersen and Jørgen Smidstrup from Lower East Lab, who have lived in Berlin for 6 years and have themselves a very cool creative lab down in the Kreuzberg district.
On our expedition in Berlin, we saw an old airport that has been transformed into a public park and community sanctuary now used for sports, gardening, barbecuing, cycling, and hosting events. We saw an urban garden project that is realized by the neighborhood occupying a public space in protest against the authorities and investors who would rather put expensive buildings in its place. We saw an old, unused building that has grown into a bustling and crowded street food market. We saw entrepreneurs who call Berlin their home and work passionately to realize their projects in this city.
We also worked with one of the members of Team SUI 4, Melilizwe Gqopo, who is working on his final year project in creating a think tank to realize Berlin’s strength and weaknesses and devising a way of how we as creative entrepreneur can best make an impact in the city. We saw a unique, bizarre, and passionate art exhibition about a couple who have the same look and outfit every day of their lives while claiming to come from the future. We saw a lot of things, a lot more than what has been included here, and from everything that we saw, we see inspiration, creativity, unique expression of identity, passion, fighting spirit, and most important of all, the exuberant courage and drive towards the realization of dreams.
Here are some insights from the members of team SUI 6:
“Full of history and mystery, cut, destroyed and rebuilt, seems to be the place of creation and inspiration. The streets are sometimes dirty, sometimes clean. Anarchists are loudly discussing, families play on the playground, a Porsche stopped to let me cross the street. Start-ups are popping up in every corner, with a beautiful branding or just a name painted on the wall. Huge green area are let to people and they use it for any sort of outdoor activity, welcome to Tempelhof.
Co-working places where machine and place are shared appear in old industry areas. Parks are used for gardening and growing vegetable. The crowded U Bahn is full of depressed people looking at their phone…as in any other city. A big black man helps a young mom with a chadar veil pulling a baby trolley and a couple speaks French.
Welcome to Berlin, huge and somehow quiet, which proposes a journey around the world in a few U Bahn stops. Enjoy the diversity, let yourself be inspired!” – Didier Picamoles
“Berlin – I fell in love, short and crisp. It doesn’t always smell like after spring time when you’re in the city, but you can smell different things everywhere in the city. I need more green in the city, more flowers, more jungle, and wilderness. Welcome more creative green chaos! – Elke Kalt
“Berlin is the expression of life that can resurface in the territories after the wars, walk the streets and nights of this city is so exciting, that it is inevitable to dream that we can live and build there, together with people from all over the world, projects, relationships and communities that are sustainable and innovative. It is important to know and learn from the constructive dynamics that take place in Berlin, where people come together to carry out different projects around culture, politics, human rights and, of course, productive projects that are born mainly from dreams. All of which people in Berlin seems to have in common.
Visiting Berlin is the opportunity to face what we dream of, to recognize the importance of our ideas and above all, the opportunity to understand that we can make them real and get good results if we continuously work on them with others, in a creative, fun and constant way.“ – Francisco Javier Acosta
“A bustling city in which one could say holds the value of (mostly) the entire world in one vast urban area. Berlin feels more like a diverse city in a developing country pretty much like my hometown, Jakarta, Indonesia. An unique expression in the midst of sophisticated Europe, Berlin is one of the movement, the force, which could lead Europe to a more creative entrepreneurial future.” – Afif Muhammad Fatchurrahman
“Berlin is an interesting city with many contrasts. But only when you take enough time to see behind the facades one can recognize this. The first two days the houses and streets looked pretty much the same, but after one week safari I see why so many young people are attracted to Berlin. The city offers much space to design, to be creative, to try out and realize visions.” – Andrea Jenny
“From sun up to sun down, my days in Berlin were marked by fascinating encounters and conversations with people from around the world who call themselves Berliners. Most Berliner’s seemed to share a broadly accepted mentality that anything is possible and therefore nothing is impossible. This city is alive and overflowing with potential, and I would argue that it’s merely impossible to be unaffected by its spunky vibe, contagious energy, and all around intoxicating culture. As I traveled around the city by bicycle, I couldn’t help but feel deeply connected to this mentality. Berlin is a place of exploration, of discovery, and of becoming. And the people living there just might be on to something with this crazy notion that we can all do whatever the fuck we want to do.” – Sydney Hayes
All in all, Berlin has impacted all of us on many levels. But one thing is for sure, we as a team will utilize what we have learned for our self-development and creative entrepreneurship learnings, whether for our individual journey or for the team adventures.