Discover Germany, Issue 34, January 2016

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Issue 34 | January 2016





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Your Shortcut to Scandinavia Bergen


Oslo Stockholm Bromma

SWEDEN Aalborg






London City

GERMANY Brussels






S n a cks

Me als


Pap ers



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Discover Germany | Contents

Contents JANUARY 2016







Kristin Meyer Kristin Meyer, the actress and former German soap star turned charity heroine, talks to Nane Steinhoff about life after GZSZ and what made her spend all her energy helping others.

Our British writer Emmie Collinge, who recently moved to Switzerland, shares her new experiences in the Alpine country with us. 24

Top 3 Interior Design Experts Meet the experts who know exactly how to make the most of a space and make it shine in a new design.



The Taste of Germany German icons in the food sector, which are not to be missed.


Top International Schools


From early childhood to post-graduate, we present some of the finest educational facilities in Germany and Switzerland. 54




Fashion Finds See what designers have up their sleeves to start 2016 in style.

Culture Feel good and enjoy life in the new year. Here’s all you need to know.

Restaurant of the Month

Dedicated to Design

Wine & Dine We present outstanding hotels and restaurants well worth visiting when in the area.


Business Successful enterprises in the digital, medical and technical sector plus our legal expert Gregor Kleinknecht takes a look at Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on second homes and buy-to-let properties.


See what is trending in the new year and what names to bear in mind when looking for cool design.

Start 2016 fit and happy Get in shape and live it up in the NewYear. Whatever your resolutions are, the main thing is to live a happy life. Nadine Carstens finds out more.

Photo: ISR



Our Swiss winner is the wonderfully personal and intimate Walserhof Klosters near Davos with its perfect skiing location and a mouthwatering Michelin-starred cuisine.

High above Würzburg, right in the middle of one of Germany’s most beautiful vineyards, Bernhard Reiser and his team present culinary perfection in a classy, but relaxed, atmosphere in the REISERS am Stein.

Successful Medical and Technical Enterprises Read all about new state-of-the-art health-related products and services from the medical sector.


Hotels of the Month Discover the Burghotel Auf Schönburg, one of Germany’s most romantic castle hotels amidst the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site of Upper Middle Rhine.


Swiss winter traditions from a British point of view

Culture calendar Save the date! Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in January.


Barbara Geier Happy NewYear from our lovely columnist Barbara. Issue 34 | January 2016 | 3

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Dear Reader,

Discover Germany

Sales & Key Account Managers

Issue 34, January 2016

Emma Fabritius Nørregaard

Published 04.01.2016 ISSN 2051-7718

Welcome to the January issue of Discover Germany. We hope you enjoyed a happy holiday season and a most fabulous start into 2016. Are you still sticking to your New Year’s resolutions? Then do keep up the good work - it is worth it! If you fell of the wagon, never mind, most people do by the end of January and you can still try again next year.

Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Vanessa Vogel Freya Plakolb

Published by Scan Magazine Ltd.

Cover Photo Boris Lajos / T&T

Design & Print Liquid Graphic Ltd.


Executive Editor Thomas Winther

Discover Germany is published by:

Creative Director Mads E. Petersen

SCAN GROUP Scan Magazine Ltd. 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3TY United Kingdom

Editor Tina Awtani Art Director Svetlana Slizova Feature Writer

Phone +44 (0)870 933 0423

Nane Steinhoff Copy-Editor

For further information, please visit

Isa Hemphrey Contributors Nadine Carstens

This month’s cover star is Kristin Meyer, who is not only stunning to look at, but also a successful actress and an absolute angel when it comes to helping others. In our VIP interview the selfless artist reveals what made her engage deeply into charitable projects. Also in this issue you’ll find a special focus on Switzerland, presenting sophisticated designers, amazing hotels, great restaurants and more from the Alpine skiing paradise. Our writer Emmie Collinge, who moved to Switzerland a while ago, takes the opportunity to share her impressions of Swiss winter traditions from a British point of view. There is much more to be discovered about and from the German-speaking regions, all neatly wrapped up for you in this issue. For me, it will be my last editor’s note for a while. Sticking to my NewYear’s resolution, I will embark on a new venture as it is time for a change. It has been great three years with a wonderful team and amazing readers. A big thank you to all of you.You will be missed. Good luck for 2016, may it be a happy, peaceful and good year for you. Enjoy the magazine!

Elisabeth Doehne Ina Frank Barbara Geier Silke Henkele Jessica Holzhausen Sonja Irani Gregor Kleinknecht

© All rights reserved. Material contained in this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without prior permission of Scan Magazine Ltd. This magazine contains advertorials/promotional articles

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Tina Awtani

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e f fe c t- e n e r g y | w w w.ef fe c t- e n e r g y.c o m



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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Kristin Meyer

Kristin Meyer From soap star to charity heroine Most people probably know Kristin Meyer from her role as Iris Cöster in GZSZ (Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten) – one of Germany’s most famous and longstanding soaps. However, as a TV, cinema and theatre actress, singer, dancer, student and dubbing artist, she somehow also found time to bring a charitable organisation to life. Discover Germany spoke to Meyer about her new projects and whether she has ever regretted leaving GZSZ. NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: BORIS LAJOS / T&T

Kristin Meyer knew that she belonged on stage very early on.“My parents were both classical musicians and I often went to see their concerts. I always felt as if I was on the wrong side when I sat in the audience. At 16, I finally decided that I should be on stage,”the actress laughs. Thus, Meyer applied to study drama and voice at Leipzig’s Academy of Music and Theatre ‘Felix Mendelssohn – Bartholdy’. Since graduating, she appeared in various theatre plays, such as West Side Story, Carmen, Picasso’s Women or Shakespeare’s Richard III. Meyer was also able to land numerous TV assignments – many of them leading roles. From Wolffs Revier and Polizeiruf to Tatort, Kuestenwache, Ein Fall fuer Nadja, SOKO Wismar, Schloss Einstein and SOKO 5113, Meyer is mainly known for her appearance in Germany’s longest-running soap GZSZ. “I got too comfortable” During her time at GZSZ from 2006 until 2010, Meyer played the lead character of Iris Cöster.“It was the most intense time of my life. It felt like home and amazing to be

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part of such a huge, experienced team,” Meyer says. She adds: “I’m a team player and not a stage hog and GZSZ was the perfect setting for me to flourish. The controllability of one’s own performance in soaps is simply incredible. You don’t have this when filming a movie, but in a soap you have direct contact with your performance and you can already see what to improve a few hours after filming it,”the actress explains. After four years at the soap, Meyer decided to quit. “One day I noticed my alarming mindset. The perks of working for a soap like GZSZ are incredible and I realised that I got far too comfortable. It was time to leave and the production firm fully supported me with this. Today I look back on the time at GZSZ with a warm feeling and am really grateful that I had the opportunity to be part of it. The soap opened up some great doors for me.”She adds:“Of course, the last day was horrible and a few months after I left, I fell into a big hole as jobs just don’t queue up. This was needed to be-

come a bit more realistic.” Thus, she decided to dedicate her life to other, more social tasks. “We all have a duty” On her last paid vacation by GZSZ she visited an orphanage in Uganda for a month to teach them acting. “This personal experience quickly turned into a deeper relationship,” says Meyer. As she saw the impact of genetic malnutrition, she decided to take a one-year course to train as a nutritionist, gaining vital knowledge that she wishes to pass on to the children. Meyer also started a Master of Public Policy at Berlin’s Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance. As part of her course, the actress developed a project to support young HIV-positives and the charity Act To Be was born. Act To Be seeks to foster a peaceful togetherness of all people around the world. Its pilot project, ‘Young & Positive – Art against Stigma and Discrimination’, in Uganda seeks to help children and teenagers who were infected with HIV. Its mission is to offer them a platform where they can test their skills, learn about themselves and express their needs and wishes through theatre plays.“Discrimination of the society is added to the burden of the illness itself so thatYoung Positives often grow up without safety or care,”explains Meyer. For at least a year, a local drama teacher coaches around 70 Young Positives to act, dance and sing to

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Discover Germany | Cover Feature | Kristin Meyer

develop an improved body awareness and more self-confidence. After that, entire theatre plays are developed and the overall goal is to make people come together and to give Young Positives the needed tools for an independent and sustainable future. “Their wish to live a life without prejudices and discrimination is thus heard in an entertaining way. We further raise HIV and AIDS awareness,”Meyer adds. Local institutions get supported too and donations are collected for them. Kristin Meyer notes: “We’re still at the very start and we need to generate more donations to make the charity grow. While our pilot project in Uganda is still at an early stage, I’m

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planning to bring others to life. The next one will be in Germany - maybe one in Berlin for refugees or about sustainability and environmental issues. After all, Act To Be wants that people deal with life in a more conscious way – not only in Africa.” She adds: “I seek to create a world where people meet as equals. I don’t see myself as a saviour but we all have a task and duty. As an actress, my influence scope was always quite small, but with Act To Be I can be creative and have freedom to realise my ideas.” A jewellery designer from Dubai recently found out about Act To Be. Impressed with the charity’s ideas, Haya Jewellery designed and now manufactures an exclusive butterfly bracelet for Act To Be. While the de-

signer takes over all production costs, the entire proceeds get donated to the charity. Besides seeking to bring Act To Be to life and handing in her Masters thesis, Kristin Meyer is still a devoted actress and has exciting screen projects in the pipeline. An episode of the crime series SOKO Stuttgart, for example, will be broadcasted in February.“I just filmed a movie for another project too. I’m a partner for the Rescue Dada Centre in Nairobi and travelled there with MISEREOR.”It seems like there is nothing Kristin Meyer cannot do.

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Discover Germany | Design | Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design... With the new year comes a new style. Interior designers are very excited about the new metallic trend, where shades of copper, silver and gold set the tone for a contemporary look. Christmas may be over, but this is absolutely no reason not to stock up on shiny designer goods and let your home sparkle!




Spice up your coat rack with the metal coat hanger 0150 designed by Herbert Ludwikowski. Comes in polished or matte chromium plate, brushed stainless steel and brass matte. Set of four from £104. Quite simply an all-round winner: the 0390 coat hook. The wall-mounted hooks are made of solid wood and come in white, high-gloss gold, silver or copper finish. Set of four from £65.


Safari style meets metallics! A stylish little jewellery or confectionary tray made of porcelain. Design Carnaby Zebra by Jonathan Adler. £26.


The Qlocktwo Touch radio-controlled table clock is a high-tech precision piece of engineering offering an array of exciting features – and it looks amazing too. £445. Spring may still be far afield, but in case the first snowdrops pop out of the grounds, this vase is the perfect container to store them indoors. £6.


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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds Happy New Year! The festive season is over and a new chapter opens up. Although we have had a mild winter so far, hopes are high that temperatures are dropping and the skiing season will kick off in the lower regions very soon. Let’s take a look at the runways to find out what is hot to wear in the cold this winter. EDITOR’S PICKS | PHOTOS: PRESS IMAGES

Midnight blue and black are the new must-haves. Add a bit of leather and glitzy bits to achieve a sophisticated look. Christele long blazer €499, shirt €159.90, leggings €179.90.

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Discover Germany | Design | Fashion Finds

Cosy, comfy and a bit of retro is the motto for this marvellous creation by German designer Thomas Raab. Coat Milly, made of mixed wool and fox fur €1,798.

No matter if you are in a city office or in a mountain chalet: these tartan design trousers always fit perfectly. Let the pants do the talking and avoid mixing with other patterns. €79.95.

Another refined look by Austrian fashion empire Airfield, standing for innovative design and exclusive quality. Maya coat €899, knitted embellished sweater €189.90, jeans €189.90.

The brogues by Hamburg-based shoe designer Nina Binné have already gained cult status amongst insiders. We love the Chelsea Boot 4226. €399.

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Sustainable style from construction site to concert hall Swiss fashion designer Claudia Güdel creates high-quality, durable fashion for men and women. Her subtle and unobtrusive style is perfect for quality-conscious people with busy lifestyles. TEXT: TINA AWTANI | PHOTOS: HANSPETER GUILIANI & HILDEGARD SPIELHOFER

Sustainability is a core concept of Claudia Güdel’s work. "Our future brings what we make of it. We live our philosophy, grow slowly but steadily and keep our senses active and our creativity inspired,“ the designer states. Her blunt, edgy, elegant and unpretentious signature style strips fashion to the bare minimum. It is an honest approach with a sporty note and always suitable. The designer uses natural fibres in combination with high-performance fabrics from Swiss manufacturer Schoeller Textil AG, allowing the pieces not only to be comfortable, but also very practical. A Claudia Güdel original is crease-resistant, elastic and in many cases even weather proof. "When a design reaches the perfect balance between elegant and casual, when it is suitable to be worn on a construction site as

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well as in a concert hall, then I am truly satisfied,”Claudia Güdel explains. Her collections include versatile dresses, overalls and jackets, all manufactured in Europe, ensuring top quality. Comfortable details such as soft-line stitching or integrated pockets are standard, which makes the clothes perfect for people with busy lifestyles such as working mothers or architects who have to be at a construction site in the morning before attending important office meetings in the afternoon.“Our customers are attentive consumers between the ages of 25 and 80. They all share a passion for functional but refined design. They opt for solid quality and distinctive clothing at the same time. They are rather modest people, who like to dress well without being too noticeable and they have a good sense of sustainability,” Güdel reveals.

2016 started with a bang for the Swiss designer when she was picked to create the staff uniforms for Basel’s new four-star design hotel Nomad, which opens its doors this month. Claudia Güdel’s designs are available at her own boutiques in Zurich and Basel, as well as at selected retailers, and she frequently exhibits at various trade fairs such as Blickfang or In&Out. No worries for those who missed out on Claudia Güdel’s creations for Christmas as the new spring collection will be in the stores very soon.

Portrait: Claudia Güdel

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Discover Germany | Design | Christina Krämer & THE SWISS LABEL

Luxury without remorse: organic cashmere jumpers made in Switzerland For many years Christina Krämer has worked successfully as an organic fashion designer. Now she is re-launching her brand with an organic cashmere collection. In close cooperation with nomadic families in Mongolia, she follows a sustainable approach that includes both ecological and social aspects. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: CHRISTINA KRÄMER

“Recently we have been to Mongolia ourselves,” says Christina Krämer, searching for further inspiration for her cashmere col-

lection. Under her own label since 2007, her exclusive high fashion collections have been a symbiosis of sustainable natural luxury and traditional handcraft right from the start. But relying on cashmere alone is new: in 2015 she first launched a collection of accessories, followed now by high-quality cashmere jumpers.

Cashmere is well known for its softness and heat retention. Christina Krämer uses 100 per cent cashmere wool only, combed from the underfur of Mongolian Hircus goats – without any admixture of cheaper merino or sheep’s wool. Cashmere naturally comes in different colours: from nearly snow white to grey, from ochre to dark brown or black. This is why Christina Krämer – apart from the black pieces in her collection – uses no dyes at all, but relies on the“goats’natural colour”. Beautiful soft tones that can only be found in nature. Even the labels are organically certified because eco-friendly production is essential for Christina Krämer. As is the idea of sustainability, not only for keeping nature intact, but also supporting nomadic families and their traditional lifestyle. Christina Krämer and her partners – Luca Moretti and Mario Cozzi, who together have founded the Modern Nomads GmbH – even developed a biodegradable cashmere shampoo based on natural ingredients.

The finest jersey fabrics for sophisticated females Timeless, comfortable and versatile, THE SWISS LABEL creations are a perfect blend of style and quality, standing for straightforward and distinctive fashion style since 1997.

THE SWISS LABEL, a clothing line made by women for women, with a convincing style and sensible quality.


With an eye on the essentials and a sense of beauty, Katy Rohner, the designer and founder, has developed classy collections made of jersey fabric.“High-quality fashion which makes every woman feel comfortable in every moment – that is and will remain our credo,” the label head says. To emphasise this motto, the summer collection of 2015 has not been presented by models, but by women from Rohner's own circle of friends. After an initial emphasis on t-shirts and tops, the company's portfolio now features anything fashion lovers could ask for. All clothes are made of the very best jersey fabrics that solely come from Switzerland or Italy. The concept of diversely combinable

garments in many colours has even acquired a liking outside of Switzerland.THE SWISS LABEL is available in its shop in St. Gallen and in more than 200 fashion shops in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and overseas. “In 2016, our customers can look forward to new fresh colours, trendy styles and a very special highlight, which is the fluid, cooling jersey fabric for hot summer days,”Rohner announces.

Below: Kimono jacket with a casually cut top and culotte trousers made of flowing jersey. (left) Long, comfortably cut dress in ringed jersey, combined with a blouse with a transparent print. (middle) Short dress with an ingenious o-form and pockets, collarless jacket with striking press studs. (right)

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Designstudios The art of designing spaces and brands Design is an interdisciplinary art that happens on many dimensions. Forms, colours, sounds, lights and movements make spaces livable – and products functional. The Swiss firm «Designstudios» impresses with exceptional products and spaces that are characterised by creativity, uniqueness and a strong user focus. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE | PHOTOS: DESIGNSTUDIOS

Good design is not just about what looks good, it also performs, converts, astonishes, and fulfils a purpose. «Designstudios» in Berne helps their clients to transcend this philosophy through coherent design solutions. Their dynamic design creates an identity that is interwoven in the entire production and marketing cycle; it evokes an emotive response and attaches customers to a company’s brand. “Our designs are always tasteful, creative and unique. Each design project is focused on the needs of the target audience and customers. We adapt the design process

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and implementation in accordance with the desired results. It's not about forcing ‘our style’on a product – we want the product to fulfil its purpose and match the customer’s ideas.”

Systematic and creative philosophy Since 1983 the small but mighty Swiss design agency has been working to create brands, spaces and products that are safe, beautiful and sustainable. The company’s philosophy is to improve people’s quality of life through an interdisciplinary, creative, and systematic design approach. This approach is systematic because the agency solves design problems through working in an analytical way and, generally,

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Discover Germany | Design | Designstudios

this process involves: identification of the problem, research and analysis, definition of goals, strategic brainstorming for ideas, design as well as evaluation. But their design process is inherently chaotic and creative. Forms, colours, sounds, lights and experiences influence the designers in their work.“Nature is often our source of inspiration for colours, patterns and shapes. Also, art, other cultures or historical aspects play an important role in generating ideas and design,”explains CEO Rolf Widmer. Design creates identities Good design is also a strategic business decision that emphasises the care and quality a company invests in its products and public or company spaces.The range of services offered and the broad portfolio resembles «Designstudios» holistic approach. Their services include: conceptualisation and design of brands, corporate communications, product design, spaces and signage. “Our designs makes products safer, simpler, and more beautiful,”says Rolf Widmer. «Designstudios» customers span a wide range of industries. From a sewage treatment plant to a chic customer services and administration space, the agency works with small, medium-sized businesses and big companies. The designers emphasise the importance of individual solutions, personal consultation and support. In fact, the agency has been working with many clients for more than a decade.

stead of frustration. One recent example of a creative and functional design solution is the ‘open space’ of Berne’s Swiss Federal Office for Transport (BAV). The design studio worked to transform the former archive into a space that is open, colourful, communicative and creative. The reception room features historic memorabilia and train seats. “Design communicates, sells and creates added value,”says Rolf Widmer. And he is right. Good design is a constant marketing tool, improving the image of a company in the long term by increasing customers’trust, loyalty and satisfaction with a brand or product. In the past, his agency has designed and perfected brands for many renowned clients, including ArabellaSheraton Hotels, Auhof, Bauhaus, Bechtle,

Credit Suisse, Group-Egli, Inducta, Fricker Shoes, KLM, Red Cross and Water Excellence. Sustainable future vision Safety, simplicity, sustainability and aesthetics are the pillars that best describe the Designstudios’ work today. In the years to come, Rolf Widmer says:“We want to build on our success and contribute to the safety and reliability of products, the safe pathfinding (buildings, parking garages, public areas), aesthetics in form and colour, sustainability and environmental awareness in terms of materials, processes and recycling.” Opposite & below: Swiss Federal Office of Transport Top: SQS Headquarters, Details of Furniture Design Opposite bottom: Designstudios Headquarters in Berne

The team’s specialisation and design focus includes the following areas: corporate design (brands), communication design (annual reports, documentation), product design, interior design (exhibitions, reception areas) and information design (signage). In addition to traditional design work, the agency is eager to work on an increasing number of cross-sectoral projects. Design with a real-world function User-centred design makes a product more understandable, improves workflow and increases the efficiency. In addition, intuitive usability evokes the user’s pleasure in-

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SEACAM silver – off to new shores SEACAM offers camera housings for underwater photography which are designed to achieve maximum image quality, reliability and flexibility. For more than 25 years, the Austrian company has been developing and producing the best tools for underwater photographers worldwide.

ings,” Harald Hordosch, the founder and owner proudly says. As a passionate diver and photographer, he founded SEACAM in Voitsberg, Austria, more then 25 years ago.


Dedicated to craftsmanship Capturing underwater images is a fascinating challenge: coral reefs full of colourful fish or bizarre sea creatures, sharks, whales or dolphins are only some of the diving photographers’favourite subjects. However, water and cameras do not usually mix well and can damage them seriously, it must be assured that a watertight housing can protect them from any water damage. By combining elegance, innovation and precision, SEACAM presents a new dimension in the symbiosis of state-of-the-art underwater housings and digital single-

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lens reflex cameras. SEACAM develops and engineers modern underwater housings that not only guarantee to keep cameras dry, but also adapt to the newest developments of the photography industry. “For more than two decades, we have been developing housings which fulfil photographers wishes and are designed to achieve maximum image quality, reliability and flexibility. We attach importance to designing housings that are perfect in every detail. This is why SEACAM is the worldwide leading manufacturer of underwater hous-

In order to keep up with the fast-paced innovations of Nikon, Canon and other camera brands, SEACAM constantly en-

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Discover Germany | Design | SEACAM

silver housing is a handmade and unique specimen, which has been assembled by one single technician to offer perfect quality and highest appreciation in the long run. All components of SEACAM systems are being discussed and designed in many phases.“By component we mean solutions for image composition, imaging performance and handling,”Hordosch explains.The best educated engineers create two or three-dimensional drawings and animated visualisations, which enable them to calculate characteristics such as volume and weight. All SEACAM products must be versatile: therefore, the housings are based on a unique modular design which, in the long run, ensures an unequalled compatibility within each system. Underwater housings where the camera is 100-per cent protected

Show in Düsseldorf, the world’s largest water sports trade fair, from 23 to 31 January 2016. SEACAM will present some of their latest innovations. Chat with the most renowned underwater photographers, exchange tales or simply experience the look and feel of SEACAM silver.

Main image: Harald Hordosch, founder of SEACAM Left, from top: SEACAM housings are designed to achieve maximum image quality, reliability and flexibility. SEACAM enables a comfortable handling of the camera functions. Timeless, modern and ergonomic shapes are characteristic for SEACAM housings. SEACAM enables a comfortable handling of the camera functions. Below: By using SECAM remote systems, photographers can place the housing at distance. Bottom: Challenging underwater photography requires the use of premium artificial light. Opposite bottom: O-rings ensure watertight housings.

SEACAM housings protect cameras perfectly, thanks to a double sealing and a safety lock system. The company only uses grease and oil-resistant O-rings that do not expand. With an assembly of up to four seamless O-rings in a row, SEACAM ensures perfectly sealed housings. SEACAM’s safety lock system is unique. Two secured quarter-turn fasteners close the two shells of the underwater housing with a tension force of 60 kilogrammes. Since the safety locks are made out of titanium and stainless spring steel, they are able to last a life time. “Your camera will be protected like a bank safe,” Harald Hordosch ensures. Customers from all over the world

deavours to combine the most useful technical inventions with a conscience for quality and traditional know-how. Outstanding quality can only be achieved through dedicated craftsmanship. SEACAM therefore tries to design handmade masterpieces equivalent to a Stradivari violin or a Fabergé egg by working with dedicated and highly skilled craftsmen. Every single SEACAM

SEACAM’s international customers are primarily passionate underwater photographers. Working with professionals from the fields of science, nature conservation or from the fashion and advertising industry is becoming more and more important. SEACAM products are sold worldwide through a global network of marketing. Those who want to get a picture of SEACAM’s products themselves, should visit the BOAT

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Discover Germany | Design | Silvia Proy Lederwarenmanufaktur

The epitome of fine leather goods Silvia Proy Lederwarenmanufaktur is one of the top names to bear in mind when searching for the finest, handmade leather goods. With high-quality materials and meticulous attention to detail Silvia Proy crafts exceptional leather accessories. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: SILVIA PROY

From sourcing the materials to designing and completing the product, at Silvia Proy’s leather manufacture every step of the process is completed by the artist herself. Goods are completed in fine traditional quality craftsmanship, with every product being one of a kind. The unique personalisation service is available in her shop inVienna, where customers can literally put their own stamp on the goods or even turn their own ideas into reality in the form of a bespoke service. Silvia Proy offers a great variety of outstanding leather products for men and women alike. The handbag collection for women features bags with handles, clutches, shoulder bags and pouches in an

array of beautiful shapes and colours. For men, different types of briefcases are available. Belts and small leather goods round off the range. The products all bear the names of Italian cities.“For me, Italy stands for high-quality leather goods,” Proy reveals. She puts quality at the core of her doings and solely uses the finest materials available, such as alligator or snakeskin. Everything is simply natural and authentic, with all furs used for the inner lining of goods sourced from monitored breeding establishments or permitted hunting according to the Law of Wild Life. Watch out for the new collection, which will be launched in spring 2016.

Portrait: Silvia Proy

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Special Theme

Top 3 Interior Design Experts

Offering high-quality furniture since 1912 Behr Einrichtung GmbH in Wendlingen sells modern and classic furniture that is known for its sustainable and aesthetic design. With over 100 years of experience, the company has established itself as one of the leading centres for exquisite furniture and first-class service. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: BEHR EINRICHTUNG GMBH

Imagine a house in which the furniture, the colours and the composition harmonise perfectly; where one feels comfortable and where the sofa, tables and curtains are of a timeless design. Most people wish to give their home a personal touch, but finding items that match their ideas is not always easy. This is why a visit to Behr Einrichtung in Wendlingen promises to make your design ambitions a reality. The furniture store in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Southern Germany describes itself as “house of good forms” and is well known for having a long tradition of fine home

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decor. Nowadays headed by director Reiner Single, his wife Stefanie Single and sales manager André Kalcher, Behr Einrichtung is undoubtedly a leading centre for chic and sustainable furniture. In a showroom of 3,500 square metres, customers can find a broad range of highquality pieces of furniture, lighting and accessories.“Furniture is our passion: we do not simply advise our customers, we in fact accompany them during the whole process of arranging the different objects at home or in the office,”says Kalcher. Therefore, he

describes both thinking and acting holistically as major feature of the company.“We also bear in mind in how far the whole room changes when we place a new object in there.”Thanks to a skilled team of interior designers, architects, cabinet makers and interior decorators, the company is able to offer solutions that are perfectly tailored to the buyers’wishes. Still, the furniture experts do not hesitate to advise customers against their decision if they are convinced that a different solution is better.“Honesty is the best policy,”Kalcher says. No disposables, but chic items of high sustainability Honesty, quality and commitment are just a few of the company’s key values. They are the reason why the furniture store already has such an extensive history. “Our customers are thankful when they see what

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top 3 Interior Design Experts

a significant difference it makes to pay attention to detail in regards to the composition of the pieces,” Kalcher explains. The company therefore offers a service, where interior designers visit customers at home. This way, they get a picture of which items suit best to the rooms. They also discover new ideas on how to change the composition of the existing furniture pieces and arrange them in a new way.

Single, Kalcher and the rest of the team regularly go to trade fairs all over Europe. “We try to find the outstanding objects in the masses; something that is not just a short-lived trend, but a timeless piece of furniture,” Kalcher states. On such trade fairs, he and his colleagues also get in touch with well-respected manufactures as well as designers who might cooperate with the company.

“We support the freshly retired entrepreneur couple who wants to furnish their residence completely anew, but also customers who have a smaller budget and are just looking for a new table,” Kalcher says. He recommends saving money for selected objects, because it is definitely worth the wait: “The items which can be purchased here have a very high sustainability and can be regarded as heirlooms. We would never sell any disposables.”

A furniture company with a long successful history

For inspiration and to keep up with the developments of the furniture industry, Reiner

By now, Behr Einrichtung looks back at a long history: In 1912, Erwin Behr founded a furniture factory in Wendlingen. The entrepreneur turned out to be a pioneer in many ways, for example when he brought the first modular furniture to market in 1921. He furthermore reached a milestone by inventing the three-layer particle board in the 1940s. Shortly after, Behr decided to not only produce furniture, but also to offer various market collections.“This was a time when especially Scandinavian design

became famous in Europe,”the sales manager explains. With a curator’s finesse, Behr Einrichtung has continuously added design icons as well as modern objects that could very likely become classic to its selection. In the 1950s, it was this furniture store which first introduced the famous Lounge Chair by Charles Eames to the German market. To this very day, the company still commits itself to the philosophy of being a“house of good forms”, an attitude which will undoubtedly guide the brand Behr Einrichtung to surpass another 100 years.

Main image & above: Fine home decor is being presented in a showroom of about 3,500 square metres. © Behr Einrichtung GmbH. Photo: Niels Schubert Below: Interior decorators and expert designers support owner builders just like architects. © Behr Einrichtung GmbH. Photo: Simone Maiwald (left) Behr furniture store in Wendlingen is located right next to the autobahn A8. © Behr Einrichtungen. Photo: Niels Schubert (right)

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Main image: Light plays an important role in Dörfler’s designs – as can be seen in this dressing room. Right from top: Giving a fireplace room a modern touch. (top) A living room with a view. (middle) Outdoor spaces are also part of the portfolio. (bottom) Bottom right: A real family business – Dörfler´s second, third and fourth generation.

Interior design based on German precision and craftsmanship The team of Dörfler international interior design has great expertise in making the best of every room, indoor and outdoor space. Founded 70 years ago, currently the family´s second and third generation are working closely together with their team of 16 interior designers, decorators, lighting designers, technicians and carpenters. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: DÖRFLER INTERNATIONALE WOHNKULTUR

At Dörfler’s headquarters in Erlangen, near Nuremberg, clients find everything they need: from single items to improve already existing interior design, to all-inclusive arrangements using the best manufacturers and collections. It is Dörfler’s individual service that appeals to ambitious clients. “Colours, light, forms and haptic – with the right combination of harmonic and contrasting elements, we create an interior mirroring those living in it,” says Carsten Dörfler. Dörfler might have a long tradition, but also a modern approach.The German company not only works in their home country but also on rather successful international projects, for instance in Prague, Switzerland or on the island of Majorca.

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Sometimes their work takes them even further away: into the Caribbean for example.“After we had been on the site, got to know the light, the colours and of course the people and their preferences, we were able to form our visions,“ says Carsten Dörfler about their first project there. While always working with great precision and empathy, no matter where, the Dörfler team here faced some unique challenges. On a fixed date every single piece of interior decoration and equipment had to be shipped in two containers to this remote island. “We knew we had to have everything packed and securely wrapped for this exciting trip.“ Once on the island there was no chance to repair any damage or order missing pieces – not even a single screw. The Dörfler family and team had to turn a construction site

into a home ready for occupation in barely a week.They not only brought in their own specialists but also supervised local craftsmen involved in the project, ensuring that everything was done in an optimal way. “Amazing Germans – what an incredible dedication and work performance creating this perfect and beautiful interior in only one week”, was the client’s and locals’ reaction when the project was finished in time and to highest standards. As one can imagine, it was not the last project the team was involved in – even on this remote island far away from home.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top 3 Interior Design Experts

Innovative interior design for the future German interior design expert Krüger specialises in creating working environments with a pleasant atmosphere. From the initial analysis to planning and realising a project, everything comes from one source.

vantages of having all employees of its Düsseldorf location working under one roof.


Noise can have a strong impact on our ability to concentrate, yet not every office has the resources for sound-absorbing carpets or ceilings. With smaller, wall-mountable acoustic elements, Krüger reduces acoustic nuisance in an open working space to the minimum. Another cutting-edge solution is the furniture leasing by Krüger. In contrast to the heavy financial burden that is incurred by purchase, furniture leasing offers planning security through fixed monthly rates keeping the firm’s equity unharmed. Apart from office equipment, Krüger now increasingly focuses on project development, like, for instance, the‘Green Building’in Münster. “We developed office structures and flexible furnishing which fully utilise the cost-saving potential of this sustainable real estate,”Krüger reports.

Due to economic, social and technical developments, companies are facing ever-changing working environments.The creative minds at the family business Krüger believe that office space design should be based on the needs of companies and the employees, not the dimensions of the building. Following this notion, they have already successfully mastered many diverse projects all over Germany and Europe.“Krüger shows how companies can use space more efficiently while investing in high-quality furnishings and employees’satisfaction at the same time.That is what our customers appreciate in particular about our interior design concepts,”says David Krüger, one of the CEOs. Krüger’s work is mainly based on four pillars: flexibility, floor space efficiency,

acoustics and leasing. As team structures, department sizes and working methods are under continuous development, flexibility is one of the major challenges to businesses. However, Krüger has proven that one can rise to that challenge with innovative interior design solutions. Renowned companies trust in Krüger’s expertise in this field, like the well-known developer of storage media Intenso. With system partitions and module-based furniture by Krüger, it can now react to changing needs without big construction measures. Floor space efficiency is about economising, but saving costs does not have to mean compromising on quality. One of Krüger’s effective measures in this area has been developed for the auditing firm Deloitte, which can now enjoy the ad-

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Hotel of the Month Germany

Romantic castle getaway Amidst the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site of Upper Middle Rhine, one can find one of Germany’s most beautiful castle hotels. The Hüttl family who manages the Burghotel Auf Schönburg, already in the third generation, impresses with warm hospitality and ensures that each stay is something rather special. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: HPM I GUIDO WERNER I GERD SPANS I LANDOLD I VOLKER LINGER

Situated on a small hill at the Middle Rhine, above the medieval town of Oberwesel, the Burghotel Auf Schönburg, with its big towers and an imposing shield wall, is the perfect place for relaxation and immersing oneself into a romantic time long gone. When one steps into the medieval castle, one can feel that the Hüttl family lives for hospitality here.“We are a family business that is run with loving attention. We seek to offer our guests a holistically pleasant stay through informal, friendly dealings. Whether one seeks a spring stroll through our enchanting garden or a hot chocolate in front of a crackling fireplace, guests can relax in our castle throughout the entire year,” smiles Herrmann Hüttl. The Schönburg castle charms with a thoroughly history-steeped past that goes back

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around 1,000 years. Family Hüttl made it their leasehold object in 1957 and today, their love for the castle can be felt in every little detail. All 24 hotel rooms are individually and lovingly equipped with antique furniture, canopy beds and selected fabrics without neglecting to include modern luxuries, such as TVs, minibars, Wi-Fi or stereo systems. The overall ambience of the historic castle can be described as homelike, authentic and cosy. While a fireside lounge, prison tower and small library invite for extensive relaxation, the hotel’s restaurants offer a high-quality, regionally coined cuisine with own creations.“We promise that every dish is freshly prepared and includes predominantly regional products,“ notes Herrmann Hüttl. Guests can enjoy a big breakfast on the romantic terrace with views across the valley, lunch on another

terrace with views on to the Rhine or a tasty meal in medieval and authentic ambience inside the castle’s affectionately decorated restaurants. Dishes, such as caramelised duck breast or beef fillet tartar with bread chips are sure to impress. The castle’s surroundings have a great deal to offer too: vineyard paths and forest and meadow trails with magnificent views for hiking and cycling enthusiasts, picturesque small towns, museums, the legendary Loreley and the Pfalzgrafenstein Castle are close by. Main image: The Burghotel Auf Schönburg. Photo: HPM Above, from top: The terrace with views across the Rhine. Photo: Guido Werner The fireplace lounge. Photo: Gerd Spans The castle’s tower room with balcony. Photo: Landold

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Hotel of the Month Switzerland

A personal affair with star-studded cuisine Right in the heart of Klosters, the family-run boutique hotel Walserhof welcomes guests with unprecedented hospitality, the most charming and attentive staff as well as a Michelin star-studded restaurant.

guests with their personal newspaper, fresh fruit and water to their rooms every day,” Dietrich explains.


Her husband Heribert is in charge of the Walserstube restaurant. Graced with one Michelin star and rated 16 points on the Gault Millau scale, the chef and his team treat their guests to a new, regional and truly authentic cuisine made of fresh local produce whenever possible. Burning calories is easy on the nearby slopes, from skiing to snow shoe hiking or taking long winter strolls, the options are endless. The Walserhof also teamed up with the close by Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, so guests may use the large 36.5-degree Wellbeing & Thermal Spa for free. Unless of course, they prefer to stay at their beautiful suite and simply relax and recharge their batteries in complete serenity.

Klosters, the famous mountain resort cherished not only by the British Royal Family, is well known for its cosy family-friendly character. Close to the bustling winter hotspot Davos, it offers the best of winter and summer alike. Featuring four generous and incredibly beautiful Alpine-style suites as well as a Michelin-star gourmet restaurant, the Walserhof is a wonderful home from home even for the most discerning guest. Although it is located close to the Gotschnabahn cable car, guests do not seem to rush after having checked in.“Of course our visitors enjoy the ski slopes, but they are not the type that hits the pistes at 8am. Our guests tend to take full advantage of the peaceful ambience and the cosiness

of our house.They read a lot and simply enjoy our beautiful suites,”says hostess Silvia Dietrich, who manages the Walserhof with her husband Heribert. Fully refurbished in 2012, the large contemporary suites leave no room for desire. Measuring between 83 and 91 square metres, offering two bedrooms, a fully fitted kitchen, lush bathrooms and outside space with spectacular mountain views, the suites are simply too good to be left empty. Due to its size, the Walserhof is able to treat guests to a privilege no other large hotel can provide.“We try to offer a very personal unobtrusive service, such as escorting every single guest to the cable car or providing

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Restaurant of the Month Germany

A perfectly conscious culinary experience Top restaurateur Bernhard Reiser and his team present culinary perfection in a classy, but relaxed, atmosphere. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: DANIEL BISCAN

High above Würzburg, right in the middle of one of Germany’s most beautiful vineyards, there is the REISERS Restaurant am Stein. Since top restaurateur Bernhard Reiser moved to the location in 2002, popular restaurant guides have regularly awarded the chef and his team for their excellent cuisine. The restaurant not only received a Michelin star, but also 16 points in the 2016 Gault Millau. Gourmets feel attracted to this region just like wine connoisseurs and design enthusiasts, who appreciate the unique architecture of the vineyard by Ludwig Knoll.The striking distance to the Franconian wine as well as the wide range of international wine specialities turns the restaurant into an authentic wine paradise. With great dedication, Reiser also tries to convey the pleasures of cooking. In order to share his knowledge and passion for food, he not only opened the restaurants am Stein and am Golfplatz, he additionally founded a culinary school, which is one of the largest in northern Bavaria.“We are responsible for what we eat and how we treat our health. The better we know our body

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and its needs, the more consciously we choose our meals,” Reiser explains. With three different kitchens, his culinary school in Dettelbach provides much space and modern equipment, ideal conditions for people who take part in Reiser’s cooking classes covering different cuisines. Supported by other expert chefs, he shows everyone how to become an excellent cook. Participants of the class additionally learn how to create delicious meals with a small budget. “Food should stay affordable, because otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy it,”Reiser is convinced. The chef undoubtedly knows what he is talking about, since he is an experienced cooking tutor. As a nutritionist, he not only gives advice to the German women’s national football team, he also teaches participants of the study course ‘food management and culinary studies’on the campus in Bad Mergentheim and has held countless lectures on other occasions too. Of course, Reiser also imparts his knowledge to the trainees of his restaurant with great commitment. His protégés in turn have the chance to demonstrate their talent every

Main image: Top restaurateur Bernhard Reiser (left) and Marcel Spenkuch, executive chef. Above, from top: Bernhard Reiser (third from left) and his team: Marcel Spenkuch, Mathias Störcher and Rainer Trautenbach (from left). The wine bar in the restaurant REISERS am Stein, an award-winning wine paradise in Bavaria. © Daniel Biscan The restaurant REISERS am Stein in Würzburg. Below: The cuisine of Reiser’s restaurant am Stein received a Michelin star and 16 points in the Gault Millau (2016).

Monday: “Easy Monday is one of our newest projects: Then, seven trainees are allowed to take the reins and cook the menu by themselves.”

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Design & Lifestyle Hotel Switzerland

Art, architecture and a most welcoming atmosphere Amidst the beautiful mountain scenery of Switzerland’s Zermatt lies the familyoperated four-star superior Hotel Matterhorn FOCUS. Ideal as a starting point for discovering the breathtaking natural surroundings, the design and lifestyle hotel blends incredible architecture and art with thrilling views, attention to detail, as well as a sincere warmth. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: JOE CONDRON, ROCKZERMATT.COM I XHALE I STEFANO CANDITO

Since 2008, Hotel Matterhorn FOCUS can be found at the edge of Zermatt and close to the famous Matterhorn. As the hotel lies right next to the cable car valley station of the Matterhorn-Express, guests can quickly reach the famous ski and hiking region Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. Besides a perfect location, the hotel was designed by world-famous artist Heinz Julen, making it a piece of art in itself. The hotel connects a renovated Swiss chalet with two modern buildings and the combination of charming design, extensive use of glass, chromium, unprocessed concrete and wooden elements and the traditional architecture, immediately catches the eye. 30 hotel rooms and luxu-

rious suites are fitted with furniture and lamps by Heinz Julen, offering remarkable views of the mountains and the Matterhorn. Despite the contemporary design, the atmosphere in Hotel Matterhorn FOCUS is coined by human warmth and familial dealings, making it suitable for everyone; whether couples or families. The hotel is run by the Noti family and hosts Christian Noti and Patrizia Gasser ensure that every guest feels holistically happy.“Either of us is always present and we provide a very personal environment,” smiles Patrizia Gasser. As a bed and breakfast hotel, the inn only offers morning meals and a snack

Main image: Hotel Matterhorn FOCUS in winter. © JOE.CONDRON/ROCKZERMATT.COM Above, from left: The indoor pool. © XHALE Fireplace in lounge. © Stefano Candito The Royal Suite. © Stefano Candito

menu because “Zermatt already has so many great restaurants”, explains Christian Noti. The hotel might not offer a restaurant but instead a spacious wellness and spa oasis with an indoor and outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, Finnish sauna, saltwater and steam bath, several massages, body treatments and a rest area with heated stretchers. After a busy day in the wilderness, guests can also relax in the cosy fireplace lounge while enjoying a coffee or tasty piece of cake from the hotel bar. Zermatt is not only a famous winter destination, but great all year around. Because the village lies in high altitudes and is close to a glacier, skiing is possible 365 days a year. Zermatt’s alpine climate is also perfect for hikes through enchanting larch forests, for visiting mountain lakes, playgrounds in nature and bike riding. 29 stunning 4,000metre high peaks attract mountaineers from all over the world.

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Special Theme

The taste of Germany

Made out of responsibility for the environment Most consumers know the colourful, distinctively square-shaped chocolate bars made by Ritter Sport. And many people also know that Ritter Sport has been producing a great variety of the finest German chocolate creations since 1912. But there is more to this family business: Ritter Sport emphasises sustainability and seeks to fundamentally improve the living conditions of Central American farmers. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: RITTER SPORT

“As a family business, we act sustainably per se. All decisions that we make consider the impact on future generations,” says Alfred T. Ritter, owner and advisory board chairman of Ritter Sport. As the most important resource for the chocolate producer is cocoa, it poses as an important focal point in the company’s sustainability management. For 25 years, the company has actively fostered cocoa farming in Nicaragua with its project ‘Cacaonica’. What started off with 170 farmers in a single cooperative quickly grew into a collaboration with over 3,500 cocoa farmers in around 20 cooperatives. Ritter Sport additionally brought its own cultivation area ‘El Cacao’ to life. Since 1990,‘Cacaonica’has been committed to improving the social and environ-

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mentally sustainable conditions in the cocoa farming industry. “With the help of local partners, farmers were taught to cultivate cacao through agroforestry principles. This paid off: the cocoa is of highest quality,”explains Hajo Brand, who supervises ‘Cacaonica’ as purchasing manager. The modern agroforestry-system is known to foster biodiversity and thus protect endangered rainforests, to stabilise the water balance, to protect from soil erosion, to foster energy efficiency and to prevent climate damaging emissions. For Ritter Sport the project is a win-win situation. The company receives high-quality cocoa, while the agroforestry cocoa production on their plantation reduces their carbon footprint. Nicaragua profits as well: cocoa production is an important

source of income for farmers, their social and living conditions are improved and the agroforestry system protects the environment. While around 300 local employees work on Ritter Sport’s own plantation, the company ensures medical treatment, high safety standards and, of course, fair wages. Today, Ritter Sport buys 600 to 1,000 tonnes of cocoa beans from the cooperatives annually. “We need around 12,000 tonnes of cocoa mass per year. Our goal is to cover 5,000 tonnes with sustainably produced cocoa from Nicaragua and with our own cultivation area ‘El Cacao’ until 2023,” adds Brand. Until 2025, the cocoa for all Ritter Sport chocolate products are to come from sustainable cultivation.

Main image: Ritter Sport Above, from top: Ritter Sport’s own cultivation area ‘El Cacao’. A drying station.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | The taste of Germany

Organic bakery products for pleasurable moments Sommer Biscuits is a family business in its fifth generation which stands for exquisite, fully organic bakery products. This commitment to quality can definitely be tasted. TEXT: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: SOMMER BISCUITS

Founded more than 150 years ago, Sommer Biscuits started off as a small bakery in Friedrichsdorf in the Frankfurt region, also referred to as the‘city of rusk’. Next to rusk as the company's classic, the product range now includes a wide variety of pastries and savoury crackers. Great emphasis is put on enjoyment and tolerability. Dietrich Praum, CEO of Sommer Biscuits, puts it in a nutshell:“We want to offer our customers top bakery products made of organic ingredients.” As less is often more, Sommer Biscuits' products only include what is needed to ensure their great taste. Thus, most of the products are vegan and have a short list of ingredients, which are carefully sourced.

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The company mainly uses pristine grains from the Taunus region where it is situated, like barley, millet and spelt.“We specialise in baking with spelt as it ensures a fine crumb and delicious taste for our long-life bakery products,”Praum reveals. Based on the Demeter quality principle, a form of land cultivation that understands the soil as an organism, a large share of Sommer Biscuits’ produce grows on healthy soil which helps to grow healthy plants. Regardless of whether one has a sweet tooth or rather prefers savoury snacks, the product range holds something for everyone and is available in most health food shops, online as well as in the factory sale. The top-selling product is the spelt rusk,

but also the chocolate cookies, the Italianinspired almond cantuccini and the olive crackers are very popular.“I particularly like the chestnut biscuits and the cantuccini,” Praum admits. Although, based on a longestablished tradition, Sommer Biscuits stay consistently innovative by continuously enhancing their product range. Sources of inspiration include the Mediterranean region with its great variety of spices, chef’s recipes or specialist trade fairs. At Sommer Biscuits, the recipe always lies at the heart of the production. Machines are adapted to the recipe and not the other way round. There is more to come in 2016 and, without revealing too much, Praum drops a hint that fans of chia seeds will surely like the new treat. Main image: The biscuits on the assembly line. Above, from left: Sorting and packing the rusk. Quality control. Stacking the ‘Einback’.

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RESTAURANT MIRABELL A wide selection of tasty wines and the love for the native cuisine will make every visit to the Restaurant Mirabell a unique experience. The restaurant pampers its guests with Austrian and international delicacies. The inviting ambiance of the restaurant and its romantic Mirabell Terrace offer unforgettable culinary moments. Restaurant Mirabell Auerspergstrasse 4 5020 Salzburg, Austria

RESTAURANT GOLDENER HIRSCH Discover authentic Austrian cuisine at its best. The Gourmet Restaurant Goldener Hirsch offers an ambiance with Salzburg charm and award-winning cuisine as well as a selection of fine local and international wines. Restaurant Goldener Hirsch Getreidegasse 37 5020 Salzburg, Austria

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Š Lanak |

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Discover Germany | Feature | Start 2016 fit and happy

Start 2016 fit and happy Losing weight, quitting smoking, being more organised, making more time for family and friends, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthier work-life balance. On New Year’s Eve, our list of resolutions for the upcoming year is long and ambitious. But according to statistics, most people already struggle to keep their goals even before the first flowers of spring start to bloom. By the end of January, most of us have already given up. So what can we do to be more successful in 2016 and overcome our weaker self? TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS

Someone who has taken a great interest in these questions is Prof. Dr. Ingo Froböse, a well-known sports scientist from the German Sport University Cologne, also known as ‘the fitness doctor’. According to him, motivation is the key to success.“Between the eighth and 12th week of the new year, we usually hit a low.” But this is normal, since everyone with higher goals is running through certain motivation curves, he adds. “Many people make the mistake to simply aim too high.” If you try to lose 20 kilogrammes within two months, the chances to succeed are about the same as Queen Elizabeth II abdicating her throne for Charles.“Therefore, it is more effective to set smaller targets: then, you will be able to reach your first goal after a short period of time, which will help you to get through a low easier,”Prof. Froböse says.

phasises.“In this case, it is better to stop exercising when you have just had a positive experience and not when you feel totally exhausted.”You will be more successful, if you for example start jogging slowly for a longer period of time. Alternatively, the sports scientists suggests to walk continuously for four weeks; in between one can integrate short jogging units.

Set small targets and indulge yourself You will feel even more motivated when you reward yourself. After eight weeks, the sports scientist recommends to indulge oneself, for example with a pair of gym shoes or with a weekend foray.“Our brain responds to reward systems,”Prof. Froböse explains. People who are far away from being fit and whose gym shoes have turned into dust catchers within the last months, often have no sensibility for their limits. In the beginning, these people should not overstrain themselves, Prof. Froböse em-

Portrait: Prof. Dr. Ingo Froböse, sports scientist from the German Sport University Cologne. © Prof. Dr. Ingo Froböse; Photo: Monika Sandel

But however you want to improve your fitness, keep this in mind: the most important thing is to have fun. Working out does not always have to be a torture. You could try find a sport that really appeals to you and for which you actually develop a burning ambition. Why not try something new? Whether you prefer a slightly more exotic sport like diving or fencing, or something conventional like hiking or volleyball.Think of a sport you have always wanted to do. Or join a sports club. Exercising is always more fun when you are doing it with friends. Sit less, be more active and feel better Maybe you now think that is easier said than done, since most people nowadays have a job where they have to sit at a desk most of the time. But there is a reason why sitting is called the new smoking: studies have shown that long hours of sitting increases the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and back pain. People who have to work at a desk for many hours a day face even two risk factors, Prof. Froböse says.“On the one hand, they generally lack physical activity: usually, everyone should work out at least 150 minutes per week.” On the other hand, it is not enough to only exercise after work, the professor explains. The long period of inactivity in everyday life between waking up and going to the gym in the evening is harmful as well, Prof. Froböse adds. He therefore recommends to leave your seat hourly.“Take the stairs instead of the lift and when you have to make a phone call, do that while standing.”And during lunch break, go for a walk. Or get out of the bus or the tram a station earlier and walk the rest of the way. You might also want leave your car in the garage and ride a bike to work, if the route is not too long. In the long run, changing habits will certainly make you feel better.

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Treating patients comprehensively Doctors Christian Schwegler and Julia Schwegler are not conventional medical practitioners. At Praxis Schwegler, their therapy centre in Bottmingen near Basel, the couple offer a holistic therapy programme for the body and soul, as well as coaching and communications training. In their affiliated training institute the two doctors also educate people on medical hypnosis. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: PRAXIS SCHWEGLER I KANTONSSPITAL BASELLAND

“We put emphasis on a holistic approach. For us, this means to treat patients physically, psychologically and naturopathically,” says Christian Schwegler. Thus, all employed doctors of‘Practice Schwegler’worked in the physical-medical field, have a complete psychotherapy education and were also trained in the field of naturopathy. The practice has specialised on systemic, hypnosystemic and hypnotherapeutic psychotherapy, as well as on traditional Chinese medicine with special expertise in traditional and shockwave acupuncture.

a different way. Acupuncture can help when there aren’t treatable structural damages, as often is the case with migraine or insomnia for example. Hypnotherapy enables us to experience psychotherapy with all senses, thoughts, feelings and emotions instead of just talking about it. Thus, a patient gets a more intense experience which achieves quicker successes and more effective treatment.”This expertise has been extended into offering business and family coaching for individuals or groups, communications training and coaching for athletes, musicians and actors.

But why this fascination for hypnotherapy and acupuncture? Christian Schwegler explains: “When I tried out both as a patient, these techniques brought about intense changes in me.”He adds:“Acupuncture fascinates me because it treats medical problems in

As the Schwegler team has had trained doctors, therapists and psychotherapists in the DACH region since 2008, the practice decided to found the Swiss Institute for Medical Hypnosis. Here, a team of five therapists educates doctors and therapists in hypnother-

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apy and medical hypnosis through two-day long, well-structured and engaging introductory, advanced and technical seminars in Basel.“We pass on profound knowledge and, at the same time, our seminars are really entertaining. The fact that 90 per cent of our introductory course graduates also visit our advanced courses, is a huge compliment and shows that we do a great job,”smiles Christian Schwegler. All lecturers are doctors or psychologists who work with hypnotherapy on a daily basis and small seminar sizes contribute to an engaging learning atmosphere. “Last but not least, our food is great,”laughs Christian Schwegler.“My wife organises the catering and while our lecturers get good grades on our evaluation sheets, the food gets an A+ with a little star.” Main image: Christian Schwegler (right) and Julia Schwegler (left). © Praxis Schwegler Above, from left: They also offer coaching and communications training. © Praxis Schwegler Christian Schwegler was invited as a lecturer for a symposium on burnout. © Kantonsspital Baselland Christian Schwegler teaches at a congress. © Kantonsspital Baselland

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Discover Germany | Beauty | Professor Dr. Huemer

Knowledge equals beauty Plastic surgeon Professor Dr. Huemer is one of the most celebrated surgeons in Austria. Nevertheless, he still devotes much of his time to scientific research in his field. “The only way to continuously improve the benefits for your patients is to keep on learning about new developments as well as constantly reflecting on your own work,” he says.

Portrait: Professor Dr. Huemer


At his office in Linz, Dr. Huemer offers the whole range of cosmetic surgery treatments such as breast augmentation, breast lift, liposuction, facelift, rhinoplasty, lip enlargement, otoplasty, abdominoplasty, upper arm lift, correction of the labia and much more.“Regarding the face, more and more patients ask about less invasive and nonoperational rejuvenation methods,”reveals the beauty specialist. “Therefore, I developed the so-called Pjure Lift – a holistic rejuvenation of the face which combines Botox, hyaluronic acid, auto blood plasma as well as special strings in order to create a very naturally looking lifting result.”

In terms of breasts, women increasingly look for results that look and feel as natural as possible.“In order to ensure a gentle augmentation process, the Pjure Breast approach uses endogenous body fat,” illustrates Dr. Huemer. “This also comes with the positive side effect of shaping the body.” If all this has made you curious, why not combine your next holiday with cosmetic surgery that has advanced to the highest current medical standards? “Here in Austria, we have a beautiful natural setting and a really diverse range of cultural activities,” says the doctor. All this combined has got to be a win-win.

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Special Theme

Top International Schools Germany

Berlin Brandenburg International School A gem in international schooling Hidden in the lush forests of Lake Machnow and located just a few kilometres south of Germany’s capital of Berlin, lies BBIS (Berlin-Brandenburg International School). This institution is a real gem for parents who are looking for a school focussing on internationality as well as on a holistic approach towards the academic and personal education of its students. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE | PHOTOS: BBIS

When an area next to Lake Machnow and the Hakeburg, a castle dating back to the 14th century, with grounds of 400,000 square metres went for sale in 2005, the board of BBIS realised the advantages of this beautiful location. While BBIS had already been one of the leading international schools in the Berlin region for many years, this new location offered a whole new range of possibilities: here, the school would be able to offer an inspiring academic surrounding and combine it with

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the space needed for a variety of encouraging non-academic activities. Truly international flair BBIS’ boarding house completes the school’s wide-ranging offers. Students in the grades 9-12 (minimum age for admission is 14) live in the recently refurbished double rooms, each with their own bathroom. Mentors who are looking after the boarders’academic as well as pastoral wellbeing are available 24 hours per day, seven

days per week.They are aware of these students’ particular situation away from home and their families and live in closeness to their protégés in apartments adjacent to the boarders’quarters. A cosy dining room and a recreation area for the boarders only give the students the reassuring feeling of being at a‘home away from home’. Currently students from over 65 countries attend Berlin Brandenburg International School, giving the school a truly international flair. Next to a small percentage of locals from the capital’s area who are keen on an excellent international education, the students’ mothers and fathers are diplomats or high-ranking managers who need to change their country of residence for professional reasons on a regular basis. These families in particular choose BBIS

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools Germany

An atmosphere of mutual respect and empathy BBIS promotes the holistic education of its students. The academic curriculum is balanced, with stimulating mandatory courses like design, drama, music, sports, or art. Sport activities take place in the newly built sports hall with its own climbing wall or in the equally newly built sports field, which offers seats for more than 800 spectators. The arts are represented in the ‘Heizhaus’, which regularly houses exhibitions of the students’own art projects or student-staged drama performances. Everyone at BBIS believes in the uniqueness of each human being with equally unique and individual strengths and needs.“Intercultural understanding and to respect human rights are fundamental to BBIS’ concept,” stresses Peter Kotrc, director at BBIS since 2012. A body of 100 highly motivated teaching staff from over 25 different countries ensures the compliance to these values. By creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and empathy, they help the students to fulfil and even exceed their true academic and personal potential.

for its unique approach as well as for the compatibility of curricula within the international schools system, which grants a certain degree of consistence in the education of their child.

On an academic level, BBIS is the only school in the Berlin region that is able to offer all four International Baccalaureate programmes to its students. Particularly the highly challenging IB Diploma programme provides the students with access to top universities in the United States and Europe. Kotrc points out that over the last couple of years the BBIS’ average exam grades have always exceeded the worldwide average – proof that BBIS’s concept of

caring for its students on an academic as well as on a personal level works very well and brings out the best in each of its students. The spirit of community does not end at the school’s gate A typical day at BBIS starts at 8am, when approximately 700 students from the Berlin and Potsdam area arrive on BBIS’ own school busses, and ends at 3pm. About half of the students participate in after-school activities until 4:30 pm. Classrooms are bright and spacious and the class sizes are kept small: there are less than 18 students in nearly all of BBIS’ classes.The belief that no one should be left alone is palpable: provision of help to improve is important at BBIS. Special support is given to those whose mother tongue is not English (BBIS’language of instruction is English). Further assistance is offered to those who need help in particular subjects or in reaching their full potential. The spirit of community does not end at the school’s gate or at the end of each school day. Weekend sports tournaments, outdoor team-building projects at the beginning of each new school year, skiing holidays or a students’ exchange with a Chinese school are but a small selection of BBIS’challenging and mind-broadening projects. For those looking for a school that combines internationality with care for the individual, BBIS is certainly a great choice.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools Germany

Enabling great minds and strong characters The ISR, International School on the Rhine gGmbH, is focused on delivering the best possible academic achievement. However, the path to any child´s brain is through their hearts. So our teachers try to connect and motivate a child´s heart and character. This manifests itself in ISR having the highest IB average score in the region over the past years. Lastly, we pride ourselves in giving practical direction during the career/university selection years. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: ISR

‘It’s cool to excel academically’ – states the school’s mission statement, which is reflected in every aspect of school life. While the ISR obviously teaches math and science, it also develops moral values in partnership with parents. As a privately financed, non-profit school with a full-day academic programme in the Düsseldorf, Neuss and Cologne region, the ISR seeks to develop students into well-rounded, multilingual, self-aware and socially responsible global citizens. Offering an excellent, international education with a holistic concept from nursery school to grade 12, 650 students from 45 nationalities currently enjoy the 42,000square-meter campus. Thus, the most important day for the school’s international community is obviously the annual International Day. The theme of this year’s program is ‘‘The Year without a Summer’, which relates to 1816 when different na-

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tions around the world were plunged into a year-long winter. The students will show a glimpse of the events of 1816 with their project ‘7 Nations on the Move’during the ISR International Day on 30 January. The complete project will be presented at the Schumannfest from 28 to 29 May in Düsseldorf’s Schloss Benrath. All visitors from the region are welcome. Starting in Kindergarten, all classes at ISR are taught in English by native Englishspeaking teachers. The German curriculum is a fully fledged accredited programme. Hence, children are fully immersed in English and German over their entire school career. Additionally, French, Spanish and Mandarin are taught, with Japanese to be added shortly. Modern infrastructure includes new interactive white boards in all classrooms and well-equipped science labs, music facilities and sports halls. Some optional varsity sports (football, track, tennis and swimming)

Main image: The ISR campus near Stadtwald Neuss.

and private music or language lessons round off the programme. Last but not least, a private school bus company is simplifying the safe transport to the ISR and back to all residential areas of the region. ISR’s approach to education seems to pay off - graduates have consistently achieved the best International Baccalaureate (IB) exam results in the region over many years. As an accredited school, the ISR IB diploma is accepted as ‘Allgemeine Hochschulreife’ in the German system, thus also allowing students to attend German and worldwide top universities.

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Academic education with a practical approach is key to success in a global market Life-long learning has become immensely important in the modern business world and learning environment. At the Darmstadt-based Wilhelm Büchner University of Applied Sciences, a specialist for distance and online learning, professionals can study for a university degree without needing to attend regular courses on site. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: WILHELM BÜCHNER HOCHSCHULE | FOTOLIA

With more than 6,000 students, Wilhelm Büchner University is Germany´s largest private university for technology and is now – after years of successfully serving the German market – also offering two Englishlanguage master’s degrees for working professionals. “A student who wants to continue working while completing a master's degree would like to use his or her time as efficiently as possible, and our virtual campus provides optimum support,”says Professor Dr Frank Bescherer, director of studies and responsible for the courses Technology and Innovation Management (MSc) and Engineering Management (MBA). Written course mate-

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rials and an online campus allow greater flexibility, since professionals need to balance their work life and studies. Due to the university’s practical approach, students can apply what they have learned in their professional life immediately. Wilhelm Büchner University offers unmissable opportunities for those looking for an academic degree while building an international career: both master’s courses will enable students to succeed in a global market.“We place paramount importance on coherently incorporating key skills such as management, leadership, and communication into technical degree courses,” states the university in its programmes of

study. In short, the course plan and the university recognise and meet the needs of businesses and those working in it alike. Founded in 1996, Wilhelm Büchner University is part of the Stuttgart-based Klett Group, one of Europe’s leading educational service providers. Named after the 19th century pharmacist and chemist Wilhelm Büchner, who invented new production methods for blue dye, the university values the attributes associated with his work and character. He was an innovator of his time, had a passion for technology and innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit. The university is certified after ISO 9001 and the international learning service standard ISO 29990:2010 and has been accredited by the accreditation agencies ACQUIN and ZEvA and the Hessen State Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools Germany

Franconian gateway to the world With the professional world becoming increasingly globalised, the need for international schools is constantly rising. Yet the times when such schools were limited to large metropolitan areas like Frankfurt or Munich are long gone. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: FRANCONIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

Today, internationally operating companies can be found anywhere. Erlangen, a city of roughly 107,000 inhabitants in the Franconian region of Bavaria, is no exception. In fact, in 2014, the patent applications here were higher than anywhere else in the country. According to business magazine Wirtschaftswoche, this makes Erlangen the third most liveable city in Germany. Ideal conditions then for Erlangen-based Franconian International School (FIS). Since starting out in 1998 with merely 25 pupils, the school has established an excellent reputation worldwide. Today, it counts 90 international teachers and more than 600 pupils.“The school’s official language is English,”says Bettina Wiegel, ad-

ministrative assistant for events and communication.“From Kindergarten onwards, German is taught as well and in sixth grade, Spanish is added.” By now, the“pioneer children”have finished their university studies. Sharing their experiences with current pupils, they often stress that the International Baccalaureate Diploma acquired here proved to be a valuable entry ticket into the globalised business world. It allows the school’s graduates to be accepted at any university worldwide including such prestigious facilities as Oxford and Cambridge. Moreover, the FIS alumni greatly profited from the soft skills obtained throughout the course of their school education. These include integrity,

independence, decisiveness, the capacity to take risks, mindfulness, good judgement, persistence, creativity and self-confidence.

Offering children a caring and challenging education International School Augsburg (ISA) on Munich’s doorstep is committed to fostering open-mindedness and respect. The school focuses on providing individual challenges and support, allowing students from pre-school to secondary school to fulfil their potential. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL AUGSBURG

At ISA, relationships are at the heart of learning and education. Students here feel at home.“It is crucial that young people feel safe to take risks and make the mistakes that lead to learning, so they cannot only develop intellectually, but gain confidence,” says Cathie Mullen, director (education). ISA is an authorised IB World School, teaching the International Baccalaureate® (IB) programmes.“We have to look into the future and give young people the skills and attitudes they need to be successful in a rapidly changing world,”says Mullen. Critical and creative thinking are a main focus, hence the recent introduction of computer science classes for all students of 11 years and upwards.

It is the flexibility that makes the school a great place to learn. Experiencing cultural diversity on a daily basis, children at ISA are curious about the world and respectful of cultural differences. Although students and staff come from many countries, the school maintains strong ties within the local region.

In 2015/16 the school is celebrating its tenth anniversary, with a unique feature: in mid-November it became a non-profit publically owned company and has pledged to make every graduate a shareholder. Over time, International School Augsburg will become a school owned by its own alumni.This perfectly illustrates the innovative vision that drives the school’s development both from a pedagogic and community perspective.

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Special Theme

Top International Schools Switzerland

SBS Swiss Business School International management studies in Zurich Amongst the many things popping into one’s mind when thinking of Switzerland are probably unspoiled nature, stunning mountains, delicious chocolate, and, last but not least, international companies. It therefore does not come as a big surprise that some of the most successful European business schools are located in this bustling business ambience. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE | PHOTOS: SBS

The Swiss Business School (SBS) was established in 1998 by Harvard graduated Dr. Bert Wolfs in Zurich - a city that elegantly manages to combine modern, luxurious chic with old-fashioned cosiness and thriving international business activities with Swiss traditions. In an increasingly internationally operating market, Dr. Wolfs saw the need for an education that provided students with a strong academic basis while focussing on issues linked to the management of these markets.

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Custom-made programmes SBS offers a variety of English-taught programmes to its international students. From a unique introductory course in the undergraduate program to an advanced course in the Doctor of Business Administration program, the SBS experience is thoroughly international. In the three-year undergraduate Bachelor of Business Administration BBA (AAE) programme; the student will concentrate (after a one-year of introductory studies e.g. in-

ternational management or marketing) on her or his particular field of interest which will become their major. Students who have already started relevant undergraduate studies and possess relevant work experience can apply for the one-year ‘Accelerated BA’-programme (AAE), which supplies them with additional knowledge while preparing them for a successful career in management. If successfully completed, the AAE program leads to a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. The ensuing graduate Master of Business Administration program (MBA) enhances the insights gained in the undergraduate programme. The student is able to choose between a set of various graduate programmes with differing approaches and aims. The practice-focused‘Executive MBA’ for example is taught in eight differing

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools Switzerland

modules over a period of 16 months. Here, teamwork and study groups enhance the students’ability to identify and to ultimately solve actual business problems. The‘Flex MBA’covers a period of 15 months and is particularly aimed at students who need to intensify their knowledge of general business functionalities in order to improve their managerial skills. For those who aim to have maximum flexibility while studying for their degree, the ‘Online MBA’ is the best choice. Here, the student uses SBS’excellent online facilities and may take up to five years to complete her or his degree. While all of the above graduate programmes are designed for working professionals with full-time working experience, SBS also offers MBA programmes for full-time students. The ‘Full-Time MBA’ is a one-year programme, which enables the student to focus on a particular field of interest like marketing or global finance and banking. The‘MSc International Business’focuses on issues concerning the global economy and cross-cultural leadership. Studies are equally split between one year of team-based taught courses and one year of internship in an internationally operating company.

For those who have already finished their graduate degree but want to take their studies even further, SBS is offering a doctorate programme, the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). This programme consists of a coursework phase, as well as a supervised workshop and a research phase. The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) can be completed within three and six years.

top leading European business schools. SBS alliances with partner schools around the world (e.g. in the UK, China, the United States, or Russia) are a further testimony to the international quality of SBS.

SBS Swiss Business School – an investment in a successful career.

By thus combining theory with practice, SBS has created a positive and inspiring learning environment, which encourages the students to use their full potential while at the same time presenting them with the opportunity to get in touch with successful international companies.

Regardless of the programme the student chooses to register for, the quality of education, teachers, supervision and learning material is equally high throughout all of these programmes. In addition to its highprofile courses SBS offers its students the unique chance to get in touch with highranking international companies through an established network set up by SBS. In order to keep students up to date with current market developments and topics, SBS regularly invites keynote speakers from highranking, internationally operating companies to speak about current topics and concerns.

SBS’ scientific standard is highlighted by the regularly published SBS Journal of Applied Business Research, which covers current topics in international management.

For those who want to put an international focus on their education, who want to remain flexible while studying and who can fully concentrate on their studies, SBS is definitely worth a visit. Portrait: Dr. Bert Wolfs

SBS has been accredited by various institutions (amongst them the ACBSP and IACBE) and is regularly listed as one of the

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Opportunity through diversity In today’s globalised business environment, careers take parents to all corners of the world. With this comes the search for a school that offers their children internationally recognised diploma programmes, state-of-the-art technology and the best possible support in their personal development. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: GEMS WORLD ACADEMY SWITZERLAND

A private international school that does just that is GEMS World Academy, located on the shores of Switzerland’s Lac Leman facing the French Alps. The school was founded in January 2013 and is proud to call itself part of the award-winning GEMS Education network that includes 142,000 students in 16 countries and 55 years of educational heritage. In addition, the school is an International Baccalaureate® (IB) World School that has been officially authorised by the IB Organisation. As such,

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students here are taught the IB Primary Years Programme, the IB MiddleYears Programme and the IB Diploma Programme by qualified IB professionals. “The IB programmes encourage independent learning and empower our students to embrace responsibility,” explains Ilse Chaigneau, parent relations executive at GEMS World Academy, Switzerland.“They also learn to celebrate diversity with a spirit of understanding and tolerance that helps

them become true global citizens.”In addition to teaching students aged three to 18 the IB programmes, the school also welcomes learners as young as two years of age to Little GEMS - an EarlyYears programme designed to prepare for the IB PrimaryYears Programme and a smooth transition into Pre-Kindergarten. All programmes are taught in English, with French as a second language and German or Spanish as a third language from age 11. Enriching experiences The IB Diploma ensures that the graduates of GEMS World Academy, Switzerland have access to universities all over the world. In fact, GEMS has enjoyed some of the best university acceptance rates of any international school with students having

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Top International Schools Switzerland

An inspiring location “We believe that the school provides the ideal location as it is situated right on the lakeside in the La Côte region between Geneva and Lausanne,” says Chaigneau when asked about what makes the school’s location attractive to families. “This area has lots of beautiful villages, mountains for skiing in the winter and lovely countryside. Public transportation is readily accessible with regular trains to and from Geneva and Lausanne. Our students also go on multiple field trips in the local area that both enhance and transform the curriculum.” Many of the schools top-rated facilities such as the World Language Learning Centre are also open to parents and the local community. In fact, the school’s sports centre is described as the best within the Canton Vaud. Moreover, the school’s commitment for supporting international students settling in is reflected in a large selection of workshops that help with transition, curriculum and parenting.

throughout the curriculum is one of the features most valued by parents. Moreover, the diversity of the international network and the students themselves gives the pupils the unique opportunity to study and experience other cultures, other languages and other belief systems through social interaction and exciting, global GEMS initiatives.“Diversity should be championed and not feared, as it is a great source of inspiration and perspectives that can lead to excellence and innovation,” illustrates Chaigneau.“Collaboration is key. The cultural richness that our pupils experience here every day instils a unique international understanding in them - just what they need to succeed in an increasingly globalised world.”

Challenges and chances There are two main developments that are increasingly shaping the school. One is the rapid expansion of digital technologies in the classroom; the other is the increasing diversity of students that are coming together from all corners of the world. GEMS World Academy, Switzerland covers both aspects: the high-tech provision of facilities in the school and the inclusion of tech

Below: Audrey Peverelli, Head of School, in the Library

been offered places at 980 universities in 48 countries, including 66 of world's top 100 universities. On-site facilities that prepare the students for their bright futures include a World Language Learning Centre that offers nine different languages, interactive digital learning areas, radio/TV studios with editing suites, music technology suite, a comprehensive library, state-of-the-art science laboratories, a music academy and exceptional sports facilities. After school, students can enjoy team sports like football, basketball and netball; individual pursuits like swimming, tennis, judo, cross country running and dance; creative activities like book club, cookery classes, choir and crafts or recognised learning programs such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

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Swiss winter customs from a British point of view Seasons come and go, but winter in Switzerland is one you just want to cling on to for as long as humanly possible; scooping out every last droplet of fondue, racing to get in those sledge runs before sunset, and jumping every chairlift queue in sight. From a British citizen living in Switzerland, here are a few undoubtedly terrific reasons to love the snow-covered, mystery festival-staging, chocolate envy-inducing country. TEXT: EMMIE COLLINGE | PHOTOS: SWITZERLAND TOURISM

During winter we are most frequently found gazing enviously into festively lit front rooms with Yuletide decorations that would not look out of place in a high-end design magazine. Switzerland is known as a key winter holiday destination for a good reason. When it comes to exquisite, handmade festive decorations for the tree and table and beating the winter blues, the Swiss population leave their British counterparts flailing.

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In Britain, fewer than one in five homes will have a real tree, with the majority clamouring to get their hands on an authenticlooking plastic substitute. For the Swiss, the concept of a fake tree is met with stifled laughter. A friend of a friend, who is a lumberjack in the Engadine, has the luxury of picking the valley’s finest ‘Arve’ tree, also known as a Swiss Stone Pine, a variety that grows almost exclusively in this region. As a result, his house is surely one of the coun-

try’s most festively fragrant residences during this period. But the tree is not just decorated and then left exclusively to house presents; on Christmas day it becomes the focal point of the festivities as the family gather round to sing. While such a custom would be met with looks of incredulity in Britain, it is surprisingly commonplace in Switzerland. Belting out the classics, such as Silent Night and ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem, in the company of your immediate family does not strike the Swiss as being anything but normal. As our first winter in Switzerland progressed, we got used to being awoken by the snow plough, which would pass by our window long before the resounding chime

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Discover Germany | Feature | Swiss Winter Traditions from a British Point of View

me-down skiwear and set down on the slopes. As a precautionary measure, their skis are comically stuck together at the front tips, meaning all initial descents are carried out in the classicV-shaped form of braking. Knowing their cosy home awaits, the Swiss seem oblivious to the plummeting temperatures throughout winter. If they are not skiing, they are sledging, snowshoeing or skating on frozen lakes. That is, of course, when there are no festivities that require their presence. Over the winters we encountered more and more of these foreign customs and celebrations, from the Silvesterchlausen who roam the streets of the Appenzeller Hinterland on both the acknowledged final day of the year (namely 31 December) as well as 13 January, the former end to the year as denoted by the Julian calendar. These dates see the local males elaborately clad as spirits of the new year, known as the Chläuse, roaming from house to house with their cowbells to herald in the new year. of the morning church bells. Its daily presence was a welcome one for most of the village, particularly for those who were keen skiers anyway – essentially everyone, bar the two Brits. Skiing, it transpired, is as important to the Swiss as riding a bicycle is to the Dutch. From as early as three years old, the kids are bustled into their hand-

Living in the vicinity of the Engadine though has meant a close affinity with everything from Scuol to St Moritz. Their notable costume-heavy festival happens at the beginning of March, as the valley’s schoolboys patrol the streets with cowbells around their waists in the pursuit of warding off winter. Similar efforts are made across the length and breadth of the country to ward off the chill, although given the extent of the chilly spells it seems like their efforts are futile. At Zurich’s Sechseläuten carnival every April, for example, there is the symbolic burning of the Böögg, a snowman-type character filled with fireworks that represents winter.The longer it takes to burn, the worse the outlook for the summer. As the madness behind each custom’s intricacies was explained to us by various voices of Switzerland, we frequently found ourselves nodding our heads in agreement and wondering why these strange customs had never made it across the English Channel. But, then again, having an excuse to visit Switzerland is not something to bemoan.

Taking the pace up a notch, February’s giant team-effort sledge races in Alt St. Johann see thousands of spectators and competitors whizzing down the hill, an event that is markedly different to Shrove Tuesday’s Eis-zwei-Geissebei [one – two – goat leg] in Rapperswil, which sees the mayor and council members throw sausages, loaves of bread and pastries onto the awaiting crowd of children in the town square.

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Spielbank Berlin The largest playground in Berlin – for grown-ups only! Right in the hustle and bustle of the big city, close to the Potsdamer Platz, there is the place for everyone who likes to take a risk from time to time. TEXT: HONZA KLEIN/SPIELBANK BERLIN | TRANSLATION: INA FRANK | PHOTOS: SPIELBANK BERLIN

In March 1975, ten shareholders founded the Gustav Jaenecke KG to run a casino in former West Berlin. The concession was granted to them in October and the gaming operation could kick off. Jaenecke himself was a multi-talented sportsman. Having won silver and bronze medals at the world championships, a European championship and 13 German championship titles, he is one of the most successful German ice hockey players. But also in tennis he was an exceptional talent, being the German champion of 1932 and playing together with Gottfried von Cramm, a triple finalist in Wimbledon. This passion for sports impacts the company's commitment even today. Concerning sponsoring, sports are high on the list with more than 500,000 euros spent each year. Well-known names like ISTAF, an international athletics event, discus thrower Robert Harting or the football clubs Hertha

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BSC and 1. FC Union Berlin can enjoy financial support from the Spielbank. Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda also enjoys visiting the Spielbank when coming to the city.

many, new developments are in the works. “Gambling will always be one of the people's passion, that is why we are making plans for the future,”Günter Münstermann, managing associate, says. Without revealing too much, he adds with a smile: “We will definitely make our main house more attractive. But there is even more to come.”

Each year, more than 600,000 guests from all over the world are captivated by the flair of gambling, enjoying a drink at one of the bars and simply having an unforgettable evening, regardless of whether it is playing at one of the automates, roulette, black jack or the increasingly popular poker. In autumn 2015, the Spielbank provided the venue for an exceptional event: the World Series of Poker (WSOP). With more than 2,400 guests from 73 nations it was one of the biggest tournaments ever played in Europe. After all, more than ten million euros were offered as a prize. Now that the Spielbank has been in place for four decades and established itself as one of the most profitable casinos in Ger-

From top: Claudius Dreilich, singer of the band Karat, and music manager Thomas Stein visiting the charity poker tournament. Swimming champion Britta Steffen and Formula 1 legend Nikki Lauda were among the guests at the Spielbank’s 40th anniversary in October 2015. Poker is enjoying ever-increasing popularity, as the well-staffed tables show. Below: Famous discus thrower Robert Harting and Günter Münstermann, head of the Spielbank, meeting at the ISTAF, an international athletics competition in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, where the Spielbank is one of the main sponsors.

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Portraits: Stefan Warbek (above). From top: Alexandra Leistner, Johannes Ziller, Julia Küng, Katharina Braun

Protecting intellectual properties in a connected world For those working in the creative sector, one of the biggest challenges is how to protect their ideas and intellectual property from theft and fraud. This is an urgent question since the early days of the internet when the exchange of ideas and – sadly so – plagiarism hit new dimensions. Lawyers like Dr. Stefan Warbek and his colleagues are experts when it comes to securing those intangible goods. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: WARBEK RECHTSANWÄLTE

When thinking of intellectual properties, unauthorised use of pictures and photographs spring to mind, the reprint of texts without permission or websites illegally offering music to download. But the field is far wider: theatre performances or dance choreographies for example are also protected as intellectual property, as are many other events. Not to speak of research results or developments. It is a complicated sphere that touches many different fields of law, often making it nearly impossible for artists or event organisers to protect their ideas without help – for example when drawing up contracts. After working for a renowned law office in Vienna, Dr. Stefan Warbek founded his own

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law office in 1999 and specialised in, for instance, copyright law, patent law and trademark law. In short, all law fields concerning intellectual properties. At the Innsbruckbased office eight lawyers currently work on all questions of intellectual properties, data protection, internet rights, contracts in science and research or sponsorship deals. “We have all focused on how to protect and secure immaterial goods and values, only when it comes to tangible goods like bars of gold others are responsible,” says Stefan Warbek. Even though tangible goods – like buildings – sometimes are essential as well when working for the creative industry: just imagine a cultural event organiser in need of a new venue. A new building has

to be built or an old one renovated. Even here ideas play an important role. Musical theatres for example often design their stage according to the play they are staging and its unique characteristics and needs. Even how and where lights are set determine the creative outcome. This is why Warbek law office for instance also deals with building laws. Intellectual property rights are complicated: often enough small parts at first glance seem rather unimportant, but indeed are often essential for the overall creative idea. Only experts like the lawyers at Warbek’s knowhow to protect even these tiniest details.

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Discover Germany | Business | Solicitor Column


We have all come to expect taxes to go up year-on-year and appear to have accepted that the word ‘tax-cuts’ has been consigned to the history books. True to form, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has found yet another way of raising additional funds and has proposed in his autumn statement an increase in Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on second homes and buy-to-let properties. SDLT is the property tax which home owners pay on the purchase of real estate. The rather quaint name derives from the fact that paper stamps were indeed once attached to the property deeds to evidence that the tax had been paid. A three per cent surcharge above current SDLT rates is due to apply from April 2016 (which is when the new financial year traditionally starts in the UK) and will also capture foreign investors. The changes mean that the tax rate on the purchase of a property valued at between £125,000 and £250,000 would more than double from two per cent to five per cent of the property value.The stamp duty surcharge is expected to raise almost a billion pounds by 2021 and the government proposes to reinvest ‘some’of that money in local communities in London and places like Cornwall, which are being priced out of home ownership. Apart from raising revenue, the move is also intended to help first-time home buyers climb onto the property ladder by re-

ducing competition for a limited pool of properties from those who already own property.

have the unintended side effect of creating a mini housing bubble as investors rush to beat the April deadline.

That sounds fair enough in principle. But does it stack up? If, as is generally accepted, there is a need for something to be done about the chronic housing shortage in the UK, and for some reason the answer has not to date been to build enough new housing, it does not immediately make sense to penalise those who aspire to become private landlords with the objective of letting out properties to tenants. The increased up-front investment required to acquire a buy-to-let property will more likely simply result in higher rents being charged to recoup that increased outlay. Measures such as a tax on empty housing owned by property speculators would go much further in addressing real housing needs. While the government is yet to consult on the policy detail, as the proposals stand, the increased tax will not be payable by corporate property developers. There must also be a question mark over how easy it will be to police second home ownership, for example, if the purchaser immediately declares the property to be his principal residence. Be that as it may, looking at how busy our residential property team here at Hunters is, the announcement certainly appears to

Gregor Kleinknecht LLM MCIArb is a German Rechtsanwalt and English solicitor, and a partner at Hunters Solicitors, a leading law firm in Central London. Hunters Solicitors, 9 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3QN E-mail:

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Portrait: Till Faida, CEO Eyeo

initiative we’ve not merely been disrupting the billion-dollar ad industry but helping to encourage compromise in the ad industry and better ads for users.” The initiative, which was kicked off in 2011, asks websites and publishing houses to optimise their ads in order to meet the criteria Adblock Plus has established together with their users and the ad industry. It seems as though the German start-up has had the right idea at the right time. “More and more companies recognise that it’s important to treat users respectfully since they have the power to control which websites they visit and which services they want to consume,” Faida continues. Another hot topic is mobile ad blocking, since people are spending more and more time on their smartphones and tablets: “Even though development in this area is still at the beginning, we can see a trend towards blocking on the go, which comes with the additional benefits of letting pages load faster and saving people money on their data plans.”

Gain more by showing less Adblock Plus has revolutionised the internet with a free browser extension software that allows users to surf the web without being distracted by annoying ads, trackers and malware. TEXT: SONJA IRANI | PHOTOS: EYEO GMBH

“I stumbled upon ad blocking by accident when I was conducting a study on the impact of ad blocking software in 2010,” remembers Till Faida, founder and CEO of Eyeo GmbH, the Cologne-based company behind Adblock Plus.“Back then ad blocking wasn’t as widely adopted as it is today, but it was already quite significant and growing rapidly.” By talking to Wladimir Palant, the developer of Adblock Plus, as well as the users, Faida quickly discovered that the people who develop or use ad

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blockers are not against all ads, just the obnoxious ones. Today, users have realised that, for a free internet, ads are necessary. But that does not mean that they have to be annoying or persistent.“We don’t hate ads in general,”explains the CEO.“Actually, we want to encourage publishers and ad networks to make better, user-friendly ads. This approach places us in a unique position: ever since we established the Acceptable Ads

Below: Adblock Plus - How it works

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Discover Germany | Business | Root Engineering & rent r&d

Thinking beyond boundaries The young, Vienna-based start-up company Root Engineering GmbH develops creative concepts for the sustainable use of natural resources and seeks to improve both people’s lives and the environment. Their innovative Chill Cube sets new standards in the sphere of air circulators. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: ROOT ENGINEERING

Root Engineering started off as a student project which worked on developing the Automated Climate Cell (ACC). The successful prototype motivated the three friends to introduce the product to the market. As a fully automated precision farming system for autonomous plant cultivation, the ACC impresses with its results and its focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. Their newest innovation is the Chill Cube – an easily operated, purifying room air ventilator with a visually appealing design. The special cube-shape caters for constant air circulation in a room, cleans the air with built-in carbon and pollen filters and thus improves the overall room climate.“We orig-

inally designed it to reduce fine dust pollution, but it can be used for a variety of purposes,” adds Felix Almer, CIO of Root Engineering. As the filters can be easily changed, the Chill Cube cleans the air from smoke and bad smells and even helps allergy sufferers when combined with dust filters. Inserting ice cubes, commercial cold packs or heating pads will adjust the room climate. In the future, a portable Chill Cube Mini and the individual parts of the ACC will be able to be purchased.“After all, to improve our lives in an innovative and sustainable way, it is necessary to think beyond boundaries,” concludes Markus Kraut, CEO of Root Engineering.

Top: A rendering of the Chill Cube. Portrait: The Root Engineering team: Sascha Beinhart, Markus Kraut and Felix Almer (from left to right).

Bespoke health products and food supplements German company rent r&d is a B2B service provider in the health and food sector. Established by Rosemarie Dauer, rent r&d develops bespoke health-related products such as energy drinks, pastilles or a spray to use against a sore throat. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: RENT R&D

When Rosemarie Dauer works on a new project, she starts at the very base: forming an idea with the client before developing her own formulas, testing these in her laboratory and producing the first test batches based on different ingredients and flavours. Dauer is passionate about working in her laboratory, but she often leaves to participate in conferences or to work directly at a client’s factory and supervise production herself. Entrepreneur Rosemarie Dauer, who also functions as safety instructor for medical devices, studied food technology and holds a Masters for Regulatory Affairs Medical Devices International. With 20 years of expertise, she established her own com-

pany rent r&d in Hallerndorf, certified after ISO 13485. Catering for businesses of various scales, rent r&d offers a wide service portfolio when it comes to developing new products: sweetener with less calories for weight management or tablets for sore throats,

hangovers or stress remedies. From developing health supplements to making the technical documentation for new medical devices, from extract development to finding solutions for tableting processes, extractions, spray-drying or emulsions – Rosemarie Dauer always finds the best solution. Her resource-efficient approach aims to bring a product faster to market maturity – without risking its quality. Portrait: Rosemarie Dauer in the laboratory

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Successful medical & technical enterprises

K-Taping® by Birgit Kumbrink Developed in Dortmund, used around the world You have probably seen professional athletes with colourful tape on their muscles before, but not many people know what it is actually for. It actually comes from Dortmund’s K-Taping Academy who now train people on this topic around the world. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: K-TAPING ACADEMY GMBH

The ‘K’ in K-Tape® stands for Birgit Kumbrink. The physiotherapist developed the first K-Taping® applications in 1998 after reading an article which asked what could be achieved in therapy if one would exert proprioceptive stimulations with the help of an elastic tape. Thus, she started to exchange ideas internationally with other therapists while sharing the existing knowledge about this topic with them. Ingo Kumbrink, engineer and husband of Birgit Kumbrink explains:“Until 1998, only a few muscle tapes were developed and overall interest in further research was quite low. My wife was a bit more curious. Her idea was to give patients the possibility to extend the therapy from the doctor’s practice into one’s home with the tape. We collected patient data until 2000, did years of research and testing, found the perfect material, created a suitable glue and then devel-

oped the K-Tape® which could be established in daily therapy.” Passing on knowledge

Special Theme

Successful medical & technical enterprises

With the development of the K-Tape® came the idea to teach others about the advantages of this therapy.“A well-founded education in using K-Tape® effectively is important. Thus, we started with small courses in Dortmund, but participant numbers grew rapidly. And then it boomed. We started to train instructors, began partnerships with associations and had courses in Olympic bases.Team Telekom sent their physiotherapist to us during the Tour de Swiss to educate him on K-Taping®,”Ingo Kumbrink smiles. This is how the K-Taping Academy

was born.Today, the institute is a partner of the Canadian Physiotherapist Association, France’s SFMKS or corporate member of the National Athletic Trainer Association (NATA) in the USA. Active in almost 40 countries, all courses impress with the highest quality and innovation and are developed and organised over the K-Taping Academy in Dortmund or in cooperation with their international partners and branches.“Through this, we guarantee that the standards remain the same in all courses around the world,” Ingo Kumbrink says. He adds:“For example, we recently trained the medical team of Uganda’s Olympic Committee to prepare them for the Olympic Games 2016. At the same time, paediatric courses were held in Lithuania, a speech-language pathology course in Vienna and the Procourse in Buenos Aires.”Having their own K-Taping Academies in France or Canada,

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Successful medical & technical enterprises

the institution also closely cooperates with FHIL Florida Hospital Innovation Lab at the K-Taping Academy Innovation Centre in Orlando to develop new therapy concepts. The K-Taping Academy is the perfect partner when it comes to therapy with elastic tapes as the majority of knowledge about this topic has its origin directly in the academy. The K-Taping Academy offers courses in KTaping® for physiotherapy, lymphatic therapy, occupational therapy, gynaecology (OG/GYN, women’s health) – for supporting pregnancies, paediatrics, neurology and even for speech and language therapy. As the effects of K-Taping® are not limited to humans, the academy also offers a special horse therapy course with the Equi-K-Taping®. Unprecedented application range Even though most people know the red or blue tapes from athletes, it is only one of the many possibilities of use. K-Tape® can be attached to breast cancer patients to support lymphatic drainage as Birgit Kumbrink developed an aftercare concept for assistance with lymph edemas. It can also treat foot malposition in early childhood, period pain, torticollis or even facial nerve paresis. KTape® can be attached to almost all regions of the body and lasts for around seven days. “Patients aren’t restricted, get supported, their mobility gets improved and joint movement optimised,”Ingo Kumbrink notes. All this happens through the skin’s stimulus of the receptors which are connected to further receptors in muscles, or ligaments.“K-Tape®

has the ductility of muscular tissue and the special attachment of the Physiobond® glue pulls together the skin, lifts the tissue and stimulates lymph and blood circulation,”according to Ingo Kumbrink.

K-Tape® is an elastic cotton tape with Physiobond® glue, is free of any medications or active substances and lasts for around seven days.

As a daily benefit, K-Taping® can support muscle functions, stabilise joints and soothe various painful conditions, such as tennis elbow, knee arthrosis or neck tension. K-Taping® is a therapy for professionals and thus can only be used by trained K-Taping® therapists who have been certified at the K-Taping Academy. However, patients can purchase six pre-cut tape attachments at pharmacies, or the K-Taping® online shop, which can be easily attached without a professional. This specially developed ‘K-Tape® for me’ helps with back pain, knee or ankle problems, neck tension or menstrual pain. Patients who want information about the therapy can find it on the following two websites.Through submitting their postcode, patients can also easily find a list of internationally certified therapists in their region.

Top: Original Kumbrink K-Tape® and pre-cut K-Tape® for me attachments. Below left: The medicament-free K-Taping® also offers a therapy in paediatrics without side effects. Opposite bottom: Pregnant women often suffer from backache and muscular tension. K-Taping® offers various attachments to support muscles, tendons and joints. Bottom right: K-Tape® for me – Pre-cut attachment for backache and spine stabilisation.

K-Taping An illustrated Guide by Birgit Kumbrik Available in many languages at: or in book stores.

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Top-notch ambulances and special-purpose vehicles made in Germany WAS is a leading manufacturer of ambulances and special-purpose vehicles. While its vehicles impress with innovative engineering, custom-fit ergonomics, as well as high-quality workmanship made in Germany, employees at WAS offer significant know-how and personal customer support throughout the entire manufacturing process. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: WAS VEHICLES

“A WAS vehicle makes rescuers stronger and operations more efficient,” smiles Andreas Ploeger, one of the two managing directors of WAS. Whether large-scale or low volume productions or single vehicles for national and international clients, developers, technicians, electricians and other specialists work hand in hand so that high-performance base vehicles get turned into very special ones. Since 1991, WAS has managed to remain one of the leading ambulance manufacturers through innovations and constant progress. For example, the company built the first ambulance with

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waterproof and disinfectant-resistant furniture material. In 1994, WAS developed a stretcher table with hydraulic suspension so that a patient no longer notices the street’s unevenness. When WAS introduced the quality management system, in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001 in 1997, the company was able to assert itself as a Europewide market leader for special-purpose vehicles in the long term. Additionally, WAS was the only German manufacturer in 2000 that conducted crash tests for their entire vehicle range, launched the first box body for ambulances in 2001 with rollover tests

and impressed the market with new, bright LED lights for warning systems.Today, this innovation is standard in large-volume production vehicles of well-known car manufacturers. “WAS enjoys international acclaim from independent institutions, such as VCA England, UTAC France and TÜV Rheinland in Germany,” adds Andreas Ploeger. Today, over 350 employees work in Wietmarschen in north-west Germany. Meticulously manufacturing around 1,500 sophisticated ambulances and special-purpose vehicles a year, they manage to generate an annual revenue of 80 million euros. The vehicles are the result of forward-thinking development, 90 per cent of manual labour, diligent processing and an array of very special details.“One of our main strengths is that we are able to build a large quantity of vehicles at short notice. We managed to

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Successful medical & technical enterprises

produce around 300 vehicles in less than three months for Egypt once,” Andreas Ploeger says. A profound portfolio The internationally operating company builds custom-made vehicles upon specific customer requests. “The requirements for an ambulance are simply different than 20 years ago. Patients don’t simply get driven to a hospital but doctors have to decide where to take them exactly while they get treatment in the vehicle,” notes Andreas Ploeger. With their many special details and meticulous testing regime, WAS vehicles are perfect for simplifying work for emergency services and for ensuring the highest possible degree of safety, quality, patient comfort and hygiene. Innovative WAS Assist Systems, such as an electromechanical door closing aid, aerodynamic alarm systems, an individually configurable interior, electro-hydraulic ambulance tables, custom-made roof control centres, adjustable air-conditioning devices, lowvibration floors or holistic ergonomics are only a few of the many special components of WAS vehicles. Putting the environment at the core of its doings, WAS also seeks to make its vehicles as sustainable as possible. While the vehicles’ box bodies and their furnishings are entirely demountable, recyclable and CFC free, the aerodynamic and light design reduces fuel consumption.

WAS also developed a heavy-duty transport van for adipose patients.“Each of our vehicles is special – whether it’s a normal ambulance or a neonatal transporting unit. We put diligence at the core of our doings, whether we build one specimen for a local German committee or produce hundreds of cars for the Gulf region,” says Andreas Ploeger. As if manufacturing innovative vehicles would not be enough, WAS also offers national and international maintenance and repairing services and advises international customers and emerging economies. “We discuss what is possible for a specific country and what is needed there,”adds Andreas Ploeger. The future of WAS will be coined by the desire to continue innovations, making vehicles more energy efficient, decreasing overall costs and the costs of operating their vehicles. As one of the biggest companies in their field in Europe, WAS is sure to flexibly fulfil individual wishes – from cheap to expensive and from simple to complex.

Main image: Processing line of van vehicles. Left, from top: Ambulance WAS 500 for European markets. Bariatric / Intensive Care Transport Vehicle. Interior of Bariatric / Intensive Care Transport Vehicle. Mobile outpatient clinic for refugees. V.I.P ambulance for Qatar. Below: Ambulance for Egypt.

Whether a dog transport van for the police, an emergency ambulance for Mongolia, an All-Terrain Ambulance for mountain operations, a neonatal transport car, an intensive care unit for Qatar or a special vehicle for water safety divisions, WAS is able to offer a vast portfolio of ambulances and special-purpose vehicles. “We constantly seek to respond to current situations,” explains Andreas Ploeger. An example for this is a mobile outpatient clinic for refugees. Andreas Ploeger explains: “The medical care of refugees calls for immediate action and our mobile practice is able to offer this. We have even integrated a separate dressing room to cater for the comfort of Muslims. Another example is our special infection ambulance which was needed in South Korea in times of the MERS-epidemic.”

Bottom: All-Terrain Ambulance.

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Advancing micro technology since 1947 FAULHABER, a family-run group of companies with its headquarters in Schönaich, near Stuttgart, creates unique miniature drive system solutions for markets where precision and reliability in the smallest of spaces is crucial. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS I PHOTOS: DR. FRITZ FAULHABER GMBH & CO. KG

The Rosetta mission by the European Space Agency (ESA) has made history. By carrying out the seemingly impossible feat of placing a small spacecraft on the surface of a comet in November 2014, scientists now hope to gather information on how our Solar System was formed. FAULHABER, an independent family-run group of companies from Germany, plays a major role in this mission. The lander named Philae, which was dropped on the speeding comet, contains 14 drive systems designed by FAULHABER. The harsh conditions in space demand a great deal of the technology, since it had to survive a trip of ten years and more than six

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million miles through space. The drive systems from the German group of companies founded in 1947 are up to the task though. FAULHABER technologies are known for

being masterpieces of precision engineering and electro mechanics at the limit of what is technically feasible.Today, the drive specialist, with its headquarters in Schönaich in the state of Baden-Württemberg, offers the most extensive range of miniature and micro drive systems available from a single source worldwide. FAULHABER’s head of marketing Andreas Seegen

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Successful medical & technical enterprises

describes the company as a niche supplier: “We design drive solutions that are unique with respect to their precision and reliability in the smallest of spaces.” Fritz Faulhaber, a pioneer who thought outside the box It all began with a vision by Fritz Faulhaber at the end of the 1940s, Seegen explains. “He founded a workshop for fine mechanics, because he realised that conventional drive systems were too big for certain areas of application. He therefore wanted to develop specific motor technology which was more compact and more efficient.”Nowadays, FAULHABER drive systems are used in aerospace, production automation and robotics, optical systems, as well as medicine and laboratory technology. The drive solutions range from components specifically designed for the application, to system partnership with automated production for complex mechatronic assemblies. Overall, more than 1,600 employees work for the company that has development and production locations in Switzerland, the USA, Hungary and Romania. Additionally, there are sales partners and subsidiaries in more than 30 countries.

“Our DC-microdrives differ from other types mainly with regard to their design,” Seegen says. According to him, the rotor does not consist of a laminated sheet package, but instead of a self-supporting, skewwound copper coil. As a result, the motors perform highly dynamic and provide a precise speed control.

cently developed drive systems for hand tools, which make it easier to cut vines or olive trees.”For 2016, the company plans to introduce new product lines to the market. “At the moment, we work on offering additional drive system solutions that are entirely available and range from the motor to the electronics assembly,”Seegen reveals.

A responsible use of resources

For those who want to learn more about the company’s recent innovations, there is the possibility to read the customer magazine motion. The issues are published every month and can be downloaded via the motion-app. Readers then have access to the latest articles, image galleries and videos.

Whether used in medicine technology, for instance in lung ventilators and cardiological instruments, or in the ESA’s Philae lander, the miniature and micro drive systems must function perfectly in any circumstance, Seegen emphasises. “We have an uncompromising awareness for quality, therefore the name FAULHABER stands for excellent products and outstanding service.”The company is also aware of its environmental responsibility. Thus, FAULHABER ensures an energy efficient production, disciplined recycling as well as energy efficient infrastructure and facilities worldwide. FAULHABER technology is even being used in everyday life.“Chances are that you have already held a tool or machine in your hands that contains one of our drive systems,” Seegen says. “For example, we re- Main image: Philae, a robotic European Space Agency lander, touched down on a comet © European Space Agency (ESA) Portraits: Andreas Seegen, FAULHABER’s head of marketing © Dr. Fritz Faulhaber GmbH & Co. KG (left) From left: Directors Gert Frech-Walter, Dr. Fritz Faulhaber, Dr. Thomas Bertolini © Dr. Fritz Faulhaber GmbH & Co. KG (right) Below: FAULHABER drive systems: The DNA for applications of future generations © Dr. Fritz Faulhaber GmbH & Co. KG (left) High-performance micro¬drives play a key role in analysing blood and urine samples © Dr. Fritz Faulhaber GmbH & Co. KG (right) Bottom: FAULHABER Spule © Dr. Fritz Faulhaber GmbH & Co. KG (left) Harpoon unit for secure anchoring on the surface of the comet © European Space Agency (ESA) (right)

Highly dynamic motors and a precise speed control Medicine is one of the major fields where FAULHABER technology is being applied. For example, in dentistry, for procedures in endodontics like root canal treatments, many dental practices currently use so-called DC-microdrives built-in modern automation technology. Both dentists and patients benefit from these new instruments, since they make it easier for the dentist to carefully clean and treat the root canal. In comparison to older technology, DC-micromotors from FAULHABER are more smooth running and operate quietly.“With a diameter of 15 millimetres and a length of just 24 millimetres, the 1524 series DC-microdrives are easy to integrate,”Seegen explains.“Thanks to their high-power density, the motors are not only compact, they also weigh only 18 grams.” The small and powerful system therefore ensures a precise operation even if a large amount of patients are being treated during the course of the day.

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Discover Germany | Special Theme | Successful medical & technical enterprises

Above: mySugr’s Logbook app (left)

Modernising diabetes therapy Diabetes is still a chronic and incurable disease which many people developed in their childhood years. Therapy is arduous and exhausting and thus, many diabetics lose their motivation to adequately take care of their illness and therefore risk their health. Vienna-based start-up company mySugr wants to revolutionise and simplify today’s diabetes therapy with innovative mobile all-round care. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: MYSUGR

Founded in 2012, mySugr seeks to turn diabetes therapy into something positive and improve the quality of life of people with this condition.“Living with diabetes honestly sucks. Upon diagnosis we have to be acutely aware about every little thing we do - in fact we have to make around 50 therapy-related decisions every day, completely on our own. We provide our users with consistent all-round care for the lonely time in between doctor visits,” explains Frank Westermann, CEO of mySugr. A team of 30 experts – many of them having lived with type 1 diabetes since their childhood - have developed mySugr.“We have our own view on therapy and our experience helped to develop the products.Thus, mySugr belongs to the first patient-driven companies and works closely alongside doctors

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and diabetes experts,”adds Westermann. As diabetes is an extremely data-driven illness, people with diabetes have to calculate and interpret blood sugar levels, quantity of carbohydrates and insulin units to make daily therapy decisions. Data is not only necessary for the doctor to adjust the therapy, but also helps people with diabetes to understand and manage their illness. Thus, the company has developed a suit of diabetes apps: Logbook, Academy, Importer and Quiz.The Logbook app is mySugr’s most popular app with around 500,000 registered users. Collecting all therapy data in one place, mySugr has integrated blood sugar measuring devices transferring blood sugar levels automatically to the app. It also offers a playful component to keep up motivation. For example, users can play

The Logbook app (middle) The mySugr team (right) Below: The mySugr office

Health-Challenges to improve certain therapy aspects. Westermann says:“We are convinced that the combination of a playful therapy approach, medical purpose and high quality makes our products great.”He adds: “People often write to us about how our app helped them to not only improve their HbA1c levels, but also in changing their view on therapy and finally getting their diabetes under control. This makes us really proud.”mySugr puts special emphasis on listening to customers, while also taking medical-regulatory requirements very seriously. Thus, their apps are classified in Europe as medical products of risk class 1 (Logbook) and 2B (bolus calculator) or registered at the FDA in the USA (Logbook).

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Culture, Cuisine & Events - The oasis of diversity Engadin St. Moritz - Life in the most exciting Alpine metropolis is enriching. This is what we have in store for our guests at a high level and with charming appreciation. Life is beautiful - Enjoy it!

h o s p i t a l i t y

s i n c e

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Culture Calendar Save the date as there are plenty of great events scheduled for the weeks to come. From music festivals and exciting exhibitions to fantastic sport events and social highlights, Discover Germany’s Culture Calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in January. TEXT: INA FRANK

New Year's Ski Jumping, GarmischPartenkirchen (1 January)

room + style and fashion + style Trade Fair, Dresden (8 – 10 January)

As an inherent part of the Vierschanzentournee (tour of four ski jumps), top sportsmen will once again venture forth on the Olympic ski jump. Watch great athletes 'fly' in front of the backdrop of a beautiful winter landscape.

Anyone who wants to redesign their home in the new year will definitely discover ideas at the room + style fair with its high-quality, exclusive products in the areas of living, arts and decoration. And if your wardrobe needs an update as well, the concurrent fashion + style fair offers great clothing, shoes and accessories.

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Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

Wonderworld Festival, Heidelberg (9 – 10 January) The guiding idea of the festival is to connect photography and nature conservation. Through showing projects of invited photographers and offering different lectures, people should be made aware of nature’s beauty and its worthiness of protection. International Children's Winter Games, Innsbruck (12 – 16 January) Officially recognised by the Olympic Committee, the International Children's Winter Games bring together more than 1,000 athletes from 70 different cities. As intercultural exchange is more vital than ever nowadays, the event also aims at giving the young participants an opportunity to make new friendships beyond the sporting competitions. Film Festival Max Ophüls Preis, Saarbrücken (18 – 24 January) For 35 years the film festival Max Ophüls Preis has been the most important showcase for young German-speaking film makers. Young talents can win manifold prizes in four categories which makes the festival a significant career stepping stone. Additional events like parties and discussions round off the programme. Solothurner Film Days (21 – 28 January) The Solothurner Film Days are seen as the most important festival for Swiss films. The festival's programme aims at reflecting the variety of Swiss film making and dealing with current societal tendencies. Next to awards for films of various lengths and the ‘Prix de Soleure’ (Prize of Solothurn) for cinematic productions critical of society, the audience can vote for its favourite film. Three Days of Jazz, Saalfelden and Leogang (22 – 24 January) Fans of jazz definitely get their money's worth: three days of concerts at interesting locations – a mining museum, for instance – with a comfortable, free of charge shuttle service between the venues in a rural area. Main image: New Year's Ski Jumping. © Brigitte Waltl-Jensen/OK Vierschanzentournee opposite bottom: International Children’s Winter Games. © innsbruck-tirol sports GmbH Top right: Film Festival Max Ophüls Preis. © Sebastian Woithe Right: room + style and fashion + style trade fair. © Messe Dresden (middle & bottom)

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Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

Mozart Week, Salzburg (22 – 31 January) Making the music of Mozart perceptible again and again – that is the goal of Mozart Week in Salzburg. The world's best orchestras and single performers give the festival its unique character. In 2016, visitors can expect chamber concerts, orchestral performances and choirs. Jungfrau Music Festival, Bern, Interlaken and Thun (23 – 30 January) For a whole week top-class wind orchestras will present their skills to the audience. The concert competition brings together musicians from all over the world and offers unparalleled listening experiences to visitors.

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St. Moritz Gourmet Festival (25 – 29 January) Five days full of culinary delights in the winter sports paradise St. Moritz – this year, visitors can indulge in Japanese dishes, as Japan is the partner country of the festival. In different topclass hotels throughout the town the chef’s de cuisine will enthral the guests together with their Japanese partners. Festival of the curried sausage, Neuwied (29 – 31 January) For the eighth time already, more than two dozen vendors will offer their interpretations of this classical German dish. Whether it is Asian curried sausage with peanut-basil sauce, kebab curried sausage or one of the vegetarian

variants with tofu or banana, no visitor will leave this festival hungry. One of a Million Festival, Baden (29 January – 6 February) The festival calls itself a ‘boutique-festival’: small, but with a lot to offer. The concerts distinguish themselves in an intimate setting. All venues are close to each other and can be reached within a ten-minute walk, so you will not miss any artist you would like to see! And while taking a walk through Baden, there is even more to discover, like Switzerland’s very first railway station.

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Discover Germany | Culture | Culture Calendar

Art on Snow, Gasteinertal (30 January – 5 February) At the biggest art festival in the Alps guests can marvel at sculptures made of ice or watch how heaps of snow are being turned into play equipment for children. At night, the art works are illuminated and form an incredible light show together. Anyone who prefers staying in a warm place can sign up for a painting workshop in one of the participating hotels and embrace one's artistic creativity.

Opposite left top: Solothurner Film Days. © Solothurner Filmtage Opposite left: Art on Snow. © Roland Haschka/Gasteinertal Tourismus GmbH Opposite middle & right: Festival of the curried sausage. © Pressebüro der Stadt Neuwied Opposite bottom: Mozart Week. © Wolfgang Krautzer Right: One of a Million Festival. © Pascal Küng



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Discover Germany | Culture | Barbara Geier

Let’s see what 2016 brings First of all, happy New Year! Has it gone off to a good start for you so far? I very much hope so. And are you already busy putting all those New Year’s resolutions into practice? If not, I for one won’t blame you. I have to admit I’ve never followed that tradition. Life’s stressful enough, so why add more pressure? TEXT: BARBARA GEIER

On that note, apparently, if surveys are anything to go by, resolution number one for the majority of Germans at the end of each year is reducing stress in the coming one. I sometimes wonder, from my slightly abnormal London perspective, why so many Germans seem to be so stressed. Whenever I’m back in Germany, I feel very much ‘slowed down’. People walk more slowly, they stand on escalators on both sides (and I can’t overtake), pedestrians wait at red traffic lights, people go home for lunch (in small towns they do), the whole pace of life is slower. But hey, stress is subjective, so I’m not judging. Obviously. More sports and spending more time with the family are the runner up for German NewYear’s resolutions, followed by making more time for oneself, eat more healthily (wonder how long that one usually lasts) and actually losing weight.Then, it’s spending less money and to stop drinking and smoking. Sounds all very familiar, I guess. More than half actually say that they stick to their resolutions for more than three months and then it’s out of the window, the same procedure as every year. Now, I don’t want to put you off from bettering yourself. If New Year’s resolutions are your cup of tea, then go for it. For myself, I thought I’d put together a little list of things that I’ve always wanted to do in Ger-

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many and never got to because, well, if it’s your own country you always think –“Ah, well, I can go there anytime”– while always putting more exotic things first. And then it never happens. It’s unlikely that 2016 will be the year that I manage all of the following but hey, you have to make resolutions (apparently)! So, here we go: I have never been to Regensburg and everyone that I talk to who’s been is raving about it. It’s a beautiful, historic old, UNESCO city, with a fabulous location on the Donau that is absolutely gorgeous in summer. So, I really have to go. Then there’s Münster, in a completely different part of Germany. Bavaria, where Regensburg is located and the Westphalian city of Münster, couldn’t be more different I guess. Not least because of the language spoken. Bavarian is very, very ‘high German’ as we call it. Many people say it’s the most beautiful city in Germany, being very old, of course, and very green in many ways. It’s Germany’s capital of cycling with two bikes for every one of the 300,000 inhabitants. And I’m particularly keen on really seeing it now because I had to go to Münster on business this year and got all excited, only to discover that my meeting was in the outskirts of town in a part of the city that’s not really Münster anymore. And since it was an in and out trip, I ended up not seeing anything at all of Münster’s famous historical city centre.

Last but not least, something specifically food and Berlin related: one name that always crops up in the context of the German capital’s burgeoning restaurant and foodie scene – and has for years - is that of Tim Raue, who’s worked his way up since the ‘90s to two Michelin stars. Since I – luckily - won’t be bogged down by any NewYear’s resolutions to eat less, I’d really like to go to his restaurant, indulge and see what the fuss is about. So, let’s see what 2016 brings! With or without resolutions …

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind, a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up together with UK travel writer Andrew Eames in 2010.

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SEB voted best Private Bank in German-speaking Europe Over 100 private banks were tested by Fuchsbriefe publishing house with IQF and risk analysis specialists Quanvest. Their conclusion in 2014 noted, “SEB Private Banking Luxembourg stands out in almost every category: in addition to brilliant advice, the competition cannot keep up in terms of either investment proposals or transparency.” Our international network of private banking offices will look after all aspects of your family finances, from daily transactions to long term investments. Its services cover everything from tailored financial management, through to helping you to optimise the legal and tax structures within which your assets are held. As one of the world’s strongest banks* and with more than 150 years of experience in private banking, we have just what it takes to ensure your future prosperity. To find out what SEB can do for your personal wealth, contact us in London or Luxembourg: London Private Banking Team +44 (0) 20 7246 4225

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neomatik 1st edition: Introducing ten new watches from NOMOS Glash端tte, powered by DUW 3001, the next generation automatic movement. Ultra-thin and extremely precise. Now available at selected NOMOS retailers and at

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