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Issue 51 | June 2017

Y’AKOTO A M E R M A I D R I S I N G TO FA M E

PLUS

CHILDREN’S UNIVERSE FABULOUS POOL & BBQ SEASON TOP INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS TRAVEL, BUSINESS & MORE

T H E M AG A Z I N E P R O M OT I N G G E R M A N Y, S W I T Z E R L A N D & A U ST R I A


Discover Germany  |  Contents

Contents JUNE 2017

24 Photo: © Julia Kiecksee

60 Photo: © Park Hyatt Vienna

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Y’akoto Y’akoto has been compared to great jazz icons such as Nina Simone. Now the 29-year-old Ghanaian-German singer has released her third album. Thus, our writer Nadine Carstens talks to her about her newest project, her past in Ghana and more.

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SPECIAL THEMES 18

Children’s Universe In this special theme, let’s take a look at Germany’s movers and shakers in the colourful and exciting world of baby products.

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Fabulous Pool & BBQ Season What would summer be without the omnipresent smell of barbeques? To make this summer a special one, find out how to bring your barbeque to the next level.

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Top Three International Schools Germany The choice of a school is a rather important one. Thus, to help you a bit, we have handpicked the top three international schools in Germany.

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The Future of Mobility Have you ever wondered who produces innovative braking systems or state-ofthe-art products in the mobility sector? Find out in our special theme.

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LASER World of PHOTONICS From 26 until 29 June, the World Trade Fair and Congress for components, systems and applications of photonics will take place in Munich. Find out what some exhibitors have to offer here. Focus on Data Security We all know the horrors of data recovery and how complicated effective data security measures can be. Thus, we have

Photo: © Gols Brewery

spoken to some of Germany’s innovative companies in this field to find out more about the topic.

COVER FEATURE

Legal and Financial Advisors Germany Looking for legal or financial advice? We have handpicked some of Germany’s great innovators so you can find the right pick for you. Austria’s Legal Experts From Innsbruck to Graz, Vienna or Salzburg; reliable legal services can be found all over Austria. To find out more about some of the country’s best legal experts, take a look at this special theme.

course to plant one billion trees. Discover Germany speaks to the ‘wunderkind’ behind this – Felix Finkbeiner.

REGULARS & COLUMNS 10

Dedicated to Design Whether you searching for a new, stylish summer outfit or innovative design ideas from the DACH region, be sure to have a look at our design section.

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Wine & Dine This month, our wine & dine section has all eyes on great wines and beer from Austria, numerous great restaurants and much more.

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Culture An inspiring interview with actor Philipp Danne, enchanting museums, cultural trip ideas and a film column await you in the culture section.

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Travel Whether you search for luxurious hotels, a beautiful natural landscape for hiking or skiing or other things to do and see in the DACH region, we have got you covered.

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Business Our business section is filled with innovative companies and ideas from the DACH region this month. Our columnist Gregor Kleinknecht’s further takes on the Digital Government Act to round up our business offering.

FEATURES 49

Film Review: Woman in Love This month, our columnist Sonja Irani reviews an all-time German favourite comedy: Rubbeldiekatz or Woman in Love, starring Matthias Schweighöfer. Find out what she thought.

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Star Interview: Philipp Danne German-born Philipp Danne is best known for his leading role in In aller Freundschaft – Die jungen Ärzte, but was already seen in several other TV series, movies and numerous thrillers. Discover Germany speaks to the young actor to find out more.

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Luther’s Wedding As we are celebrating 500 years of reformation this year, our writer Wibke Carter takes a closer look at Luther’s wedding and the annual festival dedicated to this topic in Wittenberg. ‘Stop Talking, Start Planting’ Exactly ten years ago, a nine-year-old German boy decided that more action was needed to counteract climate change. What started off as a simple school project, turned into a global movement that is on

102 Culture Calendar Discover Germany’s culture calendar is your perfect guide to what not to miss in June. 106 Barbara Geier Column This month, our columnist Barbara Geier talks about the German fight against dog mess. Find out what exactly this means in her article. Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  3


Dear Reader,

Discover Germany Issue 51, June 2017 Published 06.2017 ISSN 2051-7718 Published by Scan Magazine Ltd. Print Liquid Graphic Ltd. Executive Editor Thomas Winther Creative Director Mads E. Petersen Editor Nane Steinhoff Copy-Editor Isa Hemphrey Graphic Designer Mercedes Moulia Feature Writer Thomas Schroers Contributors Barbara Geier Cornelia Brelowski Elisabeth Doehne Gregor Kleinknecht Ina Frank Jaime Heather Schwartz

Jessica Holzhausen Marilena Stracke Nadine Carstens Silke Henkele Sonja Irani Toyah Marondel Wibke Carter Cover Photo © Julia Kiecksee Sales & Key Account Managers Emma Fabritius Nørregaard Laura Hummer Noura Draoui Sophie Blecha Catriona Noble Marcel Schuppert Publisher: SCAN GROUP Scan Magazine Ltd. 15B Bell Yard Mews Bermondsey Street London SE1 3YT United Kingdom Phone: +44 (0)870 933 0423 Fax: +44 (0)870 933 0421   Email: info@discovergermany.com For further information please visit www.discovergermany.com

The end of June marks the muchanticipated start of the school summer holidays in some German states such as Bremen, Lower Saxony, Saxony, SaxonyAnhalt and Thuringia. For many, this means extensive relaxation, banning work stress from everyday life and, of course, visiting new places. In order to give you some inspiration for doing the latter, we have handpicked interesting museums, great hotels, exciting holiday regions and more for this issue. If you prefer to stay home for your holidays, you will most likely be invited to one or two barbeques this summer. Thus, be sure to check out our barbeque season special, which takes a closer look at innovative and sustainable barbeque coals amongst other things. If you’re on your way to some exciting destination while reading this, why not have a read of our great cover story this month. Our writer Nadine Carstens had the chance to speak to the GhanaianGerman singer Y’akoto, who just released her third album. Find out about the singer’s past, what her album is all about and more. Another inspiring person we met up with for this holiday issue is Felix Finkbeiner. The now 19-year-old started the well-known Plant-for-the-Planet initiative at the young age of nine and is currently en route to plant a billion trees all over the world. Find out what moved him to found one of the world’s most prominent climate change campaigns, how he felt when speaking to the UN for the first time and what we all should and can do to help our planet. Other inspiring topics in our June issue are international schools, an exciting interview with actor Philipp Danne and a film review of Woman in Love with TV-favourite Matthias Schweighöfer. Furthermore, we explore the 500th anniversary of the reformation by taking a closer look at the small town of Wittenberg where an annual festival re-enacts the wedding between Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora. Sit back, relax and thanks for reading.

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

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Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

Fashion Finds In some German states, the annual school summer holidays begin at the end of June. For many families this means sun, fun and the beach. Thus, we thought it would be a great idea to handpick some stylish items to take to your summer holiday this year. After all, you do not want to fulfil the stereotype of the German tourist with white socks and old sandals. EDITOR’S PICKS  I  PRESS IMAGES

The German company Adolf Riedl GmbH & Co. KG has stood for exceptional swimwear for over 70 years. With these ultra-chic pieces by its brand Sunflair, you will look stunning at any pool or beach. ‘Watercolour Bloom Bikini’ £77, ‘Watercolour Bloom Swimsuit’ £86. www.bademoden.info

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Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Fashion Finds

This stylish bikini by Olympia – another brand from the Adolf Riedl GmbH & Co. KG – comprises of summery colours, a great fit and top-class comfort. ‘Coco de Mer Bikini’ £PoA. www.bademoden.info Cover your eyes from the abundance of sunshine you soak up on a nice holiday with these adorable sunglasses by Marc O’Polo. Approx. £120. www.marc-o-polo.com

Over the past few years, swimsuits have become more and more popular again. Why not add this gorgeous Bogner swimsuit to your wardrobe this summer? £115. www.bogner.com

Comfortable, yet stylish – give your feet an airy rest this summer with these comfy sandals by Görtz. Approx. £60. www.goertz.de

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  7


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  ergotrauringe

Extraordinary: ‘Spalt‘ and ‘Radius’ ring.

Uniting: ‘Bogen’ and ‘EinKant’.

Special: ‘Spalt’ ring with navette diamond.

The perfect wedding ring fits like a shiny second skin Finding the perfect ring, as everyday jewellery or especially for weddings, is not an easy task. Often enough the ring is too wide or thick and, even though very pretty, simply too uncomfortable to wear. With ‘ergonomische RINGE’ the family Matthias, Peter and Maike Thomas have found the perfect solution: ergonomically formed rings, naturally enveloping the finger like a second skin. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: MATTHIAS & MAIKE THOMAS

Every ‘ergonomische RINGE’ ring fits just one, unique person and is handmade to measure, which makes even broad rings comfortable to wear without bothering the wearer when doing daily tasks.“When, for example, a couple comes to one of our ateliers, we take a lot of time for consultation,” says Maike Thomas, who created the concept for ergotrauringe together with two uncles. Unlike other rings, ‘ergonomische RINGE’ are angular, thus following the line of the finger. This also means the ring does not slip or turn around on the finger.“We measure the angle and the ring size, consider all possibilities and details and, together with the couple, develop a unique and very personal pair of rings.” With a consultation in-between to make sure the measurements are indeed correct, in the end customers will have a ring they actually co-created. 8  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

Currently, customers can choose between eight different collections and many possible material combinations. The ergotrauringe design is straightforward, with clear lines and structured materials, brushed golden surfaces create a matte and soft sheen. To create a delicate twist, customers can for example choose to combine two colours, add a gap or gemstones. “About two decades ago, the idea to make ergonomically shaped rings was born in my uncle’s workshop,” says Maike Thomas. “My uncle Matthias Thomas is a very practical man and to him this was obvious: if the finger is attached to the hand in a slightly tilted way, the ring has to be formed likewise.” Matthias Thomas discussed the idea with his family: “Over time my other uncle, Peter, and I joined the project,” says Maike Thomas. “Together we developed the idea

of an ergonomic shape further, worked out new designs, exchanged our views and now have three workshop-ateliers – in south, north and west – to make our clients happy.” Matthias Thomas has his atelier east of Stuttgart, Peter Thomas works in Soltau in Lower Saxony and Maike in Alsdorf near Aachen. www.ergotrauringe.de Precious: ‘Feingold’ ring; inner ring made out of fine gold.


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  WONDERSTRIPES® Cosmetics

A real eye-opener Youthful and fresh looks have been the centre of attention for a long time. WONDERSTRIPES® Cosmetics have found effective means that will help you defy those first signs of ageing and retain your youthful looks with small yet incredibly effective means. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: WONDERSTRIPES® COSMETICS

Ranja Hanano, the founder and owner of the Hamburg-based company WONDERSTRIPES® Cosmetics, knows how to make you glow. “We founded WONDERSTRIPES® Cosmetics in 2013 with the aim to seek out and promote the latest and most innovative beauty trends. One of our first products were our legendary Beauty Tapes that optically correct the upper eye lid. These stripes open the eye, make it seem brighter and bigger, thus giving the wearer an overall more radiant look,“ says Hanano, recounting the first big success of her company. Products like moisturising and refreshing Hydrogel Eye Pads or anti-ageing, lifting Second Skin Bio Cellulose Face Mask have since been added to

WONDERSTRIPES® Cosmetics’ beauty collection and continue to amaze their users with instant results. Wellness goes with WONDERSTRIPES® Cosmetics’ beauty products. “Our products can easily be integrated into your daily beauty routine or a luxurious wellness day. Particularly our eye pads and face mask have become indispensable travel companions that pamper your skin effectively even after a long day on a plane,” says Hanano, praising the advantages of WONDERSTRIPES® Cosmetics’ easy-to-use products that will bring back that special glow to your face in no time at all.

Without WONDERSTRIPES® Beauty Tapes (left), with WONDERSTSRIPES® Beauty Tapes (right).

WONDERSTRIPES® Starter Set - facial tonic and beauty tape in sizes S, M, and L.

www.wonderstripes.de

GE N LE UIN AT HE E R

A L L O W YO U R S E L F SOME LUXURY W W W . M AT T I O L I - B A G S . D E


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Dedicated to Design

Dedicated to Design… In terms of design, many trends come and go. One specific style that seems to transcend this changing environment is the country style, which is called ‘Landhausstil’ in German. For our June issue, we have taken on the task of assembling five exciting items following this very particular style. Surely, these items will also stand the test of time and may become a permanent feature in your home. BY: THOMAS SCHROERS

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1. Here is a beautiful bookshelf from the Mix & Match collection by Austrian label SUPPAN & SUPPAN. Mix & Match enables you to create your very own country combination, as you can choose sizes and finishes that fit your taste. Manufactured out of European pinewood, the displayed wall is a combination of three individual pieces. In total: £2,900. www.suppanundsuppan.at 2. This etagere will convince you with its flexible use in the interior or exterior. Whether delightful decoration, fresh fruits or picturesque plants, the etagere will give each of these items a perfect home. £50. www.country-garden.de 3. Here is another item that will complete your rooms and spaces. Made from metal and covered with an antique patina, including rusty spots, this lamp is multipurpose and will adapt to almost any surrounding. With adjusting screws and a concertina design, it can easily be adjusted into various positions. £125. www.wohnflair.com 4. Stop searching for the essentials with this trio of colourful storage cans. Handcrafted, as well as hand-painted, the cans are artful in their ceramic look and wooden lid. The bright red colour also gives them an eye-catching, exciting look that will brighten your day. £20. www.heimatwerke.de

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5. ‘La vie est belle’ is the inscription on this beautiful wall clock and the name says it all. Sporting a retro charm, this piece will fit right into your country design, be it at home or in an office. The hands are available in black and silver. £30. www.wall-art.de

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F O T O G R A F I E : S Y LV A N M Ü L L E R

EINZIG IN SEINER ART


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Zooloose & Wood & Luxury

Urbanism and authenticity

– a perfect combination

TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: ESTHER PETSCHE

When it comes to fashion, customers are spoilt for choice from a seemingly endless selection of types and brands of clothing that can leave you clueless of which piece to buy or trend to follow. Fashion stores like Swiss-based Zooloose can help. Fashion enthusiast Matthias Weber first opened Zooloose in Basle in 1994, at the height of the craze for sportswear. “Back in the middle of the 1990s, Matthias’ store concept was a huge innovation that was eagerly embraced by our clients,” says Meret Renggli, head of marketing at Zooloose. “In 2013, Zooloose opened a second shop in Basel (Zooloose MARKET), followed by another store in Zurich,” says Renggli, outlining Zooloose’s successful story. Zooloose takes great care to stock an exclusive choice of brands like Nudie Jeans, NN07, or Red Wing. “Zooloose most definitely does not follow mainstream trends. While we of course take great care to always stock fashion that reflects the pulse of times, we are

following a strictly selective approach. This means that we consciously choose more and more fair trade brands, while we also take care to only order small numbers, thus guaranteeing our customers exclusivity that cannot be granted by big fashion chains,” says Renggli, explaining the careful selection of their items on offer. Although the internet renders the fashion market highly competitive, Zooloose by way of competence and focus on authentic instead of commercial brands, continues to maintain its rightfully uncontested place in the market. www.zooloose.ch www.zooloose.ch/welcome-shop (for online orders)

The natural beauty of fruitwood Since 1992, Basel-based Wood & Luxury has been designing and creating highquality furniture and accessories. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS  I  PHOTOS: RENÉ RICKLI

Small pieces of art that are highly functional and made of the most beautiful types of wood – this is how Stefan Senn describes products by Wood & Luxury. The interior designer and founder of the Swiss company offers unique, timeless pieces such as a luxurious bathtub in Japanese style, a classy whisky cabinet, noble tables, and useful accessories. All of these pieces stand out due to their clean and harmonious design. “We are fans of solid wood of fruit trees, which are one of Switzerland’s few resources,” Senn says. “There are about two million fruit trees left here. 75 per cent of them are very old and should be put to good use.” Senn wants to make these rare pieces available to his customers, while also taking care of sustainability. There12  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

fore, the company has already planted about 500 trees as a replacement. In Switzerland, Senn’s products, which are manufactured by experienced wood craftsmen, were already known under the name of WohnGeist. “Since there was an increasing demand among customers from other countries, we decided to addi-

tionally sell our products under an English name,” says Senn. One of Wood & Luxury’s latest creations is the Swiss Essential Box that provides essential tools for working the household or when you are en route. In autumn, the company will also introduce a Swiss Picnic Set including a leather case with a cutting board, a pocket knife, cutlery, as well as salt and pepper mills. www.woodandluxury.swiss www.wohngeist.ch

The Swiss Essential Box.

Stefan Senn, founder of Wood & Luxury.


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  HARTMANN TRESORE

Signature Safes by HARTMANN.

Security in style Signature Safes, the individualised champions of the HARTMANN product line, are unique and tailor-made design objects, made according to the client’s wishes. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: HARTMANN TRESORE

All HARTMANN safes are certified, Euro-Standard quality products. Individual customer advice is a given, as HARTMANN wants your safe to be an asset for life. Signature Safes are completely styled individually, from colour and finish on the outside, to leather cover and noble wood coating on the inside, leaving nothing to be desired. Also, industrial clients will find customised safe solutions for their business. The HARTMANN TRESORE enterprise was founded more than a hundred years ago as a smithy and cartwright workshop in the German city of Paderborn in North Rhine-Westphalia. In 1983, the company started specialising in the production of safes and has since grown steadily. There

are now branches in Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Munich as well as in four European countries, Switzerland and, since 2010, also in Dubai. Signature Safes are for clients who like the idea of mixing security with style, with a high claim for both looks and material. Developed initially through meeting special customer demands, Signature Safes by HARTMANN have become their own brand. So far, they come in powder pink, Ferrari red or stylish black, with platinum locks, an inside LED illumination and, in one special case, even with a bullet-proof glass door, 56 watch winders, white leather lining and an iPad at the center, complete with charging station.

However – for those who have no set wishes yet – there is ample inspiration to be found, both online and through the ‘Signature Safes by HARTMANN’ catalogue. www.hartmann-tresore.de www.signature-safes.de

Signature Safes by HARTMANN, model ‘Empire’.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  13


Door ‘12316‘ in ochre yellow. Door with side elements.

Door ‘12663‘.

Door ‘12555’.

Keeping houses warm and people safe:

With modern aluminium doors As one of the leading experts for doors, the German manufacturer Groke Türen und Tore GmbH, based in Karlsruhe, fabricates high-quality aluminium main doors with modern and timeless design. All the while, customers can choose the design very flexibly using an online configurator. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: GROKE TÜREN UND TORE GMBH

The Groke door design is classic and without unnecessary embellishments, geometric forms dominate. This is what makes the doors so timeless. Combined with the quality and the material’s features, the doors are long lasting and therefore a good investment and aluminium is a great material for outdoor use as it is durable, weather-resistant, flexible and lightweight. When coming into contact with oxygen, aluminium naturally builds up an aluminium oxide layer of only a few 14  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

Gerd Schaaf, CEO and partner at Groke Türen und Tore GmbH. About 75 per cent of aluminium used worldwide has been recycled during the last 100 years. In the building sector, the recycling quote today is at about 95 per cent.

nanometres, a natural protective barrier. If damaged, it rebuilds rather quickly.

Individual design for high-quality doors

Aluminium even offers advantages when it comes to fire protection, because it does not burn and does not emit toxic fumes when getting hot. It is also very sustainable: “Aluminium is a recyclable and stable material, so if ever needed there are no costs for waste disposable because the raw material and the used aluminium nearly have the same value,” says

“Aluminium doors are as individual as people. Every door is a unique piece,” says CEO Gerd Schaaf. The material can easily be bended, cast, stamped or pressed. This allows the forming of doors exactly like people want to have them. This includes not only forms and decorative elements. It is also possible to use additional coatings for decorative reasons. Groke has its own powder coating machine that allows


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Groke Türen und Tore GmbH

changing the aluminium’s colour in just a few minutes, to realise customer’s wishes in nearly every colour and tone. Here, sustainability also plays an important role for Groke: Nearly 95 per cent of the waste water is reused in the process again. Aluminium production in Germany has overall become far eco-friendlier for example through new filter technologies for air and water. Even the particles filtered out are led back into the recycling system. But what might be more interesting for customers is the fact that aluminium has great longevity and does not need much maintenance work. But what makes Groke products so special is the great flexibility when it comes to design as customers can pick their individual design using the online ‘Kreadoor’ configurator. Often enough, design is the first thing people are looking for – before considering more practical aspects like insulation. With the configurator, it is not only easy

to choose between eight standard forms, seven pre-configured colours – glossy or finely structured – and about 190 RALtones. Additionally, there are 16 varieties of wooden decors, 15 sorts of glass windows and different glass motives. The configurator even allows uploading pictures of customers’ own houses, to try out how the chosen door fits in and how the overall picture will look. The design is combined with modern thermal and sound insulation and rubber seals that cover the whole door and doorframe. Insulation is essential for modern, sustainable houses to heat them easily and keep the temperature without much energy use. If needed, a motor for automation can be added to create a barrier-free access. Experts for door security But Groke not only puts great emphasis on design and insulation, but also on security and durability. “The doors have a

very strong profile of 90 millimetres and a stable construction. They offer safety against burglaries – tested and certified security,” says CEO Gerd Schaaf. Groke also offers modern security technology like finger scanners. Biometric systems create additional barriers and are also a good way to always have access as the homeowner – no risk of ever losing the key or key card. The control panel can be set up for up to 80 different finger prints, for family members or people who need emergency access. For those who do not want a key but also do not trust biometric systems there is always an alternative: Using a tap and hacking-proof remote door control. Groke is certified after DIN EN ISO 9001. In 2004, the company became part of the SOMMER group and its European-wide partner network. www.groke.de CONTACT: discovery@groke.de +49 721 5982-8001-823

Door ‘12450‘ in anthracite.

Aerial view of Groke Türen und Tore GmbH in Karlsruhe.

Door at trade fair.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  15


Discover Germany  |  Design  |  Product of the Month, Austria

PRODUCT OF THE MONTH, AUSTRIA

Left: Playtime around Benni’s Nest. Right: Bedtime stories with Benni’s Nest. Below: Nicole and Stephan Pröll with their two sons.  Photo: © Hanna Haböck. Bottom: True sustainability defies time, Benni’s Nest as a side table.

Love and Arolla pine make Benni’s Nest A versatile, unique piece of furniture, Benni’s Nest is a wonderful little baby bassinet made of Austrian pine wood. While its primary purpose is helping babies find deep and healthy sleep, Benni’s Nest is uniquely sustainable in both resources and functionality as it can be used as a chest, bench or side table. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  |  PHOTOS: SUZY STÖCKL

The story of the product begins with Nicole and Stephan Pröll’s second son Benedikt. He was a premature baby and, as his parents’ worries grew, could not find rest and peaceful sleep at night. It was only when his grandma suggested putting him to bed in one of the drawers of an old pine dresser, that he was finally able to relax and sleep. His parents were astounded by the effect and consequently searched to find out whether there was an actual little Arolla bed on the market. As the search did not bear any results, they decided to take matters into their own hands, drew a concept and, together with a carpenter, created Benni’s Nest. In total, the process of developing the piece of furniture took close to a year. Naturally, prototypes had to be tested with regard to security, design and functionality. The cur16  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

rent TÜV-approved sales version of Benni’s Nest is manufactured by hand from local organic materials. Pine and loden materials are sourced in Austria and it takes many small steps to create one Nest. The piece itself is clearly highlighted by the texture and aroma of the wood, details like the holes for aeration and the calming, beautifully shaped design. The Arolla aroma has long been known for its pleasant, soothing smell that sustains even after 200 years. This year, Benni’s Nest will turn two years old. For the Pröll’s, creating their own furniture was a challenging but fulfilling experience, as customers uniformly praise the product. It is a piece that perfectly fulfils its core function while also being able to grow with your child, becoming his or her chest for toys and treasures (with each Nest comes a lid), a bench to sit on (just

turn the Nest upside down and attach the little mattress) or a side table to play games on. It is this level of sustainability and material quality joined by the love of Benni’s parents that sets the bed apart and truly makes it Benni’s Nest. www.bennisnest.com office@bennisnest.com


Rosé aus der Provinz. Saftabzug vom Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot. Ausgebaut in französischer Eiche. 13% Alkohol.

Rosé für Erwachsene. Nur zu bekommen im wirklich gut sortierten Fachhandel oder über www.duernberg-direkt.at.


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Children’s Universe

Photo: © Winzki GmbH & Co. KG

SPECIAL THEME: CHILDREN’S UNIVERSE

The best time of one’s life Let’s take a look at Germany’s movers and shakers in the colourful field of baby products. For cute products for your newborn and little helpers, check out this month’s special theme to get inspired.

Photo: © Mokati-Andreas Pfaller

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Children’s Universe

Making music child’s play

TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: WINZKI GMBH & CO. KG

ability for their adult life. As children can easily control the playlists with the colourful buttons and as the audio quality is excellent to make every syllable perfectly clear, Hörbert is the perfect companion to introduce your children to music and languages.

It was the idea of a father. Unsuccessfully searching for a music player for his son, Hörbert inventor Rainer Brang decided to take matters into his own hands. He built a wooden box, cut holes into it, put in speakers and developed a neatly arranged set of nine knobs. Behind the knobs it gets interesting, as each of the buttons controls a playlist of music or audio book chapters that can be exchanged with the use of a memory card. The included four-gigabyte card enables parents to programme up to 17 hours of music divided onto the nine playlists, while 140 minutes are already pre-programmed. Constantly striving for innovation, the company recently put together multilanguage memory cards, which contain

www.hoerbert.com

songs and stories in the languages French, English, German, Dutch, Spanish and Italian. Playfully, children are now able to dive into the world of foreign languages. Listening to such songs and stories not only teaches them a sense of concentration, but also the ability to listen carefully, a valuable

EINKAUFEN MIT BAUCHGEFÜHL

www.bellies-and-babies.de Issue 51  Bei uns findest du Produkte von der Schwangerschaft bis zum dritten Lebensjahr deines Babys.

Michaela Pelzer Photography

Having recently received the KfW Award ‘GründerChampion 2016’ (Founder Champion 2016) for Baden-Wuerttemberg, the exceptional children’s mp3 player Hörbert continues to receive great responses. With an ear for your children and an acute environmental awareness, Hörbert’s innovative designers have created a one-of-a-kind product to help children with learning and developing their feeling for language.

Jetzt auch vor Ort: Sürther Hauptstrasse 77 50999 Köln |  June 2017  |  19


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Children’s Universe

When snuggling warmth becomes passion Munich-based Habibi Plush has conquered hearts around the world with their microwavable bedtime warmers. Whether it is cute stuffed animals, heatable slippers or great body warmers, young and old alike will love their new cosy companion. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: MOKATI-ANDREAS PFALLER

12 years ago, Susanne Spachtholz sold traditional millet-filled warming cushions from a stall on Munich’s Christmas Market. A little girl passed by and asked about stuffed animals. “That sparked the idea and we started creating classic teddy bears,” the company founder recalls. On a vacation to Dubai, Spachtholz picked up the Arabic word habibi, which means ‘friend’ and thus found the perfect name for the fluffy companions. Today, Habibi Plush is an internationally renowned and growing family business, which relies on traditional values and high quality. Every single product is certified and repeatedly tested in compliance with European standards, making Habibi Plush safe to use for children under the age of 36 months. Rainbow-coloured unicorns, cute bats with snug wings or sweet deers with the most 20  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

adorable faces add warmth to tiny bellies and help the little ones to find sweet dreams. “Just put them into the microwave for 90 seconds or heat them in the oven for ten minutes and a wonderful relaxing scent of lavender, jasmine, lemongrass and vanilla makes the Habibis ready to be cuddled, caressed and loved,” Spachtholz explains. The 100 per cent natural millet or aroma fillings cater for a healthy and relaxing sleep and an original Habibi stays warm for up to one and a half hours. After that, it comfortably remains at body temperature. Furthermore, the Habibis can be used as cooling pads, they are washable and their grain pillows are easily removable.

However, not only the small ones enjoy their Habibis. The WELLNESS collection offers body warmers for neck, back and much more to help relieve pain from sore joints and muscles. Cosy slippers and comfortable booties for cold winter days round off Habibi Plush’s portfolio. No wonder the Habibi Plush product family conquered the hearts of many over the years. “We often receive photos from children in hospitals with a Habibi on their side, saying how much comfort they find in the presence of their warm little friends. On another occasion, a client told us that she and her children had to leave their house as quickly as possible during the floods in Simbach. She told her children to take the most important things - both children only packed their Habibis,”smiles Spachtholz. www.habibi-plush.de


BRUDER Spielwaren GmbH + Co. KG Postfach 190164 · 90730 Fürth/Germany Telefon: + 49 (0)911 / 7 52 09-0 Telefax: + 49 (0)911 / 7 52 09-10 / 29 vertrieb@bruder.de www.bruder.de


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Children’s Universe

‘No more losing your stuff’ An innovative idea with a great deal of charm, Sticky & Sweet is a colourful online shop for personalised stickers and iron-ons for children. The sets of multiple items are not only a great gift, but limitlessly useful, as they are dishwasher and laundry safe and will cling to almost any surface including textiles. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTO: STICKY & SWEET

Formerly working in the movie business, Stefanie Brauer jumped into the business of creating a trendy line of stickers when she tried to find suitable labels for her own daughter. She had imported ones from the United States, but was convinced that she could update the idea. “I had been interested in cool everyday products for kids, that not only serve a purpose, but look great and thus convince children to playfully follow their daily duties for some time.” This duty of course is trying to not lose things all the time. Brauer started her business as a one-woman enterprise, but found great partners for graphic work, illustration, IT

and production. The latter is a challenge because all stickers or iron-ons can be individualised by the customers. Included in the design choices are eight StickyMonster characters and the opportunity to put in your name and telephone number. “In effect, all the products are custom-made, which is complex and one needs to work very precisely,”explains Brauer. ‘Pretty and Useful’ – that is the core idea behind Sticky & Sweet and therefore the different-sized stickers can mark everything from a snack box to a sweatshirt, while being endlessly fun for your children. www.sticky-sweet.de

Keeping your children’s feet healthy

TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS PHOTOS: CLEVERMESS GMBH

To find well-fitting shoes, parents can use the digital measuring instrument Clevermess Kids that precisely measures their children’s feet. Children’s feet are soft and highly flexible. In contrast to adults, toddlers do not feel whether a shoe is fitting or not. Paediatricians and orthopaedic specialists therefore regularly warn of the risk that children’s feet might be permanently deformed if their shoes do not have the right size. To ensure that their loved ones’ feet develop in a healthy way, parents can use Clevermess Kids. This orthopaedic instrument offers an easy method to precisely measure shoes as well as the length and width of feet. Afterwards, parents can put the handy tool into a shoe to automatically check its space. Then, they just have to take a look on the display of Clevermess to find out whether the shoe fits properly. “Our feet carry us around all day, every day. Therefore, it is very important to wear properly fitting shoes from the beginning of our lives,” says Nicole Oberhofer, mother of two and creative mind behind 22  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

Clevermess GmbH. Shortly after establishing the company based in Bavaria, Oberhofer and her team started selling their products. Ever since the Clevermess measuring tool was introduced on the market in 2015, the company has been given various design awards. “Our first production batch was completely sold out within three months,” Oberhofer remembers. “Since April, we have been offering an optimised model of our Clevermess measuring instrument. When developing this improved version, we also had our customers’ feedback in mind.” www.clevermess.de

The Clevermess measuring instrument shows the exact size of children’s feet.

How to measure feet and shoes in three steps.


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Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Y’akoto

Y’akoto

A mermaid rising from water to fame With her expressive, throaty voice, Y’akoto has been compared to great jazz icons such as Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. Now the 29-year-old Ghanaian-German singer has released her third album Mermaid Blues, which is a mixture between blues, neo soul and ambient pop. TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS  I  PHOTOS: JULIA KIECKSEE

At the age of six, Y’akoto used to go to the beach, waiting hours for mermaids to rise from the water. Growing up in the harbour town Tema in Ghana, she, like many other children, believed in this legendary aquatic creature since it was part of African mythology. For her latest album Mermaid Blues, Y’akoto picked up this childhood memory by delving into this mythology and its depiction in different cultures. “As a child, I was fascinated by the idea of a woman who is half human, half fish. The other children were afraid of her, but I wasn’t,” says Y’akoto, laughing. “I still like this polarising image of mermaids and their unpredictability.”As she always had a close relation to water, this subject of mermaids inspired her when writing a great range of soul-seeking songs for her third album. Y’akoto, whose real name is Jennifer Yaa Akoto Kieck, has a special bond to this mythology, which is not surprising when you learn more about her person24  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

ality and biography. Just like Mami Wata, as these water spirits are called in Africa, the 29-year-old singer lives in different worlds. Born in Tema, she now commutes between her adopted city of Hamburg, Paris, Stockholm, Los Angeles, as well as African coastal towns such as Dakar, Accra and Lomé. “I think that we as global people, who have the privilege of being able to travel, should even feel committed to travelling, in order to expand our knowledge of other countries and cultures,” Y’akoto explains. “I like to travel to places where I have no orientation first: by discovering new places, I also learn a lot about myself.” Drawing inspiration from Frieda Kahlo and Sade During the interview, she speaks as self-confidently as she appears in her music videos – a characteristic that is said to be typical for mermaids as well, if you believe the folklore.“Our society still wants a woman to be the sweet, nice, always smiling girl next door,”Y’akoto criticises. “To my mind,


Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Y’akoto

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  25


Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Y’akoto

Like on her first two albums Baby Blues and Moody Blues, she presents songs with a political background. For example, Reception, which has a pulsating beat, features lyrics such as ‘Global chaos, but we stay tough / no time to fake it, we can make it’. The song is about raising hope by staying true to ourselves and others, Y’akoto explains. “In my music, I also address the fact that we only have one life and one planet. Therefore, we finally have to learn to get along with each other and pay more attention to the fact that the world and nature change.” With a Ghanaian highlife musician as her father, music was positively inherited to Y’akoto, who moved to Germany at the age of 11. She already loved singing and learned to play the keyboard when she was a child. Even today, she asks him for advice, if she is stuck while working in the studio. In We Walk The Line, for example, her father helped her to compose a bridge for this song. “My father has certainly been one of my idols, but I think that I’ve been exempt from any kind of trend when finding my personal musical style. Maybe that’s because of my Ghanaian-German background,” says Y’akoto. “However, I try to compose songs that are timeless.” Upcoming tour women should not be influenced too much by such stereotypes and should stop worrying about being liked. Instead, it is important that women have the courage to show their personality and to be honest.”Therefore, the musician wants to compose songs that appeal to women’s strengths and sensuality.“Women can be strong, but also vulnerable – this vulnerability even serves as an outlet and to find new courage.” It is powerful women like Frida Kahlo, Zadie Smith, Sade and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (the author of Americanah) who also inspired Y’akoto when working on Mermaid Blues – artists who are not just known for their great work, but also for speaking their mind. “Honest artistic expression in any form is difficult, challenging and exhausting, but that’s soul,” says Y’akoto. On the new album, she faces her inner contradictions and reflects on the last three years of her personal 26  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

development, the singer states. Featuring 11 songs, she and her producers have created a sound which varies from blues to neo soul and ambient pop, conveying passion and sorrow, seduction and determination. When she sings, her expressive, warm, yet throaty vocals remind of the great Nina Simone or Billy Holiday. Composing timeless songs As her first single of Mermaid Blues, Y’akoto presents the melancholic piano ballad Fool Me Once, which is about the painful feeling of holding on to a past love. In the music video, the protagonists show floating choreographies, while Y’akoto stands out in avant-garde clothes. “In this video, I’m wearing fashion created by the renowned designer Imane Ayissi from Paris,” says Y’akoto.“As an artist, I try to seek inspiration from all kinds of cultures, and this includes fashion culture, too.”

In Drink My Friend, you can listen to the mermaid again, who sings with a captivating, seductive voice as if she wanted to lure nearby sailors so that she can take over their ship. While a stomping rhythm provides as a background, a hypnotic female choir, sounding like further sirens who want the men to become drunk, accompanies her. In August, Y’akoto will be setting off on tour to present her new album. After one concert in Hamburg, there will be many more shows in Germany, Switzerland and Austria in October.“I cannot wait to go on tour; I’m looking forward to seeing all the people who make it possible for me to do what I do,” says Y’akoto. “It’s going to be great to present the whole package. My songs, the musical arrangements and the fashion created by designers with whom I work.” www.yakoto.de


Discover Germany  |  Cover Feature  |  Y’akoto

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  27


Smart clothes are conquering the market with Berlin as centre of innovation Berlin is famous not only for its yearly fashion week, but as a hotspot for young designers and innovative technology start-ups. Combine these two and it becomes understandable why Berlin attracts entrepreneurs who have specialised in wearables and smart fashion; clothes that have technological features and do more than simply dress people. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: UHURA

Another good example of what is happening in Berlin is Lisa Lang (Twitter: @lilaineurope) and her ElektroCouture brand. She vastly co-operates with technology companies, for example developing smart fabrics. ElectroCouture (www. elektrocouture.com) is the world’s first fashion technology brand focusing on prototyping and developing fashion and wearable technology. The mission, as the brand declares, is to “bring technology 28  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

into style, as opposed to putting style on top of gadgets”. This also means pieces must be as comfortable or easily washable as any other part of people’s wardrobe. The brand understands itself as a pioneer for the future of self-expression and style. Smart fashion is sustainable fashion Where traditional fashion brands use colour, ElekroCouture for example uses light.

ElektroCouture works together with aspiring young designers. Lisa Wassong, for example, with a background in clothing engineering, started out as designer in residence at the ElektroCouture Studio where she now works as creative technologist and fashiontech designer.“Berlin as a fashiontech city is great because you have so many possibilities, you have a great infrastructure – of people and networks,” says Lisa Wassong.“Berlin is ahead of other cities, regarding fashiontech innovations because here are all the great events and the people who are really pushing the industry forwards. I think in future we can expect more innovative fashion.” Lilien Stenglein is another young innovator. After founding her label FINESS


Discover Germany  |  Special Feature  |  Fashion Week Berlin

DESIGN, she brought a special line of yoga clothes to the market using smart textiles. The skin-friendly material of 99 per cent pure silk has a twist: at chakra energy points, essential in yoga, the fabric radiates warmth back to the body and through that helps to open the chakra. For her, Berlin as a location is important as well.“Because we already have a great ecosystem here with the whole start-up scene, so it is very easy to get in contact with people. It is very vivid here,” she says, also speaking about the FASHIONTECH fair. Large events like the FASHIONTECH in January or the upcoming Berlin Fashion Week offer a good platform for companies and creative people not only to present their work, but connect with each other to establish new co-operations. The 2017 Berlin Fashion Week runs from 4 – 7 July. More information about smart fashion and wearables can be found on the Berlin Fashion Week’s website. www.fashion-week-berlin.com

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  29


Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Restaurant of the Month, Austria

R E S TA U R A N T O F T H E M O N T H , A U S T R I A

Left: Seegrube restaurant with panoramic views. Top right: Seegrube restaurant.

Natural fusion in style High above the picturesque panorama of Innsbruck, there is not only a whole world of natural beauty, skiing and snowboarding to discover – but culinary delights as well. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: GÜNTHER EGGER

The newly restored Nordkettenbahnen cable cars take visitors to high alpine terrain straight from the Innsbruck city centre, within the short span of 20 minutes. Planned and realised by the late star architect Zaha Hadid, the cable car Hungerburg funicular with its unique stations sets new standards in international architecture. Going higher with the panoramic cable cars of Seegrubenbahn and Hafelekarbahn, a different era of architecture is to be discovered. The carefully restored station buildings by renowned architect Franz Baumann take the cable car guests straight to pre-war Tyrolean modernism. While going higher, the busy bustle of Innsbruck city recedes more and more and is replaced by the calming views of stunning and peaceful natural surroundings. Having arrived at around 2,000 metres above sea level, guests can enjoy the beau30  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

tiful Innsbruck panorama to one side and a wide view of Tirol’s largest nature park, the Alpenpark Karwendel, to the other. However, both guests and sport enthusiasts need to nourish not only eyes and mind, but in due time also look for physical nourishment in style – which can easily be found with the Nordkettenbahnen enterprise. The Seegrube Restaurant is open all year round for those who truly enjoy both fantastic views and Tyrolean cuisine, at 1,905 metres above sea level. On sunny days, the relaxation zone invites for a sun bath. Every Friday evening, a seasonal fourcourse meal is served with the ‘ride-anddine’ deal. But guests can also start their day with a great breakfast and enjoy the wonderful panorama at the same time. Jazz fans will enjoy the live-music brunch which takes place every Sunday in July

Right: Knödel Tris. Photo: © Seegrube restaurant Bottom: Seegrube restaurant location as seen from Innsbruck.

and August. The modernised restaurant building stems from 1928, just like the Baumann station buildings, and the menu, with its own fusion of Tyrolean and international delicacies, mirrors the various tastes of its wild mix of guests, from the city-tired student to the Asian tourist. There are plenty opportunities for familyfriendly walks like the panorama trail or the path to the Big Stone relaxation area. For those who want to celebrate privately, a special service is provided at Seegrube. In addition to the possibility of reserving the restaurant, a seminar room is also available both during the day and in the evening. www.nordkette.com


Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Restaurant of the Month, Switzerland

R E S TA U R A N T O F T H E M O N T H , S W I T Z E R L A N D

Innovative traditional cuisine in Zurich An ever-increasing number of restaurants offer an equally increasing number of exciting food. Zurich-based Restaurant Rechberg 1837 opened in September 2016 and introduces a menu that presents a charming blend of the old and new. TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: RECHBERG 1837

Restaurant Rechberg 1837 is run by four friends and started as a culture project. “In 2014, me and three friends ran a culture project that brought us into contact with authentic food made from ancient Swiss crop, plants and farm animals. We were overwhelmed by the taste and wanted to see how far this concept of ancient ingredients prepared in a modern manner would get us. So we decided to present this concept to a wider community,”says Alexander Guggenbühl, co-owner of Rechberg 1837, recalling the restaurant’s beginnings. While Rechberg 1837 is particular in so many ways, its most distinguishing feature is its original cuisine. “We have established a network of small Swiss producers who have specialised in the production of ancient crop, plants, or farm animals. This very particular network enables us to offer our guests a unique cuisine that prepares

ancient food in a manner - a concept that makes us unique not only in the Zurich area, but in the whole of Switzerland,” says Guggenbühl, outlining restaurant Rechberg 1837’s hugely acclaimed concept. Only a couple of months after its opening, Rechberg 1837 had already been listed in the Gault Millau amongst the most promising culinary discoveries in Switzerland. “We consider the listing in one of the most influential French restaurant guides a huge honour. It serves as a motivator to continue our concept of freshly prepared authentic, high-quality food,” enthuses Guggenbühl.

programme.“Each Saturday, we invite different artists to perform on our premises. Our guests may thus witness jazz or classical concerts, comedians or take part in a murder mystery game; all of these events come with a special set menu that will make our guests’ evening a special night to remember,” Guggenbühl explains. When in Zurich, do not miss out on this opportunity to try some innovative and yet traditional cuisine. Rechberg 1837 and its team is looking forward to seeing you on its premises in the romantic old town of Zurich. www.rechberg1837.com

Yet, Rechberg 1837’s culinary concept, which also includes a monthly changing so-called ‘Bauernmenü’ (farmer’s meal) comprising of meat from ancient animal races like the Swiss Evolèner Rind, is not complete without its colourful cultural Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  31


Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Zum Goldenen Schäfli

Left: Owners Mara Zwatz and Astrit Memetaj with daughter. Top right: Traditional guild pub with a slope. Right: Restaurant sign at Metzgergasse 5. Bottom: Traditional cuisine with a modern touch.

Traditional cuisine with a modern tilt Tilting floors meet seasonal cuisine with an innovative impact. At the only remaining guild pub of St. Gallen, you will enjoy an enticingly modern restaurant within deeply traditional surroundings. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: ZUM GOLDENEN SCHÄFLI

The Zum Goldenen Schäfli restaurant invites you into the world of guild pubs, rich of tradition and charm. Owners Mara Zwatz and Astrit Memetaj’s sense for honoring the old while applying modern impulses is mirrored by the delicacies on their menu. A culinary philosophy of mixing traditional recipes with new influences creates a contemporary, transparent, seasonal cuisine with stunning and delicious results. Guests can either choose à la carte or order one of several three-course meals. Special fish dishes and traditional meat dishes with a twist, a choice of delicious home-made pasta variations and selfmade ice cream and sorbets await the eager palate of those who enjoy dining within 500-year-old surroundings. A selection of wines from renowned labels and selected vintners round off the experience. More than half a millennium old, the 32  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

extraordinary house in St. Gallen’s Metzgerstrasse was almost torn down in the ‘70s. However, far-sighted citizens averted the plans at the last minute and consequently founded the Zum Goldenen Schäfli cooperative to protect the historical building, which today is the only remaining traditional guild pub of St. Gallen. Built in 1484 for the butcher guild, it was turned into a restaurant more than 300 years later, when the guilds were dissolved in 1789. The tilted floor is a trademark attribute as well as a crowd puller and has already found international attention. From wall to wall, the difference makes 30 centimetres in height. Here is a dating tip: whoever wants to appear a bit taller than their counterpart is to sit at the respective higher end of the table. But seriously, the first-floor pubs of St. Gallen are a regional attraction. They stem from the medieval buildings featuring damp, light-deprived

ground floor dwellings. Thus, all social life was transferred to the first floor. Today, the first-floor pubs of St. Gallen enjoy much attention among guests from all over the world. However, only the Schäfli is the one with the trademark sloping floor. No matter if it is a business lunch, function or private guests who simply want a special night out, the Schäfli restaurant enjoys spoiling their customers. For example, next is the season of the White Alba Truffles – and come fall, game season will bring extra special delicacies to the table, accompanied by a newly researched special selection of premium wines. Feel invited! www.zumgoldenenschaeflisg.ch


Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Gasthaus Stern

Award-winning authentic Austrian cuisine Established in 2008, the Gasthaus Stern by Christian Werner offers traditional dishes right in the centre of Vienna. TEXT: INA FRANK  |  PHOTOS: CHRISTIAN WERNER

“I have grown up in the gastronomy, my parents already owned a gastronomic business,” says Christian Werner, owner of the Viennese Gasthaus Stern. “Therefore my course was clear.” In 2008, he asked himself how he expected his future to be. His options were to start working in a reputable restaurant, or to become self-employed. By chance, he found out

Roasted calf’s liver, one of the many dishes.

about a vacant restaurant that he knew from his childhood days and decided to work as a self-employed person. Gasthaus Stern’s broad menu includes soups, small dishes, organic beef, offal and other main courses, like schnitzel. The food is regionally sourced, and the restaurant offers a great variety of wine. When asked which of his dishes

At the table.

he would recommend, Christian Werner cannot decide: “I would recommend all of them – in each is much love and craftsmanship.” Besides, the restaurant has already achieved quite a few awards; for instance, it was honoured with the Zertifikat für Exzellenz by TripAdvisor in 2015 and 2016. Next to the counter area, there are two rooms for private festivities and a beer garden. An English menu is available and online reservation is possible, too. www.gasthausstern.at

Owner Christian Werner inside his restaurant.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  33


The Sautner family: Waltraud (left), Harald (middle) and Markus Sautner (right).

Local heroes

– Golser Bier stands for regional delights A strong local attachment is the main attribute for the Gols family brewery. The compact, successful enterprise is proud of its self-imposed standards, choosing all ingredients for Golser Bier products exclusively from Austria’s Burgenland region.

chestnut, spelt or herb beers are thus developed exclusively with produce from the various ‘Burgenland’ sub-regions.

TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: GOLS BREWERY

Transparency counts with Golser Bier and apart from meeting quality standards in line with the purity law, the use of few pure ingredients for the more traditional beer styles alternates with adding natural local ingredients to create exciting new flavours such as sweet chestnut or fruit and spices. Modern methods like dry hopping and wooden barrel techniques are also applied at Gols brewery.

The brewery is set in the wine town of Gols, situated on the eastern shores of the large, shallow steppe lake, the Neusiedlersee. “Our clients think of Golser Bier as a regional business first of all,” says master brewer Markus Sautner. The Sautner family are proud of their regional identity. ‘We live regionality’ is their guiding line and they prove it by using local sources for their ingredients, working with regional service providers and, last but not least, by offering the finest regional products. 34  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

The brewery team believe in producing added value for the region, meaning that the value is both generated locally and is staying there. Markus Sautner states: “As a regional brewery, we feel a responsibility for shaping the local identity and continually acting in line with the communal values of our region.” The brewery’s co-work with the ‘Genuss Region Österreich’ (Austria – Region of Enjoyment) project, a licensing scheme launched by the Austrian food ministry, forms the perfect basis for developing regional delicacies. Special brews like

Balancing between small family business and professional player on the regional market, the brewery stands for commercial success based on strong principles and close relationships with their customers.


Discover Germany  |  Wine & Dine  |  Gols Brewery

Their organic labels are regularly monitored and confirmed by third parties. The enterprise has existed since 1986 and is now run by third generation junior manager Markus Sautner. His father Harald Sautner, former hobby brewer and beverage distributor, saw a chance for putting the Gols brewery back into action in the late ‘90s, by introducing a new beer label to the market. As soon as junior manager Markus Sautner had completed his brewer training, the production of new beers under the brand name ‘Golser Bier’ was immediately started. In 2007, the new, independent family business was ready to launch and received a warm welcome on the market. Until end of 2015, the facility experienced a complete technical ‘make-over’ and is today featuring entirely new, state-of-the-art brewery and peripheral equipment. Their traditional old copper brewhouse however still stems from the ‘50s. Here, beers of delightful taste are created with the help of the latest in brewing technology. In 2016, the Gols brewery received their organic ‘BIO’ certification.

The compact size of the family-run business counts 25 co-workers, the majority of which are looking after account management, logistics, telephone and marketing services as well as distribution and gastronomy. Two brewery-owned pubs in Vienna guarantee for direct sales. The continuously rising output of the Gols brewery currently lies with ca. 8,000 hectolitres of beer and mixed beer beverages per year, along with 2,500 hectolitres of soda and further 11,000 hectolitres of various beverages stemming from other producers.

The latter even includes an introduction in food pairing and the overall international beer label trends, all in the name of raising quality standards and appreciation for beer as a cultural asset.

Regular brewery tours and beer tasting events are enjoyed by clients old and new. Customers value the transparency, the traditions and regional claim of the brewery. Industry events and continuous professional development are also high on the list for master brewer Markus Sautner. As a qualified beer sommelier, he studies at the Institute of Masters of Beer (IMB) and also believes in frequently passing on what he has learned. Therefore, tap system and one-day brewing workshops are offered for pub and restaurant owners.

For 2017, Markus Sautner has his agenda down: “With our compact family business, we are quick in following trends and we aim to further open our infrastructure to potential clients.” Other plans include an ‘extreme regionalisation’ scheme, with the goal of only using resources from within a 100-kilometre radius.

“Other than often assumed, the beer industry operates on anything but a conservative, traditional line,” Markus Sautner states. “Not many products cover as large a target group as beer does, and the immense velocity in trend development allows for a high degree of individualisation options.”

With the Sautners, regional gold comes in beer bottles. www.golserbier.at

Brewhouse.

State-of-the-art equipment.

Golser Bier styles.

Gols brewery.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  35


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Fabulous Pool & BBQ Season

Photo: © Kasper Damkier

S P E C I A L T H E M E : FA B U L O U S P O O L & B B Q S E A S O N

Little summer helpers What would summer be without the omnipresent smell of barbeques, trips to the beach or visits to the local lido? To make this season a special one, find out how to brighten your summer and bring your barbeque to the next level on the following pages.

Photo: © Petromax

36  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Fabulous Pool & BBQ Season

Pellet smoker from Traeger.

Bringing barbecues to a new level Fancy a nice barbecue with family and friends? At Grillstar.de, one can get everything one needs from one source; from the grill itself to meat, wine and sauces. TEXT: INA FRANK  I  PHOTOS: GRILLSTAR

The online shop Grillstar.de offers more than 6,000 products for any barbecue and outdoor activities. The product range includes grills of any kind available, accessories, sauces and spices and other garden products, like parasols, furniture and torches. Besides, Grillstar.de has its own showroom with a size of more than 1,000 square metres and individual advice for each costumer in the North RhineWestphalian town Gütersloh. Just recently, Grillstar.de also started selling regionally sourced meat and wine from South Africa. “We can offer a full package to barbecue enthusiasts,”Markus Hennig, manging director, emphasises. If one would like to learn more about the ‘art of barbecues’, Grillstar.de has a wide

range of seminars to offer. There are no special prerequisites for the seminars, one simply has to love barbecues and learning new skills. Customer advisers will help to find the most suitable course. From ‘Handmade burgers’ to ’After Work Beefing’ or

seminars especially for women, there is something for everyone. However, there is more to it than that. Grillstar.de is always on the lookout for new products and trends. Currently, pellet smokers, ceramic grills and gas grills are very popular and Grillstar.de is ready to include more of those into its product range. www.grillstar.de

Sauces, spices and books.

Napolean Rogue 425 All Black Limited Edition.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  37


Petromax lamp.

Firepod tripot.

Waffle iron and Atago.

A kitchen under the stars Petromax brings timeless design and outstanding quality to your outdoor experience. From the legendary kerosene lamp, handy for any outdoor situation (be it your back garden or the jungle) to grill and cooking equipment, Petromax understands its craft inside out. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: PETROMAX

It is almost poetic that everything started with a bright light in the middle of nowhere. In 2001, business student Jonas Taureck set out on a great adventure with his self-converted heavy 1963 MagirusDeutz truck. He and a friend drove all the way from Hannover to Africa, an almost 20,000-kilometre journey. When the truck broke down in the African desert, they were forced to stop in a tiny village. That is when 38  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

Taureck discovered the traditional kerosene lamp and immediately fell in love. Little did he know that these high-pressure lamps would change his life forever. Max Graetz created the Petromax lamps in 1910 and Taureck acquired the trademark and revived the production. He realised early on that quality would pay off and hence he did not change the lamp’s es-

sential features. If a product stood the test of time, in this case over a hundred years, you better not mess with it. He was right. Merging tradition with innovation and quality became Taureck’s credo. He started expanding the portfolio with products he felt passionate about. Whether you are an adventurous globetrotter, a passionate camper or a dedicated garden party host, Petromax has got you covered. Their cast-iron cookware makes it an absolute joy to turn the outdoors into a beautiful open-air kitchen. Preparing food while the fresh air gives it another layer of flavour and sitting around the fire late into the night, are things we all love doing.


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Fabulous Pool & BBQ Season

The robust products are designed for multiple situations. They are practical, resistant, durable and space saving which are crucial factors when it comes to bushcraft and survival. But Petromax equipment such as grills, cooking areas, Dutch ovens and fire skillets are also absolute favourites for the barbeque lovers amongst us.

a roof over your head, these innovative items, which are cast in one piece, make you want to light a fire straight away. For bush crafters, there is a neat fire kit, which includes everything you need to make a stable fire – and it is also great to start a little barbeque on your balcony or light the fireplace.

An exciting aspect is that many of the Petromax products can be combined. Taureck, who grew up in the countryside and has always enjoyed sitting around a campfire, says: “I like it when you discover that a product obtains a new function due to combining it with others. The Petromax Atago is a good example. You can use it as a conventional barbecue, stove, oven or fire pit.”

The key to Taureck’s success might be that he strictly follows his own intuition: “I often get asked if I take current trends into account and what those trends are. My answer is always the same: I do not follow trends. When you have created your own thing, chances are it will become a trend of its own. If you are constantly chasing new trends, you just follow other people instead of focusing on your own ideas.”

Various different pots and pans, poultry roasters, loaf pans and fire kettles as well as accessories from bags to the new fire gel turn the Petromax shop into a little heaven for nature fans. There are even waffle and sandwich irons and Dutch oven tables. Even if you usually prefer cooking with

Today, Taureck and his wife Dr. Pia Christin Taureck run Petromax, which has become an internationally renowned expert with 40 employees and a 5,000-square-metre headquarters and production site. Since 2014, a second traditional brand joined the Petromax group: Feuerhand, well-known

for its small hurricane lamps with fireproof borosilicate glass. Taureck adds: “We are surprised and proud of Petromax’s success. Surprised because we did not expect this huge success and strong growth. Proud because we put a lot of hard work and effort into it. It makes us happy to see people’s enthusiasm for our products. That is the best reward.” Taureck lives the Petromax world and remains down to earth. Needless to say, his company car is a Deutz, just like the one that kick-started the whole journey back in the day. Petromax offers everything you need to keep warm and be well-fed outdoors. But even if you just use their lovely teapots and enamel mugs on a rainy day in the comfort of your own living room, or use the Petromax blowtorch to give your crème brûlée the final touch, it is worth checking out their website. You might just fall in love. www.petromax.de www.feuerhand.com

Feuerhand hurricane lamps.

Atago in front of the Deutz.

Petromax manufactory.

Rocket Stove with fire pan.

Pia and Jonas Taureck.

Dutch Oven with cover lifter.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  39


ef 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


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Fabulous Pool & BBQ Season

Sustainably convincing charcoal Germany is the country of barbecue enthusiasts. During a survey of around 800 people, more than 90 per cent stated that they love to have a barbecue, whether that is in spring, summer, autumn, or winter. Thereby, the Germans like it traditional, with charcoal grills being by far the most popular. But the subjects of quality and sustainability become increasingly important for barbecue lovers. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTOS: KASPER DAMKIER

The Munich-based start-up McBrikett has found a way to combine these two demands: through developing highquality and environmentally friendly charcoal made of coconut shells and bamboo. How did this innovative idea came about? Kasper Damkier, managing director, explains: “I went to New Zealand after a burn-out. Eight months later, it became a bit too cold. So I flew to Fiji where two planned weeks turned into five months. There isn’t much else than breath-taking nature, tourism and quite a large coconut oil industry on Fiji. I noticed that the coconut shells simply get burned. So, I thought to myself that there must be a use for them… this was McBrikett’s starting point.”

quality from sustainable raw materials. Coconut shells, as well as bamboo chips are 100 per cent natural by-products from the processing industries. Both raw materials comprise of a very high calorific value and thus, have stored more energy per unit than beech wood, for example.“Today, coconut shells and bamboo are used to produce something useful. This creates jobs and small farmers or villages which deliver these shells can increase their income. On top of that, coconuts fall from a tree so that the tree doesn’t have to be felled and bamboo is the fastest re-growing raw material,” notes Damkier. But sustainability does not stop here. Even the briquettes’ packaging is space-saving and made out of sustainable cardboard.

Today, McBrikett comprises six employees whose joint aspiration is the highest

Other advantages are that McBrikett’s KOKOKO and BAMBUKO briquettes

cause neither smoke, nor bad smells. Furthermore, with a carbon content of up to 93 per cent (BAMBUKO), the briquettes burn in an extremely hot way and have an astounding combustion period of over six hours. Damkier adds: “It should also be noted that our briquettes exceed the ‘Din Plus’ certificate‘s requirements of 65 per cent by far – this speaks for our high quality compared to conventional briquettes.” Even the ash content is very low (six per cent for KOKOKO and 2.5 per cent for BAMBUKO) which does not only facilitate the user’s cleaning process but also makes the ash available as a fertiliser.“In the end, quality always wins,” smiles Damkier. www.mcbrikett.de

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  41


Photo: © Flickr.com, Richard Steih

S P E C I A L T H E M E : T O P T H R E E I N T E R N AT I O N A L S C H O O L S 2 0 1 7

Creating world citizens International schools can be found all over Germany. Here, English is often the main language between students and teachers. Parents like the idea of letting their children learn in an international environment. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF

Photo: © Flickr.com, Oscar Rethwill

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Three International Schools 2017

Photo: © Flickr.com, Zhu

But what exactly are the advantages to normal schools? First of all, the classes are usually smaller so intensive supervision can be guaranteed. A variety of clubs, workgroups, sport classes and extracurricular activities further enhance the individual strength and interests of students. Since the student body tends to be quite international, the schools usually also expose the young people to a variety of cultures so that they get an open worldview from an early age. Due to the higher school fees, one can also expect quite modern and comfortable facilities with the newest equipment. An important reason why parents might choose an international school for their children is, however, that the curricula amongst the

schools is uniform and thus allows ease of transfer. The International Baccalaureate (IB) is normally offered, but the American high school diploma, British A Levels or the German ‘Abitur’ might also be options. Advantages of the IB include the possibility to easily get into English-speaking universities all over the world, as well as the vast range of subjects and activities offered. Thus, it poses as a great school-leaving qualification for students who might want to leave Germany after finishing school or to give their professional path an international orientation from very early on. In our special theme on the following pages, we take a closer look at some of the great international schools in Germany.

Photo: © Flickr.com, Sam Klein

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  43


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Three International Schools 2017

Class of 2016. The new building

The world as one.

What ties us to Germany.

Opening horizons At International School Mainfranken (ISM) near Schweinfurt, inquiry-based learning within a cross-cultural school community fosters flexible thinking and supports the individual growth of each pupil through globally recognised qualifications. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: IMS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL MAINFRANKEN

The private school was initially founded as a primary school in 2006 through an initiative started by a group of committed parents. Today, ISM offers quality education with an international perspective for years one to 12. Creative, social and academic support for each pupil is of special concern at the ISM to help students develop into well-rounded global citizens. Lots of project-based learning in small groups eventually leads to the IGCSE or the renowned International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in grades ten and 12 respectively. The qualifications can be recognised as the corresponding national German diplomas of Abitur (after year 12) or Mittlere Reife (after year ten). 44  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

The language of instruction at ISM is English. Pupils engage in English conversation both inside and outside of the classroom, making the ISM an international school rather than a bilingual one. With a focus on creating critical thinkers with an international perspective, and as a member of the International Baccalaureate Organisation, the school not only prepares the path to the world’s best universities, it also allows an easy exchange with other international schools in other countries. As chairman Dr. Hubert-Ralph Schmitt puts it, at ISM pupils are being prepared for a globalised world. He states: “Both the school community principles and the curriculum prepare a new generation for

the challenges of a great future within a dynamic world.” Set near the city of Schweinfurt, the school teaches over a hundred German and international pupils in English. German (from grade one) and Spanish (from grade six) are also compulsory subjects within the curriculum. Focusing on a holistic education for each child, an emphasis is put on cross-cultural awareness and mutual respect. The school aims at helping children to grow into self-confident and globally aware, compassionate individuals with a lifelong joy for learning. As school principal Brandie Smith explains: “We both foster and ask for initiative on the part of each pupil to fully explore their individual potential.” At ISM, wearing a school uniform is part of the democratic and cross-cultural


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Three International Schools 2017

school environment. Apart from the functional aspect, wearing school uniform helps students to identify with the school community. By feeling part of a whole, and living the community principles of mutual respect and understanding, pupils feel more at ease and can thus concentrate more easily on taking charge of their own education. Project-based learning plays a big part in school life. Any extracurricular activity, be it the spring concert, an arts project or a Harry Potter-themed reading night is integrated into the life of the whole school community and often interacts with several subjects at the same time. The compact size of both classes and staff allows for flexible, collaborative planning on a daily basis. One project often benefits from another, for example, this year’s spring concert with songs chosen and in some cases written and arranged by

teachers and pupils, helped finance a kiln for the arts department. Also, year 11 will plan and design this year’s graduation ball for year 12. In general, most of the school’s projects and activities concern all age levels, with grades one to 12 continuously learning from each other. Gavin Fearnley teaches ’global perspectives’ for years nine and ten. The subject deals with research and managing information, as well as political knowledge and analysis. He says that the main attraction, also for the 50 per cent of German parents who send their kids to the ISM, is the school’s global perspective and open-mindedness, which comes almost naturally through interacting with pupils and teachers from about 30 different countries. All teachers engage in extracurricular projects and pass on their interests and passions in after-school activities.

After the initial decade developing the school and a recent move to new premises, over the next few years the ISM team have many plans to help the school grow to meet its vision. A second fully refurbished science lab will soon allow the introduction of chemistry to the curriculum for years 11 and 12 and in addition, expanding links with the local community in Schweinfurt to help provide more opportunities for the students to practice real-life application of knowledge, is high on the school’s agenda. If you would like your child to grow and learn within an open-minded and cross-cultural educational environment and as part of an engaging and nourishing school community, the International School Mainfranken (ISM) is the school for you. www.the-ism.de

Grade three explaining simple machines.

High school maths.

Feel the rhythm.

DP students at Stammheim Military Museum.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  45


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Three International Schools 2017

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 aca46  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

demic surrounding and combine it with the space needed for a variety of encouraging non-academic activities. True international flair BBIS’ boarding house completes the school’s wide-ranging offers. Students in grades nine to 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 a day, seven days a 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 dip-


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Three International Schools 2017

lomats 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 for its unique approach as well as for the compatibility of curricula within the international school system, which grants a certain degree of consistence in the education of their child. 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 exceptional and individual strengths and needs. “Intercultural understanding and to respect human rights are fundamental to BBIS’ concept,” stresses Peter Kotrc, director of 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. On an academic level, BBIS is the only school in the Berlin region that is able to offer all four International Baccalaureate (IB) 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

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. www.bbis.de

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

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  47


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Top Three International Schools 2017 From top left: Students learn in an imposing 19th century school building, renovated and adapted to modern learning. The youngest exploring the world in Nursery. Children having fun in Kindergarten. Secondary students at their graduation. Primary students in class.

Learning to be a citizen of the world Founded in 1992 for a tiny group of expatriate children, Leipzig International School (LIS) today welcomes more than 850 students to a learning community with strong local roots, attracting German as well as international families. TEXT & PHOTOS: LEIPZIG INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL E.V.

Leipzig International School is a nonprofit, co-educational, international school for students aged 1 to 18. The school is recognised by the Saxon Ministry of Education and fully accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The language of instruction is English; but all students learn German at the appropriate level. LIS is on two sites: children aged one to six enjoy a purpose-built environment, the Leipzig International Kindergarten, opened in 2014. They move on to the larger campus 1.5 kilometres away, an imposing 19th century school building, renovated and adapted to modern learning. From the age of one until graduation, students learn with Leipzig International School to become citizens of the world. Talented teachers, themselves interna48  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

tionally minded and from diverse backgrounds, encourage and inspire students from their first walking steps through to university applications. The kindergarten programme supports each child’s personal, social, academic, physical and emotional development in an internationally oriented context. Based on the ways children learn best - especially through play - children are encouraged to explore, create, and construct things in their environment. The primary curriculum promotes modern, relevant learning. Classes are predominantly taught by one class teacher and, in addition, specialist teachers add quality and depth to the curriculum. In secondary school, LIS follows Cambridge courses to IGCSE at age 16; for the oldest students, Grades 11 and 12, two International Baccalaureate (IB) options cater to the spectrum of talents, interests and aspirations.

Students are encouraged to develop their worldview and interests broadly before they make decisions about the paths they wish to explore further. The school takes keen interest in the well-being and personal development of each student. Initiatives like the school garden, outdoor classroom, playground buddy system and a host of extra-curricular activities involving creativity, action and service, encourage young people to become balanced, versatile individuals with a sense of collective and personal responsibility. Families are warmly invited to visit Leipzig International School. Our admissions office as first point of contact can be reached at +49 341-39377634 or at admissions@lis.school www.lis.school

Facts and data: This year LIS will celebrate 25 years of international education in Leipzig. The annual Summer Fair on 17 June 2017 will be an additional special anniversary celebration for the whole community. Visitors are welcome to join our students, families and staff.


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Film Review

FILM REVIEW

Rubbeldiekatz (2011)

– filmed in Berlin and Hamburg, Germany In the last issue, I wrote about Germany’s first original Amazon series You Are Wanted, in which Matthias Schweighöfer lives through everyone’s worst nightmare – getting hacked. Prior to this, Matthias has starred in a string of great German comedies, including Rubbeldiekatz (international title: Woman in Love). This hilarious mix-up, in which Matthias dresses up as a woman, is one of my alltime favourites… TEXT: SONJA IRANI  |  PHOTOS: UNIVERSAL PICTURES

The story Alexander Honk (Matthias Schweighöfer) is a moderately successful stage actor who survives on small gigs at the theatre. When a Hollywood director is in town to shoot a new feature film about the Nazi time, Alex gets offered the role of his life. The role is female, but that is no problem for Alex’ Berlin flatshare buddies: they just dress him up and make him into beautiful Alexandra! A day before filming starts, Alex gets to know his future co-star and much more famous actress Sarah (Alexandra Maria Lara), with whom he spends the night. When Sarah sees Alex the next day on set, she does not recognise him anymore as

he is now dressed as a woman. Instead, she sets her eye on another actor, which of course makes Alex jealous. A wonderfully hilarious dating chaos starts to unravel. The Location Rubbeldiekatz was shot in Hamburg, the German seaside town of Sankt PeterOrding, and Studio Babelsberg just outside of Berlin. Sarah and Alex first meet in a park covered in snow. This park is supposed to be in Berlin, but it was actually the Jenisch-Haus – a grand 19th century mansion in Hamburg. The house and its surrounding park were used as the location for the fictitious Berlin luxury hotel that Sarah stays in.

The hen-do of Sarah’s sister, to which Sarah invites Alexandra as her ‘plus one’, was shot in Hamburg’s famous red light district – the Reeperbahn in St. Pauli. The final verdict Not only is Matthias Schweighöfer incredible at being the ‘Pretty Woman’, the film also depicts a moral message similar to that of the famous Julia Roberts film: in the end, love and true friendship are worth so much more than money and fame! ***** 5 out of 5 stars Rubbeldiekatz / Woman in Love is available with English subtitles on DVD and Blu-ray.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sonja Irani is a Marketing Translator, Travel Journalist and ex London expat now living back in Germany. Her second home is the cinema. If you don't find her there, she is probably travelling the world in order to trace her favourite film settings. On her blog www.filmfantravel.com she shares her best tips for film-inspired travel on a budget.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  49


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Discover Germany  |  Star Interview  |  Philipp Danne

Philipp Danne

Preserving the child in oneself German-born Philipp Danne is best known for his leading role in In aller Freundschaft – Die jungen Ärzte, but was already seen in several other TV series, movies and numerous thrillers. Discover Germany speaks to the young actor to find out more about him, his career and his future plans. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  I  PHOTO: JON AILES

You are best known as Ben Ahlbeck in In aller Freundschaft – Die jungen Ärzte. Could you imagine working as a doctor in real life, or is acting your dream profession? P. Danne: I have profound respect for the profession of doctor – maybe this even grew through my role as Ben Ahlbeck. But to actually be responsible for a patient’s survival in everyday professional life would simply be too much responsibility for me. Furthermore, I would probably fail the degree course anyway. How did you end up as an actor? You state in several sources that you began acting at a very young age? P. Danne: Exactly. My agent Maria Schwarz – who is still my agent today – was searching for talents in primary schools back then and my teacher luckily pointed towards me. That’s why I already was able to play various awesome roles when I was still in school. Today, I can happily say that acting is still my dream profession.

You come from Cologne and also live there at the moment. What does ‘home’ mean for you? Could you ever imagine moving to another city or region? P. Danne: Actually I couldn’t imagine moving away from Cologne at all – at least within Germany. My heart simply belongs to this city. But if I ever decide to move away from Cologne, I would probably end up overseas. What are the best things about acting and which factors might not be so positive? P. Danne: As an actor, you preserve the child in you – you ‘play’ in your job pretty much. It is an incredibly diverse job with many facets. You get to know plenty of interesting people and you get to see places that you probably wouldn’t see otherwise. But a drawback of the job is the pressure that you have to cope with. With time, you learn to deal with defeats and you learn to not get discouraged but as a young actor, this was quite difficult at times.

What else is planned for this year? What can we look forward to? P. Danne: I’m still very happy at Die jungen Ärzte and we’re just in the middle of shooting the third season. Besides this, nothing is really definite yet but our production luckily offers us the possibility to realise other projects besides the series. Is there an absolute dream role that you would love to play at some point in the future? P. Danne: Of course, many dream roles exist. Although I already had the chance to shoot in America, it is still a big dream of mine to work there at some point. You have already achieved a great deal in your life. What dreams and wishes does a Philipp Danne still have? P. Danne: I’m actually very happy with my life and how everything has turned out so far. But, of course, I still have further dreams that I would like to realise. However, for this, I take Beppo – the street cleaner from Michael Ende’s Momo – as my role model: one broom stroke at a time without already looking at the end of the street at the beginning.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  51


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Opera in the Quarry in St Margarethen

Operatic moments in the quarry Since its initial redevelopment in 1996, the quarry in Austrian St Margarethen has become a musical magnet for international opera enthusiasts. A unique location with culturally significant surroundings, the quarry offers a wonderful backdrop for the renowned opera productions it hosts. Over the years, it has also attracted well known stars of the opera and music scene, who are eager to take the chance to play for a keen audience in this one-of-a-kind setting.

Left: A schematic view of the Rigoletto staging. Photo: © Philippe Arlaud Right: A view of the operatic quarry. Photo: © Arenaria GmbH Below: Rigoletto director Philippe Arlaud. Photo: © Jean-Marc Nigon Bottom: Rigoletto conductor Anja Bihlmaier. Photo: © Neda Navaee

TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

Nestled in the open country between the Leitha mountain and the Steppensee, the quarry in St Margarethen and its adjacent region is a UNESCO world heritage. Under the proprietorship of the private foundation Esterházy, the quarry location has seen an extensive expansion in 2006. With attention to detail the Vienna-based architecture group AWG found a way to celebrate the sensible space through exciting architecture. Thus, one of the most beautiful and imposing open-air stages in Europe was created. Atmospheric and with an impressive acoustic, the quarry includes the main stage (5,000 seats) and the Ruffini stage (2,300 seats). In 2017, Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto will come to the quarry and it will not only be played on the main stage, but also be underscored by state-of-the-art video technology, enabling the production to play the quarry itself. In conjunction with the 52  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

multifaceted possibilities of the location, director Philippe Arlaud’s staging and Anja Bihlmaier’s conducting will be able to present the piece in all its dimensions. Next to the quarry, the foundation also presents events at the nearby Castle Esterházy. For centuries, the castle has been home to music and art; composer Jospeh Haydn even lived there for a few decades. A highlight is the baroque ballroom, aptly named the Haydn hall, where events like the concert series classic.Esterhazy and the HERBSTGOLD festival are staged. The September festival HERBSTGOLD will take its audience on a musical journey from classical concerts with the Haydn Philharmonics, to Balkan music with the King’ Naat Veliov’s Kocani Orkestar to Jazz legend Manu Dibango. The concluding highlight will be a marathon concert of various quartets all throughout the castle Esterházy.

More information can be found online: www.operimsteinbruch.at www.esterhazy.at www.herbstgold.at Tickets are available at: Ticketbüro pan.event GmbH Esterhazyplatz 4 7000 Eisenstadt T + 43 2682 65 0 65 tickets@panevent.at


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Mozarthaus

Playing for music

TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: CLAUDIO BENTES

For Claudio Bentes, playing music is a unique and very specific act. Accomplishing it takes certain elements. Location, ability, intent and passion are part of the equation. In 1998, he started his own chamber music concert series at the Vienna Mozarthaus, bringing together the various elements and thus creating a truthful atmosphere in which music is not played for the audience or the musicians, but for music itself. The Mozarthaus and its beautiful Sala Terrena are located in the historic core of Vienna. Built in the 12th century as part of a monastery, it is a place steeped with history and tales of a different world. Claudio Bentes discovered this world in younger years, collecting classical music on vinyl. Bentes, who formed his first string quartet at 12, always felt that it would be great to live in this world with its lush interiors and colourful clothing. He also had a dream of Vienna, the city where so many artists had been, one of them, of course, being Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. When he got the chance to create his own concert series at the place where Mozart himself lived and worked in 1781,

Bentes followed his dream and established a unique and original series. Taking place four times a week, the concerts are played by three different highly experienced quartet ensembles. The focus is put on the music and the ensembles are playing complete works of the Viennese Classic. In conjunc-

tion with the historic setting, Bentes and his fellow musicians create an experience that naturally brings the wonderful music to life. Over the years, the reception has been exceptional and as the well of classical music never runs dry, the concert series will continue its dialogue with the audience and the pieces as such. “The concerts in the Mozart House are my favourites in Vienna.” – Rick Steves “What a treat, what a pleasure. Bravo, bravo.” – Peter Falk www.mozarthaus.at

The ensemble at the Sala Terrena.

Claudio Bentes during a concert.

Nougat & nut spreads. Handmade. Vegan. Milk and lactose-free www.wienersalonnougat.at

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  53


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Natural History Museum Solothurn & Swiss Museum of Games

Experience nature’s past and present in a museum for the whole family

TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

The natural history museum situated in Solothurn’s historic centre is a great place to learn about our planet, its history and the animals living here. With many interactive elements, the museum allows adults and children to explore their environment.

The bears for example: is the fur fluffy? And how sharp are the teeth? www.naturmuseum-so.ch

The museum is mainly focused on animals living in Switzerland.“But also Earth’s history, where especially the Jurassic period – including dinosaurs – and the ice age are of great importance to us,” says curator Thomas Briner. To make natural history more touchable and understandable, there is even a large cast of a dinosaur trail where children can sit. Things like that help to trigger their imagination; if the footprint was that big, how much bigger were the actual dinosaurs? The cast was taken from footprints found in a quarry near Solothurn. “We have many things to explore even for small children,” says Briner. “We want to excite people for nature.” The exhibition shows mounted mammals and birds as

well as living fish. The large collection also contains a fossil of a prehistoric crocodile and 145-million-year-old turtles. Learning from nature about beetles and birds and complex ecosystems becomes real fun: “It is very important for us that texts are easy to understand and children are allowed to touch many of the exhibited animals and objects,” explains Thomas Briner.

Photo: Matthias Käser / Bieler Tagblatt

Photo: Nicole Hänni

Photo: Silvan Thüring

A castle of games

TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE

The Swiss museum of games is an adventure for anyone aged six to 106. Old games from all over the world are presented in a beautiful castle right by Lake Geneva.

English card from 1591 and visitors can play a round of darts or ringing the bull in the pub afterwards.

The picturesque castle of La Tour-de-Peilz was built in the 13th century. When the city purchased it in 1979, they wanted visitors of all ages to enjoy the castle. The museum of games was born. Director Dr. Ulrich Schädler says: “Games are intergenerational. They accompany us from childhood into old age. As games are played across the globe, they are also intercultural and a great way to build bridges - thus overcome language barriers and cultural differences.” The permanent collection shows games from 4,000 years ago including chess, dice, card and skill games but also gambling and lottery, from ancient Egypt, Persia, Rome and Greece to India, China, and Africa up to 21st century Europe. The green around the castle invites young and old to enjoy ten traditional children’s outdoor games. The current special exhibition

www.museedujeu.ch

54  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

So British! runs until the 13 of August 2017 and is a true highlight. “Games have been a vital part of British culture from very early on. British academics were the first ones to examine games scientifically and published ground-breaking research,”explains Dr. Schädler. Britain invented the standard rules of many games such as tennis, cricket, rugby, golf and football and hence introduced fair play. Part of the exhibition is the oldest

Chess of the Maharadjas Baghwant Singh of Dolpur, 1841. Photo: Selim Krichane

Castle of La Tour-de-Peilz with Swiss Museum of Games. Photo: Edouard Curchord

Chaupad-game of the Maharadjas Baghwant Singh of Dolput, 1841. Photo: Ulrich Schaedler


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Hotel of the Month, Germany

Outside façade of the Hotel Kronenschlösschen.

HOTEL OF THE MONTH, GERMANY

A fairy tale hotel The Hotel Kronenschlösschen at the river Rhine is a treat in every way with fascinating, historic architecture immediately resonating a sense of elegance. A wine cellar filled with a collection of more than 40,000 bottles to accompany the hotel’s exquisite cuisine. A yearlong programme of fascinating, exciting events are enchanting visitors from all over the world. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: HOTEL KRONENSCHLÖSSCHEN

Built in 1884, the Hotel Kronenschlösschen, nestled in an idyllic park with a fantastic view of the river Rhine, has been the centre stage for an important chapter in German history. It was at the Kronenschlösschen where Konrad Adenauer, Germany’s first post-war chancellor, discussed the new German constitution with Theodor Heuss and Carlo Schmid. In the years since, the hotel has seen ongoing success. Owner Hans B. Ullrich explains that“the hotel was in a very bad condition back in 1990 and it would have been easier to demolish it. It took two years to completely renovate it but it was worth it. The result is a wonderful little country hotel, a so-called boutique hotel.” Preserving the building is a continued process and in 2014 the hotel’s 18 rooms and suites were renovated once more, merging history and modern comfort to perfection.

Dining at the Kronenschlösschen, be it at the GOURMETRESTAURANT or at the BISTRO, is a unique experience. The latter has especially seen developments in the recent past. Implementing a new concept, visitors can choose the components of their three-course menu with a fixed price themselves.

Kronenschlösschen Germany’s Best Wine Gastronomy of 2017. It is not only in spring for the Rheingau Gourmet & Wine Festival, that the hotel becomes an event location. Events take place every week and around the whole year. From wine tastings, to special culinary delights or themed evenings, guests can expect to be entertained in an elegant and diverse way. Naturally, there are special discounts such as a ten per cent reduction of all rooms from October to April, serving as a further invitation to a one-ofa-kind holiday. www.kronenschloesschen.de

Of course, complementary to the meal, there should be the perfect wine. Here, renowned sommelier Florian Richter’s understanding and knowledge comes in. With a cellar holding 40,000 wines, the expert can always pick the right wine for each guest. The effort put into the topic wine has been rewarded by publications such as the Gault-Millau, with the yearly awarded prize for the Best Wine List Germany, the Metternich and many more. This year, the German Wine institute named the Hotel Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  55


Old town of Quedlinburg. Photo: HTV, M. Gloger

Imperial Palace of Goslar. Photo: GOSLAR Marketing GmbH

D E S T I N AT I O N O F T H E M O N T H , G E R M A N Y

Underground mining tour in the ore mine Rammelsberg. Photo: HTV, M. Gloger

The Harz Mountains in Germany

Breathtaking nature, unparalleled culture and real adventures Unlike any other region, the Harz Mountains offer a diversity of adventures all year round and thereby cater for excitement amongst all age groups. On over 9,000 kilometres of hiking trails, nature enthusiasts can look forward to a hiking paradise par excellence. TEXT: HARZER TOURISMUSVERBAND E.V., TRANSLATION: NANE STEINHOFF

The ‘Harzer-Hexen-Stieg’, one of the ‘Top Trails of Germany’, promises a hiking experience that lasts several days and leads through all facets of the Harz Mountain’s natural landscape. Here, dark, dense spruce forests, swampy cliffs and foggy peaks meet light-flooded plateaus, blossoming mountain meadows, softly burbling creeks and colourful deciduous forests. Whether on the ‘Teufelsstieg’, across the ‘Knochenbrecher’ or through the Ilse valley on the Heinrich-Heine-Path – the ascent to the ‘Brocken’, North Germany’s 56  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

highest peak at 1,141 metres, is a firm component of many holidays in the Harz Mountains. Exciting nature experiences Since May 2017, both hikers and walkers can enjoy the world’s longest hanging bridge. The filigree rope construction spans 483 metres across the Rappbode Dam at a height of 100 metres. Directly underneath the so-called ‘Titan-RT’, especially brave visitors are greeted by the ‘GigaSwing’, Europe’s most spectacular

pendulum swing. Here, the bravest Harz visitors will jump into the deep, either on their own or in tandem. Steep ascents or fast-paced descents – mountain bike fans also love the Harz Mountains’ impressive landscape. In total, 59,000 metres high on 2,200 course kilometres are to be overcome. On 74 signposted courses, narrow trails, soft forest soils and rocky passages with jumping opportunities and curves take turn in three levels of difficulty. In total, five bike parks require the highest concentration and put technical abilities on trial. Through white winter landscapes on two boards During the cold season, not only experienced skiers and snowboarders can find


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Destination of the Month, Germany

varied downhill slopes on more than 50 pistes of the Upper Harz’s ski regions. Beginners are also catered for as T-bars, chairlifts and cable railways secure the uphill ride. Fans of classical cross-country skiing can experience the entire beauty of the Harz Mountains’ winter landscape on around 500 kilometres of cross-country skiing trails. The Harz Mountains are an open storybook of history: castles recall the glamour of bygone times, knight tournaments and castle festivals take visitors to the Middle Ages, numerous museums reveal things of historical, crafted or technical nature. One can also experience lively technology during a ride with the traditional Harz Narrow Gauge Railways. The impressive steam locomotives cross the romantic Selke valley, the south of the Harz Mountains or lead through the Harz Mountains National Park to the ‘Brocken’ - a train travel experience just like 100 years ago. But this is nowhere near everything. In the middle of the Harz Mountains, three UNWith e-bikes in the Upper Harz Water Management System. Photo: HTV, M. Gloger

ESCO World Heritage sites of Germany’s 41 listed cultural and natural sites with ‘outstanding universal value’ can be found. 25 years ago, the UNESCO appointed the former ore mine Rammelsberg and the old town of Goslar as world heritages of mankind. With the aboveground and underground plants of Rammelsberg, a testimony of industrial culture was added to the world heritage list for the first time in Germany. In 2010, the world heritage site around the plants of the Upper Harz Water Management System was expanded. The entire ensemble – one of Europe’s largest and oldest mining regions – stretches across an area of over 200 square kilometres. The over 1,000-year-old town of Quedlinburg, situated at the north-eastern border of the Harz Mountains, brings visitors to bygone eras with over 2,000 half-timbered houses, buildings of Romanticism, as well as villas from the ‘Gründerzeit’ and the Art Nouveau period. Thereby, their history and their culture seem as lively as never before – a town between past and future.

Quedlinburg’s music summer 2017 stands under the title ‘Reformation: End and Beginning’ and will attract music enthusiasts, as well as young and old artists from near and far to the UNESCO World Heritage town. In 2017, the world celebrates ‘500 years of reformation’. After attaching his 95 theses to the castle church in Wittenberg in 1517, Martin Luther initiated the Catholic Church’s reformation. Up until this day, it has influenced our lives, our customs and even our education system and politics – irrelevant whether we belong to Catholicism, the evangelical church or no religion. The Luther memorial places in Eisleben have belonged to the UNESCO world heritage since 1996 as ‘authentic historical sites of the reformation that are of unusually universal importance’. Luther’s birthplace in Eisleben traces his life and gives insight into the reformer’s origins. info@harzinfo.de www.harzinfo.de More UNESCO World Heritage sites in surrounding areas: - The Hildesheim Cathedral of the  Assumption of Mary - Fagus Factory in Alfeld-Hannover - Bauhaus Dessau - The Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz - Luther memorials in Lutherstadt  Wittenberg

Hiking in the Ilse valley. Photo: HTV, M. Gloger

The world’s longest hanging bridge – the Titan-RT’. Photo: Andreas Lehmberg

Luther memorial in Eisleben. Photo: Raymond Faure

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  57


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Nature and Wildlife Park Goldau Child with miniature goat.

Racoons.

Ibex with fawn.

Observing animals in their natural habitat:

A great experience for families There are few things children enjoy more than watching wild animals close-up. The nature and wildlife park Goldau, about 40 minutes away from Zurich, was built in 1925 on a debris cone a landslide had left in 1806. It is a magical spot that fulfils all modern standards for keeping wild animals in natural surroundings. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN I PHOTOS: NATURE AND WILDLIFE PARK GOLDAU

“This archaic landscape, shaped by Nagelfluh boulders and large rocks, gives the feeling of walking through a fairy tale countryside,” says director Anna Baumann about the 42-hectare-large wildlife park. All facilities have been built with materials from the region “which allows visitors to observe the animals in their natural surroundings”. People can get very close to their favourite animal or can view the whole park from the newly built, 30metre-high observation tower. Animals living at the Goldau park are all indigenous to Switzerland, or are at least European, and among the 100 different animal types are many endangered species. “We also breed certain animals for repopulation, including bearded vultures, wisents, tree frogs, wild cats and the her58  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

mit ibis.” The hermit ibis for example, a bird approximately the size of a goose, once nearly became extinct because it was intensely hunted. Today there are many repopulating projects across Switzerland and Europe to bring back various endangered animal species. “We are very proud of our huge joint enclosure for bears and wolves,” says Baumann. Here both animals meet each other while scouring the area and looking for food. Visitors can watch the animals from various spots outside the enclosure and learn about their natural behaviour in the wild. But what children like best is to visit the huge zones where they can walk freely in between the animals and actually get in contact with animals they would nor-

mally never see – or only from a very great distance.“They can be eye to eye with sika deer, mouflon, geese, ducks or chicken. Children can even feed them with animal feed we fabricate especially for this purpose,” says Baumann. “And the children really love the pygmy goats.” If the animals ever become boring, there are three large adventure playgrounds to explore and enjoy. The Goldau nature and wildlife park has a modern restaurant that serves typical Swiss dishes and all over the park one can find picnic spots and barbecues visitors can use. www.tierpark.ch Barbecue area.


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  frutt Family Lodge

Get up and away

TEXT: JAIME HEATHER SCHWARTZ

In the heart of Switzerland, adventure and relaxation await atop the sunny Melchsee-Frutt plateau. Tucked into an idyllic Alpine landscape, replete with a mountain lake, the frutt Family Lodge is the perfect place for a special getaway. Sitting at 1,920 metres, the frutt Family Lodge invites visitors to soak up fresh air amidst a car-free environment and get upclose to the area’s unspoiled nature. “The ‘mountain island’ of the Melchsee-Frutt offers quite a variety of possibilities,” says Thorsten Fink, general manager and CEO at frutt Resort AG.“Experiences range from wellness and gourmet food to guided hikes and downhill skiing.” The Family Lodge hotel features a modern reinterpretation of traditional alpine hospitality and its warm wood and natural material design accents allow guests to feel fully immersed in the scenery. Whether enjoying the view from one of the 33 family-sized rooms, ten suites or four junior suites; or cosying up in front of the fireplace one never loses the sense of the mountain atmosphere. While the pleasures of the landscape certainly have their effect, indulging in

the spa and culinary offerings of the resort complex can surely enhance the experience of the elements. In fact, visitors do not have to wait until their arrival to sample the frutt Resort’s fine cuisine. Thanks to the SWISS Taste of Switzerland initiative, from June to August, first and business class passengers on all SWISS Air flights departing from Switzerland will be served a menu created by frutt Stübli chef Andreas Appenzeller. No matter the season or the reason, the

Relax room. Photo: frutt Family Lodge

many opportunities for the body, mind and spirit found at the frutt Resort and Family Lodge hotel make for an always welcome alpine escape. www.frutt-familylodge.ch

frutt Family Lodge. Photo: Thomas Biasotto, biasottophotography

frutt Family terrace. Photo: M. Starkel

2 Übernachtungen + 1 Massage + 1 Gipfeltrunk/Picknick = 4- Seenwanderung

Jetzt all-inclusive-Package buchen! 2 Übernachtungen (1. Nacht Berghotel Trübsee, 2. Nacht Hotel frutt Family Lodge) inkl. Frühstück und Abendessen, atemberaubende Wanderung von Engelberg nach Melchsee-Frutt, Gipfeltrunk, reichhaltiges Picknick, Spa-Benützung und 20 Minuten Massage. +41 41 669 76 76 | www.frutt-familylodge.ch Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  59


The historic Grand Salon

Providing everything for a perfect wedding Those looking for a luxurious venue for their wedding will love Park Hyatt Vienna. Whether couples prefer a small gathering with their family or a grand ballroom gala, the hotel located in the heart of Vienna is a top-notch spot for any type of wedding ceremony.

limousine, an antique car or a carriage that makes the journey to marriage even more romantic.

TEXT: NADINE CARSTENS  I  PHOTOS: PARK HYATT VIENNA

With 800 square metres of banqueting space, the luxury hotel offers different wedding venues, where décor, lighting and sound will be personalised to make every event special. As the heart of the historical building, the Grand Salon has a particularly glamourous atmosphere due to its wooden ornamentation, Gobelin tapestries and beautiful chandeliers. When looking up to the seven-metre-high ceiling, guests will discover that it is decorated with real gold leaf.

“Our team makes the dream of a perfect wedding become true,” says Barbara Göttling, director of sales and marketing at Park Hyatt Vienna. “We do not leave anything to chance and help to plan ceremonies which are individually tailored to the bridal pairs.” The hotel’s dedicated wedding specialists will take care of all organisational matters and will closely assist couples from the moment a date for the ceremony is selected until the last guests have departed. Therefore, when the time to say “I do” has arrived, couples do not have to worry about anything and can 60  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

simply enjoy their special day. Park Hyatt Vienna is one of the few hotels in the city that has the certification to officiate civil weddings. Hence, bridal pairs can officially get married and also celebrate at this place with all their guests. “What makes weddings at our hotel special as well is that our professional kitchen team creates individual delicious menus and that we impress every guest with fine table linens and elegant flower arrangements,” Göttling adds. Another service of Park Hyatt Vienna is providing a wedding

Wedding venues of different sizes

“With a size of 202 square metres, the Grand Salon offers numerous options for the wedding ceremony itself, for dinner


Discover Germany  |  Travel  |  Park Hyatt Vienna

with friends and family, and for an after-party where guests can enjoy dancing,” Göttling explains. Another Park Hyatt wedding location is the Bel Etage Foyer. Since the hotel is located in the former headquarters of Bank Austria, this beautifully restored venue used to be the bank director’s floor. Here, everyone tends to marvel at a noble stucco ceiling, lavish wood paneling and a marble fireplace. The Bel Etage Foyer offers space for up to 200 guests who are all welcomed with a glass of champagne. Those who prefer to celebrate on a smaller scale may rather choose the Boardroom 3, which couples can book for up to 27 people. With mirrored walls and big sundrenched windows overlooking Vienna’s oldest square ‘Am Hof’, the room offers a perfect setting for small weddings in an intimate atmosphere. Alternatively, it also serves as a personal bridal room.

example, includes organising flowers and decoration, hiring local photographers and videographers, and offering spa packages, so that couples have the chance to relax and rejuvenate before their special day. “In addition, professional hair and makeup specialists offer their expertise and turn the bride into the glowing centre of attention,” Göttling promises. While the pastry chef of the hotel creates a delicious wedding cake according to the bridal pair’s wishes, a partner company is responsible for the music and lighting of the event. To make sure that couples do not have to pay more than they have planned, Park Hyatt Vienna offers various wedding packages from classic to luxury that cost between 170 and 274 euros per person. While the classic version for example includes a sparkling wine reception, a festive

three-course menu or buffet, and a room rental for the Grand Salon from 3pm to 2am, the luxury package also provides additional floral decorations, finger food and after-dinner drinks. When couples have picked a certain date for their wedding, they should try to book a venue at Part Hyatt Vienna as early as possible to make sure that it is not already reserved by someone else. “If couples are more flexible, we are looking forward to their request anytime,” says Göttling. “They can book one of our venues between a year or two months before the wedding.” www.parkhyattvienna.com Tel.: +43 1 2270 1208 E-Mail: wedding.vienna@hyatt.com

Another option is the Private Dining Room for up to 12 people. Located in the restaurant The Bank Brasserie & Bar, which is also part of Park Hyatt Vienna, guests can enjoy a more private atmosphere. Providing a perfect wedding service No matter where bridal pairs decide to celebrate, the wedding planners of the luxury hotel make sure that their wedding becomes as perfect and memorable as they have always imagined. Their service, for

A bridal pair in front of the hotel.

Boardroom 3.

Proposal.

A bride in front of the hotel.

A personalised wedding cake.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  61


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Feature

Luther’s wedding

Left: People eating in period costumes - Luther wedding. Photo: © Danny Sotzny Top right: Ministrel at Luther wedding. Photo: © Danny Sotzny Right: Castle Church. Photo: © Tourist-Information Lutherstadt Wittenberg

– Nuptials to remember again and again In 1525, a former monk turned church reformer married a former nun who had escaped a convent. Each year, the small town of Wittenberg organises a festival, including a re-enactment of the wedding between Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora. TEXT: WIBKE CARTER

Martin Luther, the theologian who forever changed Christianity when he began the Protestant Reformation in 16th century Europe, is arguably one of Germany’s most famous sons. Born in Eisleben, Saxony, in 1483, he taught theology at the newly founded university in Wittenberg, before famously nailing his ‘95 Theses’, attacking papal abuses and the sale of indulgences, to the door of the Castle Church on 31 October 1517. This event, considered the beginning of the Reformation, sees the 500th anniversary in 2017. 62  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

Excommunicated by Pope Leo X, Luther refused to recant and went into hiding at Wartburg Castle. Finding a wife was far from his mind when he returned to Wittenberg in 1522; however having mulled this over, the bachelor concluded that marriage would “please his father, rile the pope, cause the angels to laugh and the devils to weep”. On 13 June 1525, 41-yearold former monk Martin Luther married 26-year-old former Catholic nun Katharina von Bora, and with that broke away from the Catholic Church for good.

Little did the couple know that centuries later their wedding would be celebrated and re-enacted every second weekend of June (9-11 June 2017) as Luther’s Hochzeit in Wittenberg. This year, for the 23rd time, more than 2,000 participants dressed in vibrant medieval period costumes and as many as 100,000 spectators will gather in the small town on the Elbe River. The annual wedding celebration is like walking back in time, as visitors come face to face with Luther and his new bride, the Elector’s Court, the castle guard and captains, the court council, noble women, military troops, fools and farmhands. During the three-day festivities, the old town transforms into a medieval spectacle just like out of a Lucas Cranach painting. Peasant farmers dressed in simple linen


Discover Germany  |  Travel Feature  |  Luther’s Wedding

garments pull their children in wooden carts padded with straw. Merchants stride by in leather boots with their horn drinking vessels hanging from their belts. Town guards in full body armour clear the streets by shouting at bystanders, banging drums and brandishing weapons. Visitors can take part in a varied programme, for instance in front of the Castle Church, where artisans offer crafts, arts and foods in the style of the 16th century. Blacksmiths demonstrate their skill with the hammer, while archers instruct festival goers in the fine art of using a bow and arrow, all under the soothing music performed by minstrels. At St. Marien church, festival-goers can stop at the historical camp for a hearty meal of roasted pig on a spit, fried potatoes and beer. A multitude of children’s rides are stationed throughout the festival area. However, unlike modern fair attractions, all of

them require human power. In the town square, a wooden Ferris wheel takes small children about 12 feet off the ground, while a large wheel with seats, similar to a merry-go-round, is powered by two men running alongside. Children can also hone their carving skills or learn to emboss leather bags that they can take home with them. The festival reaches its annual highlight early Saturday afternoon when the wedding parade kicks off under the cries of ‘Jubel’ (cheers) from the Luther house at the Augustinian monastery, where Luther lived, first as a monk and later as the owner with his family. As many as 30 historical societies help form the bulk of the main parade with their members impersonating historical figures such as Frederick the Wise, Luther’s friend and fellow reformer Philip Melanchthon, and Lucas Cranach, the famous painter, among many others. In a tradition, the loud, jubilant ‘Jubel’ cries

from animated parade participants are shouted back from bystanders as the procession moves through the cobblestoned streets of Wittenberg. The festival has helped put Wittenberg on the map again, centuries after Luther, the town’s most famous son, did in the 16th century. 500 Years of Reformation is celebrated all over Germany this year and Luther’s Hochzeit will be one of the highlights on the events calendar. By the way, the union between Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora was, by all accounts, a happy and affectionate one, resulting in the birth of six children. After a year of marriage, Luther wrote to a friend: “My Katie is in all things so obliging and pleasing to me that I would not exchange my poverty for the riches of Croesus.” www.lutherstadt-wittenberg.de/en www.luther2017.de/en Left: Luther’s Wedding. Photo: © Tourist-Information Lutherstadt Wittenberg Middle: Luther Memorial on Market Square.   Photo: © Tourist-Information Lutherstadt Wittenberg Below: Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora at the door of the 95 theses. Photo: © Investitions- und Marketinggesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH Bottom left: The Electoral Prince. Photo: © Lutherstadt Wittenberg Marketing GmbH Bottom right: View of the 95 theses against the selling of indulgences. Photo: © Investitions- und Marketinggesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  63


Discover Germany  |  Special Feature  |  ‘Stop Talking, Start Planting’

Felix Finkbeiner.

64  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017


Discover Germany  |  Special Feature  |  ‘Stop Talking, Start Planting’

‘Stop talking, start planting’ Exactly ten years ago, a nine-year-old boy from Germany decided that more action had to be taken to counteract climate change. Thus, he initiated the children’s initiative ‘Plant-for-the-Planet’. What started off as a simple school project, turned into a global movement that is on course to plant its one billionth tree. TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF  |  PHOTO: PLANT-FOR-THE-PLANET

Felix Finkbeiner can indeed be called a ‘wunderkind’. While many of his peers would have still been pre-occupied with playing football, Felix had a higher goal at the young age of nine: saving the planet from global warming. He recollects: “Adults simply have done way too little. The data is shocking. Since the Kyoto Protocol was passed, worldwide CO2 emissions have increased by 62 per cent. Back then I had the impression that adults merely talked about the climate crisis but that they didn’t undertake anything. Whether the sea level will rise by four or seven metres is a scientific question for adults. When this will actually happen, most of them won’t live anymore. But us children and adolescents, we will actually experience the climate crisis’ dramatic effects.” From school project to global campaign In January 2007, Felix’s teacher came into the fourth grade with an important issue. She was concerned about the mild winter

and told Felix and his classmates to think about the important topic of climate. “I decided to prepare a presentation. While researching for information, I came across the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai. She planted around 30 million trees in 30 years in many African countries. Then it occurred to me: what if the low number of adults that advocates a different treatment of the earth doesn’t persuade enough other people to rethink? At the end of my presentation, I told my classmates: Let’s plant one million trees in each country of this planet!” says Felix. This was certainly achieved… and more. In fact, around 14,210,000,000 trees have been planted all over the globe – and the number increases by the minute. But how exactly did Felix’s initial idea become a hit all over the globe? After his presentation went down a treat with his classmates at the Munich International School, his teachers wanted him to re-

peat his speech in front of the school’s student council. Shortly after, he also gave the speech in front of other classes. It did not take long before his campaign reached other schools and Felix received more and more calls from students that were keen to join Plant-for-the-Planet. The project quickly gained traction. In fact, it became so popular that, at the age of nine, Felix decided to ask Toyota for 40,000 euros so that he could hire his first full-time staff member. With not much negotiating efforts, Toyota said ‘yes’ and with the money Felix kept campaigning and gave speeches so that his commitment started to snowball. Felix attended the UN Children’s Conference in Stavanger, Norway, in 2008, became a UNEP (UN Environment Programme) Junior Board Member, gave a speech in front of the European Parliament and in 2011, even addressed the United Nations in their headquarters in New York.“I was never as nervous before! Right before the speech I really wished that I would sit in school instead,” Felix laughs. Another big factor that gained the Plant-for-the-Planet far-ranging recognition, is an advertising campaign with the likes of Harrison Ford, Prince Albert of Monaco or Gisele Bündchen. With those

Felix Finkbeiner at the UN in New York.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  65


Discover Germany  |  Special Feature  |  ‘Stop Talking, Start Planting’

famous helpers, it seems no wonder that Plant-for-the-Planet is now known all over the world. Felix says: “When I was nine and prepared a presentation for my school, I actually only did my homework. Of course, I didn’t expect that it would turn into a student initiative that would grow into a global movement. I think it became so popular because many children have the same fears as I do – they simply don’t want to just watch while adults gamble away our future.” One answer to climate change The concept behind Felix’s idea is quite simple. First of all, Plant-for-the-Planet academies are organised in Germany and around the world. These events are run by children for children at which they motivate each other to take action against the climate crisis. The children then become active Climate Justice Ambassadors and pass on their knowledge to encourage other children. Simple, yet very effective. Today, Felix is 19 years old and more than 100,000 children follow Felix’s mission,

while 55,000 children between the age of nine and 12 are Ambassadors for Climate Justice. Day by day, these numbers are rapidly growing so that it becomes obvious that Plant-for-the-Planet developed into a well-organised, global movement with the ultimate goal of planting one billion trees worldwide. But why trees? According to Felix, trees provide a good time joker for the fight against the climate crisis. “They are the simplest and cheapest option, as well as safe carbon reservoirs. When they grow, they withdraw CO2 from the atmosphere. This way, they mitigate the climate crisis. Until 2050, we have to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to zero in order to still comply with the two-degree threshold. Otherwise, the consequences will be catastrophic. Adhering to the two-degree threshold will only be successful with massive reforestation,” he explains and adds: “Our goal is to plant one billion trees. According to first estimates, they would absorb a quarter of the annual

man-made CO2 emissions – annually. But planting one billion trees will achieve even more: jobs and thus, perspectives for people in the global south. Furthermore, trees are a regenerative, natural raw material source that additionally stores carbon and thus, reduces CO2 in the atmosphere.” When a tree rots, carbon is released again and connects with oxygen – and the newly bound CO2 is back in the air. However, when the wood is sensibly used in the long term, it can store the carbon. For example, a wood house could replace concrete. What many do not know, according to Felix, is that the worldwide cement production for all of the concrete that we need releases three times as much CO2 than air traffic all over the globe. The prospect of planting one billion trees around the world is a great one, but with climate change deniers gaining more and more traction – even on a political level – the campaign also must overcome some obstacles. But Felix is confident. “It Planting area in Campeche, Mexico.

Protesting. Photo: © Michael Setzpfandt

Planting area in Campeche, Mexico.

Ambassadors in the Philippines.

Ambassador in South Africa.

66  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017


Discover Germany  |  Special Feature  |  ‘Stop Talking, Start Planting’

Harrison Ford and Felix.

‘Die Gute Schokolade’.

is important that people understand that no matter what my conviction, when I become active against the climate crisis today, then I assume responsibility for people that are important to me. Almost everyone has children or adolescents in their surroundings. One thing is for sure: these children and adolescents will experience the climate crisis’ consequences. Droughts, floods, conflicts. For example, a long-standing drought that brought about chaos in the general public, preceded Syria’s civil war. That’s a factor in this war. A NASA study showed: these droughts were connected to the climate crisis. The impacts of global warming are measurable and already here in certain regions of the world. However, in 50 years, worldwide. Then, today’s European children will also be affected. That’s why we all have to act now,” notes Felix. ‘Believe in your idea’ At the young age of 19, Felix has already achieved a great deal. He was named European of the Year by Reader’s Digest in

2015, he currently studies International Relations in London and, of course, Plantfor-the-Planet is further gaining more momentum. Felix explains:“We still have a very ambitious target to reach: until 2020, companies, organisations, governments and individuals should promise us one billion trees. Furthermore, we want to train one million children to become Climate Justice Ambassadors. Of course, we need a high degree of support for this and a large number of people that jointly want to stand up for our future.” So, what can each and every one of us do? Felix answers: “Everyone can do something for climate protection. For example, switch to a green energy provider. But it’s important to have a closer look: it is only effective when one switches to a provider that actually invests in new wind turbines, photovoltaic plants, hydroelectric power plants and so on. Of course, one should also question their own behaviour: eat less meat, if possible, waive the car or the plane, build ecologically, such as with wood. And, of course: plant trees! One can do that very easily

with a donation: for one euro, we plant a tree. In Mexico, thanks to its climate, trees grow particularly quickly there and store especially much carbon.” For those children, adolescents or adults who want to bring something similar to life, Felix has some advice too: “Focus on one main message, believe in your idea and clearly, authentically and comprehensibly communicate. By the way, those who want to found a Plant-for-the-Planet club in their own town, is welcome to do so. Simply contact our office in Tutzing. But above all: stop talking about change and start taking action.”

TASTY AND BENEFICIAL: Plant-for-the-Planet also has its own chocolate – the ‘Gute Schokolade’. This chocolate bar is climate-neutrally produced and is Fair Trade certified. The best part is that for every five bars sold, Plant-for-thePlanet can plant one tree. It can be bought in many supermarkets in Germany and Austria.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  67


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  The Future of Mobility

Photo: © Fraport AG

SPECIAL THEME: THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY

Pioneering developments for mobility Have you ever wondered who produces innovative braking systems or state-of-the-art products in the mobility sector? Find out in our following special theme on the future of mobility.

Photo: © CargoBeamer AG

68  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  The Future of Mobility

Rail & Truck: The road to fully automated driving Driverless trucks thundering along the highway, fully automated metro trains, skilled technicians having their lunch alongside robots – Industry 4.0 is set to revolutionise transport and radically change the entire sector. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: CAROLINE GRAETHER, KNORR-BREMSE

As a market-leading supplier for rail and commercial vehicles, for Knorr-Bremse, tomorrow’s mobility means today’s crosslinking of integrated, multi-sited production processes, innovative products as well as the latest technology and know-how. Everyone is talking about Highway Pilot, the truck that drives onto the autobahn and handles everything automatically. While that will certainly happen, it is a long-term prospect. Knorr-Bremse will be actively shaping the route to the Highway Pilot and continuously expand its portfolio in the field of driver assistance systems and automated driving. Rail or road, at Knorr-Bremse it is all about optimising production processes and interfaces. Uncompromising safety, high-level reliability and low life cycle costs – those, in a nutshell, are the main advantages of intelligent networking solutions. Excellent networking However, not all transport vehicles of the future will look like they were made at

a Hollywood science-fiction studio. But pioneering products in the rail and truck divisions are paving the way for current megatrends such as automated driving. Knorr-Bremse’s new autonomous yard maneuvering system for trucks demonstrates the scope for improving freight depot efficiency. Complex driving functions are controlled by the interoperability of drive, steering, and braking systems, combined with the use of sensors to monitor the vehicle’s immediate surroundings. An app informs the driver about the status of the loading and unloading process.

Functioning internal organisation The new Munich-based development centre efficiently supports developing products as described. Knorr-Bremse has invested 90 million euros to create a place that stands alone within the whole sector regarding work structures and equipment. Knorr-Bremse aims to connect the sectors of rail and truck closer with each other. There are many intersections, concerning for example friction materials, driving systems and driver assistance systems. In the end, it does not matter if the camera detecting a crossing pedestrian is built into a truck or into a tram: the basic technology remains the same. www.knorr-bremse.com Left: iCOM RailServices. Right: Autonomous yard maneuvering. Bottom: Augmented reality production.

For both passengers and freight rail transport, iCOM (intelligent Condition Oriented Maintenance) has already improved energy efficiency. The on-board networking platform provides information about the rail vehicle fleet and optimises train control systems by monitoring and analysing data from vehicle sub-systems. The modular system with open standards is attractive for both vehicle manufacturers and operators. Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  69


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  The Future of Mobility

CargoBeamer Gates are compact, scalable and fit everywhere.

Innovation to relieve overcrowded roads from heavy cargo The Leipzig-based CargoBeamer AG is a specialist for transporting heavy cargo – on rail and not on the road, with trains operating between Venlo, Cologne and Milan on a daily basis. With its GateModules, CargoBeamer offers an economic solution to shift goods from environmentally problematic road cargo to railroad tracks - automatically and fast. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: CARGOBEAMER

It is something everyone has experienced in one way or another: increased road cargo volumes lead to more traffic jams, because thousands of trucks are heading back and forth on European roads. Thus, finding an alternative has really become key for the transport sector: strengthening rail-based cargo therefore has become more and more important to not only relieve the roads, but also the society and of course the environment. CargoBeamer solves a great deal of the immanent problems: the company has developed innovative rail wagons and so-called ‘Gate70  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

Modules’ that allow to automatically load standard road semi-trailers onto wagons. A technology that applies to almost 100 per cent of road semi-trailers on European, Russian, Chinese, Central Asian and Turkish markets. “The loading process is extremely fast. It takes only 15 minutes to unload and reload a full train,” says Dr. Hans-Jürgen Weidemann. “All humans have to do is a double click on an industrial panel PC.” Weidemann developed the idea together with Michael Baier in 1998 as a private in-

itiative. In 2003, the company was finally founded on a professional level as jointstock corporation. With venture capital from private shareholders, CargoBeamer started designing and constructing the first wagon and terminal prototypes in 2008. CargoBeamer is fully certified and operational since 2015. It is a good example for the power of technical innovation and takes the transport sector to a completely new level. Overall, CargoBeamer, based in Leipzig, proves Saxony’s entrepreneurial spirit: as early as the 19th century the German federal state was an innovator for machine engineering and railway technology – and still is today. So, it might not come as a surprise that it was here the CargoBeamer idea was developed. “CargoBeamer offers a very economic solution to shift goods from environmentally problematic road cargo to clean rail


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  The Future of Mobility

cargo,” says Weidemann. The technology mitigates heavy road cargo that is not only a huge problem on motorways. Many villages and towns along the main transport routes are struggling with noise and air pollution due to heavy traffic. Nevertheless, across Europe, rail cargo volume has lost market shares in recent years – main obstacles so far had been a lack of efficiency in respect of timing, costs, service quality, innovation and flexibility. “Plus, a missing compatibility of container cranes with modern road semi-trailers, which account for 73 per cent of road cargo volumes,” states Dr. Hans-Jürgen Weidemann. But road cargo is in fact already at its limits. On German roads for example, road cargo volume already exceeded the nominal layout capacity in 2010 – and nothing has changed to the positive so far. On the contrary, the number of traffic jams has tripled since. In 2015, the economic costs of traffic jams had reached 25 billion euros. And the German government expects road cargo to grow by an additional 40 per cent until 2030, while

the capacity will only increase by four per cent. This development is quite similar all over Europe. “Without changes in the freight logistic structure, traffic infarct will be inevitable,” says Dr. Hans-Jürgen Weidemann. “Shifting road cargo to rail would alleviate the problem. CargoBeamer has developed an innovation and brought it to the market that has the potential to overcome all these obstacles and significantly shift freight from road to rail.” Removing cargo to trains will reduce the overall energy consumption – in Europe and worldwide. It would help cleaning up the environment, says Weidemann, and will reduce the carbon dioxide footprint massively – a problem that is becoming more and more immanent, because many countries are still struggling to reach the set goals. These are all problems societies are facing in their entity and which reducing road cargo would help solving. But CargoBeamer’s new technology has very tangible advantages for companies and their business as well.

The ‘CargoBeamer Alpin’.

CargoBeamer opens the rail for more 300 billion tonne-kilometres of road cargo, which so far could not be transported by rail, explains Weidemann: “CargoBeamer makes using a train much faster, easier and cheaper and thus has huge benefits for customers. CargoBeamer terminals have twice as much the capacity as conventional terminals, need fewer investments and space, less energy and have lower operational cost for transhipments”. What is also important is transferring goods to railroad tracks eliminates long pauses drivers have to make according to EU and national laws. “That maximises asset utilisation of semi-trailers,” says Hans-Jürgen Weidemann. But also that of locomotives and railcars: with the new CargoBeamer, deloading and reloading takes less time and therefore the time trains are standing useless at a cargo bay is reduced rapidly. “CargoBeamer is by far the most efficient rail transport technology on the market today.” www.cargobeamer.com Unloading and loading trains and wagons per mouse click.

The ‘CargoBeamer Alpin’.

The ‘CargoBeamer Alpin’.

The ‘CargoBeamer Alpin’.

CargoBeamer: daily trains between Venlo, Cologne and Milano.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  71


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  The Future of Mobility

Left: Room with a view. Photo: © Fraport AG Top right: MY CLOUD, modern transit hotel. Right: Modern hotel room with panorama view of airport.

Staying in style

Below: Hering Service GmbH operates the first transit hotel, MY CLOUD, at a German airport. Bottom: MY CLOUD transit hotel at Frankfurt Airport.

Weary after a long flight? Book a comfortable room without having to clear immigration at the MY CLOUD Transit Hotel. The unique, flexibly bookable hotel at Frankfurt Airport (Terminal 1) is just a short walk from the gate and well equipped for you to refresh, relax and rest while in the airport.

MY CLOUD staff will be glad to give passengers information about the hotel as well as restaurants, business, and shopping opportunities at the airport.

TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE  |  PHOTOS: DAVID HOLLNACK

www.mycloud.de

Whether it is an overnight stay or a quick nap to fight jetlag, travellers can choose booking hours that suit their needs at the MY CLOUD Transit Hotel. The reception is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and rooms can be easily booked online. With sleek and carefully tailored designs, travellers can look forward to rooms, which are well equipped with a bed, shower, free Wi-Fi and an array of amenities that will help them recharge their batteries. Contemporary, connected rooms The MY CLOUD Transit Hotel has 59 rooms in which passengers can get some real rest during a layover in Frankfurt. The tastefully furnished rooms are specifically tailored to flight guests’ needs. The room, which has a floor area of about ten square metres (108 square feet), offers a bed with fresh sheets, a desk, an entertainment system, and free Wi-Fi. In addition, all 72  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

rooms include an en-suite bathroom with a shower. Guests can also enjoy a sensational view of the airfield, including takeoff and landing runways. Booking, check in and location The MY CLOUD Transit Hotel offers maximum flexibility with booking options by the hour. The variety of different rooms are perfect for transit passengers looking to use their waiting time for optimal relaxation. Also, the close proximity to the terminal building guarantees a short way to the gate where your next flight leaves and guests do not have to leave the transit area and enter the Schengen zone. The MY CLOUD is located in the transit area of the airport Frankfurt and is both accessible by foot and via SkyLine. To check in, guests only need to have their boarding pass and passport available. The

CONTACT Frankfurt Terminal 1 (Gate Z25 Frankfurt Airport, Germany) Hering Service GmbH, Phone: +49 69 690 30380


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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  LASER World of PHOTONICS

Photo: © SENTECH Instruments GmbH

SPECIAL THEME: LASER WORLD OF PHOTONICS

A platform for the photonics community From 26 until 29 June, the World Trade Fair and Congress for components, systems and applications of photonics will take place in Munich. It combines industry and research and is an unmissable event. Find out what some exhibitors have to offer on the following pages.

Photo: © JenLab

74  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

Photo: © SITEC


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  LASER World of PHOTONICS

Launching a laser plant made by SITEC.

Glass processing with laser technology. Photo: SITEC

Laser welding of lorry switching components.

Innovative plant engineering of the future Leading expert SITEC provides customised solutions for mechanical and plant engineering as well as series production. Innovation and research are at the core of SITEC, which means they can offer state-of-the-art technology to their clients. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  |  PHOTOS: ESCHERICH

In 1991, SITEC was founded by two executive employees of an industry-related research institute for tool machines in Chemnitz. Initially the main focus was placed on engineering services, such as construction, quality management and factory planning. With 25 years of extensive experience in the field and over 700 delivered plants worldwide, SITEC’s services are far more comprehensive. Clients come from various areas such as the automobile industry, electrical engineering and electronics, medical engineering, alternative energy technology and many more. In parallel to mechanical and plant engineering, SITEC specifically uses the symbiosis of technological expertise and production know-how of laser and EC machine processing for series production of components and assembly units.

Managing director Dr. Jörg Lässig says: “We devote all our attention to using innovative technologies. For our customers, we develop solutions for laser welding, laser cutting, laser hardening, and laser micro machining ready to go into production. In the field of electrochemical metalworking, we rigorously promote the development of varied process technologies for deburring, drilling, sinking and gallery forming.” Dr. Lässig goes on to explain that continuous research and innovative development form SITEC’s backbone of progress and technological advantage. Together with selected industrial and research partners, they develop new methods and technologies for the products of the future. Working hand in hand with their clients ensures an individual approach and solutions tailored to the special requirements that different companies bring.

The team at SITEC currently focuses on further expanding their services, particularly in the field of predictive maintenance. “Previously, a production site had to fail first before it was repaired. Today we have intelligent systems, which are able to recognise a malfunction before it occurs. Predictive maintenance can save huge costs and exploit new business models so we are on it,” Dr. Lässig adds. SITEC can be the middleman between technological development and clientfocused work in plant engineering and series production. Closing that gap enables both, client and SITEC, to become technological leaders of tomorrow. www.sitec-technology.de

Laser robotcell.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  75


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  LASER World of PHOTONICS

The future starts right now JenLab is the leading specialist in multiphoton tomography. Their innovative tomographs create scar-free and label-free optical biopsies and make it possible to detect skin cancer much earlier with subcellular resolution directly on the screen. The efficiency of anti-aging cremes can be evaluated and skin modifications of astronauts during long-term space flights investigated. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: JENLAB

Usually practitioners assess an abnormal part of a patient’s skin with their naked eye. In most cases, a biopsy will be carried out that causes pain and scars occur. The skin sample will be tested in a laboratory, a process that is not only costly but might also take weeks, leaving the patient with uncertainty. JenLab can provide a revolutionary and much faster option. It develops medical equipment and laser microscopes, which are based on femtosecond laser technology. The multiphoton tomograph creates high-resolution images of affected skin within seconds. With this non-invasive and painless procedure, the physician obtains optical biopsies with detailed information on living cells and tissue structures within their physiological en76  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

vironment. Dermatological disorders can be detected with submicron spatial resolution. This innovative method allows for an earlier detection of skin diseases such as malignant melanoma and dermatitis, and enables physicians to start treatment immediately. CEO Dr. Karsten König explains: “JenLab equipment enables us to gain deep insights into the skin ‘in vivo’. This makes the physically taken invasive biopsy prior to the examination unnecessary. Chemical processes can be made visible even at a sub-cellular level which is interesting for cosmetic research and the pharmaceutical industry.” JenLab is amongst Germany’s top 100 innovative businesses and is partly funded

by the European Horizon 2020. This May, JenLab got awarded by CFI as the Most Innovative Medical Diagnostics System Europe 2017. Hospitals in major cities such as Los Angeles, Paris, London, Peking, Brisbane and Berlin are already using JenLab’s equipment to detect black skin cancer and inflammation diseases. The tomograph has been employed during neurosurgery to define the exact borders of a brain tumor ‘in situ’. The Lions cornea bank in Homburg uses it for quality checks of donated human eyes prior to transplantation. CEO Dr. König, who is also professor at the Saarland University, gets enthusiastic when it comes to space applications. European astronauts are monitored with JenLab’s technology to measure skin modifications during long-term space flights. The list of areas where JenLab’s tools can cause a little revolution seems endless. We are on board. www.jenlab.de www.mpt-tomography.com


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  LASER World of PHOTONICS

ALD and PEALD systems, ICP plasma etch and deposition systems by SENTECH.

SENperc PV with straightforward, recipe-based push-button operation.

Precision taken to a higher level With the progression of technology, technological appliances as well as the requirements posed on their functionalities and components are becoming more and more refined and challenging. High-quality precision instruments by SENTECH Instruments perfectly fulfil the requirements of modern industries TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: SENTECH INSTRUMENTS GMBH

SENTECH Instruments, a developer, manufacturer and seller of high-quality precision instruments was founded in 1990. Its products range from plasma etching facilities, surface coating systems, and atomic layer deposition systems to spectroscopic and laser ellipsometers as well as reflectometers for the measuring of thicknesses and optic constants of very thin layers. “Our company’s motto is ‘Success through Performance’, and as SENTECH Instruments’ claim has always been to produce high-quality products, we make sure that all quality-sensitive components and operations are being produced and carried out in our own laboratories,” says Dr. Bernd Gruska, CMO at SENTECH Instruments, very briefly summarising the company’s objectives. Therefore, it is no surprise that equipment by SENTECH Instruments, whose

quality management processes have been ISO 9001-certified, stands out with a high level of quality and innovativeness. “We set very high standards for ourselves and our products. SENTECH Instruments owns the rights to more than 20 patents and registered designs, and our team of experts grant an ongoing and innovative process of research, which enables SENTECH Instruments to constantly improve its products and processes. For example, one of our latest innovations, the spectroscopic ellipsometer SENperc PV, the new innovative solution for quality control of backside passivation layers of PERC cells, has been awarded the highly prestigious Price for Innovation of Berlin-Brandenburg. This price means a lot to us as it shows us that the quality of our work as well as our inventiveness is acknowledged by the industry and authorities alike,” says Dr. Gruska.

SENTECH Instruments’ future path is clearly set. “We aim high! Our most prominent goal is to strengthen our role in the international market for research as well as sales and distribution,” says Dr. Gruska, explaining about SENTECH Instruments’ future - a future that looks bright indeed. www.sentech.com SENperc PV - QC for PERC back side manufacturing.

Innovative solutions for non-contact, non-invasive optical characterisation using ellipsometry and reflectometer.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  77


Photo: © Flickr.com, WOCinTech

S P E C I A L T H E M E : F O C U S O N D ATA S E C U R I T Y

Safeguarding data effectively We all know the horrors of data recovery and how complicated effective data security measures can be. Thus, we have spoken to some of Germany’s innovative companies in this field to find out more about the right software solutions to help you and your business with data safety. Read more on the following pages.

Photo: © Flickr.com, Blue Coat Photos

78  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

Photo: © Flickr.com, Blogtrepreneur


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Data Security

From top left:

Safeguard your data

Libelle DataMasking (LDM) enables anonymisation and pseudonymisation of critical data in non-productive systems (top) and in test systems (bottom). Photos: © Libelle AG 2016 Lars Albrecht, CEO Libelle AG. Photo: © thekla ehling, 2012 ‘Innovation meets simplification by reducing complexity’ - Lars Albrecht, CEO Libelle AG. Photos: © everythingpossible, Fotolia

Businesses, private citizens and corporations rely on Libelle AG to manage their data better – and more securely. The company’s software and services solutions help customers improve their business efficiency, leverage insights and protect sensitive corporate and personal data. TEXT: ELISABETH DOEHNE

Modern consumers and businesses expose a large amount of sensitive information – financial, personal, and corporate – online. They trust that nothing will happen. But leaked or exposed data pose a real risk to the confidentiality of important personal and business-critical data, compromising data security, privacy and control. Protecting and perfecting data management Libelle is in the business of making companies work more efficiently, securely, and cost-effectively by preventing errors and loss of time. The German software company helps clients meet data needs by focusing on just that: protecting and perfecting the managing of business data. The German software provider is a wellestablished and proven B2B partner. Their services include the provision of IT and data-masking solutions for securing sensitive data. “Libelle stands for highest security. Our data masking services are customised to

fit our clients’ specific requirements. We provide companies with valuable software tools and services so that they can implement their data security measures. We focus on the areas of anonymisation and pseudonymisation of test data, data mirroring, system copies, monitoring and autocorrection of media breaks and system interfaces,” explains CEO Lars Albrecht. A team of expert professionals

the company’s focus on safe and optimised data to improve clients’ business success. Securing data worldwide The global emphasis on managing and protecting data and, more specifically, its services market, is a growing terrain. In addition to Germany, Libelle has offices in France and the US, delivering cost-effective data-masking services to medium-sized and high-level clients (private and public) across several industry sectors. Over 400 customers worldwide trust in the intelligent Libelle software solutions to protect and recover their business-critical data. www.libelle.com

Established in 1994, the Stuttgart-based company embraces the notion that efficiency and quality products are at the heart of their services. Pragmatism, above all, defines the firm’s credo and business objective. All of their bilingual (German and English) support, sales, and software development services are headquartered at their Stuttgart office. “I have always wanted to move things forward instead of administering the status quo,” states CEO Lars Albrecht. His own professional background and experience in business, consulting and IT epitomise Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  79


Consultation with Alef Völkner.

Protecting people, not just data Data protection is an important subject for all of us and even more so for companies. However, spending enough time, thought and money on this complex matter has always been a challenge. It is even more challenging right now with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) ahead. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: FOX – UWE VÖLKNER

All companies process personal data, at least the data of their employees. All processing needs to be justified and companies are obliged to have adequate security measures in place. We all know this. However, data protection law is undergoing a huge change these days. You may have heard about the GDPR. But what exactly are the most important changes under this new EU regulation, which will come into effect in May 2018? Companies will not only be legally obliged to follow the rules, they will be under extensive obligation to document their data 80  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

protection organisation and will be accountable if they do not comply. This is a complex topic and it requires new ideas about concept, implementation and auditing of data protection and IT security. Additionally, the upcoming sanctions of up to four per cent of groupwide annual turnover will be astonishing. This is where professional data protection advice comes in. Companies like fox-on provide consulting to German and European businesses regarding data protection. Their services range from an initial data protection analysis to in-depth con-

sulting as external data protection officers. The fox-on experts also review relevant contracts and company agreements, and develop individual data protection concepts depending on branch, size, structure and their clients´ individual needs. Especially international group companies who want to prepare for the GDPR are in special need of consultation. With their advanced knowledge and extensive experience, fox-on can provide support for them. fox-on founder and CEO Alef Völkner says: “At the moment our main focus is to prep our clients for the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It will be the biggest change in over 20 years and constitutes a major challenge for every business – and for us.” Völkner adds: “We can also help medium-sized companies which were not really focused on data protection during the last years


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Focus on Data Security

and have realised their shortcomings in regards to the new regulation. We can tell them: you do not have to reinvent the wheel – but you need to have one.”

introduce data protection and explain its importance in an informative yet entertaining way by using cartoons and little games every now and then.

For Völkner, it has always been clear that data protection goes beyond just the data itself: “Data protection protects people.” This credo puts people at the heart of foxon’s mission and it is reflective of their overall approach. “The most thoughtful rules and guidelines are useless if employees do not fully participate. The most effective protection is an employee who recognises data protection issues and who then either knows what to do next – or who to ask for help,” says Völkner. Therefore, training courses for employees are one of fox-on’s special fields of expertise. Aside from offering classroom sessions, fox-on developed a witty poster campaign and web-based training to teach the fundamentals of data protection. The aim is to

According to Völkner, superficial employee knowledge is the biggest risk to companies. She mentions a case where an IT manager proudly showed her all the security measures that had been implemented regarding data protection, such as differentiated access rights to the fileserver and comprehensive backup procedures. It later turned out that only a few old templates were stored in the human resources department folder. No information whatsoever on any employee. The human resources manager kept all personal data on a USB stick, which was unencrypted and taken home with him every day. He thought this would be the best way to protect the data. But he did not realise the risk of his behaviour. In case of loss or damage

all these important files would be lost and could possibly be accessed by the finder. Völkner explains: “For most people, my job sounds very theoretical or even dull at first. But due to the variety of our clients and questions arising in their businesses and the rapid development of technology and data protection law, my job never gets boring.” Energy suppliers cope with totally different data protection issues than global manufacturer, companies in transportation/logistics or health centres in their clinical trials with patients. “Data protection officers should not see stop signs all over the place,”Völkner elaborates. “They should find out how something might be done in the best possible and safest way. And they should take everyone’s interests into account.” www.fox-on.com

New data regulation in May 2018.

CEO Alef Völkner.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  81


Parts of Germany’s constitution at Berlin’s Jakob-Kaiser-Haus. Photo: © Flickr.com, Guido A.J. Stevens

SPECIAL THEME: LEGAL AND FINANCIAL ADVISORS GERMANY

Tailor-made financial and legal advice Looking for legal or financial advice? Then be sure to take a look at the following special theme. Here, we have handpicked some of Germany’s great innovators in this field so you can find the right pick for you.

Photo: © Flickr.com, Dave Dugdale

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Lady Justice in Hamburg. Photo: © Flickr.com, Markus Daams


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Legal and Financial Advisors Germany

Renewable energy and careful use of natural resources are core elements of sustainable investments.

Tetrateam supports urban community projects.

Oliver Ginsberg and his team.

Bringing success and ethical business together with sustainable financial solutions Its philosophy is hidden in tetrateam’s name. The Berlin-based consultancy with a focus on sustainable investments has a tetrahedron as its brand logo incorporating not only traditional finance planning, but also sustainable aspects – ecological, social and economic factors. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  I  PHOTOS: TETRATEAM

Sustainability, success and ethical aspects are very important factors when it comes to investment recommendations tetrateam is making to its clients, focusing on their respective situation in life, their needs, wishes and goals. A team of qualified and very professional consultants with different expertise look systematically for the best solutions available, bringing together their clients’ business success with ecological principles. “What we do is not only consultation work, but we also engage in professional organisations for more transparency and high-quality standards in sustainable financial products,” says Oliver Ginsberg, founder and CEO of tetrateam. “Financial investments can give important impulses for a sustainable development, for

example considering impact investment, but they do not replace reasonable political frameworks or individual engagement,” says Ginsberg and adds: “That is why we all take social responsibility seriously.” The company even donates part of its profit to social and ecological projects, initiatives and charities. “Especially in the insurance and finance sector, a lot of greenwashing is currently happening, this is why for us authenticity and credibility are very important,” says head of the company Oliver Ginsberg. “Topics that today are summed up under the word sustainability have concerned me since my early youth. For me this is not a sales pitch, but a way of living.” For over 35 years now, Ginsberg has worked on sustainable solutions. In 1979, together with friends from school he founded a collective

to sell eco-friendly and fair trade products. He was also involved in the foundation of the German green party. “But what I really liked was working on tangible initiatives and projects,” says Ginsberg. He, for example, built up a city farm for children and worked as the manager in a vegetarian and organic restaurant. After studying landscape planning in the 1980s and additionally qualifying as social manager, for many years he worked at the border between ecological and social topics. Since 1998, he has worked in the financial sector. Today his lifelong experience gives him a wider perspective and great insight into different business sectors – always with sustainability, nature and people in mind. www.tetrateam.de

Tetrateam supports urban community projects.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  83


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Legal and Financial Advisors Germany

Guiding international clients through the jungle of German business laws Founded in Germany and working for a wide national and international clientele, the law firm BEITEN BURKHARDT embodies multidisciplinary thinking. Working in teams, lawyers, consultants and accountants often have very different expertise and a background in various fields of law. Working together and combing their strengths allows them to gain the best results for clients. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN  |  PHOTOS: FOTOLIA

“We advise our clients on every relevant aspect of German business law,” says Dr. Guido Krüger, member of the steering committee at BEITEN BURKHARDT. The firm was founded in Germany, which implicates a strong regional focus but also works internationally. BEITEN BURKHARDT is a network of 168 partners headed by managing partner Frank Obermann, who together with the board members Georg Philipp Cotta, Dr. Maximilian Emanuel Elspas, Dr. Guido Krüger and Dr. Hans-Peter Mechlem steers the law firm’s direction. But associates and employees also shape how the company works and further develops. 84  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

BEITEN BURKHARDT works for the German public sector, foundations, large and medium-sized companies as well as multinational corporations. “We accompany our clients through strategic and operative decision-making processes and are always present as very competent consultants,” explains Krüger. When working for German clients, this also means supporting them with their international activities – “from our German offices as well as through partners in our foreign offices in Beijing, Brussels, Moscow and St. Petersburg”. Their German offices are situated in the great business hotspots Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich.

The German capital Berlin plays an important role for the law firm, not only because the city is seat of the German government making the laws and regulations BEITEN BURKARDT later has to work with. On the other hand, Berlin has a very lively and international start-up scene that in recent years has become a more and more important business sector.“Our clients range from small start-ups to strategic financial investors,” says Guido Krüger. Not only in Berlin, but also in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf, BEITEN BURHARDT partners are active in the start-up scene.“We think that this innovative sector has great potential, therefore we have adjusted our consulting services accordingly – to be as effective here as in other sectors.” The office in Brussels allows the company to be in touch with the newest EU regulations – and those still under consideration and possibly relevant in future. To be ahead of developments has always


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Legal and Financial Advisors Germany

been important for the lawyers at BEITEN BURKHARDT. In 1992, it was the first German law firm to open an office in Moscow, followed by one in St. Petersburg. Quite early, in 1995, the company left an imprint on the Asian market and opened an office in Beijing. Then maybe a daring move, but essential today: BEITEN BURKHARDT consults Asian corporations expanding to the German market. These are not the only international connections BEITEN BURKHARDT has developed. “Our internationally trained partners in Germany have built up competence centres for German-Italian, GermanFrench, German-Spanish, German-Dutch and German-American business relationships,” explains Guido Krüger the bundling of competences that has made the law firm so successful. The consultants work in interdisciplinary teams that come together according to what the clients

need or the projects demand – at BEITEN BURKHARDT this praxis has proven to be very effective. Lawyers, accountants and financial auditors are working closely together in selected teams. “This also means our client always has one fixed contact person, even when the question touches different fields of law.” The interdisciplinary approach also means that employees are not pressed into a certain work philosophy or style of work, but can play out their individual strength. Today, 281 professionals with different expertise and backgrounds work at BEITEN BURKHARDT. But even though the law firm is among the bigger ones, clients do not face an anonymous and impersonal atmosphere, but encounter individual characters who think and work independently to get the best results for their clients. It is important that consultants can develop their own potential, says Guido

Krüger, “so that they can shape each consultation individually, thus engaging with clients’ very specific requirements”. Talking about future plans: BEITEN BURKHARDT plans to expand with new offices in Germany and intends to widen its expertise in different business sectors. Legal problems do not concern one subject area, department or location, but more so demand overall solutions. This is why BEITEN BURKHARDT already works across different fields – nationally and internationally. This is something the law office intends to extend in the upcoming years. This also means taking in new partners and training new, young talents to enhance the portfolio and bring in new ideas. BEITEN BURKHARDT has opened its own academy, the BB Academy, helping employees to develop and expand their potential. www.beiten-burkhardt.com

Photo: © BEITEN BURKHARDT

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Legal and Financial Advisors Germany

Stephan Buchwald (left) and Berndt Otternberg (right).

A reliable partner for financial issues Since 2006, Kontora, based in Hamburg, has been providing comprehensive advice on wealth management. The independent multi-family office, managed by five partners, assists families, newcomers and non-profit clients.

institutions. Altogether, Kontora manages assets of more than five billion euros.

TRANSLATION: NADINE CARSTENS  I  PHOTOS: KONTORA FAMILY OFFICE GMBH

According to the ‘Verband unabhängiger Family Offices’, there are about 60 bankindependent providers. However, the term ‘family office’ is legally not protected with regard to related financial services. Therefore, there is a growing number of providers such as auditing and tax consultancy firms that position themselves as family offices. However, they do not always provide independent advice free of commission.

Within the last 30 years, the wealth of the citizens in Germany has quintupled. According to the Deutsche Bundesbank, there are various studies that confirm this development. The post-war generation was especially able to build wealth fast. It is this amount of money and possessions that are being passed down by means of gifts or inheritances nowadays. As a result, many asset holders try to find a reputable and comprehensive consulting service to manage their entire wealth. Ideally, this should include for example asset monitoring, finding investment managers, financial planning, succession planning, and structuring club deals. But asset holders are often uncertain how to choose the right products and service for themselves. Being 86  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

confronted with many traditional providers such as banks and freelance financial advisors, who have their own commissions in mind and do not give independent financial advice, many potential clients have little or no confidence in these experts. As a result, there is a trend towards family offices – an alternative that many asset holders prefer because they take a holistic approach, meeting all the clients’ needs. The independent company Kontora is one of them. Established in 2006 by the managing partners Stephan Buchwald and Berndt Otternberg, the multi-family office based in Hamburg assists families, newcomers and non-profit clients including foundations, associations, and church

Finding the right family office

As Buchwald states, the ‘Verband unabhängiger Family Offices’ named four basic principles every independent family office should follow: “One principle is to operate without any conflicts of interest. To additionally ensure independency, it is necessary that families and other wealthy clients as well as/or the family office managers serve as the official tenants of a


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Legal and Financial Advisors Germany

family office – not providers of investment products.” Another principle: consultants should solely be paid via a fee and should not offer their own asset management, Buchwald explains. Last but not least: consultants should offer expertise in all asset fields and all issues related to asset structuring. Experts for all aspects of financial advice Professional family offices like Kontora work closely with their clients who maintain the right to make their own decisions. “Only if our clients put their trust in us, we can jointly analyse which services are perfect for them,” Buchwald says.“At the same time, our clients must be certain that they can unconditionally rely on our advice.” To provide detailed knowledge of the market, the Kontora team consists of 30 experts from different sectors including credit bankers, M&A transaction consultants, real estate consultants, as well as corporate finance consultants and accounting specialists. Therefore, Kontora knows all aspects that are important for financial advice. In addition, the company provides access to institutional groups of investors, club deals, and private placements. To ensure that clients are able to understand individual

processes and make their own decisions, Kontora also offers workshops where clients gain expert knowledge. “Our modular service package is based on three aspects: advice and structuring, implementation, and supervision,” Buchwald states. After analysing the assets and liabilities structure and the clients’ demands, Kontora develops strategies to comprehensively manage their wealth in the long-run. Strategic asset allocation, and finding suitable financial partners and service partners is also part of the company’s tasks. In the next step, Kontora helps the client to invest in companies and to make alternative investments by checking lucrative investments on a daily basis. All processes are transparent for clients since Kontora regularly informs them about current developments, costs, and whether agreed investment goals and guidelines are maintained. To find out which aspects are most important to clients when working with family offices, Kontora conducted a study with them. “We are the first family office in Germany which did that,” says Buchwald. The results show that most asset holders

address a family office due to a new phase of life or inheritances. Many participants also mentioned corporate sells as a reason. A great majority replied that family offices must strictly separate financial advice and asset management to guarantee neutral assistance. The study also shows that the reporting of total assets, a continuous supervision, and a strategic asset allocation are services particularly in demand. Additionally, all participants stated that managing illiquid investments were strategically very important to achieve an above-average return, while a spread of the total assets over all asset classes was very difficult without complete transparency or a consolidated balance sheet. “Conducting this study has helped us reflect on our own decisions on the basis of certain principles, which others perceived as successful or less positive in a comparable situation,” Buchwald explains. “We see ourselves as master builders who support building owners who want to establish a personal asset concept. But in the end, the building owners make decisions for themselves.” www.kontora.com

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  87


Discover real Private Banking At SEB Private Banking, we acknowledge that everyone has a unique set of challenges. It’s why we do not offer ready-made solutions, concentrating instead on developing meaningful, long-lasting financial relationships and making the effort to really understand you and your requirements. Our international network of private banking offices will look after all aspects of your family business 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. Its services cover everything As one of the world’s strongest banks and with more than 150 years of experience f 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: Our SEB Private Banking Team +44 (0) 20 7246 4225 privatebanking@seb.co.uk

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Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Legal and Financial Advisors Germany

Steering companies through a global market:

International assignments made easy For many companies, globalisation is simultaneously a challenge and a significant success factor. Even many middle-sized companies have expanded to foreign countries – and have assigned qualified employees to work all over the world. The Germany-based Roever Broenner Susat Mazars GmbH & Co. KG offers consulting services on all global mobility aspects. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN

“Companies should get in touch with us as soon as they are planning to send employees to a foreign country, at least a few months in advance,” says Tobias Mackenrodt. The lawyer and certified tax advisor at Roever Broenner Susat Mazars has specialised in global mobility and is part of Mazars’ international steering committee responsible for strategic development in this field. With years of international experience, Mackenrodt is aware of all the setbacks companies and employees might encounter, especially when moving to a country outside the European Union. Complications include: residence and work permits, social and health insurance, new income tax regulations or a new contract. Along with his colleagues, Tobias Mackenrodt works together

with companies’ different specialist departments – from finances to human resources – and with an extensive global partner network. As an international, integrated and independent partnership, Mazars operates in 79 countries worldwide. The challenges to be solved also include international tax regulations: “Many assigned employees are aware of the 183day regulation, which in simple terms means I have to pay my tax where I have lived more than 183 days of the year,” says lawyer Tobias Mackenrodt. But even experienced staff often forget other relevant factors regarding taxes, such as the employee’s centre of vital interests. Additionally, taxpayers must consider that the tax year starts at different dates in different

Top left: Tobias Mackenrodt. Photo: © Roever Broenner Susat Mazars GmbH & Co. KG Left: Employee-specific process of an international assignment. Photo: © Roever Broenner Susat Mazars GmbH & Co. KG Right: Photo: © Fotolia

countries, which could lead to overlaps. On management level, tax issues become even more complicated as often sharebased payments must be considered. Roever Broenner Susat Mazars works together with a qualified partner to create modern IT solutions to support companies with international branches. “The question is, how can companies keep track of a huge pool of employees?” says Tobias Mackenrodt. This is especially challenging when employees are working in different countries at the same time. IT tools make human resource management across borders far easier – but only when it is carefully adjusted to meet a company’s needs. If a company is fit for international assignments, can be tested easily using the Mazars checklist. Simply scan the QR-Code. www.mazars.de/Home/Services/ Steuerberatung/Global-Mobility/Checkliste

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  89


Photo: © Flickr.com, Sarah-Rose

S P E C I A L T H E M E : A U S T R I A’ S L E G A L E X P E R T S

Finding the perfect attorney From Innsbruck to Graz, Vienna or Salzburg; reliable legal services can be found all over Austria. To find out more about some of the country’s best legal experts, take a look at the following pages.

Photo: © Flickr.com, Brian Turner

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Photo: © Flickr.com, houstondwiPhotos mp


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Legal Experts

Cross-thinking on a legal basis Niederhuber & Partner form an association of legal experts for both the public and private law sectors, who engage in supporting their clients’ projects from the initial idea through to successful realisation. TEXT: CORNELIA BRELOWSKI  I  PHOTOS: NIEDERHUBER & PARTNER ATTORNEYS

Founding partner Martin Niederhuber started the enterprise in 2006 with a compact team of four at a small office in Vienna’s ‘Wollzeile’ street. Focusing on environmental law from the start, the law firm has grown along with the issue, which has ever increased over the past decade through for example EU environmental regulations. Today, Niederhuber & Partner are situated in both Vienna and Salzburg with five partners and 50 co-workers, enjoying high international rankings due to their expertise in planning and environmental law. With three cooperating offices in Prague, Bratislava and Bucharest, Niederhuber & Partner are also in the position of supporting complex, transnational projects. Both the Vienna and Salzburg-based offices focus mainly on authorisation issues and the continuous support of industrial enterprises, as well as energy and infrastructure projects. “The interest in environmental law increases continuously,” states partner and founder Martin Niederhuber. “Our clients are mainly entrepreneurs and project developers

looking for lawyers with a profound, experience-based knowledge, who are both solution-oriented and decisive when it comes to project planning and implementation.” Cross-thinking is one of the main assets at Niederhuber & Partner. “It is important that a lawyer is able to master more than only one special field,” says the founder. “Our projects deal with dimensions that ask for interdisciplinary expert team work – from the fields of protected species to infrastructural planning through to economic and political framework evaluation.” Niederhuber & Partner enjoy the trust of leading Austrian enterprises such as ASFiNAG, the Salzburg airport, the Rohrdorfer group as well as Schmittenhöhebahn AG and Arlberger Bergbahnen. With many of these, the office works together on a long-term basis. “There is no better feedback than a long-term cooperation with leading national enterprises,” says Peter Sander, partner of Martin Niederhuber.

Niederhuber & Partner Attorneys, team of partners: Peter Sander, Martin Niederhuber, Paul Reichel, Johanna Gaiswinkler and David Suchanek (from left to right).

To pass on their collective expertise, Niederhuber & Partner plan and execute around 80 seminars and conventions per year and provide a dissertation grant. In addition, they run the ‘Moot Court Umweltrecht’. In its fourth year, the students’ cooperation has teams from up to six universities, as well as the blog project www.umweltrechtsblog.at with a corresponding app “to guarantee regular updates on environmental law issues in real time”. For 2017, the Niederhuber & Partner agenda shows exactly the variety of expertise that is their code for success. Amongst many other clients, they will defend the Salzburg regional health insurance fund at the European Court of Justice on issues regarding the coordination of the social security systems of EU member states, reclaim unjustly withdrawn emission allowances for the LEUBE GmbH and, last but not least, do the troubleshooting in the case of two environmental scandals, dealing with the illegal deposition of nonhazardous waste over the past 12 years and of pesticides found in drinking water. www.nhp.eu www.facebook.com/nhplaw www.umweltrechtsapp.at www.umweltrechtsblog.at www.mcur.at

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  91


Vavrovsky Heine Marth

We aim for your goal Based in Vienna and Salzburg, business law firm Vavrovsky Heine Marth is one of the major players on the Austrian market. The firm’s core competencies are controversy, real estate and, at the Salzburg office, insolvency and restructuring as well as private clients. Following their credo, ‘We aim for your goal’, the passionate legal advisors are embracing challenges and give everything to achieve their clients’ objectives.

“We are called upon in complex cases, where special expertise is needed, multiple jurisdictions are involved or time is of the essence. Our clients know that we will be able to manage even the biggest challenges for them.”

TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS  I  PHOTOS: VAVROVSKY HEINE MARTH

Being strongly in demand, the law firm has continuously grown. In 2015, partner Philipp Strasser, one of the very few true banking and insurance law specialists in Austria, joined the Vavrovsky Heine Marth Controversy Team and successfully built up the segment Insurance Litigation. Among his clients are leading national and international insurance corporations who rely on his in-depth expertise. As an expert in construction and real estate development law, partner Daniela Kager complemented the firm’s real estate practice.

Founded in 2014, Vavrovsky Heine Marth was started by the four partners Karl Ludwig and Nikolaus Vavrovsky, Dieter Heine and Christian Marth. Since the very beginning, the firm’s focus lies on controversy, real estate and, at the Salzburg office, insolvency and restructuring as well as private clients. Together the founders possess an extraordinary amount of experience from diverse legal backgrounds. Since the 1970s, Karl Ludwig Vavrovsky has successfully managed his family law firm. He is one of the most-renowned lawyers in Salzburg and a sought-after authority, especially in insolvency and restructuring matters. Nikolaus Vavrovsky’s legal expertise in complex litigation and 92  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

arbitration, as well as real estate, has made him a leading specialist for these areas in Austria. He is a member of the Austrian Arbitration Association and its German and Swiss counterparts. Dieter Heine is a litigation expert and well versed with regard to entertainment law, IT, IP and competition law. In his work, he is trusted advisor to well-known national and international clients in critical controversies. The same is true for Christian Marth, who is an internationally regarded expert in real estate law. His expertise is particularly valued in connection with complex real estate transactions as well as development projects, and he is favoured counsel to major national and international real estate funds.

Core competence: controversy Conflict prevention and management as well as controversial issues as such – Vavrovsky Heine Marth is navigating clients through all stages of conflicts


Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Austria’s Legal Experts

The partners from left: Christian Marth, Philipp Strasser, Dieter Heine, Daniela Kager, Nikolaus Vavrovsky, Karl Ludwig Vavrovsky.

including strategic and preventive consulting. The firm represents clients in negotiations and settlements and, if necessary, pleads for its clients’ causes before courts, tribunals and public authorities. The field of controversy is multifaceted. Emphasis is put on complex litigious proceedings regarding corporate and competition law, insurance and reinsurance litigation as well as real estate litigation. In arbitral proceedings or consensual dispute resolution, the respective partners further apply their experience and know-how. Core competency: real estate In real estate, Vavrovsky Heine Marth offers its clients comprehensive consulting and management services for their whole value chain. As property projects can get complicated very quickly, the firm employs one of the largest real estate consulting teams in Vienna to advise principals throughout all stages of a project including financing and corporate law issues as well as real estate disputes. The real estate team has accompanied some of the largest real estate transactions in recent history. Leading Austrian and international project developers belong to Vavrovsky Heine Marth’s client base. Furthermore, the law firm is regular counsel to numerous major real estate funds. The offered portfolio is completed by property administration services.

Mastering challenges “We thrive on challenges. Our clients come to us because they know we make it our personal concern to reach their goals as best as possible.”To do so, the firm’s partners are personally tending to their clients to understand their situation and business structure. This enables them to tailor solutions that fit perfectly.“Often, we follow unconventional paths, as complex mandates afford unconventional solutions rather than off the rack consulting.”Defining this way of working is simple: “We follow in Hannibal’s footsteps: either we find a way, or we readjust the parameters.”

The efforts have clearly paid off. The law firm Vavrovsky Heine Marth has made itself a major player on the Austrian market and has been recognised as one of the leading law firms around the world. National and international publications, such as Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500, the German JUVE and the Austrian trend magazine, continuously distinguish firm and partners, verifying its unique competence both at home and abroad. www.vhm-law.at Member of ALLIURIS (www.alliuris.com)

The law firm.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  93


Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Solicitor Column

Digital Government Act TEXT & PHOTO: GREGOR KLEINKNECHT

Well, it took just six years for a government to put the idea of the fixed-term Parliament back in the box and to call the election that was definitely not going to be called before it was called anyway; I guess the temptation of (more) power was just too overwhelming for the Prime Minister and Her Majesty’s opposition clearly thought that it’s now or never (or should that be ‘never or never ever’?) when it waved the idea through. Anyway, one of the last pieces of legislation that saw the light of day and received royal assent before the formal dissolution of Parliament was the Digital Economy Act 2017. The title sounds quite grand, but despite weighing in at a hefty 221 pages, the Act does not actually contain any grand new ideas; rather, it is aimed at tinkering a bit here and there and generally bolstering legislative provisions around the electronic communications infrastructure and services, improving internet connectivity and providing enhanced protection for internet users. It also tightens criminal sanctions for copyright infringement. Some of it is actually welcome, some of it is a bit bizarre, such as the obsession with online pornography, to which a whole Part of the Act is dedicated. However, the main objective of the Act is not the digital economy but digital government and, in particular, to enable the sharing of personal data by public authorities on a grand scale; it may well have been called the Digital Government Act instead. Here are a few highlights of key provisions that might prove to have practical implications: - Under the general heading of ‘Digital Government’, the Act gives public authorities (including utility providers and, to a more limited extent, also HMRC) wide new powers to share personal data, including for the purpose of reducing debt 94  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

owed to the public sector and to combat fraud against the public sector. - The Act requires the Information Commissioner’s Office to prepare a statutory direct marketing code of practice (although that code will still not be legally binding). - The Act enables increased penalties for nuisance calls. - Online IP offences are amended and the maximum possible criminal sentence for certain copyright offences is increased from two to ten years. - The Act provides for the introduction of a revised ‘Electronic Communications Code’ to make it easier to create telecommunications infrastructure (i.e., to erect and extend mobile masts). - The Act provides for universal service obligations to be put in place for fast broadband services, specifying what communications services must be made available to all citizens, including minimum download speeds. - The Act extends the powers of OFCOM, the regulator, including the regulation of the BBC. - The Act aims to make it easier for end-users to switch communication providers and to require internet service providers to offer automatic compensation to customers if service requirements are not met. - The Act enables the use of bots for the purpose of bulk-buying event tickets to be criminalised and requires secondary ticket vendors to provide certain information about tickets. - The Act requires the Secretary of State to issue a code of practice for online social media platforms. Critics of the Act have focused in particular on the extent of government data sharing it enables and the absence of effective data protection safeguards. Much of the Act has

yet to be brought into force by statutory instrument and is therefore de facto somewhat aspirational: let’s see whether this will actually happen as the next government’s attention invariably turns back towards Brexit. However, in the meantime, citizens may well decide to be more mindful of their privacy when deciding what personal data to provide to public authorities on a voluntary basis.

Gregor Kleinknecht LM 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: gjk@hunters-solicitors.co.uk www.hunters-solicitors.co.uk


Discover Germany  |  Business  |  Business Profiles

Anivo’s two founders Werner Flatz (left) and Alexander Bojer (right). Photo: © Monica Hug

Thomas Gelmi. Photo: © Thomas Gelmi

BUSINESS PROFILES

The DACH region’s innovators On the following pages, find out what Austria and Switzerland have to offer on the business front.

Photos: © Genohm

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  95


Thomas Gelmi and his book Durchstarten.

Self-management

– the effective handling of time It is commonly accepted that effective self-management is mandatory, particularly in leading management positions. Effective management entails effective selfmanagement, i.e. the effective and optimal use of one’s own resources. Yet, how can managers become effective when the complexity of procedures and the expectations posed towards their leadership are constantly growing?

TEXT: SILKE HENKELE  I  PHOTOS: THOMAS GELMI

“Self-management in its traditional sense is primarily associated with effectiveness and efficiency. Self-management pertains the knowledge of how to systematically set priorities, plan and implement assignments, while at the same time never losing sight of the important factor of time,” explains renowned author and consultant Thomas Gelmi, founder of Swiss-based 96  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

consulting agency Movadis, whose latest book Durchstarten (Taking Off) about personal and interpersonal competence has just been released. The time factor An equally widely used term in the business world is the word ‘time-management‘. “I disapprove of the use of the term

time-management in connection with self-management,“ says Gelmi. “You cannot manage time. Time exists. Each day has 24 hours and these do not increase if you ‘manage’ them exceptionally well. You may, however, influence the manner in which you make use of the time at your disposal,” Gelmi notes. The age-old topic of time-management ‘The time we receive is not short, but we make it so; nor do we have any lack of it, but are wasteful of it,’ wrote famous ancient Roman philosopher Seneca and thus showed that time management has been up for discussion for centuries.


Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  Movadis, Gelmi Consulting

Yet how can we make use of our time in a less wasteful manner? By focusing on one project at a time? By taking a step back, by recharging our batteries or by balancing our life? Particularly work-life-balance is more important than our performancefocused society is aware of. “Tightly scheduled all-day meeting marathons are a widely spread phenomenon. Meetings very often exceed their scheduled timeframe thus producing delays in ensuing meetings. With virtually no time in-between to catch some breath or even to review the last meeting, the perceived stress level may easily increase. Long meetings without a proper break can be equally exhausting,” says Gelmi, criticising the all too common predicaments of professional routine.

meaningful use of time is an issue in a professional environment. Effectiveness entails to do what is necessary to reach a goal; efficiency means to do something right. “In an ideal world, you are able to combine both. Generally speaking, it is more productive to do the right things rather than doing things right. Or, you can do what is wrong very efficiently but without being effective. Yet you are effective if you are working towards a set goal even if you are working slowly,“ explains Gelmi. Avoid distractions Contrarily to consciously taken breaks, distractions are time wasters. Effective self-management thus presupposes their conscious handling. “Multitasking is a real killer that not only compromises the qual-

ity of work, but also misemploys the time spent on a certain task,” says Gelmi. Here, Gemi has some valuable advice: “Make note of your tasks over a duration of several days. An analysis of these notes will open your eyes towards the nature of the most common distractions. This insight may lead to further reflections; are there any tasks you invest too much or too little time in? Are there time thieves?“ Thomas Gelmi’s very own evidence for self-determination? He very consciously decides when to check his emails, when to answer calls or how to set his priorities. You can do the same - give it a try. www.gelmi-consulting.com/en For book orders: www.durchstarten-buch.de

Management of meetings In order to avoid situations like the above, some enterprises have started to limit their meetings to 45 or 50 minutes. They have also introduced a highly effective meeting management or rather meeting discipline - a step explicitly supported by Gelmi: “All participants benefit from clearly structured meetings. They have ten or even 15 minutes in-between meetings where they will be able to wind down, review some points, make notes, or prepare for the next meeting.“ Self-determination When someone states ‘I don't have time’, he or she actually means ‘I have other priorities’. A more fitting answer would thus be ‘I don't use my time to do this as I am employing my time on another matter’. “Self-management of course very much depends on whether you yourself or someone else is in charge of your time. The more self-determined you are, the more self-managed you can be. As a high level of self-determination is crucial for effective self-management, you should always try and increase the level of self-determination whenever possible,” says Gelmi. Focus on what is essential Effectiveness and efficiency are two terms you will have come across whenever the

From the book Durchstarten: the relationship between self and relationship competency in management, teamwork and customer contact.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  97


Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  Genohm

SLims lab scene.

Take your lab into the future Software company Genohm has developed a comprehensive digital data management system for laboratories. Matching each lab’s individual workflow, Genohm’s system allows scientists to focus on the things that really matter: their research. TEXT: MARILENA STRACKE  I  PHOTOS: GENOHM

In 2002, Genohm began as a spin-off of the University of Ghent, Belgium. Initially, the founders launched a small bio-informatics shop and consulted labs on how to improve their workflows and procedures. The goal was to reduce error rates and improve efficiency and accountability. There seemed to be a dire need for software that could streamline the organisation and management of any data and machine. Much like a digital team member helping with all kinds of experiments. Genohm 98  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

spokesperson Roger Küng explains: “As the team behind Genohm had a combination of tech and biology background, they started to build a new system that would be able to handle all those tasks. From the start, they wanted to build a system that was secure, easy to maintain and give a lot of power to the lab so they can set it up based on their needs. Instead of the lab adapting to the system, it will adapt to the lab’s procedures.” Even today, many labs still use Excel as their main software to store data and

copy and pasting errors are just the tip of the iceberg. “Excel does not inherently understand the structure of the data and cannot build relationships of the different procedures at the lab. There is also the continuous advancement in technology of more and more sophisticated machines that are used in labs,” says Küng. “The configuration and proper input into these machines becomes more complex. Without a proper system to handle these new types of equipment, the procedures become very difficult and error prone.” With its extensive consulting expertise, Genohm finally released SLims, its main laboratory software automation suite, in 2010. It is designed to integrate a Laboratory Information Management System


Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  Genohm

(LIMS), an Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN), and a biobanking module into a flexible, customisable platform that offers users the ability to configure the system to match their own requirements. Aside from making the lab more efficient and getting rid of repetitive task, SLims also makes every process, every ingredient, and every move traceable. This is important to identify problems to reduce error rate. Whether a batch of reagents was contaminated or an employee needs to refresh his memory of a particular procedure, SLims makes it easy to figure out problems straight away. SLims differs from the two types of systems that are currently available. There is the fully preconfigured inflexible out-ofthe-box solution and the barebones system where everything has to be configured from scratch. Whilst the first option is affordable and quick to set up, it cannot be customised to a lab’s specific requirements. The latter one is highly adaptable and grows with the lab’s evolving needs

but it is a costly investment that has to be properly configured which takes a long time. “With SLims, we managed to build a solution that has many out-of-the-box components. From sample management, ordering, protocols, ELN up to workflows, everything is ready to use. But we added a meta data model and a very powerful API on top of that,” Küng elaborates.“This means we can easily adapt to the requirements of the lab. Instead of taking three months to implement for example a new sample type, it is as simple as clicking a few buttons in SLims. Most of our clients do not even need to contact us if they want to redefine or improve how the lab operates as most can be done directly in the software itself by the administrator.” SLims can be seen as the bridge between the two types of system. Clients can start quickly but the system is still able to adapt to changes. In that sense, SLims combines the best of both worlds. Küng says: “At the moment, we isolated four

Control room.

SLims screen.

main areas where we think SLims offers the most benefits: biobanks, research, diagnostics and NGS. We specifically designed modules for each of these areas that a lab can benefit from our solution with a clean interface, streamlined workflows and readily available machine integrations.” SLims is already trusted by a wide range of international clients such as biobanks, research and NGS laboratories in universities and hospitals as well as in biotech companies. It runs in all modern web browsers and the team at Genohm is currently working hard to simplify the set-up even further. This will reduce the set-up time from weeks to just days. Küng adds: “We will also offer a new cloud-based solution for our labs where they do not need to install anything in their lab but instead host their LIMS directly on the Genohm cloud, fully secured and compliant.” www.genohm.com

Lab scene, biobanks.

Lab scene.

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  99


Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  Anivo

The two founders Alexander Bojer (left) and Werner Flatz (right).

How your company’s employees can find the right insurance Searching for a unique platform for insurance that can be easily integrated into the employee benefits programme? The Swiss company Anivo has developed a clever solution. TEXT: INA FRANK  |  PHOTO: MONICA HUG

“Anivo combines a digital platform for the employee benefits business with an independent and individual consultation,” says Alexander Bojer, one of the two founders. Anivo’s electronic platform is included in a company’s intranet, so employees have exclusive access to special insurance products and discounts. Currently, through Anivo’s platform, employees in Switzerland can compare offers by health insurances; other kinds of personal insurance will be included in 2018. No special knowledge of the insurance business is needed. Employees simply enter their data and get an overview of a wide range of insurance products for each price range. Everything is explained free from jargon. Within a few minutes, employees get non-binding offers via e-mail. 100  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

“Our experts offer independent and individual support to find the right insurance product. This is what makes us different from other brokers, who offer just a little consultation or none at all,” Bojer explains. Consultancy is offered in (Swiss) German, English, French, Spanish and Italian. There are many advantages for companies working together with Anivo. The company does not have to put in any effort; the insurance contracts are managed by Anivo. Also, there are no costs for implementing and running the platform. Information material and campaigns aimed at the employees are offered by Anivo as well. Employees from renowned large companies like Swiss Railway (SBB), the Swiss radio and television company, UPC

(a cable network operator) and members of associations like the CFA Society Switzerland already profit from Anivo’s concept. As of mid-2017, SMEs will also be able to benefit from exclusive insurance deals and individual advisory by independent insurance experts for their employees. However, this is only one part of what Anivo offers. Even if one’s employer does not work together with Anivo yet, one can use the platform to the find the perfect insurance. On the website www.anivo.ch, one can compare the offers of Switzerland’s best insurance providers. Using the platform is anonymous and free of charge. Also, in this case, users profit from the consultation of competent insurance brokers and one can easily take out insurance online. Health insurance, motor vehicle insurance, legal expense insurance, liability insurance and household insurance are available. www.anivo.ch


Discover Germany  |  Business Profiles  |  B-works

B-works takes your digital project to the next level With offices in Zurich and Bolzano, Italy, the full service-web factory B-works offers web and app development, digital consulting and dazzling digital marketing, while also acting as chief technology officer for high-potential start-ups in Switzerland. TEXT: TOYAH MARONDEL  I  PHOTOS: B-WORKS

Founded in 2016, the company has developed into a leading full-service web agency specialising in the latest web technologies and currently employs eight seasoned professionals from some of the industry’s most-respected international agencies. B-works is also the technology company powering Switzerland’s first online concierge service Cosmobutler, an innovative start-up that makes it possible for local businesses to sell their services through an e-commerce platform. B-works founder Alex Benincà explains: “We act as chief technology officer for Cosmobutler and successfully integrate customers, driver logistics and service providers in Zurich, Basel, Bern, Winterthur and Zug.”

Alex Benincà says B-works believes in a holistic approach at web development, involving UX design based on customer personas, SEO, software development and testing in an agile process. “We mainly serve as technology and web development partner for medium and large private sector companies that are looking into successfully managing their business’ digital transformation. We also work with leading creative agencies, who need a technology partner to implement their digital campaigns for clients.” Moreover, B-works is developing chatbots used in messaging apps. As one of the hottest trends in technology, it is based on artificial intelligence. Chatbots allow brands and businesses to be online 24/7 providing customer

support via virtual assistants that understand user emotion. With its agile approach, the Zurichbased web development agency B-works will take your digital project to the next level. www.b-works.io

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Contact us today! 3C ONLINE LTD 147 Snowsfields, London SE1 3TF Email: mikael.svensson@onlinesverige.se Phone: +44 (0)870 933 0423 www.3c-online.co.uk Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  101


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

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 June. TEXT: THOMAS SCHROERS

Jürg Stäuble exhibition, Zurich (1 June – 3 September) Object artist, sculptor, drawer: Jürg Stäuble’s artist is multifaceted and diverse. Starting in June, the Museum ‘Haus Konstruktiv’ in Zurich hosts an exhibition called Being more than a system. It examines Stäuble’s career and works. www.hauskonstruktiv.ch 102  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

20th Match Race Germany, Lake Constance (1 – 5 June) At the 20th Match Race Germany at Lake Constance fans are in for a treat, as the races are championship-relevant. Also, there will be a diverse onshore programme to ensure a great time when the boats are in the harbour. www.matchrace.de

30 years of art – Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Munich (1 – 25 June) Organised by the Kunstverein Munich, this extensive exhibition is the largest ever display of works by the artist duo Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys. More than 300 pieces have been assembled to pay tribute to the two, who are working in video, drawing with sculptures and much more. www.kunstverein-muenchen.de

Rock am Ring, Nürburgring in Nürburg (2 – 4 June) The legendary Rock festival returns. More than 100,000 fans will witness concerts by around 60


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar

The artist Jopie Huisman. Photo: © Marco Raaphorts

Performance and Art at the Sommerszene Salzburg. Photo: © David Jacques

artists, including Rammstein, System of a Down, Macklemore, Toten Hosen and many more. Rock am Ring is one of Germany’s largest and most-renowned music festivals. www.rock-am-ring.com

Carnival of Cultures, Berlin (2 – 5 June) For more than 20 years, the carnival of cultures has celebrated the diversity of Berlin. Bringing together people from all kinds of backgrounds, the event is a street festival at the Blücherplatz, highlighted by a street parade on 4 June. www.karneval-berlin.de

Otto Waalkes – The Exhibition, Wetzlar (2 – 25 June) He is one of Germany’s most famous comedians ever. But Otto Waalkes is also an

Two paintings by Jopie Huisman. Photo: © Marja van Bochove

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  103


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar accomplished artist, when it comes to pen and brush. The Galerie am Dom in Wetzlar will offer a unique look at his wonderful images that pour with creativity and humour. www.galerie-am-dom.de

UNESCO World Heritage Day (4 June) Visitors of one of the 41 UNESCO world heritage sites in Germany await a varied culture programme in celebration of the World Heritage Day. It is an event that cannot be missed, as sites are all over Germany, from the cathedral in Aachen, to castles and parks around Berlin and from the Hamburg warehouse district to the Regensburg old town. www.unesco.de

Mountain biker speeding on the Leogang race track. Photo: © Saalfelden Leogang Touristik GmbH

Open Air Gallery, Berlin (4 June) Taking place on the Oberbaumbrücke in Berlin, the Open Air Gallery has established itself as a significant exhibition highlight in the 15 years since its inception. More than 100 artists from all kinds of disciplines will display their works right on the bridge. www.openairgallery.de

speed passages and huge jumps has been the location of amazing championship races in the past and promises to be again this time. www.saalfelden-leogang.com

fer Bavarian good or artisanal pieces. Naturally, the Munich beer gardens will serve their local culinary delights. www.muenchen.de

UCI Mountain Bike World cup 2017, Leogang (11 June) In conjunction with the Out of Bounds Festival, the fastest mountain bikers in the world will compete for the UCI Downhill World cup in Leogang, Austria. The race track with its high-

City founding celebration, Munich (17 – 18 June) For the 859th time, Munich celebrates its city founding with a city-wide programme. All around the Marienplatz stages will be set up for concerts. Also, a variety of markets will of-

Sommerszene, Salzburg (20 June – 1 July) Contemporary performance art will transform Salzburg with theatre, dance and installations. The 11-day event is called ‘Sommerszene’ (summer scene) and has become an international festival in recent years. Artistic risks, new presentation methods and boundary crossing performances are all features of the events distinguished programme. www.szene-salzburg.net

Vienna Biennale 2017 (21 June – 1 October) The Biennale in Vienna is a one-of-a-kind outlet for art, design and architecture, that aims to improve our world. Following the motto ‘Robots. Labour. Our Future.’, the 2017 iteration will connect the potential of robots with human labour and investigate the possibilities of both. www.viennabiennale.org

Interior of the cathedral in Aachen. Photo: © Volt2011

104  |  Issue 50  |  May 2017

Jopie Huisman exhibition, Föhr (25 June – 7 January 2018) The Museum Kunst der Westküste on the island Föhr will display works by the Frisian painter Jopie Huisman (1922 – 2000). It is the


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Culture Calendar first exhibition of the artist’s work outside of the Netherlands. His pieces are known for their realism, as well as emotional value and stand as a testament of a simple life. www.mkdw.de

Start of the Tour de France, Dusseldorf (29 June – 2 July) The Tour de France one of the most exciting sport events throughout the year and this time the riders will begin their three-week journey in Dusseldorf, Germany. Stretching out over a whole weekend, the programme of the socalled Grand Depart includes the introduction of the teams, concerts and fireworks, the individual time trial on Saturday and the start of the first full stage of the tour on Sunday. www.duesseldorf.de/letour Carnival of Cultures in Berlin. Photo: © abbilder

The Open Air Gallery takes place on the Oberbaumbrücke. Photo: © Dieter Weinelt

Connecting robots and humans, The Vienna Biennale. Photo: © Vienna Biennale

Issue 51  |  June 2017  |  105


Discover Germany  |  Culture  |  Barbara Geier Column

The fight against dog mess TEXT & PHOTO: BARBARA GEIER

Are you a dog owner? If so, are you one of those who pick up dog poop in a plastic bag and then leave that bag somewhere on the pavement or even neatly put it next to a bin? This is something I often see in London and it really baffles me. Where’s the logic? But anyhow, the problem is universal, including in Germany where cities and local authorities first reacted to the growing amount of dog poop on pavements by advising owners to pick up behind their beloved pet and, as a consequence, are now faced with the problem of pollution caused by dog poop bags. They are almost always made of plastic, hence are non-biodegradable and even the environmentally friendly Germans are no strangers to simply disposing of unpleasant items somewhere in their surroundings. The head of operations for city cleaning in Wilhelmshaven in northern Germany, for instance, remarked in a recent newspaper article that about 20 per cent of all bags are just left somewhere, for example tied to railings, thrown in the bushes or, in the case of this city on the North Sea coast, in the sea. Now, this is just one city and one example. However, a bit of research shows that the issue is quite clearly a country-wide one and on people’s mind and then you soon come across something which can be filed under ‘Only in Germany’ where we like a systematic, theoretic, 106  |  Issue 51  |  June 2017

academic, organised, call-it-what-youwill approach. A student from Hamburg wrote his masters thesis in international business and marketing on the topic of environmental pollution caused by dog poop bags. In this context, he set up a website, called www.poopmap.de (also in English), for people to upload images of discarded poop bags. Using GPS codes, the location where the plastic culprit was spotted and the corresponding image are then displayed on a map. Within a short period of time, hundreds of people took part in the project, particularly in Hamburg. Fast forward to today and thousands of uploaded pics and this guy, Arne Krämer, is now not only an ‘expert for dog poop bags’ but also managing director of a company called Sustainable People GmbH, selling biodegradable bags. Based on figures on Arne’s charmingly named website, about 285 million dog poop bags are handed out by German cities and municipalities per year. I don’t think that Arne has quite cracked the market yet, if you consider that environmentally friendly options are bound to be more expensive than conventional plastic bags. However, given that, in the end, Germans like to think long term and an investment in more expensive bags needs to be weighed against the follow-up cost caused by the plastic pollution, he might be on to something.

If you ask yourself why on earth the topic ended up on his mind in the first place: he was annoyed about the amount of dog poop bags he kept on seeing on his regular jogging route. Plus, one day, when out fishing, he pulled out a dog poop bag instead of the expected fish. Indeed, enough reason to turn outrage into action.

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind www.germanyiswunderbar.com, 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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Discover Germany promotes German, Swiss & Austrian Design, Tourism, Food, Culture and Business.

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