German-Austrian I Bottom-up Facilitator & Guide I Bridgebuilder I Thinker I Empath I Detail freak with a Vision I Researcher-Soul I Loves meditation in movement I Perception-changer I Obsessed with exploring polarities I Nature-lover I Mover
1975: GERMAN-AUSTRIAN ROOTS
I grew up bi-cultural in Germany. Having to deal with cultural differences since birth, left a deep imprint in my personality and the way, I perceive people and diversity. My Austrian great-great grandmother Paula, my great-grandmother Tusnelda and my grandmother Margarete had been teachers.
1991: ONE YEAR USA
At the age of 16, I spent a High-School year with the American Field Service. I got the opportunity to stay with the most wonderful family, with two brothers and parents that I still call “Mom” and “Dad”. For the first time I experienced culture-shock and had to learn how to constructively deal with it. I have a US-Amercian High-School diploma of Graduation & the German Abitur.
1992: REVERSE-CULTURE SHOCK
Back home I had to deal with my reverse culture shock. The “old world at home” and myself had changed. I needed to find constructive ways, to deal with it.
1995 – 2000: AUSTRIA
To explore my Austrian roots, I went to study (first education and then psychology) in Graz. I lived with Austrian and international students. Even though I have an Austrian passport, I never felt as German as during the first time. I also understood “what is Austrian” in me.
My own educational journey and my educational studies arouse a deep interest into researching how people learn best. I attendended my first interactive, bottom-up rhetorical training and fell in love with this – back then still – very different learning style. In my psychological studies I focused on systems-theory, group dynamics and personal development.
INTERNATIONAL TEAM WORK
During my studies, I always worked. Within project groups at the Universities or e.g. at T-Mobile I was part of international teams. Later I also led teams. Before this experience, I always thought I am a very tolerant person ;). Since then, it intrigues me deeply, to empirically research how to include cultural Diversity.
2000 – 2002: ITALY
After five years in Austria, I moved to a completely different culture. I applied for a Erasmus-Free-Mover scholarship and went to Rome. A third time in a row, it was about stretching my cultural comfort zone. I needed to tune into the people of this culture, while studying, working and living.
My partner at this times was Roman, so I became part of an Italian family and experienced the building blocks of the Italian society on a daily basis :). I decided to prolong my stay in Italy and found a job in an international and mulitdiciplinary University project.
2002: BACK IN GERMANY
To finish my Psychology studies, I went back to Germany. Due to the many cultural-moves and my constant practice to deal with new cultures and people, the reverse-culture shock did not hit me very strong.
I was very lucky to meet Prof. phil. habil. Hannes Stubbe. The Ethnopsychologist had spent many years working and living in different cultures himself. He encouraged me strongly to backup my practical, intercultural experiences with theoretical backbones, to have a solid foundation for my work. He mentored my Diploma-thesis and became my PhD father.
2003: INTERCULTURAL PSYCHOLOGIST
My Diplom-thesis was about “Intercultural Training methods in empirical comparison”. I facilitated my first trainings.
2003: INTERCULTURAL TRAINING ENTREPRENEUR
Finishing my diploma and parallel to researching for my Phd thesis, I became self-employed as Intercultural Competence Trainer for international Expatriates, Leaders and Teams, doing business in Austria, Italy, USA and Germany.
2008: PhD INTERCULTURAL BUSINESS COMMUNICATION
Topic: “In-/direct communication style and perceived politeness in business communication: people in Germany, Austria and Italy in cultural comparison.” My second mentor was the former director of the Institute of Business & Social Psychology, Prof. emer. Lorenz Fischer.
2012-2014: PROF´In INTERCULTURAL BUSINESS COMMUNICATION
Interims Professorship for Intercultural Business Communication at the University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg. Parallel to my ongoing Intercultural Comptence Trainings, I was teaching up to 12 hours/weekly.
SINCE 1995: DIVERSITY COMPETENCE LEARNING FROM NATURE
In my own journey of personal development, I found nature to be my biggest, because most experienced teacher – when it comes to including (inner & outer) Diversity and Change. Since 2016 I am a Vision Fast Guide (School of Lost Borders) and assisted Merdith Little and Dr. Scott Eberle (practice of living & dying). I regularly retreat to the Peruvian rainforest to work with plant medicine, guided by the Shipibo elder Manuela Mahua.
PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT & BOTTOM-UP LEARNING
One facet of Intercultural Competence is personality-development. My Mentor Dirk Kropp and his Aikido (the peaceful martial-art for personality development) are one of my biggest inspirational sources.
- SIETAR Deutschland – Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research
- Hochschulverband Interkulturelle Studien
- Intercultural Campus, Universität Jena, worldwide University network for intercultural learning (www.intercultural-campus.org)
- IntrinsifyMe – ThinkTank and Network for a new working culture
- KomDiM – Zentrum Kompetenzentwicklung für Diversity Management in Studium und Lehre an Hochschulen in NRW. Expertisezirkel Beratung, Begleitung, Coaching und Mentoring
- PAKH – Study group on intergenerational consequences of the holocaust.