There are a lot of aspects of my work I really love like the inspiring team of the Design and Co-Innovation Center. Or the cool and creative location in the heart of Heidelberg, where work and fun becomes more and more the same for me.

Or the chance – and sometimes also the challenge – to dive into new and interesting topics with customers from completely different areas almost every week: creating a better fan experience for eishockey fans. More interaction with the visitors of equestrian events. Support of young social entrepreneurs. A new learning experience for students. Implementation aspects of design thinking for global companies. And these are only some of the questions and challenges of the last weeks and months …

Last Friday I had the pleasure to add another topic to this “string of pearls” as I had the chance to co-moderate a workshop titled with “Rethinking festivals”, where we worked with almost 50 festival and culture managers from all around Europe on future (music) festival experiences. We did this together with the lovely Enjoy Jazz team, who organized the European symposium for young professionals in the music business.

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And I have to say – there was music in the air 😉

We worked in 8 teams and every one focused on different aspects. How to find new locations and surprising locations for the next concert? How to better motivate a team organizing a festival? How to improve the process of defining a festival program? How to integrate the audience much more into a concert? Or how to focus more on the musicians of an festival? Different aspects of the same problem space. And it was – as always – interesting to see how the teams explored these topics.

We invited a bunch of experts from all relevant areas and besides this the teams went out of the building and spread out into Heidelberg. For example to find new locations for the next Enjoy Jazz festival (and they found several ones – I am looking forward to the jam session in the police station …).

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One of my personal highlights was a discussion with two musicians about “creative team work”. A jazz combo is definitely the best example for this and it was really interesting to hear how they “build on the ideas of others” while playing and improvising.

Another very grooving highlight was the ideation, where we for example used music themes from Indian Jones, Pippi Langstrumpf oderJames Bond to inspire the teams and to move them into new perspectives. Especially Pippi Langstrumpf was a very good catalyst for wild idea without constraints and we will definitely use her also for future workshops.

At the end of the day we presented 8 interesting prototypes using lego, paper, role plays or even as a innovative version of the good old Bingo game. One team found a way to present their prototype without words (“Who knows!?“) but here we need some iteration 😉 And as Pippi Langstrumpf was so inspiring it was no surprise that also “der kleine Onkel” was prototyped.

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It was fun, it was inspiring – there was music in the air.

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