Bärlin / Why is Berlin the place to be?
A mind blowing event

Choosing Berlin as the venue for the Meeting of Connections was choosing Berlin as a special city. To learn more about the fascinating parts of Berlin, we have conducted an interview with Maren Hessler, a K&S consultant.




Maren, you have just moved to Berlin these days. What made you choose Berlin?

When thinking about moving I asked myself: Which is the city that inspires me most? Where are the people who dare to live their life in their very own personal way? The people who don’t care about what “the matrix says”. The people for whom money-making is a consequence of following their heart and way of living.


It’s a contrast to Frankfurt where you’ve been living the past years, isn’t it?

Yes, in a way it is. Frankfurt in my opinion is more about maximizing everything. It’s more about moving things forward within structures, along the lines. It’s not about questioning structures or creating something new.


But choosing Berlin in the end wasn’t only a decision between Frankfurt and Berlin. I’ve also lived in Hamburg and Munich. I chose Berlin because it is so different to any other city. Elsewhere life is much more structured: You have to adapt to lots of rules and live up to somebody else’s expectations. In Berlin, you just do it, whatever that may be. And you do it the way you want to do it.


What makes Berlin such a fascinating place for you?

Berlin is the city of freedom, of passion, of creativity, of diversity, of possibilities. In Berlin moving forward and starting things isn’t just possible, it actually happens. And, the best thing is: It’s not only individuals creating movement and innovation! It’s a whole system which is growing bigger and bigger.


Berlin is somehow like a huge open space organization: It provides enough free space for everybody. Space to live your own life. To live it the way you feel is right for you – concerning anything that might influence your life: religion, sexuality, work… Berlin offers a great openness to living diversity.


I guess that is also why Berlin attracts so many artists, right?

Definitely. Acceptance is the ground base for all the creative industries. There are so incredibly many creative and artistic people! They don’t just fulfill their job duties, they construct their (job) life the way they want it to be. It’s a very specific culture that enables this style of living. It has something to do with flow. Just follow those ideas that are the right ones for that moment. Thinking outside the box. Leaving mainstream behind, focussing on the individual and its individuality.


Why do you think Berlin turned out being such a place for creativity?

That’s a difficult question. There will be so many aspects, probably hard to grasp even half of it. Of course, the historical development over the past decades had a huge impact. The breakdown of the wall and therefore also the start of deconstructing the mental patterns of East and West. Berlin opening up attracted of lot people from outside.


Moving the capital of Germany from Bonn to Berlin brought a lot of money. Huge investments were made to turn Berlin into the capital. Quite a part of that money went into creative industries. Berlin’s architecture also changed tremendously during a very, very short period of time. Surely the quite extense autonomous movement also had its impact on people doing whatever they feel like doing.


How can you see this specific Berlin culture - what would be visible artefacts?

The first thing that gets to my mind is the numerous people sitting in cafés, calmly and relaxed doing their stuff, maybe even working. And: So many activities that evolve from people’s ideas, just doing it. There is, for example, Sunday’s flea market in the Mauerpark where everybody just starts selling whatever they feel like selling. Or playing instruments or whatever – everyone joins in with whatever he or she feels like contributing.


To summarize– what would be a good picture or metaphor that depicts your Berlin?

Berlin is like a huge, huge, fresh pot of vegetable stew. Very colourful, very fresh. It’s boiling. It’s yummy and healthy. Healthy for development of the individual, of your personality – if you’re open for it.


Thank you, Maren, for these inspiring insights of a new Berlin citizen.


Back to Bärlin