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Awakin Calls » Ulrike Reinhard on Sep 23, 2017

Skateboard Parks and the Power of Relationship
Our guest this week has lived according to the logic of dynamic networks long before the internet appeared. She has been described as having "the genius to be able to think and act in terms of interaction. In conversation with her, it’s easy to forget about set agendas and fixed outcomes and follow wherever the dynamics of open processes might lead."  How do you see the value of agenda-less interactions as distinct from "networking"? Share Your Reflection »
Call with Ulrike Reinhard
Sep 23, 2017, 9:00AM PST

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Ulrike Reinhard is a German publisher, author, futurist, and a catalyst for global development efforts.  As the woman behind the Barefoot Skateboarders of Janwar, a skateboard park in rural India that is upending notions of caste and gender barriers and empowering a community economically, she is re-defining the principles of traditional development aid while living in Madhya Pradesh, India.  She knows a thing or two about such efforts, as she set up a project in 2008 called WEbenin, aiming to help people in one of the poorest countries in West Africa to empower themselves, and avoiding the paradigm of rich NGOs giving goods to poor aid recipients. Ulrike previously was based in the Bay Area and was part of The Well (one of the earliest See full.
Ulrike Reinhard is a German publisher, author, futurist, and a catalyst for global development efforts.  As the woman behind the Barefoot Skateboarders of Janwar, a skateboard park in rural India that is upending notions of caste and gender barriers and empowering a community economically, she is re-defining the principles of traditional development aid while living in Madhya Pradesh, India.  She knows a thing or two about such efforts, as she set up a project in 2008 called WEbenin, aiming to help people in one of the poorest countries in West Africa to empower themselves, and avoiding the paradigm of rich NGOs giving goods to poor aid recipients.

Ulrike previously was based in the Bay Area and was part of The Well (one of the earliest online communities).  Drawn to the notion of decentralized and distributed power via networked relationships long before the Internet, she intuitively connects people across sectors, disciplines and continents.  She has traveled to more than 100 countries interviewing Nobel Laureates, politicians, visionary thinkers, entrepreneurs, critics, activists and field practitioners -- and has published these interviews on her youtube channel.  These conversations are also the core of many of the we-magazines that she co-founded in 2007 and that look at the impact the Internet on a specific ecosystem.

As she describes her work:  "I kickstart co-creation processes in companies and rural villages which truly drive change long-term. Through these processes flat network structured peer-to-peer groups come together and collaborate on a specific task or project and then separate again – they are the most agile and powerful teams ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century working and living environment. I constantly push my client’s boundaries and initiate cultural change. Being disruptive is my job."

Ulrike is currently writing a book about the Transformative Power of WE . Here's an excerpt about her (more info on her site):

"Ulrike is a catalyst for collective intelligence and a network enabler who forges direct links that connect people. She’s a virtuoso across the whole repertoire of modern communication technologies who would still be adding more reality to the WE in this world if she had to use smoke signals and pigeon post to do so. Ulrike is an impassioned maverick with an astonishing faith in her ability to find her way even in new and uncharted territory. She seldom follows a steady straight line but always shows an unflappable sense of direction. Like the path she’s carved through life, Ulrike is never boring and always good for a surprise!”

Join us in conversation with this dynamic and visionary do-er!


Five Questions for Ulrike

What Makes You Come Alive?
open structures; decentralized structures; international teams; the will to do something and not only talk; projects with no defined outcome; including social/environmental/human parameters in the definition of economic growth; possibilities of exploring and experimenting; traveling; nature.

Your Greatest Inspiration?
There wasn't one moment. It all "grew" and happened very organically ...

An Act of Kindness You'll Never Forget?
The smile on the faces of the Janwaar people.

One Thing On Your Bucket List?
Interact and reflect. And slowly understand.

One-line Message for the World?
Start doing and learn while you are doing.


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