Saturday, December 31, 2011

..... on the edge to 2012

The last couple of years - moving back to Dresden, due to the pull off hidden entrepreneurial power - have been quite a roller coaster for me, and personal life.

While starting to write these lines, as a reflection on the happenings in 2011, and an outlook into 2012, I think, "Should I really write in English? What about my German friends, especially here in Dresden, who are not as exposed as me to English speaking folks?". Doubts come up only for a split second, as 90% of my personal network is based outside the city where I live. The Web has enabled the connections, and so will the tools for people to translate into their own language - so it will be English in the first place.

I'd like to start off with a question by my dear friend, mentor, inspirator (out of the blue at a Scottish campfire in summer 2008 to be quite honest) Ville from MonkeyBusiness.

"What do you want to achieve?"

The answer is quite spontaneous, and on a slip of paper that I keep since the leadership workshop IGNITION 2009 at TeamAcademy. It says, "Provide a learning place for people to play to their strengths." (currently "sitting" in Edgar Schein's "HELPING - HOW TO OFFER, GIVE, AND RECEIVE HELP - Understanding Effective Dynamics in One-to-One, Group, and Organizational Relationships"

On 14th of January, 2009 I wrote down these words, and confirmed them via a phone call from Finland to a dear friend, and former colleague at BMW - ever since I am working on the vision, even though it is not always easy to stay on track getting feedback in the most diminishing form from friends, potential employers, or institutions like my former university HTW Dresden, to which I own a great deal of my bold stepping forward into unknown, unconquered territory of learning, and working collaboratively.

I'd like to use the five questions from the new "MonkeyBook" created by MonkeyBusiness to frame the past, and the look out to the future:

Where have I been?

Early in 2011 I learned that Semperoper Ballett resonated in many ways of what my dreams are made of, interaction of people from a multi-diverse cultural background, working on a shared vision, in a given place, to bring up new forms of expressing current reality (society, research, human dynamics, leadership, craftsmanship, interplay, collective learning, open education, ..). After "losing" Dresden's 1st CoWorking space to a web agency late in 2010, I learned that using existing models of practice, and observing, writing about it can create a quite different "Power of Pull". Going to ballet and opera performances (mostly at last-minute) is for me like a workshop investment - I never know what I take from it. I let myself always get surprised what emerges, and how my emotions, memories, and connections in real-life come up.

In spring I had to quite my journey as an entrepreneur, offering process consultation, and lean thinking for all kinds of organizationally troubled processes (where one doesn't want or have extra financial, manpower, or time resources). For me, that was like a shock that I -at first- couldn't get really over. Only after many (non-helpful) tries to involve people with marketing, and selling capabilities I decided to "quit" this form of earning money, looking for a paid job.

A sunny morning in June brought a phone call in, which I thought would be from somewhere around Darmstadt, only to learn after seconds into the conversation that it was Annalie, AKA maverickwoman, from Sydney, which turned out to be a one-week trip to Australia (Sydney & Melbourne). This week was one of the most intense times ever in my life - 60 hours of flight, 2 conferences, 2 cities, 7 days in Australia, uncountable learning experiences - especially the two days in Melbourne have shaken my life since then.

Coming back from Australia friends in my network told me over and over, "You have to move to the Valley! You are too fast for Dresden!". So one day I took Alex Lightman's ideas to heart, phoned the German-Californian Chamber of Commerce, and asked about what to do in order to get a work permit for the Valley. Only turned out that I was rerouted to Germany to discuss matters in detail. Oh, that was not what I intended to hear. The idea popped up of doing a three-week promotion tour for Saxony and Dresden on my own, visiting all my contacts in the Valley, and write about it. Only write? No pictures, video, would be better! A friend, Daniel Scholz, just online on Facebook - a photographer. So I asked him, whether he would be interested in joining. Yes! In minutes the idea was laid out, some further ideas, and advice by Alex, and off it went the adventure: InnoBay.

August in Dresden, hot, lots of tourists - and having no internet at home. Where to go? Starbucks, where free WiFi and a decent cup of coffee makes it an enjoyable place to be. What I learned there: the WORLD is pouring through the doors, as the day goes by. Many cultures, languages, known foreign faces from the Semperoper, friends to meet - sometimes by serendipity. Should that be the time to reboot something that had a legacy already? The OpenCoffeeClubDresden, now also

Where am I now?

To be quite frank - deaccelerated a bit, focusing on OpenCoffeeClubDresden, and what emerges from it. It seems to create the place where people are drawn into -even though there is no agenda. The PresencingStatus with its four short questions (1. Good? 2. Tricky? 3. Learned? 4. Next action?) after each gathering seems to work to understand more about each other's thinking during the two-hour meetings.

Another eight hours to go until 2012 - looking forward relaxed, and open minded on what will happen in the days to come.

Where would I like to go?

Here the space for my next goals of 2012 (and the updates by 2013-01-01; updates by 2016-12-26)

  1. Becoming a respected tech scout and blogger in residence for forthcoming conferences around the globe, connecting Saxony/ Dresden with the world + got invited as keynote speaker end of November at the Symposium Change to Kaizen with the talk "Sächsische Staatsoper Semperoper - Lean at Its Finest Art"; not much progress as potential clients and with it a viable business model (based on digital communication) could not be scaled or encountered as originally expected
  2. Develop OpenCoffeeClubDresden as an international incubator for social change in Dresden, self-sustained by sponsors, and having a place of its own (Café DUESENBERG up on Königsbrücker Straße would be very suitable for the start; pictures were from a presentation back in 2010 when café was still in operation; presently abandoned) now currently once a month with rising attendance, and new members from Mannheim; OpenCoffeeClubDresden has been abandoned in 2013 due to low attendance rates
  3. Attend the 5th Dresden Future Forum with a session, and seeing my friends from Monkey Business as facilitators for change, as well + Angela and myself managed to attend, and connected wonderfully via Twitter, and other networks into the world as you can see here (THANK YOU Jennifer !!!); T-Systems MMS did not pursue the concept of the Dresden Future Forum due to (to my knowledge) financial constraints
  4. Flying out to Abu Dhabi on building the ties between Saxony and Abu Dhabi around technology, arts, and education on the emerging future (supporting Semperoper Ballett on their spring tour to Abu Dhabi) this did not quite work out as intended, learning from that: even if the idea is clear, and the outcome beneficial on a sustainable long-term basis finding the suitable wording is more than difficult to reach the understanding of the other parties; nothing new here except the fact that interest in combining arts and technology still a matter of my heart, and a lasting passion
  5. Attending GSP-12 in the summer at Singularity University no seat this time, reapplied for the third time in a row for #GSP13; applied for #GSP14 and #GSP15 (with no direct success, yet with again lots of learnings), most recently I proposed the #GSP17 to a fellow participant of the MOOC #ulab (around a startup idea around a digitally supported narration platform)
  6. Starting off with Dresden Innovation Nights to accelerate startup eco-system in the region to spread across the globe. This still has to built momentum, as social media not yet is in use in the German (especially the East with very different cultures at play, and public funding a major driving force (till 2019/2020)), we are patient on that; at the moment a phase of "letting go & letting come" (it is not clear in which direction the future of the region is leading, and which players will move fast into the future proactively), however still open to take action, attempts to establish XPRIZE Think Tank Dresden, support (Dresden International Business Group) and nurture (DresdenULabHub
  7. Co-create Mobile Camp Dresden 2012 (and connect with international tech startup community) + this event went very well in summer at my alma mater HTW Dresden (Hashtag #mcdd12); still following the activities of MobileCamp that have now switched over to be run by a formal group (most members working for supporting companies), not actively taking part as in the past years since 2010, this may change when time and interest raise
  8. Show Transcendent Man at Technical University's Audimax - despite the fact that TU Dresden now has the status of an Excellence University there turned out to be no person with responsibility to make that happen at the highest ranks despite months of negotiating (perhaps 2013 is the year for showing the movie from 2011); still on the agenda and at LichtjahrDD (the Dresden-based activities as part of the International Year of Light 2015) which Angela Incampo and myself supported as their social media outreach with HTxA - HighTech x Agency) it looked quite promising to get a screening to either the Filmnächte Dresden (2015) or Filmnächte Chemnitz (2016)
  9. Creating the HighTech(x)Agency (working title), attracting, supporting and building up the international tech startup, and research community in Dresden with strong ties into the world (Twitter: @HTxA); after participating in the futureSAX Idea Show Case 2016 in 2016 we realized that neither tested business models, nor personal resources and acceptance of potential clients (organizations, institutions and companies in the region connected with technology) made the efforts to scale in a positive way soon, activities largely abandoned and downsized to a hands-on action research project "learning to understand the hidden forces of technology adoption or rejection"
  10. LockSchuppenOpening - the official kickstart of LockSchuppen this moment has still to wait to come; current the complete project as originally intended to become a 2nd Kendall-Square - like accelerator in the heart of Dresden (and Silicon Saxony) has put on hold, in 2014 I pitched at Deutsche Bahn AG in Leipzig for purchasing the building together with 17,000 sqm (appr. 150,000 square feet), here the pitch deck
  11. Doing a SiliconValley - SiliconSaxony Promotion tour as proto - not this year; did not happen until 2016
  12. Working on bringing TEDxDresden into being in summer 2012 (!) - in the midst of Dresden's special year 2012 - Arts and Science in collaboration with stARTcamp Dresden + seems like new drive has arrived since the Global Entrepreneurship Week where LeanStartupMachineDresden (message on the HTW Dresden alumni group at XING) LeanStartupMachineDresden (on the LeanStartupMachine website with the other Lead Evangelists); TEDxDresden took place on September 11, 2016, organized by a team around Christoph Sträter mainly from the science community, we had the pleasure to attend the event 
  13. Writing an article at Sinnwirtschaft (on invite by Marc Flint) - interest on both sides moved into different directions, mainly focusing on #abundance
  14. Bringing out my blog articles about Semperoper as a small booklet in print (already in talk with publisher and Semperoper) - yet one question crosses my mind, "Does the world need a printed version of such?" [Answering for my own, I'd say, "Yes!"] - still on looking for an easy to use tool to bring the blog posts about opera, and ballet performances here on this blog neatly in a booklet (as book on demand); Do you have any suggestions?; found the right tool/website - and 61 (!) articles transferred, now ready to be put online again (after some editing), expect it early January 2017 
  15. Workshop(s) for entrepreneurs/startups emerging into the global community via social tools, scaling at ease the quality of their products (doing more with less) at my former university, HTW Dresden. oI got asked by members of staff to hand over my Alumni group on XING (with roughly 600 members) in order to accelerate the alumni network activities of the university, in due course of this negotiations I gave the proposal to become the university's "Technology Boundary Spanner and Lean Startup Advisor" (this has probably to be fine tuned in 2013, or even beyond when certain conditions have changed that currently are an obstacle); no activities in this direction since 2013
  16. Hosting the Dresden screening of "Connected the Film" in close cooperation with director Tiffany Shlain, having translated it with the help of the crowd with German subtitles o this has still to, as interest in showing such a movie has to grow first, this could be the driver for TEDxDresden (see point 12) to get sped up
  17. ...... on the sideline, there are much smaller projects in the making
  18. ... and a few bold life-long ones!
How do I get there?

One step (or minor project at a time)

How do I know I am there?

When reality hits my shaped over time vision in mind, and the two match.

As a final comment, I'd like to add my PresencingStatus for 2011 with the four short questions

1. Good
Got to know the most amazing woman (also an opera, and ballet lover); quit my consultancy, to start all over from scratch; took the opportunity, and accepted the invitation to Sydney in June; restarted the OpenCoffeeClubDresden which opened new connections in town; showed twice TranscendentMan in small friends circle; two pretty filled-up sessions around TranscendentMan issues at MobileCamp 2011; became Semperoper most active blogger, and almost only social media active guy

2. Tricky
To not find clients to run my beloved business consulting (around lean thinking, and organizational design, which I am both very passionate about); to live from Hartz IV (social welfare one would call it elsewhere); being too fast paced thinking in an environment (currently) dependent on government funding in large part; not bringing InnoBay, Dresden Innovation Nights, and conference blogging/ tweeting into life as I imagine to happen; tweeting/ Facebooking around a lot of different topics which irritates often people

3. Learned
Hold back with ideas (their time will come, and you will be pulled into it); be fast in groups that are not directly connected to local friends, colleagues, potential clients, slow down the communication speed when necessary; OpenCoffeeClubDresden has emerged as a learning opportunity around group communication dynamics (actually to all participants I believe); be mindful and listen, and see what is going on around you, the right people will connect with you sooner, or later

4. Action
Let the new year come up, and work on the points above, as I have been doing before! And focus even stronger on the process of dialogue as learned from my dear friends from Monkey Business.

What are your personal answers to the Four Short Questions (on 2011, or let's say New Year's Day 2012)?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cultures Accelerate their Uniqueness at Semperoper

Most of the readers of this blog by now have probably noticed that I love to write about the local opera house, Semperoper. Traditionally orchestra performances, operas, and ballets are the repertoire of the house - yet this one is certainly different.

Since the new intendant, Dr. Ulrike Hessler, and certainly already under its former intendant Prof. Gerd Ueker a new wind of change (in German) is weighing through the building that looks older than it truly is (only last year it had its 25th anniversary - bombed in large part in the nights of the 13th and 14th, February, 1945 it took several decades until 1977 to restart the rebuild).

Is it really so different to other opera houses? Not just a opera house in the sense we all would expect? Attracting the "silver locks" and "black suits" night after night?

It certainly is, yet most of it has to be explored personally. Even when you have no clue what the concrete outcome of visiting a performance of "Young Choreographers" (premiering tomorrow, three performances already completely sold out - only chance to get tickets being at the box office of Semper 2 30 min prior to performance start) - I love the challenge to try out new staff, that could eventually lead to further personal learning experience. Dresden is the heart of Europe's most dense multi-disciplinary hotspot of emerging technology fields, with cutting edge research, and a rising entrepreneurship eco-system (even though still in a pre-mature phase compared to other tech centers around the world, taken the acceleration, and open cooptition into account).

Semperoper, as a microcosmos of the world as such in a nutshell (pretty much what August the Strong created back in his ruling days) where arts, science, technology, and foreign cultures "clash" in serendipity constantly. Doing business as everybody in the opera world, playing the "old" operas in traditional style and costumes, would certainly enable the box office to sell ticket for premieres for several thousand EUROS per person. Yet the human mind only would see, hear, and feel what it would naturally expect - where is the NEW then coming from?

In a world of changing priorities, shrinking monetary funds, and reshifting the kind of work the Semperoper is reinventing itself every day - from my past experience in the lean management world, which I had also the privilege to lead as an "early mover" at BMW back in 2003, the house is an amazing role model to see what "lean" is about. Changing daily productions on stage, and starting every night sharply at the preset hour is more than amazing.

Last Sunday another outstanding evening of the almost 20 year-long history of "Jazz in der Semperoper" had been announced in the papers and the website. A jazz trio from Palestine bringing not only unheard sounds to the house, and the city - rather setting another mosaic stone in the multi-cultural tribe of house. Having had a rich past of Jewish artists that had to leave Semperoper when the Nazi-government took power in 1933, inviting the group - in my view - gave room for setting closer emotional bounds across diverse cultures.

"Die Welt des Trio Joubran feat. Yousef Hbeisch" pulled the audience completely in its ban, and created a emotional band, that only music, and ballet can create - as individual language, and words plays no role, only the world universal language that is understood across cultural boundaries and enables the creation of trust. Trust is the essential essence of dialogue, that when nurtured for long enough a time enables unimaginable collaborative action that would not be thinkable.

Dresden is rich of such places where the "unexpected culture clashes" can happen in a relaxing, and most fruitful way - lets await the next "Jazz in der Semperoper" and meet together (even though we have no clue what is the concrete outcome - it may be new friends you'd never have met, learning about a style of music that until yesterday did not even bother your thought, or may it be the emotions that pull your tears out thinking about getting along with friends from Serbia, Croatia, Switzerland, England, Italy, Greece, Germany, France, Turkey, Hong Kong, Japan back in 1991).

Everybody will draw something different from attending a performance at Semperoper, and it will be different from the kind of performance, and her or his personal past experience. Looking forward to a fruitful future of "Jazz in der Semperoper" that got very positive feedback by Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten (in German).

As always, a short PresencingStatus on the event:

Good: amazing cultural spanning performance, emotional connection with the audience
Tricky: some sounds my ears are not yet used to
Learned: holding the tension, not knowing what to come - always good for personal learning
Action: finding out what is about the rumors that "Jazz in der Semperoper" will finish

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Der Nussknacker kommt nach Dresden!

Last Saturday evening I finally saw The Nutcracker. I have never seen it before and having the chance to see it in the magic city of Dresden was like a dream coming true.
The Semperoper was completely full, no free seats available (the same happened to the Premiere one week ago)...everybody waiting for the exhibition to start.
After a few minutes the orchestra plays the first notes of Tchaikovsky music and the show starts. A lot of young children-dancers fill the stage (they are the young students of the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz). Being The Nutcracker a Christmas fairy-tale it is a pleasant surprise to see children expressing on stage their joy for Christmas.
I suppose that everybody knows the
story of the little Maria and the Nutcracker, therefore I avoid to summer it up here. For those who do not know it yet, I suggest to give a look at the trailer on the Semperoper website.

Copyright: Costin Radu
This Nutcracker takes place in Dresden (such an elegant city and an excellent place to give life to a Christmas fairy-tale). From the scenografy one can easily recognize one of the Zwinger’s doors with its beautiful crown and the Striezelmarkt (the traditional Christmas market). I have deeply appreciated the Dresden location. Making Dresden the ideal set for a fairy-tale it is like extending to our daily life the emotions performed on stage.
The light-games give even more emphasis to what on scene and the costumers, all so colorful provide brightness to the scenes. No one word can be heard during the show, everybody is completely fascinated by the dream performed on stage. The Christmas atmosphere has enchanted all!
Every single scene is made unforgettable by the great professionalism of the Semperoper’s soloists (Anna Merkulova, Istvan Simon, Yumiko Takeshima, Jiri Bubenicek) and of the whole Corps de Ballet. They give always great pleasure to eyes and mind and, most important, the joy they feel performing their ART is clearly felt by the audience!

We easily forget that most of the pleasure comes by the emotional tension the dances give to the audience…. the music, the costumes, the lights together with the choreographies and the scenographies are part of the huge work the dancers and all the staff make to give and share emotions with the audience. From the co-operation and the hard work of many people (most of the time unknown) we all receive those emotions and ideas that spread in our mind even many days after the performance.
A huge thanks to Aaron S. Watkin, to Jason Beechey and the young dancers of the Palucca Hochschule für Tanz, to all the Semperoper’s dancers and to all those people who made my evening unforgettable (the best start I could dream for the coming Christmas!).

Dreaming is important even when we are not children anymore!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Genius Within us Needs to be Nurtured

About Teasing (taken from Gordon MacKenzie's 'Orbiting the Giant Hairball', right page top drawing)

"... But I think that when you teased your co-worker, friend, neighbor about the level of his/her creativity ability, you are holding up a stop sign that said: STOP Risking! STOP Growing! STOP Sharing! STOP Living! - Because when you finally stop living, you will no longer be a threat to me." (slightly changed quote from page 122)

Teasing is the death through thousand cuts - the teased one will be strong for long, only to eventually kick in and "die" at one point (seemingly surprising to others).

Please rethink next time you are about to belittle a friend's idea, how you feel when somebody tells your cool idea is grap, and not worth to be followed ahead! And STOP your mouth opening up!

Creative genius is in all of us, yet often pretty pre-mature. Look for the people, who can help you to grow this precious piece within you that only you, and some sensitive people (gone through similar stages) can see, and reflect to you.

Many BIG THANKS go to all my mentors, whether they know about it knowingly or whether they just reflected on my sometimes "crazy sounding" ideas to get the focus clearer.

Who are your mentors in life who have helped you in finding your PASSION? What made them so?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

'Alcina' zum Verlieben Verführerisch

Copyright: Matthias Creutziger
Am vergangenen Samstag stand sie auf dem Programm der Semperoper (hier ganz modern, im Sinne Händels, der Verweis zur Facebook Gruppe) , die 'Alcina' von Friedrich Georg Händels. Eine weitere Barockoper im modern angehauchten Gewand, wie der interessierte Operngänger sich schon bereits eine Woche vorher bei der Einführungsmatinee vergewissern konnte.

Gänzlich anders diesmal der Einstieg zu dieser Premiere, denn zuvor ein persönliches Interview zu zukunftsweisenden Technologien rund um den Stoff Graphen, an dessen Umsetzung auch in Dresden intensiv geforscht und gearbeitet wird. Wie sollte sich dies mit dem kommenden Abend, der diesmal bereits kurz nach 17 Uhr begann, verbinden? Man konnte gespannt sein - war doch die Semperoper in den vergangenen Monaten immer wieder für überraschende Momente gut.

Was konnte da besser passen als eine "Zauberoper", in der das Unmögliche zur Realität wird, und ein Labyrinth der persönlichen Erfahrungen und künftigen Möglichkeiten auf der Bühne zu erleben war? Doch beginnen wir mit der Einführung, dem obligatorischen "Tunen der Sinne" (wie es auch ein Spitzensportler stets tut bevor es auf die Bahn geht!) der eigenen Aufmerksamkeit für die Opernstunden vor uns. Sophie Becker, die Dramaturgin der Inszenierung führte souverän in das Stück ein und zeigte dem interessierten Publikum, das zahlreich in den Opernkeller gekommen war, den "roten Faden" der barocken Oper. So vorbereitet begann Punkt 18 Uhr vor vollem Haus die Premiere, die es - wie wir über den Verlauf der kommenden drei Stunden sehen und erleben sollten - in sich hatte.

Mit Faszination konnte dem Besetzungszettel entnommen werden, dass diese Produktion ausschließlich mit Mitgliedern aus dem eigenen Ensemble (sowohl sängerisch als auch tänzerisch) besetzt ist. Neben 'Street Scene' erneut eine Gelegenheit neue und bekannte Stimmen des Hauses kennenzulernen. Hervorzuheben sind hier besonders Barbara Senator, die bereits zwei Wochen zuvor bei der Eröffnung des Militärhistorischen Museums eine kurze Arie aus 'Alcina' darbot. Amanda Majeski ebenfalls neu an der Semperoper und seit dieser Spielzeit festes Ensemblemitglied glänzte mit einer spielerischen und sängerischen Glanzleistung, die bei vergleichbaren Altersstufen selten anzutreffen ist.

Doch sei die Story kurz erzählt:

Alcina (Amanda Majeski), einer Zauberin auf einer einsamen Insel liegen die Männer scharenweise zu Füßen, doch sobald sie ihrer überdrüssig wird verwandelt sie diese in tierische Zwitterwesen. Rugiero (Barbara Senator, in einer Hosenrolle) hat es ihr besonders angetan, ihre ganze Liebe fokussiert sich auf ihn. Doch Rugieros Ehefrau Bradamante (Christa Mayer) will ihn aus deren "Liebesklauen" in der Verkleidung ihres Bruders Ricciardo entreißen. Dabei begleitet sie Melisso (Markus Butter). Kaum treffen beide auf der Insel ein treffen sie auf Alcinas Schwester Morgana (Nadja Mchantaf) und ihren Freund Oronte (Simon Esper). Hin und hergerissen von Gefühlen versucht Bradamente Rugiero wieder für sich zu gewinnen. Am Ende kann sich Rugiero (anders als in Händels Original) nicht zwischen leidenschaftlicher Liebe zu Alcina und solider Familienvaterliebe entscheiden und entsagt dem Leben.

Mit dem doch frischen Auge eines "Nichtkenners" der Barockoper und Händel im Speziellen komme ich mir vor wie das englische Publikum 1735 zur Uraufführung - und lasse das Geschehen auf mich wirken. Was in den technischen Details zu Barockmusik und den stimmlichen Besonderheiten noch nicht in der "Kenntnisschublade" versuche ich im größeren Kontext und der Stimmung zu erfassen.

Man merkt Jan Philipp Gloger ein wenig an, dass er vom Schauspiel kommt, und so kommt eine neue Sicht ins Spiel. Statt barockem Pomp, ist Schlichtheit und Eleganz angesagt, die durch die wieder hervorragende Lichtführung von Fabio Antoci unterstrichen wird. Man muss sich Gedanken machen, was mit einzelnen Ausdrucksformen der Handlung, des Bühnenbilds und auch der Kostüme verbunden sein mochte. Welche Emotionen sollen sich beim Publikum einstellen? Alcina kommt zunächst als "männermordendes Weib" in Erscheinung, mit hochtoupiertem Haar und strahlender Erscheinung - ein wenig unerreichbar scheinend. Und doch oder gerade deshalb liegen ihr die Männer zu Füßen, sie bietet die Utopie, die die eigene Frau nicht zu bieten hat (so scheint es). "The grass looks always greener on the other side of the fence" - Bradamante (hervorragend gespielt und gesungen von Christa Mayer) sieht die Situation anders als Rugiero, der mitten im "System Alcina" eingebunden ist als Außenstehende, was mit den Männern geschieht, die Alcina "zur Seite" legt (und auch Rugiero blühen wird). Hier kommt die erfrischende, ständig zwischen spontan wechselnden Liebesbezeugungen hin- und herspringende Morgana ins Spiel, die in Bradamante einen neuen Liebhaber sieht. Und so kommt Bewegung in das Spiel der Gefühle, die einen oft auch persönlich beschäftigen. Es muss nicht nur Liebe sein, es kann auch ganz allgemein um Leidenschaften gehen, die man im selbst gelebten System nicht in der gewünschten Form umsetzen kann. Oft gibt es dann ein ENTWEDER vs. ODER, Schwarz oder Weiß. Doch was oft vergessen wird, dazwischen gibt es einen Blumenstrauß an Farben und Möglichkeiten, die so flexibel erkundet werden können, wie sich das Labyrinth auf der Bühne veränderte. An jeder Ecke des Lebens, auch in dem von Rugiero und Bradamante, gibt es die kleinen Ereignisse und Überraschungen, die es wert sind, dass man das eine nicht gänzlich mit dem anderen tauscht. Am Ende geht es so aus wie in dieser Variante von 'Alcina' und alle drei haben verloren. Nur die anderen gewinnen, die eigentlich gar nicht im Fokus der Hilfe standen!

Das macht nachdenklich!

Wie schon bei 'L'incoronazione di Poppea' muss sich das auf moderne Töne eingerichtete Ohr mächtig an die Barockklänge gewöhnen, wenn es sich nicht bereits um einen passionierten Barockoperfan handelt. Die Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden mit Rainer Mühlbach am Pult heute halb-erhaben hochgefahren aus dem Graben auf Augenhöhe mit Publikum bietet einen Hybrid zwischen reiner Barockmusik mit klassischen Instrumenten aus dieser Zeit und zeitgenössischen Instrumenten. Es ist der reine Luxus aus dem Parkett Orchester, Dirigent, Sänger als auch Publikum mit einem Blick wahrzunehmen - die Aufführung bekommt eine gänzlich andere Qualität. Alles scheint miteinander verwoben zu sein, und die Gedanken schweifen zum Spiel auf der Bühne und zurück in das eigene Erleben.

Wie mag es wohl den rund 1.300 anderen Gästen der Premiere ergangen sein? Welche Emotionen kochten hoch? Welche Fragen stellten sich?

Doch alles in Kürze:

  • Good - eine erfrischende neue Inszenierung, die viel Raum für persönliche Interpretation und Reflexion bot; ein phantastisches Ensemble, das in Zukunft noch mehr von sich Reden machen wird (insbesondere Barbara Senator und Amanda Majeski); Szenenapplaus und Bravo-Rufe aus dem Publikum; drei (3) Stunden, die wie im Fluge vergingen (hätte es nicht ein wenig mehr sein können?),
  • Tricky - sich einlassen auf Neues (Doch ist es nicht der Moment, wo wir aus einer Oper das Meiste für uns persönlich mitnehmen?),
  • Learned - Georg Friedrich Händel, der immer wieder die Oper umgeschrieben und angepasst hat wäre sicherlich sehr angetan gewesen ob des Zuschauerzuspruchs, und auch der doch teilweise kontroversen Sichtweisen (schon während der Vorstellung geführter Gespräche); manche Besucher entspannen sich bei Opernbesuchen und andere wiederum sehen diese Gelegenheit als besondere Lerngelegenheit (also geht es wie im Stück, es kein "entweder oder" sondern ein "mit"), den schmalen Grat es beiden recht zu machen ist immer wieder die Herausforderung; auch Opernkomponisten wie Händel sind Entrepreneure im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes (wie es heute oft nur noch mit Startups in der Businesswelt in Verbindung gebracht wird),
  • Action - neugierig machen auf mehr, dass sich noch mehr Neugierige auf den Weg zu 'Alcina' finden. - E S   L O H N T   S I C H (in diesem Jahr folgen noch zwei Aufführungen im November, bevor es dann in 2012 weitere gibt; Details).
... die enttäuschte Alcina 
(verlassen von Männern und 
Copyright: Matthias Creutziger

Weitere bereits erschienene Rezensionen:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

'Simplicius Simplicissimus' - simple is something different

Friday evening in Dresden, a cubicle behind Semperoper, the name is program: Semper 2. New approaches to opera are created here, and the open room offers quite some experiences one never can make happen between the audience and the players, singers, and dancers in the large house.

15 min to start (at 7pm sharp) the crowd is awaiting to be let in. The tension rises, as normally ("But what is normal?") one is allowed around 30 min early to enter. Something is different, yet one does not get details.

Opening - the eyes see no stage in the middle, rather 128 (or 125?) wooden boxes where the audience is going to sit, the stage is draped around the walls - this is going to be what Edgar Schein, MIT Sloan School of Management, and scholar of Kurt Lewin, a German-American psychologist with Jewish roots, calls a "cultural island", the ordinary is shifted significantly out of the normal expectance, and yet there is not much room to flee the situation. Curiousity, and paid ticket definitely outweigh the anxiety that arises already.

This situation reminds instantly of a paper written by Edgar Schein with the title "The Role of Art and the Artist". Why is arts relevant to other elements of society like business or government? - that's his initial question. Let's see whether, and how this new piece created by Manfred Weiß and his team will play out.

"First, art and artists stimulate us to see more, hear more, and experience more of what is going on within us and around us."

Being the audience in the middle, sitting on plain boxes, let's the mind stay anxious, moving around in 360° as the play goes on around on the installation around the walls.  It could happen that you instantly get in "conversation" with your neighbors bumping in each others' feet. Erik Nielsen, the conductor this evening is standing merely a few meters away, the orchestra around him, and almost part of the audience. One feels connected, one feels the real work of what a conductor is providing for the whole process: being the facilitator of a rather complex process.

"Second, art does and should disturb, provoke, shock, and inspire."

Copyright: Matthias Creutziger
Going to the opera often is expected to be nice. This evening certainly was different. Valda Wilson, Australian soprano, and a member of the Junges Ensemble, played her debut as "Simplicius Simplicissimus". What had sparked at last year's opening at Albertinum with "The Inner Voice" where she had sang as part of the ballet performance choreographed by Jiří Bubeníček, principal dancer of the Semperoper Ballett, clearly now became apparent: here is a voice "diamond"beautifully harnessed over time. Who had the chance to experience, and hear her in "Pussy in Boots" earlier this year could see her amazing capability not only concerning her voice, but additionally here playing skills. Congratulations to Valda, who inspired once again, that you can, and should play roles in life you are not naturally familiar with. The outcome is amazing!!!

Karl Amadeus Hartmann was already 1934 in the first draft of this opera about the gruel times of the Thirty Year War very distinct with the persons, and it did not make it difficult "to see" Hermann Göhring moving on stage. Matthias Henneberg amazingly brought this part over, and one could see some frowning in the audience, as this connected back to a not often in this city talked about time, when innovation in arts often got diminished as "Entartete Kunst" by the governement. What that meant for Semperoper can be experienced via Verstummte Stimmen (after a presentation at Semperoper and Staatsschauspiel Dresden in the summer - this opera could spark further engagement in learning about it, and its relevance for today's art).

"Third, the artist can stimulate us to broaden our skills, our behavioral repertoy, and our flexibility of response."

The tension between the narration of a 17th century play by Grimmelshausen and the "seen" reality of the 1930's clearly shook the audience's minds, and the receptive thinking about what this opera with a music quite unfamiliar, led into some improvisation by all.

"Fourth, the role of arts and artists is to stimulate and legitimize our own aesthetic sense."

The time during this evening once again showed that "beauty" is not only what the large audience, critics, and voices define as that, "beauty" lies also in the new ways of expressing intentions as Karl Amadeus Hartmann, on the edge of the arts and living society back in the day, intended to do. The adaption to our times with still the anchor points to the past (the costumes of the 17th century, the military uniform, the haircut of the dancer) brought the memories up, even though only a few of the audience might have experienced the 30's themselves. Playing such a piece in itself is an amazing BEAUTY.

"Fifth, analysis of how the artist is trained and works can produce important insights into what is needed to perform and what it means to lead and manage."

Different to the performance on the large stage here the artists, are all part of one audience, WE. And everybody can see each other's emotions and reaction, a quite unique situation for opera singers, who normally in productions are detached more from the audience which is also sitting in a rather dark room. On Friday it was like being all together on the same blanket (or wooden piles ;-)).

My resume of the evening: STUNNING and calling for more!!!

Doing what is often done by me after such an experience to capture the assets of learning, is the Presencing Status (stating four short questions):
  • Good - an opera played in a very unfamiliar setting, creating a "cultural island", emotionally touching, and opening the heart; great debut by Valda Wilson as Simplicius expressing not just her awesome voice (BTW where does that amazing soprano spring up from? How many "Valda Wilsons" are around us, and would only need the right mentor to see the awesomeness to make them strive forward to their highest potential?) also her natural talent as an actor (via mimic and gestic alike (!)); what impresses me every and each time is how opera singers and the orchestra get accustomed to the unique closeness to the audience, they even for themselves experience encounters they often can't get on the large stage (where seeing the audience during the performance is something of impossibility;
  • Tricky - minor details as the 4 million lost souls during the 30 Year War (Dreißigjähriger Krieg, 1618-1648), and the to be further accustomed joined action of the in the audience distributed singers of the choir; my ears are still not really accustomed to German opera texts (what counts is the wholeness of the performance - and this has been exceptional in every aspect (!))
  • Learned - subtle signs such as uniform, first name made clear the connection to the 30's and the background on what the opera was intended to show and express; the Dresden audience is more flexible to adapt to new circumstances as thought (today after heading out of the introduction to 'Alcina' the newest production, an old lady (clearly in her late 70's/ early 80's told me how much she liked the performance even with the (for her for sure) shocking elements within the play connecting to the time between 1933-1945 in Dresden) - this may be even the most encouraging feedback on such productions, that fit into the row of 'Street Scene' by Kurt Weill also played on large stage; holding the tension, even when emotions seem to overwhelm you, tears are about to flow as memories come up, will emerge in the collective consciousness;
  • Action: definitely see the performance at least a second time in order to experience the development (as I always do, especially with productions, that are either catching diverse reviews or little attention in the beginning of the play); reading & writing on "cultural islands" and how an opera house like Semperoper can play a major role in providing such a space for making innovation (in the technological, and even more in the social sense (!)) possible.
Add ons/ Ergänzungen (in German):

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sparking to Think - and Act!

Emotionally disrupting show, ConfronTension, by Dresden Semperoper and Dresden Semperoper Ballett 'On the Move' here at Military Museum Dresden. 

At 3pm sharp, their 2nd show is going to kick-off.

'Love and Hate' is the theme of the starting point - both spark intense emotions, the question is "How do we deal with them (individually & collectively)? The emerging energy they unveil is powerful, in the right context/ social field this can be used to co-create a better future (even on diverse worldviews).

I am strongly reminded of Adam Kahane's talk on 'Power and Love' at the 3rd Global Forum in Muscat, Oman, in April 2008

While some friends are at downtown Dresden like Marco Dziallas, Florian Andreas Vogelmaier, ... I am at Dresden's most disturbing and emotionally touching point up on the outskirts of the city.

Toi Toi Toi --- for the second round on ConfronTension.

A terrific setting Daniel Libeskind has set for the future, and further emotionally touching discussions about the past, present, and future!


By now these performances are over, yet there is more to come around ballet and opera, that have (from my point of view) a rather strong connection to what we have seen today, and experienced around the world. 'Hate and Love' are all around us, only it is on us to deal with it accordingly for the better of it.

  • Good: ballet in a new and inspiring setting; meeting lots of friends, sparking of memories
  • Tricky: the dense spaces held some people back while trying to see the performances
  • Learned: let yourself in the flow of action, magic and surprises will happen
  • Action: putting my thoughts on "electronic" paper (which I am doing right now) and on Facebook (this actually done shortly before the 2nd run today).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Accelerating Futures - Past & Current Combined

Currently it is the 3rd day of SEMICON Europa 2011, Europe's largest fair on semiconductor industries (and adjacent fields, that reach well into the creative space, OLEDs as just one example). Silicon Saxony so to say the host of the future.

"There will be no future without microelectronics!" as Stanislaw Tillich, Ministerpräsident of the Free State of Saxony coined it at the press conference on Tuesday out here at MESSE DRESDEN where 'Slaughterhouse Five'.

As Saxony is a true hot bed of hightech innovation, and has a legacy in social change (just remember the days of the 'Soft Revolution' of the year 1989 in the GDR when the citizens of Dresden played also a major role in making the transition possible), this also attracted a friend from Japan. A few days earlier Motohiro, until yesterday "only" a Facebook-friend, announced his coming, so it was quite natural to tell him to apply as visitor for SEMICON Europa 2011. Announcement by Motohiro, that touchdown in Dresden has been completed - THE BALL OF CONNECTING THE WORLD IS ROLLING!

Quelle: Mediaserver DMG
Meeting at 9 o'clock sharp, with Dresden October rain pooring down, once again an international surprise encounter. After months of FB connections, Likes, and sharing knowledge originally generated by dear friends Bert-Ola (Sweden), and Inma (Spain) finally came together in meeting in person at one of the most internationally sparked places in Dresden: Starbucks Dresden Altmarkt. Tuning in, getting accustomed to each other's speed of thinking, and acting, getting reading for take off to MESSE DRESDEN. On the way through the rain, a short detour through Zwinger, Theaterplatz, and checking Semperoper for tickets that night. What might be on? - 'Un ballo in maschera' (a story about the 'blind spot' of management; that is how I see it by now) is on. So as Motohiro is just one day in Dresden, taking the chance (even though that is my third (!) visit to it. We decide to make it on last minute - one never knows what interesting encounters could happen while at SEMICON Europa 2011.

A most inspiring day with Motohiro around the conference, learning more about semiconductor industry via him. The day seemed to accelerate already. It peaked (for the first time) when my eye caught notice of a clean room visit to Fraunhofer IPMS at 4:30pm ("Oh, would we make it to Semperoper at 7pm?" - challenges to be on the move ;-)). A very personal tour through the facilities at Fraunhofer IPMS in the compound area, where Silicon Saxony had some of their roots well before the year 1989.

6:15pm -time is running, 'Un ballo in maschera' is starting in 45 min (sharp, this opera house is clearly a lean facility, always amazed on the precision. "Will we make it?"is racing my mind. A taxi is arranged a couple of minutes later by colleagues and off we go - whooosh to downtown Dresden.

5 (!) min to the start. Tickets on forth level (actually best choice if you'd fond of experiencing the complete roundview of the play on stay - every time again I am amazed what insight one gets from up their, despite the distance) and we are sneaking in just seconds before the lights go off. The house is full and remembering the reviews on the premiere at 30th of September are long forgotten. The play is once again amazing, and even visitors from Berlin whom we by accident got in contact were thrilled by the modern play. [More on the performance in separate blog post].

As the day had not yet given enough, the evening finished with a light supper at MAX next door. Only to take separate ways shortly around 0:30am - only to meet soon for sure. Perhaps already to Open Science Summit in Mountain View on 22./23. of October. I am invited there as blogger in residence, yet at the moment I lack the financials to make the flight over to California possible.

If somebody would approach me with a similar situation, I'd certainly not hesitate to fund the project. Who is currently in a better position as myself (currently working, yet not for money, global interdisciplinary connectors, AKA boundary spanners in the social network world, are not a common business role and paid yet), may indicate his/her willingness to support #InnoBay (of which the Open Science Summit is just one part).

Connecting across disciplines, technologies, arts, business, and education through bringing the word about Silicon Saxony & Dresden into the world especially Silicon Valley is my passion :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lass Dich überraschen - Zugaben später!

Die Saison an der Semperoper ist noch kaum einen Monat alt und immer wieder für Überraschungen gut. Was mit einem Tag der Offenen Tür, vollen Haus zur Öffentlichen Ballettprobe am selben Tag zum Abschluss begann, fand heute morgen einen weiteren Höhepunkt auf einer dramaturgischen Grundlinie, die kontinuierlich nach oben weist.

Oft sind Vorstellungen voll ausverkauft, die man kennt und weiß, worauf man sich einstellen kann. 'La bohème' (in einer Version von 1983) ist in der Regel ausverkauft. Doch wie sieht es bei Neuem und (vermeintlich) Unbekannten aus? Dort wo wirklich Neues geschieht und der eigene Geist gefordert wird und so erst Neues auch im eigenen Denken entsteht.

Ist es nicht oft so, dass wir uns sträuben, Zeit und Geld zu investieren und den Gang in die Oper, das Theater oder Kino scheuen? Ich selbst kann mich da nicht rausreden - wem wird es schon anders gehen?

Gestern kurzfristig eine Karte erstanden für 'Der klingende Schmuckvorhang' - einfach aus Neugier und guter Erinnerung an das Preisträgerkonzert im vergangenen Jahr. [en passant noch Karten für die Ballettwoche erstanden]

Heute - 10:45 Uhr - ich muss mich sputen - nicht zu spät kommen - die Sonne blinzelt über Dresden - .... was wird mich erwarten?

... das Parkett halbgefüllt, da kommt mir in den Sinn "Der Mensch sucht nur (Bekanntes)..."

Doch diejenigen, die es wagten, das Unbekannte zu ergründen wurden reichlich belohnt. Zugaben kann man an der Oper generell nicht als alltäglich betrachten, genau dies bewirkte tosender Beifall und Fußgetrappel der durchweg nicht mehr ganz jungen Generation :)

Neben mir die Worte eines älteren Herrn, sicherlich die 70 wohl überschritten, "Das war schön!" - da weiß man, es war schlicht perfekt, awesome oder stunning.

Good: wieder mal überrascht worden, wie so oft schon im Haus, das Semperoper heißt!
Tricky: wo wohl die andere Hälfte der Gäste war (es wäre noch reichlich Platz gewesen)?
Learned: Innovative Ideen, wenn man sich auf's Unbekannte einlässt! [bei #occDD mehr] 
Action: .... die Wege des Jungen Ensembles aufmerksam verfolgen (es lässt schon jetzt aufhorchen (!))

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lehre in Zeiten von Web 2.0 & Collaboration

Seit Montag läuft an der TU Dresden die Konferenz Wissensgemeinschaften 2011, die wiederum drei Einzelkonferenzen integriert. Näheres findet sich auch über die Twitterstreams mit den Hashtags #geneme11 #delfi11 #gmw11, wobei #wige11 der allumfassende Tag ist [da die Inhalte auf Twitter nach einigen Wochen, eventuell sogar Tagen "verschwinden" sei ein Blick auf Greplin (Update 2020-04-26: Tool is nicht mehr existent, da Muttergesellschaft Betrieb eingestellt hat, via TechCrunch) empfohlen].

Heute geht die Konferenz in die Endrunde und es ist Zeit, ein erstes Fazit zu ziehen.

Auch diesmal erlaube ich mir es kurz zu machen und den PresencingStatus anzuwenden. Vier kurze Fragen, die eine Reflexion ermöglichen (auf kurzem Raum):

1. Was war gut?
2. Was war tricky?
3. Was habe ich gelernt?
4. Was ist meine nächste Aktion aus den gemachten Erfahrungen?

  1. Die Möglichkeit, drei unterschiedliche Konferenzen in ähnlichem Kontext an einem Ort zu veranstalten ermöglichte das Auftreten und Nutzen von Serendipity (so kam es zu überraschenden Verbindungen am Kaffeetisch, oder auch neuen Gesprächspartnern zum Thema 'Boundary Spanner' nach Fragen im Forum). Die Veranstaltung auf relativ begrenztem Raum mit zwei Orten auf dem Campus der TU Dresden (HSZ und Fakultät Informatik) zu beschränkten führte zu leichtem Austausch der unterschiedlichen Communities). Die angebotenen Hashtags wurden über alle Konferenztage intensiv verwendet - was ich mir übrigens auch für Business Konferenzen wünsche.
  2. Tricky war, dass es noch immer nicht eine App für's iPhone, Android und andere mobilen Geräte gibt, die alle Veranstaltungen in einer visuellen Darstellung mit AR oder ähnlichem ermöglicht (als Überblick). Eine Übersicht als Twitterwall ist künftig -aus meiner Sicht- ein Muss. Hier gibt es in Zusammenhang mit Ambient Displays und Augmented Reality sicher noch weitere Anknüpfungspunkte, die ich gerne auch in meinem Action Research Projekt in diesem Bereich ausbauen und diskutieren möchte (diesmal kam es nicht dazu, doch mal sollte niemals "nie" sagen ;-)).
  3. Es gibt noch viel zu tun, Web 2.0, Social Tools und Social Media sind noch nicht Alltag, auch nicht im Umfeld der Konferenzteilnehmer. Als gestern aus Kanada eine aufgezeichnete (und ausgezeichnete) Keynote im HSZ übertragen wurde leerte sich der Raum schlagartig und Kommentare wie dieser waren zu finden. Aus der persönlichen Erfahrung insbesondere in länderübergreifenden Lernprojekte über mehr als 8 (!) Zeitzonen hinweg hat ein "konservierter" Vortrag ganz andere Qualitäten - wenn auch nicht einfach in die eigenen Arbeitsweisen zu integrieren. Bitte mehr von dieser Art von Konferenz, die das Gespräch über Disziplingrenzen hinweg ermöglicht!!!
  4. ... das Gespräch zu Nutzung von Social Tools, Social Networks und Social Media im Gange halten auch und insbesondere über Disziplin-, Ort- und Zeitgrenzen hinweg - das Web bietet alle Möglichkeiten, wir müssen sie nur finden und elegant nutzen (was für unser persönliches Mental Model von Lernen und Lehren passend ist).
Für alle, die den Knowledge Worker 2.0 kennenlernen wollen, hier Stephen Colins AKA @trib mit einem inspirierenden Slidecast.

... auf BizDesignDD ein paar Gedanken auf Englisch.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Juwelen - Gems Rare & Polished

Since the beginning of July the regular stage performances were stopped for the overall needed summer holidays. The ensemble from singers to ballet dancers and regular staff was off to recharge their "batteries" once more - only to kickstart in late August for the second season of the "new era".

Dresden in those days was crowded with international folks from all around the globe being also on their holidays. I wondered, "How would they will have a chance to learn about Semperoper and the awesome stuff to see?" They shouldn't wait longer - on 21st of August the session restarted. And it restarted with a "big bang" so to say.

Weeks ago I saved myself some tickets for the main rehearsal of the new ballet performance 'Jewels" on last Thursday (even some Goethe Institute students could be made interested to come, actually from Moscow). This time the performance (actually rehearsal) time was quite different to what a normal go to the Semperoper would be. 11 o'clock AM, and the heat was on (actually more a day of performing 'Street Scene') around sweaty 30°C.  I thought by myself, "How easy it is for the 'knowledge worker' in the web age, just moving the fingers of the laptop keyboard. But the members of the Semperoper Ballett Company dancing 'Jewels' that morning in this heat definitely deserve more than just appreciation by applause. Having the choreography in mind, interacting with the team, and coping with the heat is definitely something not easily seen from the distance."

Photo: Costin Radu
The reality definitely outreached my deepest expectations. And it just was the beginning of something greater, a bit fuzzy to grab - yet after 'emeralds' and 'rubies' the dedicated crowd of ballet fans was asked to let the company finish off their daily work alone. Quite understandable. This fueled our's and others' desire to see for the premiere on that coming Saturday.

27th of August 2011 the first premiere of the season - George Balanchine's 'Jewels', a three-piece ballet evening.

... where to start? Too much in order to express the whole evening, which was one of the best ever, and one could clearly see that it is the SEMPEROPER BALLETT which brings the 'jewels' not just to sparkle in the stunningly set light (congrats to the folks managing the lighting - I wonder when there will be a time accompanying one evening and get the special feeling from this perspective?).

Three parts that could not have been more different in costumes, expressions, fun & joy, figures, music, and last but least the protagonists.

See the music - hear the dance (George Balanchine, 1903-1983)

Some extending thoughts in the PresencingStatus modus:

Good - Semperoper Ballett with all dancers from top principal ones to the corps de ballet and really new elevens, putting only five performances for this season increases certainly attraction, enthusiastic audience (there was not much missing for standing ovations in the end), new dance pairs which always show what great company we have here in Dresden, meeting Boris Michael Gruhl during the break and seeing his sparking eyes and enthusiastic voice as we had a short chat with him

Tricky - it is always challenging for me to sit at one place over the complete course of the performance (my mind urges me to shift perspective and grab new learnings about what is going on on stage, in the audience, and the whole "field" of the house which enables such magical moments as experienced that night

Learned - the team of Semperoper ticket service at Schinkelwache always open and providing extra info, thanking especially Mrs. Ansel, a former ballet dancer of Semperoper Ballett for her deep insight around Balanchine and that Semperoper Ballett is one of the few (!) in the world being licensed to dance Balanchine ballets, for sparkling 'jewels' on stage or in life it needs the main stone and the adjacent ones even more to bring them into visibility - congratulations to ALL DANCERS equally :)

Action - Looking forward to meet some of the dancers of 'Jewels' soon and learn more about the "hidden" work of ballet and what can be learned from the artist for life (this has been sparked by Edgar Schein's article about it)

PS.: More in press and audio about that stunning evening (in German mostly). A big THANKS to Valda Wilson, Australian soprano at Semperoper - who made me aware of ballet through her tweet back in September during Semperoper Open Day, which will be on Sunday, 11th of September this year - be sure to come as there is more ballet to be seen, I am pretty sure of that) -

MDR Figaro
Musik in Dresden

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mitteldeutschland - Die Entdeckung

Nicht dass wir nicht bereits wüssten in welch grandioser Gegend wir leben hier in Mitteldeutschland, doch nun ist es auch deutschlandweit bekannt. DIE ZEIT brachte es mit ihrer Sonderbeilage 'Wie geforscht  wird in Sachsen, Thüringen und Sachsen-Anhalt'  auf den Punkt - auf 12 (!) Seiten.

Nur einige Zitate, die sich besonders auf Dresden und Sachsen beziehen:

Quelle: Wikipedia, Himmelscheibe Nebra
"Frühe Forscher - Die Himmelscheibe von Nebra, ausgestellt im Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte in Halle, gilt mit mehr als 3.600 Jahren weltweit älteste konkrete Darstellung des Himmels", S. 1 [Nebenbemerkung (NB).: Nachhaltigkeit wurde erstmals in der Kursächsischen Forstordnung vor mehr als 450 Jahren etabliert]

"An einem einzigen Tag werden in Sachsen, Thüringen und Sachsen-Anhalt im Schnitt mehr als fünf neue  Patente angemeldet", S. 1 [NB.: Wieviele neue Produkte, die Weltmarktrelevanz haben gehen monatlich aus Sachsen an den Start?]

Quelle: Wikipedia
"Am "Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CTRD)" arbeiten Biowissenschaftler und -wissenschaftlerinnen der Technischen Universität Dresden mit einer Reihe von Unternehmen an stammzellbasierten Verfahren zur Gewebeherstellung.", S. 3 [NB.: Wäre es nicht grandios Dresden bzw. Sachsen bei FutureMed 2012 vertreten zu sehen?; nebenstehend Axolotl, mexikanischer Schwanzlurch, der Gliedmaßen nach Verlust regenerieren kann] 

TU Dresden - Fakultät Informatik | Raum für Neues
"In zehn Jahren möchten wir zu den 100 besten Universitäten weltweit gehören" (Rektor der Technischen Universität Dresden Prof. Hans Müller-Steinhagen), S. 7 [NB.: Wie können dabei bereits ab 01. September (Abgabetermin für die nächste Runde der Exzellenzinitiative) Initiativen innerhalb der Dresdner Kreativ- und Kulturwirtschaft, der Wirtschaftsförderung, sowie internationaler Netzwerke wie Verbindungen zum Silicon Valley in Verbindung mit DRESDEN-concept nutzbar gemacht werden?]

Warum nicht gleich am kommenden Montag zwei Veranstaltungen in Dresden, links- und rechtselbisch nutzen? OpenCoffeeClubDresden (19 Uhr, Starbucks Altmarkt) und Forum Kreative Neustadt (19 Uhr, Scheune, Alaunstraße) and up in Denmark there is the bi-annual design conference starting with livestreaming from Monday on.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

... this is just the beginning!

When vision hits the fertile ground of forthinkers, supporters, and entrepreneurial minds, it not only sparks innovation rather it fuels PASSION.

With passion in what you see is possible the inventors and innovators we look up to in the past have fulfilled their dreams. In these accelerating and most intense times we collectively experience now at this very moment there is so much we collaboratively can achieve for the future.

Crossing the boundaries of disciplines, languages, and cultures will be foundation for doing the impossible.

Every start of this kind of journey has been as small as unnoticed by the larger crowd. Only the modern communication infrastructure has lowered the transaction costs to connect globally so much easier as in the times of air mail and phone communication.

Taken at Puro Beach, Dresden
Congratulations to Singularity University's 3rd year of GSP (Graduate Students Program) on which I had a space this summer. I will come soon that is for sure - cheers to all and especially Peter Diamandis (with his more then inspiring lecture, "The Best Way to Create the Future is to Create it Yourself"), Ray Kurzweil and our short chat in summer 2010 here in Dresden, and last but not least Dr. Lucy Rogers, who vividly spread the word from #SingularityU.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Innovation can be learned & executed well

Copyright: Brett Ryder
The innovator's mind (assets): (1) associating, (2) questioning, (3) observing, (4) networking and (5) experimenting.

(1) seeing the greater picture, systems thinking, zooming from tele to wide-angle 
(2) questioning the unquestionable, being a ruthless "pain in the ..."
(3) looking around the "open sky" of possible opportunities, across boundaries
(4) connecting people, ideas, and concepts (even though it seems not obvious of value at first)
(5) .... passionately work on small experiments to bring the larger vision into existence

What is that drives your passion to innovate?

PPS.: Great tip to the Economist article by Giorgio Marando

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

BMW Werk Leipzig - Semperoper - Starbucks Altmarkt

Quelle: eigene
Was können die drei Orte gemein haben? Auf den ersten Blick nicht erkennbar. Doch während ich hier im Starbucks Altmarkt in Dresden sitze und arbeite, gehen mir die Worte eines Freundes durch den Kopf "Das ist wohl Dein zweites Wohnzimmer?".

Was ist das Verbindende von Wohnzimmern? Sie sind in der Regel größer als andere Zimmer in Wohnung oder Haus. Wenig Möbel und freier Blick - "offener Himmel" für freie Gedanken.

Was das Social Web im Unermesslichen bietet (und damit so manchen Zeitgenossen schockt) bietet sich im kleineren Rahmen rund um uns herum. Manchmal nehmen wir es als gegeben hin und denken gar nicht darüber nach, warum wir uns eigentlich an bestimmten Orten wohlfühlen.

BMW Werk Leipzig, wo ich das Glück hatte über fast fünf Jahre inmitten des Zentralgebäudes, von Zaha Hadid entworfen, zu arbeiten. 700 Mitarbeiter in einer über mehrere wie in eine Landschaft kreierte Büroumgebung, waren die Inspirationsquelle, die meiner Arbeit als Innovateur von Logistik- und Kommunikationsprozessen entgegen kamen. Der Blick ist teilweise über 200 m frei - zoom-out und zoom - Perspektive und Gespräche in ständigem Wechsel. Details in der Nähe und der Überblick in der Weite, in schneller Folge hintereinanderweg, wie beliebt.

In der Semperoper ganz ähnlich - 40 Vorstellungen von der 5. Reihe bis 4. Rang Stehplatz. Doch wo habe ich das Gefühl am meisten von der Bühne, dem Publikum und dem "Feld" des Raums mitzunehmen? Es ist der 4. Rang, nicht gebunden einen Sitz, frei die Perspektive zu wechseln, von links nach rechts, vielleicht sogar einen freien Platz erheischen oder die Treppe.

Beim Blick aus dem Starbucks überkommt mich ein ähnliches Gefühl. Sollte dies einer dieser magischen Orte in der Stadt sein, der so viel mehr birgt als "nur" den amerikanischen Kaffeetraum?

Friday, July 29, 2011

No Vacation for Innovators

Even though the summer has caught everybody - relaxing life in the city, politicians on holidays, everybody awaiting the next big things to happen after the summer pause - something is happening in the "small" city of Dresden. [size compared with its bigger "sister cities" in the Silicon Valley]

In the midst of Neustadt, at a small café, Café Combo, new ideas are bred on how Dresden will become the next attractive hotspot (which it BTW already is) known to the world outside of Saxony and Germany. The two "crazy guys" are well under way, and have gathered quite a remarkable crowd from all across the globe around them to make that happen. It seems like in the Asterix stories, all economic innovation is doomed by state funding and large corporations, yet there are small pockets of innovative and creative folks in the City of Dresden who stand up and go another way - towards collective cooperation and bringing the power of social networks back from the Web down to the cobblestoned streets of good old Dresden.

Due to an U.S. embassy report in 2008 "In 2007, this number [US American tourists in Saxony] increased to 57,958 (as part of groups of 9 or more) who stayed a total of 140,424 nights" (by U.S. Consulate General Leipzig. November 2008). Similar numbers are probably to be taken into  account for numerous other countries where people due to the shiny glare of Berlin and Prague are not yet aware of the beauty of Dresden.

How on earth can one explore the hidden beauty of Dresden apart from its obvious and most impressive museums, opera house (Semperoper) in just a few days? Even after 18 years of being part of the City I find every day new unseen surprises, such as DRESDENconcept, SLUB, The Heide (the park-like green outskirts spreading from Neustadt up North), or many other small spots of interest.

To attract curious visitors to not only come to Dresden yet to co-create the future of this awesome place with remarkable citizens, is what #InnoBay is about.

What can you help to make this dream become true? Ranging from connecting with the right people, visiting the city, meeting with Dresdener (tonight, 29th of August, at 7pm there is a TweetUp at MAX Altstadt am Postplatz - you are heartily invited to come along), to sponsoring the trip to Silicon Valley and make the first German screening of Transcendent Man in Dresden to become true. Check out our InnoBay group on Facebook


Monday, July 18, 2011

Kunst - kostet's oder bringt's was?

English speaking readers may find here a translation (done gratefully by GoogleTranslate)

Der heutige Sonntag brachte die Überraschung im Vorbereitungsstress zu #nbj2011 ("Imagine a future where innovations emerge from global partnerships across sectors, (also the arts field), etc.") als ich die Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung aufschlug:

Eine kleine Ökonomie der Oper, von Ralph Bollmann

Semperoper by
Der zweiseitige Text - Oper und Kultur ist demnach definitiv im öffentlich Fokus - begann mit einer unerfreulichen Begebenheit aus Zwickau, Sachsen. Am Ende der vergangenen Spielzeit wurde die eindrucksvoll inszenierte Oper Genoveva nach der Pause jäh unterbrochen von einem Appell des Ersten Kapellmeisters an das Publikum und Bitte um Unterschriften gegen die geplanten Kulturkürzungen des Freistaats Sachsen. Was in Zwickau passierte ist ähnlich auch in den Landesbühnen Radebeul kürzlich noch viel dramatischer passiert - dort geht es um das "Aus" des Hauses.

Der Bericht - übrigens mit grandiosen Aufnahmen deutscher Opernhäuser gespickt - endet mit "Am Ende lässt sich über die Oper nicht eindeutig ökonomisch urteilen. Es bleibt die politische Entscheidung einer Bürgergesellschaft, ob sie diese deutsche Tradition fortsetzen will oder nicht."

.... PUNKT ... war es das gewesen? Gab es einen umfangreichen Dialog, zu "Was bringt Oper für die Wirtschaft, die Bildung, kulturellen Austausch?"

Meines Wissens nicht. Sollten hier Kürzungschritte unternommen werden von Politikern, die sich zwar auf Premieren ab und an sehen lassen, doch Oper oft wohl eher als "nettes Beiwerk" und "Touristenmagnet" sehen, ohne alle Möglichkeiten, Visionen und Chancen der Zukunft in Betracht gezogen zu haben.

Fragen, die durch meinen Kopf rasen. 40 (oder so) Besuche in den letzten 10 Monaten in der Semperoper Dresden haben (mir) ein vollkommen anderes Bild von Oper, Ballett und dem Sinn und Nutzen für eine zukunftsorientierte Bürgergesellschaft eines weltoffenen und innovativen Sachsen (und Deutschlands allgemein) eröffnet.

Mein persönliches Fazit und Ausblick (allzu gerne hätte ich Ralph Bollmann, übrigens in Berlin zu Wirtschaftspolitik zuständig, leider ohne Angabe einer Email-Adresse, zu einem Dialog eingeladen) als passionierter Volkswirtschaftschaftler und Systemsthinker ist doch ein anderer.

  1. Good: sehr gute Übersicht über die deutsche Opernlandschaft, opulente Bilder z.B. vom Wiesbadener Staatstheaters und des Mecklenburger Staatstheater Schwerin, Bericht in einer überregionalen Sonntagszeitung (am Wochenende hat man doch ein wenig mehr Zeit zum Lesen)
  2. Tricky: Fokussierung auf die "sichtbaren" ökonischen Größen, die sich in den Budgets der Länder wiederfinden und die Kultur so "teuer" machen
  3. Learned: die wirtschaftlichen Effekte von Opernhäusern und die Implikationen auf kulturellen Austausch werden selten bis gar nicht betrachtet, gerade in ostdeutschen Städten mit relativ geringem Bevölkerungsanteil ausländischer Mitbürger zeigt sich insbesondere in den Ballettensembles ein Mikrokosmos der Welt (siehe Ensemblemitglieder des Semperoper Balletts, bei ca. 80 Mitgliedern sind ca. zwei Dutzend Herkunftsländer vertreten und die Quoten sind eindeutig zu Gunsten der ausländischen Tänzerinnen und Tänzern verschoben); Oper und Ballett eröffnen für Forscher, Wirtschaftler und Politiker gleichmaßen ein differenziertes Bild vom Heute und der Zukunft (viele der Balletttänzer z.B. beschäftigen sich mit Zukunftsforschung, was mich selbst zunächst überrascht hat, doch dann auf den zweiten Blick verständlich ist)
  4. Action: ein Leserbrief an die FAZ Leserbriefredaktion wird folgen, die kommende Tour ins Valley rund um San Francisco mit Besuchen bei Opern anreichern