SPECIALIZED in generalism.

THE pretty STORY.

Having started out as a journalist, I studied creative writing for the stage at the Berlin University of the Arts and for many years worked as a freelance playwright and dramatic advisor with my own production company based in Berlin.

In addition to my work as a writer and theatre maker, I worked as a self-employed communications entrepreneur on dozens of projects in a wide range of industries for +20 years.

Today I live in Basel where I co-founded schaefer | hansen, a consulting firm focused on fostering and implementing sustainable urban development and digitalisation projects in the context of smart cities.

As the co-managing director of Smart Regio Basel, a non-profit association, I invest myself into a sustainable, smarter development of the Basel metropolitan region, my new home.

As founder and director of the independent, non-profit climate platform 1punkt5, I try to use my expertise to contribute to addressing climate change.

The honest STORY. 

Over the last 30 years, I experienced myself what it means to live with bipolar disorder II, a mental illness with manic phases, hardcore depression and one of the highest suicide rates among all.

At the age of 23, twelve years into the illness and after a decade of self-medication, I was finally diagnosed and started treatment. More than 1000 hours of therapy and several expeditions into the world of pharmacology made it possible to transform the suicidal mental wreck I used to be into the stable, confident entrepreneur, father and husband I am today. 

Knowing the struggle to «function» while trying to preserve or restore mental health I today try to be the boss I never found – one who values people over profit, one who creates a surrounding for people to thrive and perform their best.

In 2021 I was recognized as a role model by the InsideOut Leaderboard which honours leaders who decided to be open about their mental illness, thus playing their part in ending the stigma and helping others in their organisation speak out and seek help


Mental illness is a holistic experience. Everything is negatively affected by it - relationships, learning, career. The stigma combined with self-loathing, shame, fear and hopelessness leads to an inner paralysis that makes participation in "normal" life agony, if not completely impossible.

How hard it is to get back on track careerwise if you suffer and / or recover from a mental illness I know very well. Also I know how toxic workplaces can push people over the edge and into the downward spiral of depression.

The constant pressure of performance and perfection with no space for doubts and downs is a catastrophe for many talented, dedicated and purpose oriented professionals – promising performers aren't necissarily wolves of Wall Street. 

In the era of digitalization human soft skills like empathy, creativity and communication become more and more important in all industries. Unhealthy workplaces will fail to foster these skills. The same is true for cities which need to become healthier, more sustainable places for masses of people to live individually happy lives. 

I use my knowledge, my experience and my regained resources to advocat and help create infrastructures for people who can't and won't pretend to be the machines.


By 2050 we'll be 10 billion people on this planet. Around 70 percent of them will live in cities, that's a projected 2.5 billion more people living in cities than today. 

Population growth in combination with climate and demographics changing will put our urban infrastructures under enormous pressure.

Technology and digital solutions can help analyze, tackle and even solve many of these challenges – if developed with an open mindset and a working experimental and collaborative innovation culture beyond buzzwording and pretty slide shows.

A smart city is a city where technology is used to provide healthier, cleaner, more resilient and more humane surroundings for people and communities. A too strong focus on feasability instead of usability lead to the creation of many redundant solutions. 

By combining psychology, sociology, creativity and storytelling I help define not only the why and what but also the less sexy how of transforming cities into better places for an ever more challenging future.


What can we do? What can we know? How do we change? Where do we start? What if we fail? And isn't it too late already?

Anthropogenic climate change in its overwhelming complexity, its unpredictable path dependencies and universal influence on all areas of life will be the major challenge of the next decades and maybe centuries.

We know we have to act. Now and with all the creativity and adaptability available to us humans. Yet what we're missing is a positive narrative, a storyline that highlights the chances and potentials of adaptation and mitigation instead of pointing out what we might lose in terms of cherished comforts.

With 1punkt5 I founded an alliance for better climate crisis communication. Its goal is to use the power of communication to inspire as many people as possible for what will probably not only be a pleasant expedition into an uncertain future.

A panel of transdisciplinary experts joins forces to co-create a better, more positive, more entertaining and more sustainable way of campaigning for necessary  change.



Working on future proof cities for everyone. Co-founder & partner.

Non-profit for the sustainable digitalization of Basel metropolitan area. Co-CEO.

Independent Alliance for Research and Development in the field of Climate Crisis Communication. Founder and President.

Meso is a strategic network of innovative organisations working together to shape a more sustainable future.

Developer and regular guest lecturer of a performing arts entrepreneurship and communication seminar at ZHDK.

+20 years of freelance writing and storytelling for theatres, newspapers, museums, websites, festivals, agencies, blogs and events.

Activist for openness about and acceptance of mental illness in private and professional life.


  • Smart Cities // Smart Communities
  • Digital transformation and social change
  • Mental health in an urban context
  • Climate crisis vs. urban development
  • Innovation - methods, processes, communication
  • Storytelling, Narrative & Participation


Being an expert is great. But while many are focusing on sorting out the details, somebody should keep track of the bigger picture. In an ever more complex, complicated and elusive world divided into areas of expertise, I build bridges between people, ideas, industries and projects.