Hi, I am Matthes.

I am a German-born project manager, science communicator and creator. Among my peers I am known for being an organized planner and avid cycling adversary – among my relatives as the dreamer in the family.

my vision & mission
working towards a world where people have access to and celebrate a good life for all.

mode of operating
appreciating time as a valuable ressource, promoting agency and powerful structures, paying attention to emotional integrity, sometimes a bit too perfectionistic, performing well under extreme pressure.

areas of interest / expertise
Social and Cultural Anthropology: intentional communities, Environmental Anthropology, interreligious encounters, Health and Economic Anthropology.
Sustainability: social project management, sustainability communication, transdisciplinary issues of and with sustainability.
Learning & Education: learning innovation, new pedagogies, edtech, lifelong learning.

personal interests
long walks, podcasts and short videos, video games, traveling and novelty; minimalism, personal productivity systems; Chinese food.

my vision & mission

In my personal and professional life, I want to work towards a world in which people from all walks of life experience and celebrate a good life for all. The key idea that I want to pay attention to in this vision is “accessibility”. Thus, I make it my personal mission to create rooms and resources for people to access and celebrate a good life for all. This includes hosting events, facilitating connections, empowering those who I can, and creating the occasional cheesy piece of art from time to time.

Time is one of the most valuable resources to me! When facilitating a group or participating in a meeting, I sometimes count up the collective human lifetime spent on whatever is happening at that moment. This helps me to stay vigilant about whatever I am offering to or demanding from others. It also instills feelings of wonder and gratitude whenever I do experience people investing their time into me or my cause.

I strongly believe in everyone’s agency in their lives and in the power of the structures we surround ourselves with. Moreover, I regard emotional integrity as paramount and take care to pay special attention to people’s cultural heritage and social preferences.

Beyond that, I have a special affection for going the extra mile in preparing or executing projects:
I enjoy diving deep into the ideation and preparation phase of a project and going the extra mile at the other end, even if – or particularly if – it can give the project an aesthetic edge. Quick-and-dirty proofs of concept therefore don’t come as easily to me, even when they are absolutely sensible, but hey: Live and learn!

Finally, I have in the past observed myself performing obscurely well in situations of crisis and under extreme time pressure. Take that as you will.

mode of operating

areas of interest / expertise

I started my academic career with Social and Cultural Anthropology and even though I may have since developed other areas of expertise, the worldview and methods of this field have since refused to let go of me. Personal anthropological topics of interest have been Intentional Communities and Ecovillages, Environmental Anthropology, Health and Economic Anthropology and interreligious encounters.

During my horrendously interdisciplinary graduate program on “Sustainability, Society, and the Environment”, I first built a new expertise in Social Project Management, and Sustainability Communication, and later expanded towards general questions about the issues of sustainability and the so-called “good life for all”. I am since fascinated – and that’s where my anthropological side may be shining through again – with how people define a good life for themselves and how we might be able to facilitate that for as many communities as possible.

At my job for the Falling Walls Foundation, I am following the third passion that currently occupies my life: How we learn and educate. This never truly entered my professional life before starting at this job, but it has always been that little interest that tickled my fancy in one of those ways that’s just really hard to point towards any real reason. Now I am privileged to work with some of the greatest learning and education innovators in the world and to this day I don’t quite know how I got here.

In my personal time, I enjoy long walks, podcasts and short videos, and the occasional video game to unwind. I’ve also always been an avid solo traveler and lacking the opportunity to travel will lead me on multi-hour expeditions around the city I live in to find that one street or dirt track I haven’t discovered yet.

I live a minimalist lifestyle and enjoy optimizing my personal systems regularly. I appreciate a beautiful kitchen, long desks, and a quality pair of headphones. And Chinese food.

personal interests