thecamp’s collaborative residency Hive is looking to broaden its reach, expand its horizons and attract new talents from around the world. Building on a growing network of ambassadors and mentors, former Hive resident and program ambassador David Erhun is making a grand tour to build new links with hubs in Europe and Africa. His first stop, Berlin. Here's the personal account of his travels.
Berlin is home to an incredible mashup of old and new, local and international, technical and creative. You arrive and it’s clear that the city thrives on diversity—from the many dozens of different languages spoken on the streets, to the incredible array of traditional German delicacies side by side with modern cafés, Vietnamese noodle bars, spicy Mexican burrito places, and so much more. Looking to diversity in food might be the most visible sign of an international community, but this only scratches the surface of what the German capital has to offer.
This rich diversity is one of the main reasons why Hive is looking to recruit talent from Berlin over other European capitals. With a thriving art, music and technology scene there’s a brilliant blend of young entrepreneurs, artistic visionaries, educational institutions and experimental programmes which bring out into the light the profiles of talented technologist, artists, makers and more that we’re looking to join future Hive cohorts. This is back-set against a well-developed startup scene which attracts entrepreneurs from around the world to support new innovative ventures.
Arriving late in the evening, I found myself taken in by my first glimpse at the early-morning view from my bedroom window. Berlin’s skyline and its iconic television tower in the background, set against lively residential streets and beautiful green foliage of a nearby park. Supported by The Marketing Catalysts—whose very own AC Coppens is currently a mentor for thecamp’s collaborative residency—I was furnished with an expertly organized, rapid-fire itinerary for my first two days in the city.
I spent my first days in Berlin enthralled in the amazing initiatives and projects being run in the art, design and tech world. My first foray into these communities started with a meeting in a local café within walking distance of my flat with Viktoria Trosien and Nicole Loeser, part of the enthusiastic team behind the Institute for Art and Innovation and discovered that they are involved in initiatives which parallel some of thecamp’s own projects—particularly in respect to tackling the problems of ocean plastic pollution.
Racing from point to point, criss-crossing Berlin’s many different neighbourhoods I had the pleasure of meeting some fantastic people working on the boarders of art, technology and science. I explored Berlin’s bursting maker community with a visit to the bustling FabLab Berlin—a hybrid co-working, research centre and makerspace with some of the most well equipped open-access workshops in Europe. I joined OpenTechSchool’s co-founder Martin Stadler at an evening meet-up of front-end developers in the cosy living room like environment of the Co.up offices. There, I discovered a vibrant community of learners, doers and teachers figuring out how best to achieve their goals and give back to the community at the same time.
Looking more to traditional centers of design and art, I had the opportunity to learn more about various programmes run at UDK Berlin. From the Hybrid Platform which brings together actors from both the artistic and technical communities of Berlin’s universities, to the UDK’s Creative Prototyping Programme, which supports entrepreneurial design initiatives and start-ups in the local ecosystem, these initiatives host students, collaborators and have incredible alumni networks which are bound to include many motivated candidates for the Hive programme.
Finally, I ended this leg of my talent scouting mission by making connections with another community, perhaps less obvious, but every bit as promising to source new talent from; migrants from around the world, refugees and asylum seekers. In the hopes of widening the reach of the HIVE residency to as diverse a community as possible, I visited Migration Hub Berlin and the ReDI School of Digital Integration which both are actively working to either support organizations working with these communities or are directly involved in capacity-building initiatives for migrants.
Drawing from talent pools across the world, thecamp’s collaborative residency is currently accepting applications for its third edition Hive#03, starting in January of 2018. If you’re interested or you know someone that is…