Sabine joined IFOK in 2005. As a Senior Consultant, she leads IFOK’s event management team. In this role, she contributes to projects with a focus on developing and envisioning event formats for customers and then bringing these concepts to life.
What brought you to IFOK?
Whilst looking for a job after my degree I stumbled on a study published by IFOK and was enthused by the topics and the approach. I started off as an intern on the youth foresight project Jugend denkt Zukunft, and stayed on working on the events team. And that is where I have stayed, taking on leadership of the events team in 2008 and developing our work and service offerings into an in-house events agency.
What do you like about IFOK, and what do you like about your event management work?
I’m not a trained event manager – I’m a political scientist who just happens to have a very good knack for practical things. I enjoy combining my background and political skills, as the political environment our events take place in and the societal issues they address are key to my motivation.
Which project taught you the most?
I probably learned the most through the project to develop and implement the sustainability strategy for the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg. It was one of the first projects that I worked on for a long time and with great intensity, so I gained a lot of experience.
One of the most challenging projects was the citizens’ dialogue on future issues. Events in Fukushima changed the political context overnight and set a whole new agenda – both of which changed our project significantly and abruptly. We only had a few weeks to develop and implement a participative process made up of eight large-scale citizen consultations in different Federal States, 30 local workshops throughout Germany, and a national Citizen Summit in the German Parliament in Berlin. It was something of a herculean task, but thanks to the great team work at IFOK we managed it – and very successfully!
What makes an event an IFOK event?
Lots of people can organise events. But what makes us different? When we design events, we ensure that they combine substantive expertise, processual knowledge of dialogue and engagement methods, and event management. This helps ensure that the aims of the event and the participants are the focus of our attention and work. In the end the overall event must capture the spirit and meets the needs of the participants.
What would you like to share with our applicants / your prospective colleagues?
Be open, join in and try things out! We implement the strategies, the solutions and the approaches we have designed and developed for clients – and it is implementation which usually makes up the lion’s share of our work. If there is one thing I have learned it’s that only if you have experienced the individual steps of the implementation process – only if you have had the worm’s eye view – will you reach that juncture where you can take a step back, take the bird’s eye view and start to plan and design processes.