Our Collaboration Culture

In our innovation projects, our customers and we work closely with selected industry experts and pioneers, as well as lead users from all over the world. The insights deriving from our online communities are always cutting edge.


Think Tanks

When exploring complex issues concerning innovation, we leverage think tanks as platforms for a lively exchange of ideas between experts. A range of perspectives is brought together in online and offline sessions to discuss design research and strategic foresight projects. This interdisciplinary and culturally diverse framework yields superior results.

Journalist & Art Director (Cologne)

Petra Hützen

“Working with STURM und DRANG was thinking outside the box, as you were forced to leave your comfort zone.”

Petra Hützen is a freelance journalist and art director with a focus on professional hair cosmetics & beauty. What inspires her most wherever she is travelling is that the language of handcraft and beauty is always the same. Petra contributed to our “Next Beauty Community” in which we researched trends in the professional hair & beauty world.

Food Blogger (Vienna)

Eva Fischer

Working for STURM und DRANG was great for meeting interesting characters, networking and getting to know diverse points of view on food. A great inspiration for me as a food writer!

Eva Fischer participated in our think tank on the future of snacking. The blogger and food expert suffers from celiac disease, so she is always hunting for healthy and nutritious alternatives to wheat.

Physicist, Entrepreneur, Blogger (Hamburg)

Arne Ewerbeck

“In STURM und DRANG workshops, I encountered a positive energy and passion for moving something together that was really inspiring.”

Following his PhD in Physics, Arne started blogging and opened a vegan culinary school and founded an agency for food and communication. He is always scouting new food trends and the city’s best pizza. Arne supported us with his ideas for a new dinner culture.

Visual und Digital Artist (London)

Ben James

“For me, it’s about helping participants pull out of their day to day by challenging them to think about problems in new ways.“

As a disruptive innovator and creative executor James is a valuable contributor in our innovation workshops.

Corporate Philosopher (Hamburg)

Dominic Veken

„I am sure that STURM und DRANG is one of the most interesting and innovative agencies of its kind. It is here that new vistas are opened, which shed both a new light on the familiar and illuminate the unfamiliar.”

Initiating transformation processes, Dominic is a visionary thinker and doer. He contributes to our workshops with a deep knowledge of brand leadership and corporate change.

Photographer (Seoul; Hongkong)

Donald Chiu

As a renowned photographer, Donald produces editorials and advertisements. He is known for finding ever new visual expressions and has a broad knowledge of the East Asian trend markets.

Project Developer, Journalist (GER, UAE)

Tanja Pabelick

“The active debate and communication within the community is full of unexpected moments of insight, which help expanding my personal perspective on society more and more with each workshop.”

Constantly chasing new insights and stories, Tanja Pabelick moves through the world like a nomad. Tanja is convinced that the world is full of loose ends which need to be tied together.

Art Director, Strategic Designer (SWE, GER)

Hanne Adén

“I appreciated your workshop methods very much, that you gave us the right creative tools to develop and boost new ideas with. You have an excellent way of developing stories that trigger new insights and stimulate the creative mind.”

Coming from an interdisciplinary background, Hanna transforms insights into brand concepts, visual worlds and products. Besides her work as strategic designer for global brands and smaller businesses, she runs the independent studio “Little Adén” in Berlin.

Artist & Philosopher (Amsterdam)

Dr. Koert van Mensvoort

“The creative and visual approach from STURM und DRANG allows you to reflect in the material, rather than only in your own mind. This boosts innovation and creativity.“

In an artistic and conceptual way, Koert reflects on the future of consumption. We cooperated on market projection projects, designing future services and market opportunities.

Engineer, Entrepreneur and Futurist Thinker (Belgium)

Nell Watson

Nell Watson is an expert in AI, Machine Ethics and Cryptoeconomics. Her ability to bridge the world of technology and the Humanities makes it easy for her to translate complex subjects so that they can be clearly understood. Nell lectures globally on Machine Intelligence, AI philosophy, Human-Machine relations, and the Future of Human Society.

Together we explored how disruptive digital technologies are reshaping society, with a focus on Digital Natives.

Designer, Writer and Educator (Berlin)

Prof. Yang Liu

“Living and working as a designer and design educator in China, Germany, Singapore, UK, Turkey and the US for the past 20 years, I was constantly learning from my surroundings and from different cultures and have found my way to see design and understand people from different perspectives.” 

The founder of Yang Liu Design and professor of Communications Design at btk Berlin supported our semiotic analyses, workshops and think tanks with a focus on home & living, kitchens and luxury.

Yoga Instructor, Writer & Photographer (Hamburg, Berlin, Italy)

Marlo Scheder Bieschin

“Exchanging ideas with modern food visionaries was a fantastic inspiration for my work as a food writer.”

Snacking is a matter of great importance for Marlo, who is currently developing a duty-free range of healthy yoga-inspired snacks for her brand “My Yogacanteen”. Marlo contributed her insights on a yogic lifestyle to our think tank on the future of snacking.

Photographer, Art Director, Food Stylist and Writer (Hannover)

Carolin Strothe

“Everything changes and nothing stands still” (Heraclitus). That’s why it is important to explore new perspectives for the future while creating results that are tangible and relevant for people.”

Carolin Strothe is a freelance food photographer and art director. She develops emotional imagery, food pictures and designs for brand identities. With her broad expertise, she supported our workshops concerned with food culture.

Cultural Scientist (Leipzig)

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich

“The workshop was exquisite and stimulating. The level of our discussion was phantastic, the group fit together just perfectly. You rarely ever get to experience that.”

As an art historian and cultural scientist, Wolfgang discusses questions of visual sociology and consumption theory. He is part of our semiotic expert think tanks.

Founder of GRAFT Brandlab (Beijing; Berlin)

Linda Stannieder

“Innovation happens when extraordinary people with extraordinary perspectives get together. It is simply priceless to bundle all those different cultural backgrounds to deal with the same questions.”

Equally at home in Beijing and Berlin, architect Linda is known for her business acumen as a strategist as for her creative prowess. She is a great decoder of cultural symbols and works with us in design research.

Fashion & Color Blogger (Amsterdam)

Ivania Carpio

“Co-creating with STURM und DRANG is like finding different pieces of a puzzle and putting them together in one strong futuristic vision. I love how mentally challenging and intense it is.“

As an internationally renowned blogger, Ivania draws from her knowledge of the codes of colors, patterns and textures. She is highly respected for her understanding of contemporary aesthetics.

Smart Home Expert (Hamburg)

Prof. Dr. Kai von Luck

“From our foresight think tank I once again learned that if ideas shall work, they need to have a consistent story.”

Kai investigates how technology impacts our (digital) life, especially with focus to smart home living. Together we designed brand-specific futures of smart living.

Entrepreneur & Creative Director (Copenhagen)

Peter Bur Andersen

Sturm und Drang supported a process that led to crucial strategic insigths and most likely got the client miles ahead of competition. The selected panel had been chosen with care and the synergies were obvious.“

As founder and creative director at Briq, Peter made urban life his mission. As specialist for retail development management and design implementation he designs interior design concepts for Danish and global brands.

Design Strategist and Trend Expert (Shanghai)

Xiaojing Huang

 „I believe that projects nowadays need to solve complex issues. STURM und DRANG did just that by combining a variety of disciplines, like trend forecasting, semiotics and user experience.“

As Strategy Director of YANG DESIGN, Xiaojing Huang predicts design trends and aesthetic preference of Chinese people. She won the Red Dot Design Award, writes for magazines like md, is a sought-after speaker and judge of many design events including TEDx and Semiofest.

Experimental & Behavioral Economist (Cologne)

Dr. Christopher Zeppenfeld

“Shaping the future starts with a simple recipe: Bring together interesting people and confront them with a provocative thought.”

In Southeast Asia, Christopher Zeppenfeld immersed himself in a food culture where eating insects has a long tradition. Back home in Cologne he started SWARM Nutrition, which aims to establish a tabooed alternative protein source. In our think tank on the future of snacking culture, he discussed how strongly people react when their food habits are being questioned.

Photographer & Entrepreneur (Stuttgart)

Florian Roser

“Working with STURM und DRANG helped me to dive deeper into different topics, find out more about different opinions but also to change my own view on some things.”

Florian Roser built a reputation blogging for uberding.net and founded his own content agency Roserbrothers in 2016. Together with his brother, he produces images, video and text. His favorite topics are cars, fashion and travel.

Digital & Social Media Expert (NYC)

Yvonne Kai

“Working with STURM und DRANG brings together great experts from around the world. The workshop experience is inspiring, thought-provoking and intimate at the same time!”

With her successful beauty and lifestyle blog, Yvonne is an opinion leader and trend setter focussed on East Asia and the USA. She is one of our global trend scouts, giving us the latest signals on the future of aesthetics.

Entrepreneur (Düsseldorf)

Dominic Kraetz

“Being part of the community, I felt like I get to explore and reflect on my own lifestyle even more than this of other members.”

With a strong international outlook, lead user Dominic is rich in ideas and draws from his passion for both design and the fine arts. With his family, he runs a gluten-free patisserie.

Designer & Art Consultant (Shanghai)

Tianshi Lu

„In the community, we treated each other like a virtual family. There was a spirit of intimate interaction, also with people from other Chinese regions.” 

Tianshi is a traveler between the East Asian and Western cultures and between the digital and analogous spheres. Part of our communities, he is a versed co-creator and conceptual thinker.

Woodworker/Designer (Hudson Valley, USA)

Michael Moran

“What I have enjoyed the most in working on projects for SuD has been the way they frame the research. Many times the questions they ask and the way they approach the subject encourages and stimulates new and critical thought for myself.”

Hand-crafting and with great appreciation for his raw material – wood – Michael Moran has established a new form of woodworking. As a trained anthropologist, it is the story behind every piece of work that fascinates him.

Architect (IT; NOR; GER)

Jakob Tigges

“The STURM und DRANG team are brilliant analysts and clever minds, and they always manage to open up new vistas.”

As an architect, Jakob is an expert for aesthetics and cultural symbolism with a transnational outlook. He supports our semiotic and design research.

Lead Users

Research Communities

We form online research communities to personally interact with consumers and obtain authentic insights into their lives. This “consumer intimacy”, as we call it, arises when community members enter into dialogue with one another, recount experiences and share relevant stories. Consumer insights gained through such intensive community work form the basis for valuable Human Innovation.

Innovation Communities

Innovation communities bring innovative products and services to life. Lead users, opinion makers, and consumer pioneers collaborate with conceptual thinkers and creative innovators from the fields of business and product/service design. Together, they translate the most powerful innovative concepts into concrete and actionable business models, brand stories, user stories, product prototypes, and customer experience strategies.