Activating Space & Network :: Aktivieren Raum & Netzwerk :: Sa 05.04

(deutsch weiter unten…)

Dear Baumhaus friends, collaborators and supporters network,

Spring is here and our tree is the first to blossom!  We have been keeping quite busy organizing the many aspects of funding and building the Baumhaus.  So in the spirit of continued growth, we would like to extend another invitation to those of you who would like to actively participate in or support our upcoming activities.  As usual we have several ways that we invite you to participate in the evolution of the Baumhaus.

17-19h Meet in Baumhaus space VH Eg to rearrange things & ideas in the space – We will be moving donated wood around to make some simple seating installations so we can start to use the space before the real construction starts.  We will also have paper up on the walls to get your ideas on what you would like to do with the raw space before we start building later this summer. [bring a pair of gloves]

19-21h Cook together and eat upstairs at Baumhaus Planning HQ - Around 18:30 we will assemble a team to go across the street to the grocery store to shop for dinner and drinks.  We will spend this time cooking together and getting to know each other better.

21-21:30h Brief update of the project status – We will give you an insiders view of what we’ve accomplished in the last month and what our upcoming milestones are.

21:30-22:30h Identifying opportunities to participate – An interactive forum to find out what your interests are and how you might like to participate from designing and building parts of the space to developing ongoing and future event programming.  ( We will be signing pre-contracts with our collaborative partners during the next 6 weeks! )

22:30-late Networking & Chilling…

Info & Rsvp here to let us know when you would like to stop by


Your Baumhaus Team



Liebe Baumhaus-Freunde,

der Frühling ist da und unser zartes Projekt-Pflänzchen ist das erste, das blüht! In der letzten Zeit haben wir uns fleißig der Finanzierung und dem Bauvorhaben des Baumhauses gewidmet. Die Planungen schreiten stetig voran: Das Baumhaus wächst und wächst. Damit unser Unterstützerkreis ähnlich gedeiht, möchten wir zu einem weiteren Aktions-Tag einladen. Die Einladung richtet sich an alle, die unsere kommenden Aktivitäten unterstützen oder aktiv daran teilhaben möchten. Wie immer gibt es viele verschiedene Möglichkeiten, wie ihr ein Teil des Evolutionsprozesses des Baumhauses werden könnt.

17 – 19 Uhr: Umbaumaßnahmen im Baumhaus (VH, EG). Wir wollen das gespendete Holz zu einfachen Sitzgelegenheiten umfunktionieren (bringt Arbeitshandschuhe mit!). So kann der Raum schon genutzt werden, noch bevor der eigentliche Bauprozess begonnen hat. Habt ihr weitere Ideen, wie man den freien Raum sinnvoll nutzen kann, bevor es im Spätsommer in die heiße Bauphase geht? An den Wänden werden wir Plakate aufhängen, auf denen ihr eure Ideen und Vorschläge festhalten könnt. [ Handschuhe ]

19 – 21 Uhr: Gemeinsames Kochen und Essen im Baumhaus-Headquarter. Bereits gegen 18:30 werden einige von uns losziehen, um Getränke und Essen einzukaufen. Anschließend wollen wir zusammen kochen, in großer Runde zu Abend essen und uns so besser kennenlernen.

21 – 21:30: Kurzes Update: Wo steht das Projekt jetzt? Aus erster Hand werdet ihr erfahren, was wir im vergangenen Monat erreicht haben und was uns noch bevorsteht.

21:30 – 22:30: Mitmachmöglichkeiten. In einem interaktiven Gesprächsforum erfahrt ihr, was eure Interessen sind und wie ihr euch in das Projekt einbringen könnt. Ob künstlerische Inspiration für das Design, praktische Hilfe beim Baumhaus-Bau oder Planung zukünftiger Events (Innerhalb der nächsten sechs Wochen werden wir erste Vorverträge mit zukünftigen Partnern schließen!): Die Möglichkeiten sind unbegrenzt.

22:30 – Open end. Networking & Chilling bis in den späten Abend…

Lasst uns wissen, wann ihr vorbeikommen wollt. Bei Fragen dürft ihr euch selbstverständlich gerne an uns wenden.


Euer Baumhaus-Team

A great day moving recycled materials into the Baumhaus


We were so happy to have the nice folks from the Living Equia energy efficient house donate enough wood for us to start building the multifunctional room and the toilet rooms in the cellar: thanks again guys!

Also big thanks to everyone who showed up to help pick up the wood and unload it. We completed the whole task in just under 5 hours including picking up and dropping off the truck… with no injuries or accidents!

Afterwards, everyone cooked and hung out for a nice networking evening.

Thanks to our intern Kyuri Chang for the great documentation photos!


Heldenrat workshop on how to effectively use social media

On Weds 19.02.2014, Anna Rösch and Martin Spalek from Berlin Heldenrat organized a workshop by Sascha Dinse “how to effectively use social media” for beginners and intermediate users exploring such platforms such as facebook, twitter, pinterest and many others.

Hedenrat is a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving advice to various organizations and individuals who are engaged in social projects.  In their own words: “Wir sind Berufstätige mit Erfahrung u.a. in den Bereichen Beratung, Projektmanagement, Strategieentwicklung, Qualitätswesen, Veränderungsmanagement, Personalentwicklung, CSR, Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, Forschung, Coaching und Moderation. Bei Heldenrat engagieren wir uns ehrenamtlich.”

About 27 people from various organizations attended the workshop which went from 6 to 9pm.  The were 2 lecture sections and 2 working session that everyone seemed to enjoy.  It was nice to hear some new perspectives from novices and also contribute our experiences with the Baumhaus community building and informing project.

Designing the Baumhaus Underworld :: Design Session and Social Networking Event :: Fr 21.02

This evening we will be exploring the design options for creating a cozy underworld in the cellar of das Baumhaus.  This is where the toilet rooms and gallery hallway installations will be.

The general concept so far is to create the experience of traveling through the tunnel underneath the tree house and be delivered to 2 portals that open into fantastic worlds, each with their own unique character…

We will walk downstairs and visit the space, go back upstairs to work and later enjoy a nice soiree in a groovy lounge atmosphere.

Schedule and location info for those who would like to participate :: here!

Results & photos from our last open design session :: here!

The next opportunity to help :: Sa 22.02 :: Getting Free Wood for The Baumhaus!


The Living EQUIA Solar House project is donating a bunch of wood that we can pick up on Saturday 22.02. We would like to get 16 people to help us move the wood, 8 at the pick up site @ 12 noon and 8 at the Baumhaus @ 14:30. After we are done we will have a nice meal and hang out together upstairs at Baumhaus HQ.

Just click here to sign up on the help list we set up, fill in your name and select any of the options where you would like to participate. No registration required.  If your plans change, simply go back to the list and unselect.

location addresses & maps
Equia  - Wilhelminenhofstraße 75A
Baumhaus – Gerichtstr. 23 VH EG

plan your transportation here

questions:  THANKS!

Reflections & pics :: Sustainability Drinks

I did not do an official count but I would guess there were at least 90-100 people who made it out on Friday Feb 7 to the first Sustainability Drinks event at betahaus.  I was feeling pretty excited about giving my talk on “Broad Spectrum Sustainability” but the audience was a looking a bit tired after they had just sat through an hour of introductions and the first presentation.  So I decided to take a chance and do an experimental interactive warm up exercise where I quickly divided the audience onto 3 groups and got each group to sing part of a groovy loop.  People warmed up to it quite quickly and it proved to be a humorous interaction for everyone in the room.  At this point I gained most everyone’s enthusiastic attention and an atmosphere of good will and fun filled the room.

My goal was to get people to think more broadly about the concept of sustainable development by stepping beyond the typical perspectives of ecologic and economic frameworks to also consider aesthetic, personal, social and cultural perspectives of sustainability.  This portion of the talk focussed on an understanding of the idea that sustainability = the ability of a system to maintain balance, and how that could be interpreted considering all six perspectives.

Later the talk evolved towards showing how these perspectives on sustainability were used to develop the Baumhaus concept, it’s design and event programming as a “platform for broad spectrum sustainability”.  I included part of the video from of our 3-d fly through as part of the power point slide show that the audience seemed to enjoy.

During the fly through I told people that the Baumhaus is a project to build a public space in the form of an indoor tree house in the Wedding district of Berlin as a platform for collaborative sustainable development.  I spoke a bit about one of the fundamental ideas behind the Baumhaus project: utilizing the transformative super powers of aesthetics, art & design as functional tools to create an environment dedicated to the idea of inspiring people to come together and engage with each other in meaningful ways.

The last part of my talk focussed on giving an example of a how I used a flexible contextual framework called, “The Inner Commons,” that I am developing to explore my own sense of personal sustainability.  The looks on people’s faces were great; I definitely sparked some curiosity, confusion and even started cultivating a few new collaborations…

At the end of my talk I made the big announcement that the Baumhaus has a new partnership with the Thomas Mampel & .garage, a well respected business coaching institute here in Berlin.  The .garage and Baumhaus are now going to be jointly developing a hybrid program for developing and coaching social start-ups with broad spectrum sustainability perspectives.  As part of our partnership the .garage has offered to fund significant part of Baumhaus overhead costs during our design and building phase.

We are really happy to have Thomas Mampel and the .garage as partners along with many of you in our common quest to use frameworks of sustainability as tools to develop more humanely balanced communities and businesses.



p.s. [it might take a bit of editing but I will eventually put parts of my presentation online]

All photos – Andrew James

Things Are Warming Up…

… in the Baumhaus space…  Yesterday morning the heater got installed, yes!  It looks like it may take a few more days until the gas line is hooked up and we can begin to work in a warmer space…

Also yesterday we had another meeting with Thomas Mampel at the Stadtteilzentrum Steglitz e.V. and it went very well.  We will be making some big announcements about the results of our meeting at the first ‘Sustainability Drinks Berlin‘ event on 7.2. which will take place at Betahaus starting at 19.30h.  Scott will be giving a presentation on the topic of “Engaging in Broad Spectrum Sustainability”.  The event is being organized as a regular monthly social and professional networking gathering for people who are curious about or interested in engaging in sustainable development in Berlin and is organized by Dr. Marco Blumendorf and Florian Weingarten.  The event is free to attend after you register for a free ticket.  We hope to see you there and we promise it will be an informative, entertaining and inspiring evening!  You can also spread the word via the Sustainability Drinks facebook event page.

One Step Closer on a Slippery Day!

Yesterday we had our final bank meeting with the Berliner Volksbank.  This was our best chance to get the Baumhaus project financed…

Before we left in the morning we were debating whether to take the train or a taxi because we were bringing along one of the actual (and heavy) glass panels made by Isaac Abrams as an example of the high quality art work to be installed.  It turned out to be a good thing because there was plenty of slippery ice all over.

Hergen Wobken from the IFSE accompanied us there to back up our solid business plan presentation with the experienced voice of a seasoned banker.   Many thanks to Hergen for all of his great advice and support.

We had a very nice meeting with Manja Paczoska and another of her colleagues for 1 hour and 11 minutes… our lucky number!  We went into granular depth about how the Baumhaus will operate as a social business and how we plan to manage the building process as well as the running of the space as a platform for people who want to be active in making the world a better place.  We answered all of their questions thoroughly and backed everything up with documentation from our 160 business plan and some extra summary documents we put together over the weekend.

The good news is that the Berliner Volksbank really liked our concept and want to give us the loan!  However, we still have to see if the Bürgschaftsbank and IBB will offer to guarantee the loan, keep your fingers crossed!  We are one big and important step closer to getting funded.

Afterwards, we had a meeting at the .garage, an start-up coaching center in Steglitz where we have been working with the great coaches like Daniela Koch and Stefanie Rätker to help us develop our business plan over the last 14 months.  We met with Sven Dönni (Projektleitung) and Thomas Mampel (Geschäftsführer) to discuss some possible collaboration to develop a new social business initiative…  It was a good day.