Economic impetus in 2024

In 2024, we will continue our series of seminars under the title "WIRtschafts-Impulse". In the online workshops, we want to shed light on exciting topics, tools and systemic approaches that promote the WE in business. WIRtschafts-Impulse is aimed at anyone who wants to help shape change in the world of work. 90 minutes via Zoom.

The topics

Balance between structure and creative chaos // Let’s talk about money // Appreciative feedback // Making decisions – appreciative and effective // Burning without burning out

16:00 – 17:30
A healthy feedback culture is the key to a learning organization that wants to recognize mistakes early on and draw the right keys from them. How can this work? What ingredients are needed for appreciative cooperation in a performance-oriented world?

16:00 – 17:30
Recent surveys show that many people are dissatisfied with their jobs and plan to look for a new job in the next twelve months. The reasons given for this are: Burnout, dissatisfaction and lack of flexibility. How can I burn for my work without burning out? How do I find satisfaction at work? These are the questions we want to explore here.

Other impulse topics
(dates to follow)

* Making decisions - appreciatively and effectively
Making decisions in groups is often perceived as laborious. How do we decide as a group? Are there „losers“ and „winners“ or „alibi decisions“? We have made very good experiences with a method from the environment of sociocracy, and would like to share them with you.

* Balance between structure and creative chaos
Which organizational & communication structures suit us or me? "Older" organizations often struggle with (too) much grown structure, "young" growing organizations want to find a suitable balance between chaos and "over-structuring".

* Let’s talk about money
Earning money per se is not a bad thing! But how we handle money in our organization says a lot about our work culture and values. Who decides what? What is my responsibility? When money is everyone's business, it can become a tool to shape the organization we want to be tomorrow.

Balance menu - the menu to the WIRtschafts-Impuls #1

With the theme "Balance between structure and chaos" we started our WIRtschafts-Impuls series. For this we have created a BALANCE MENU. Take a look and enjoy it!

We look forward to the next impulses with you!

Do you feel like contributing to a fairer ECONOMY? Then this is the right "menu" for you!
Just print it out and pick the right recipe, oooooooor GIVE IT AWAY!
Feel free to report your experience, or your recipe idea.
Have fun with re-cooking and giving away!

"There are no signposts at life's crossroads".

We are worried about our future, according to the new consumer climate index published by the Nuremberg-based research company GfK. No wonder. We are slipping from one crisis to the next. First the corona virus pushed the climate crisis out of the headlines, and now the war in Ukraine has in turn pushed corona into the background. We are at a crossroads right now and wish we had a signpost but as Charly Chaplin once aptly put it, there are no road signs on the way to the unknown. But one thing seems clear: If we take our future seriously, we need to change the direction of our economic system. But for this to happen, I am convinced, we must be able to let go of our fear that the necessary changes will turn us into losers:inside this system. Only then can we enter into a positive connection with this possible new economy and be ready to help shape it. To do this, I think we first need to rethink what prosperity actually means to us.

Our expectations regarding the economic outlook and the development of our income have reached a historic low, according to the GFK study in April. We are afraid for our prosperity. At the height of the Corona crisis in October 2020, a survey by the statista portal asked us what we want. According to the survey, we wish above all for less selfishness, more helpfulness and a reduction in social differences in the future. In addition, around half of the respondents expressed a wish for money and materialism to be given less importance. If that's the case, why do we measure the weal and woe of our society by things like the consumer climate?

We need a new image of prosperity
I think we are desperately clinging to an image of prosperity that links our well-being to the development of our material wealth. Probably we simply lack the belief in an alternative to finally let go of this old image. Yet most of us have long been aware of how destructive our model of life is for people and the environment. What could this new image of prosperity look like? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. But do we just want to carry on like this, just because the new picture still seems blurry to us?
I have lived in Peru for the last three years. A large part of the people there dream of living a life like an average German. What does that actually mean? Here are two examples: We own 573 cars per 1000 inhabitants in Germany, in Peru it is 35 cars, in Ethiopia even 0.92. We own 603 computers per 1000 inhabitants in Germany, in Peru it is 61, in Ethiopia even only 6. About half of the world's population dreams of living like us. What they mean by that is more living space, having their own car, etc.. How can we blame them? For me it is clear, it needs a credible rethinking and redirection here in our country to shape a new image that does not create so much injustice today and for future generations. Only if we change credibly, there is a chance that we do not further accelerate the global crisis with every person who comes to prosperity. How can we call something WELL-being, if at the same time our well-being causes so much unwellness in people and nature as a consequence?
Some ingredients for sustainable prosperity seem clear to me. Instead of measuring material prosperity in terms of possessions, we could measure it in terms of the availability of the things we need. Couldn't it be enough for our happiness and sense of security if we can use things when we need them? In the case of books or clothing, sharing or exchanging things is already quite successful in some cases. But the possibilities of sharing are certainly far from exhausted. A second ingredient could be cooperation instead of competition. In such a mindset, we no longer feel lonely when we think about our future. We learn to trust that we are not solely responsible for our happiness. In order to walk a new, sustainable path, we need the courage to practice new patterns of action as our new "normal". Sure, we will fail sometimes, but that's okay. We also learn from it. Hardly anyone lives a perfect life. Being imperfect means being human!
With our "WIR wie Wirtschaft" project, we want to collect such good examples in the form of recipes and invite people to try out these recipes together, discuss them and keep improving them. In doing so, we want to show: We are all jointly responsible in this economy and we can change something, even if it may only be small things.
The global gap between rich and poor continues to grow. More of the same will only lead us faster to the abyss, socially, ecologically, economically. Rethinking ownership and consumption are central building blocks of a prosperity that creates the future. We can all become part of a movement that rethinks prosperity and the economy, globally, cooperatively, inclusively and fairly.
We look forward to many fellow cooks in our recipe kitchen for an economy that allows new values to grow: #Health, #Nature, #Satisfaction and #Justice ... and the #WIR that really thinks along with everyone.


Author: Frank Braun,


Wandel-Menü - the WIRtschaft as a guest of sneep e.V.

In June we were part of the conference of the student network sneep e.V. - student network for ethics in economics and practice. For this we created a CHANGE MENU!!! Have a look and enjoy it!

In addition, some great new recipes were created at this meeting. You can find them in our recipe collection.

Do you feel like contributing to a fairer ECONOMY? Then this is the right "menu" for you!
Just print it out and pick the right recipe, oooooooor GIVE IT AWAY!
Feel free to report your experience, or your recipe idea!
Have fun with re-cooking and giving away!

Press release: February 20 is World Social Justice Day and the birthday of ECONOMY

February 20 is the United Nations International Social Justice Day. Putting this day in the spotlight is more necessary than ever: the wealth of the 10 richest people in the world has doubled since the beginning of the pandemic. Along the way, economic inequality reduced the income of 99 % of the world's population over the same period, pushing more than 160 million people into poverty. This is according to Oxfam International's recently released "Inequality kills" report. Inequality kills because inequality contributes to the death of at least one person every four seconds.



The Fair Mouse - an example of why transparency in global supply chains is urgently needed

The prices we pay for products at the checkouts of supermarkets and online stores lie. The ecological and social costs of overexploitation of people and nature, as is still the case today in the mines, factories and fields of Peru, are outsourced and are not reflected in the prices of the products. The supply chain law recently passed in Germany is intended to remedy this situation. But what are the consequences of the law for people and nature, and why is it so difficult to implement? Using the example of a simple computer mouse, I would like to give you an understanding of the complexity of the issue.
It is actually absurd that in the 21st century it is still necessary to enact a law to protect people against exploitation in the workplace. However, it reflects the sad reality that the observance of human rights is far from being a matter of course in many countries. This is also the case in Peru, where I currently live. Here are just a few examples of this dark side of the economy: Chinese and Western companies are mining copper, silver and gold in Peru. Poisoned water, displacement of people from their homes and inhumane working conditions are only 3 of the consequences for the people who live here. Most of the profits from the raw materials business flow abroad, while the environmental and social costs remain in the country and are socialized. Mining communities such as La Oraya in Peru, which has now been abandoned by the operating companies, are the losers of this system. Today, no one wants to live here anymore, because years of mining have contaminated the soil and water with heavy metals such as sulfur dioxide, lead and arsenic. The mining town of La Oraya, located in the Andes, was listed by Time magazine as one of the most polluted places in the world. About 35,000 people, Time estimates, have been directly affected by years of destruction. Lead is the pollutant that arguably causes the most damage because the effects on children can be so devastating. Here, 99 % of children have blood levels that exceed acceptable limits. The average lead level was three times the WHO limit, according to a 1999 study. Even years after the smelters close, spent lead will remain in the soil of La Oroya for centuries – and there is currently no plan to clean it up. And all this so that we can get cheap metals out of the ground, necessary for the production of a computer mouse, for example.
A step in the right direction with need for improvement
The "Law on Corporate Due Diligence in Supply Chains", as the law is officially called, is intended to ensure that stories like La Oroy's are a thing of the past. The law will come into force in 2023 and will initially cover companies with 3,000 or more employees, and from 2024 companies with 1,000 or more employees. From now on, these companies must identify risks of human rights violations and environmental destruction at direct suppliers and, if necessary, also at indirect suppliers, take countermeasures and document these to the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA).
The complexity of a transparent supply chain, even for a simple product like a computer mouse, is demonstrated by the Fair Mouse project, which has since given rise to the Nager IT association. The starting point of the project was the desire to create a 100%ig transparent supply chain using the example of the computer mouse and to produce a mouse that is manufactured without any exploitation in the entire production process. The association is approaching this goal step by step, according to the motto Fairest → Fairer → Fair. At Nager IT, fair means that production takes place without violating human rights and without exploitation (see ILO labor standards). The following graphic shows how difficult this is. Green means, the association has reached its goal. Yellow means that the suppliers are known but it is not clear under which conditions production took place, red means that it has not yet been possible to obtain further information.

The following graphic shows the entire supply chain.

You see, despite years of research, there are still plenty of blind spots in the supply chain. And this is "just" a computer mouse.
It is time for exploitation to become a thing of the past. Germany has committed itself to respecting human rights and to implementing the SDGs (17 sustainable development goals) by 2030. Unfortunately, here too, words are followed far too slowly by deeds. In order to get closer to these goals, transparency and awareness of the problem are needed first. This should be mandatory for all companies. It is not acceptable to shift this responsibility onto the customers. For example, screw manufacturers would then have to ensure the working conditions for their raw materials. The manufacturer of switches would have to ensure the same for his components, and so on. Unfortunately, this is still a long way off and fairness is still the exception, not the rule. But fortunately, there are now pioneering companies in most industries, such as the Fair Mouse producers. Until this has become the norm, we have to vote with our wallets for products that have been produced sustainably and fairly.


Author: Frank Braun,


Social Permaculture - so that ecology and justice bear fruit

As nature lovers, you probably know the term permaculture from your garden. There, it is certainly self-evident to you that diversity is an important building block for a thriving garden. But permaculture is an approach that can be applied to all areas of life. It takes the following ethical principles into consideration: Care for the Earth, Care for People, and Care for the Future - this third ethic is often referred to as "fair share." Sharing surpluses and reducing consumption. Permaculture takes nature as its model.Patrick Whitefield, author of The Earthcare Manual, called permaculture "the art of designing beneficial relationships." Here, plants in the garden are not considered in isolation, but in terms of how they affect each other, how they interact, how we can get a diverse yield from each element. Much can be learned from this also for our interactions at home and at work.

How does change happen? How can we create a healthy breeding ground for the much-vaunted sustainable development at all levels, especially in the workplace? How can we develop the skills to make the long overdue change in our lives a success? In my opinion, the key to this is our culture, how we deal with each other. In the ECONOMY we want, respect, tolerance, diversity and openness prevail. In this context, this could mean shaping our organization in such a way that transparency, permeability and co-determination are natural components of our daily interaction, and that our vision and values also reflect this. That, for example, failure is just as much a part of daily life as success. Social permaculture and sociocracy can create a healthy soil culture in organizations, on which motivation and joy of work can grow again. 
The essential insight of social permaculture is that while it is difficult to change the individual, we can create social structures that foster beneficial patterns of human behavior. We can seek to create conditions in our environment that foster nurturing, empowering relationships. 

The relationships between plants, insects, soil, water and microorganisms, complex as they may be, are relatively simple to manage. We are far more complicated beings in their web of relationships. Each:r of us has individual needs and goals. Our needs and goals often collide with each other, power structures get in the way of finding solutions more than they help us, and we often do not have the resources we need to resolve conflicts. This is even more complex in the professional context, where in addition to the relationship level, the dimensions of income, power realization and career thinking, etc., also have an impact on everyone's behavior. In most cases, we have internalized competition and self-interest as key drivers. These systems affect us deeply, often unconsciously, no matter how much we regret them and fight against them. But constant cost and optimization pressures also have a destructive effect on organizations and the people working in the system. This is particularly noticeable among people in nursing, hospitals and social work, where the intrinsic benefit is often matched by little economic value, and so the actual goal of the work, to see people as a whole, to work with head, heart and hand, is lost sight of. This leads to a loss of identification with one's own work, loss of motivation, and, in the worst case, to "inner resignation" or even burnout.

According to Diana Leafe Christian, author of the book, Creating a Life Together, 90 percent of intentional communities – fail in large part because of conflict. This statistic represents a tremendous amount of shattered dreams, personal pain and wasted resources. This is likely true for NGO's and companies alike.

But there is another way! With the help of social permaculture, it is possible to create a cultural breeding ground in organizations that promotes creativity, solution orientation and a sense of community in the entrepreneurial actions of employees. In this way, a cultural framework can be created in which co-responsibility and cooperation of all are the basic elements of togetherness. In this way, appreciation of diversity could lead us to value our differences instead of letting them separate us. Wouldn't it be much more pleasant for everyone to work together instead of against each other and thus deepen rifts? It is important not to lose interest in each other, to listen to each other and to understand where the roots of each other's fears and concerns are. These are not always rational. All this does not create a common agenda for possible solutions, but it helps to see things through each other's eyes and to build bridges on which we can meet again. We could all be such bridge builders. This thought makes me feel very Christmassy.


Author: Frank Braun,

WIRtschaft-Stammtisch 1

Regulars table #2

Of course, a real WIRtschaft also includes a regulars' table.
The second WIRtschafts-Stammtisch takes place on Tuesday 28 September from 18:30 to 20:00. A warm invitation to this! We look forward to seeing and hearing from many of you. We meet online here via fairmeeting.

What happens at the WIRtschafts-Stammtisch
Once again, we want to exchange views on ECONOMIC topics and make plans together. Save the date - we will inform you about the exact program shortly before.

Happy to have a regular drink and vesper on hand 🙂
We would be pleased to receive feedback on who will be attending. Spontaneous regulars are also welcome. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU!!!