Imagine that every purchase you make has the power not only to enrich your life, but also to change the life of someone thousands of miles away. That’s the magic of the Urban Change Lab. A platform that connects not just continents, but hearts.
It’s a place where every transaction has a deeper meaning. It’s about relationships, understanding other cultures and celebrating the diversity that makes our world so wonderful
Every product bears the signature of someone with vision and skill. In a world drifting apart, it allows us to build bridges and promote understanding. Join us on this wonderful journey and let’s change the world together, not just with words, but with actions.
The Leadership Team
Jochen is the founder of the Urban Change Lab. He is a serial entrepreneur and consultant with more than 20 years experience. He has an degree in urban planning from the University of Dortmund. Furthermore he in an educated craftsman in electronics. This contributes to a better understanding of the challenges the local artisans working for us face. Jochen is married to a Kenyan medical doctor who brought him closer to Kenyan society.
Victoria is a mechanical engineer from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. She is passionate about green energy and works as an entrepreneur at Urban Change Lab, building her own company for the production of hot water solar collectors Made in Kenya, the Urban Jua Group. Besides her role as Local Operations Manager at Urban Change Lab, Vicky is also a partner in the management team.
The Advisory Board
Archana Golla is a psychoanalyst based in Berlin. Processes around "encounters at eye level", especially in the context of different skin colours, have shaped her work since 2012, mentioned in the publication "From segregation and assimilation to a multicultural society". In the Urban Change Lab, she pays attention to the places where power disparities unconsciously arise from internalised whiteness and internalised serventality. The conscious confrontation with internalised racism can provide the craftsmen and women with negotiating skills, the client with a broader perspective, the team with an emancipatory (learning from mistakes and avoiding them) approach and a step towards a more socially equal world.
Prof. Dr. Michael Benfield
Michael is one of the four co-founders of the International Green Party movement & has a Doctorate in European Environmental Planning & Property Development. Born in Coventry, he ‘grew up on the tools’ as an apprentice carpenter & builder & was educated at Warwick School, Loughborough, Coventry, & Newcastle Universities. As visiting Professor of Civil & Construction Engineering Research with the University of Wales, Newport he promoted environmental ‘eco’ construction issues. He is MD of specialist timber frame engineers, Benfield ATT Group.
Sina works for the German Development Cooperation and is currently stationed in Nigeria, working as an advisor in the area of Good Financial Governance. Prior to that she was with GIZ in Nigeria supporting the Nigerian Government in improving the Business Enabling Environment and supporting Local Economic Development. Like Jochen she holds a degree in Urban Planning and a post graduate degree in international development cooperation from the SLE in Berlin.
Valerie Baumeister is a medical doctor in neurology, educated and practicing in Berlin, Germany. She grew up in Nairobi, Kenya. Driven by the interactions between traders and customers, she understands the benefits of fair trading and the resultant advantages in terms of quality for the customers and the profit for the craftsmen. Her market experience with the arts market in Kenya has helped bring a particular insight into the day to day interaction between customers and craftsmen. She acts as the sounding board to avoid falling into the "Danger of a single story" on a day to day consultancy with Jochen.