The Urban Change Lab is an incubator for ideas to change perspectives; Perspectives from people, customers and companies and ideas for custom made products and ideas to start a business. We offer several services from the very concrete realization of your idea for a handcrafted product to the realization of your business idea via consulting and coaching. All in the context of global change and the focus of changing relations between Africa and Europe.
One of our key services is to help you to precisely realize your practical ideas for hand-crafted items. Your concept will be crafted by an artisan in Africa (e.g. Kenya, Ghana or Nigeria).
Watch our presentation at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany
If you like, you can establish contact with your artisan in the process. A positive side-effect of this: not only do you receive a beautiful product, you also contribute directly to economic development in Africa. Furthermore, your concept will contribute to the local inspiration, and ideally be attractive to other customers, who may buy the product you developed. In this way, your idea could become the basic livelihood of a family, for example in Kenya.
The Urban Change Lab wants to make the world a little bit better. It is our aim to turn good ideas into reality. We would like to be a place for inspiration; Inspiration for good products, as well as good business models. If you want to contact us, don’t hesitate.
The Urban Change Lab has deliberately been set up as a for-profit venture. We don’t only want to do good; we want to earn money fairly and transparently while we’re at it.
The Urban Change Lab was founded as an incubator based on the Lean StartUp Principle for fresh business models. It is our purpose to develop sustainable business models and to launch them into the market. Aside from our primary service, ‘Your idea for a more beautiful world‘, we also have further projects on the market.
Local Operations Partner
Archana Golla (Berlin, Germany)
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.
Archana’s Profil at ResearchGate
Prof. Dr. Michael Benfield (Monmouthshire, Wales)
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.
Dipl.-Ing. Sina Uti-Waziri (Abuja, Nigeria)
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 (Medical doctor, 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.
Founder & Managing Partner
Dipl.-Ing. Jochen Baumeister (Berlin, Germany)
Jochen 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.