We like each other anyway

Even though we’re all so different. Which is also why our decentralised work model works so well.
Who works where and when isn’t important to us. What matters is results.

Joana Breidenbach

Joana Breidenbach

has a PhD in cultural anthropology and is the author of numerous books on the cultural effects of globalisation, migration and tourism. Including: Tanz der Kulturen (The Dance of Cultures) (Rowohlt 2000), Maxikulti (Maxiculturalism) (Campus 2008) and Seeing Culture Everywhere (Washington Press 2009). Joana Breidenbach is a cofounder of betterplace.org and the founder of the betterplace lab.

Joana is in charge of marketing, networking and inspiration.

Isabel Gahren

 researches how digital technologies can help enforce human rights. For this purpose, she founded a video platform for human rights and chairs the international blogger network and the NGO Future Challenges. After several editorial years, the organization of  journalism workshops and the management of an initiative of the Internet & Society Collaboratory on Human Rights & Internet she is now managing the editorial  department.

Franziska Kreische

Franziska Kreische

studied peace and conflict studies and wants to find out how digital technologies can promote peace processes. After her masters, she lived for some time in Uganda and worked on development projects. In the lab, she keeps an eye on the team and likes to be involved in the writing of studies and reports.

Franzi is getting our storytelling lab off the ground.


Akram Alfawakheeri

studied IT Engineering and describes himself as technologist with business acumen. Since he moved to Berlin in early 2016, he has actively engaged in the early stage of several initiatives in the ‘Tech for refugees’ scene. Thus, he became a perfect match to work on the project “Digital Routes to Integration” within the lab.

Parallel to his engagement here, Akram works on a project in the commercial ICT sector, and he is also a founding member of
The Humanized Internet.

Ben Mason

 joined the betterplace lab in 2013 and works as a researcher and project lead. He studied philosophy and since joining the lab focus topics have included Big Data and ICT4Agri.

Ben is currently leading the betterplace lab’s work on digital innovation around refugees and migration.


Katja Jäger

holds a degree in Nonprofit Management & Public Governance and Communication Science. While and after studying she was engaged at AIESEC, amongst others in countries of the global south. She likes to ask herself and others the question of social impact and is enthusiastic about Effective Altruism.

Katja is currently working on demokratie.io, an innovation fund aiming to better understand how digitisation and democracy go together in practice.


Stephan Peters

Stephan Peters

studied linguistics and communications. Previously he worked as a copywriter, afterwards at the FU Berlin in the “Languages of Emotion” cluster of excellence as a research assistant and was employed as a lecturer at the TU Berlin. In 2013, he came to betterplace.org to bolster the marketing; in 2015 he switched over to the betterplace lab.

Stephan excites the world from the betterplace lab.

Carolin Silbernagl

loves digital-social innovation, something she has been fully devoting herself to during the past five years as a co-founder and CEO of the social startup dotHIV. Before that, she has worked as scientific staff and project manager in classic philanthropy. Carolin not only contributes founders’ spirit but also brings lots of experience in non-profit management and impact-oriented strategy to the lab, as well as economic and civil society networks.

Carolin is taking the lab out there and keeps an eye on the budget.


Lavinia Schwedersky

has a degree in development and conflict studies. After her masters she worked at BMZ on human rights in development projects. Prior to joining the lab in November 2016, she worked for clarat, an online directory for support services available to refugees. She is currently working on the project “Digital Routes to Integration”.

Angela Ullrich

has a PhD in economics and is interested primarily in the economy of the non-profit sector. She is currently working freelance as a university lecturer and analyst. For the betterplace lab she analyses the German philanthropy market, supports the NGO-Meter Team and publishes studies and reports.

Angela knows the figures, all of them: Spendenmarkt, NGO-Meter.

Kathleen Ziemann

Kathleen Ziemann

is a cultural studies and communications academic. As a student and then lecturer at the Viadrina European University she carried out research on how digital communication influences language and identity, and taught on the topic of computer-based interview analysis. She is enthusiastic about all forms of social media communication – for example about minority languages on Facebook.

Kathleen is drafting our next labtogether.