In recent years, I have co-founded two companies that stand for innovation in quality journalism. RiffReporter eG creates a new, cooperative infrastructure that allows freelance journalists to offer their work directly to the public on a shared publishing platform and sell it to editorial offices via a digital “marketplace”. RiffReporter helps journalists get booked for live formats and makes it possible to apply for grants together. I also co-founded the non-profit Riff freie Medien gGmbH, which promotes investigations, quality assurance and education in journalism in cooperation with foundations and with the help of donations. In doing so, I gained valuable experience in founding, fundraising, management and the nonprofit sector. With the RiffReporter team, I have received the Netzwende Award (2017), the Science Journalist of the Year Award (2017, with Tanja Krämer), the Grimme Online Award (2018) and the UmweltMedienpreis (2021).
With my work as a journalist, I want to help my readers form their own picture of the world. They should get reliable information from me, in-depth research on topics that don’t jump out at you from the headlines anyway, lively descriptions and, above all, an overview of what current events mean in the “big picture”. In doing so, I follow the strict code of the RiffReporter, which I drafted myself. My articles appear, for example, in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, GEO/PM and RiffReporter as well as Yale E360 – and gladly in other quality media. Between 1997 and 2012, I worked as a correspondent for the Berliner Zeitung, the FAZ and Der Spiegel. I have received several awards for my contributions, most recently the Otto Brenner Prize for critical journalism (2nd place with Joachim Budde). My range of topics includes politics, science, environment, technology and sustainable travel.
For many years I have been invited to give talks, workshops and participate in panels. I enjoy contributing to the success of events, such as in the past at the Royal Institution in London, at the Steirischer Herbst in Graz, and at universities and libraries in several countries. I also enjoy participating in webinars and online events. My topics include Anthropocene, energy, climate, biodiversity, digitization, science, and the future of democracy and media. I also offer nature excursions at selected locations. Feel free to contact me.
In my work as a journalist, I haIn my book “Anthropocene” I was one of the first book authors worldwide to present, explore and interpret this epochal idea. The book was published by Riemann-Verlag in 2010 and was presented to the public at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin by the then head of the UN Environment Program, Achim Steiner. It has since also been published in French and English. The book brought me into close contact with Paul Crutzen, the Nobel laureate in chemistry who coined the term “Anthropocene.” The book gave rise to the “Anthropocene Project” at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and a special exhibition at the Deutsches Museum, both of which I helped to organize. A formal scientific recognition of the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch is to be expected.
Digital technologies now dominate our everyday lives – from smartphones and social media to Alexa and AI. In my third book, “The Analog Revolution,” I explore how these technologies will change society – and conversely, how societies can shape digital technologies. Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter or the spread of disinformation on Facebook and TicToc are only the surface of what is at stake. In “The Analog Revolution,” I contrast a negative and a positive development path in four fictional scenarios and detailed analyses. We still have a choice, we do not yet live in a repressive digital “singularity”..
What new kinds of conflicts are looming in the 21st century? The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has surprised many people. The fact that our times are characterized by enormous tensions and that new risks of war are emerging was the starting point for this book project for political journalist Andreas Rinke and me back in 2011. In “11 Looming Wars,” we describe what makes conflicts over territory, resources, food and technologies more likely and what they might look like. Unfortunately, some of our scenarios have since already come true in a similar form. The book offers a behind-the-scenes look at what is happening on a daily basis.