These were our team highlights in 2022

The year’s real highlights for the CityLAB Berlin team

By Pia Gralki

Humor, summer party, team spirit – these are words that instantly spring to mind as we browse through our team highlights for this year. But let’s take one step further back: we’d like to offer you a somewhat different retrospective on the year, consisting of the most striking insights and images that have stuck with us. What was particularly crucial, fun, formative or insightful – whether an event, a special interaction or collaboration, a project milestone or simply an outstanding team moment? Here we share our team’s answers.

Sarah, Event Manager: “The highlight of my first LAB year was finding myself in a team full of great people where humor is a big part of the equation. I look forward to getting involved in lots more projects in such an exciting context between prototyping and event space and especially to the renaissance of our podcast Radio CityLAB Berlin and the exhibition!”

In our exhibition, we provide insights into ongoing projects of CityLAB and partner groups with interactive exhibits. So book a time slot and a free guided tour for next year!

Lucas, Technology & Prototyping: “I was particularly pleased to be able to work with my team to build the website for the tree-watering scheme Gieß den Kiez and make it really fast. Developing the prototype for the citizen center vocational training department was a lot of fun, too. But most of all I enjoyed the team retreat: spending intense quality time with everyone was really great! Dream team ❤️‍🔥!”

At this year’s Volunteer Days, Berlin’s watering community from Gieß den Kiez came together at our Lab to provide water to trees in Berlin during the particularly hot summer days.
A highlight for the whole Lab: Our team retreat on probably the last warm days of the year in the middle of Brandenburg at the Diversity LAB, which we used for intensive workshop work, but also to relax together.

Niklas, Smart City Project Manager: “My highlight was that after an intense process, the strategy Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin was officially adopted by the Berlin Senate on December 20!”

Anne, Smart City Project Manager: “In terms of the new strategy Gemeinsam Digital: Berlin, I was particularly excited this year to be able to work with the Municipal Committee made of members drawn by lots and also the Administration Forum. A group of people reflecting the diversity of Berlin talked about how digitalization can help develop a city so as to offer quality of life for all residents: great results were achieved in this constructive and appreciative setting. For the coming year, I hope we can use this approach to participation to address a lot more pressing issues in Berlin.”

Katja, Strategic Operations: “I was particularly pleased to be able to start at CityLAB at all after my parental leave. And our team retreat in the depths of Brandenburg established a really great bond between us all, so I look forward every day to working with such a fun team.”

Markus, Project Manager freemove: “Having been a newcomer in April, my entire time with the team since then has been something of a highlight! But if I had to pick out a single moment, it would be the summer party at Tempelhofer Feld: this was where I grasped the sheer scale and importance of the CityLAB project – the intense preparation, the fascinating program, the highly diverse assortment of guests, the setting, and of course the perfect musical finale!

We were a particularly beaming team at this year’s summer party on the former airport grounds of Berlin-Tempelhof, which, with many talks, workshops and party endings, will definitely go down as the most frequently mentioned highlight in 2022. @ Constanze Flamme
View of the stage at our summer party 2022. @ Constanze Flamme

Ben, Director CityLAB Berlin: “When the sun set over the airfield on the evening of our CityLAB summer party, Mouse on Mars started their DJ set and a feeling set in that nothing could really go wrong now. Someone tapped me on the shoulder, put a bottle of beer in my hand, and said “You guys did a great job!”. A big weight came off my shoulders at that moment, and I just spent the rest of the night feeling proud of our team and everything we’ve built together over the last few years.”

The moment when the weight falls off one’s shoulders, cast into a picture: Good vibes at our Summer Party 2022. @ Constanze Flamme

Julia, Project Lead Gieß den Kiez“My absolute highlight? The open, constructive culture of discussion at the QTrees progress meeting! On this day, 15 experts from six organizations met as partners, all dedicated to the same cause – without getting bogged down with bureaucratic hurdles. It was really valuable, and hopefully not the last interaction on the future of the trees in our city.”

Constructive exchange at the QTrees progress meeting at our Lab.

Klemens, Open Data Research Associate: “I was fairly new to the whole issue of open data in February of this year and was immediately impressed by the small but select group of people involved, not only at Technologiestiftung Berlin but especially from the Berlin administration and civil society. Despite adverse circumstances in some cases, the people I’ve had the opportunity to get to know personally are doing everything they can to tap into the benefits of open data for society and to drive forward the change in culture in the administration with the aim of creating greater transparency, participation and co-production between administration and civil society. That’s something I find truly inspiring.”

Ingo, Product Lead: “A quick high-five in the hallway on the way to your next appointment, someone willing to lend an ear over coffee between the kitchen and the workshop, or simply a supportive ‘How can I help?’ – tackling crucial challenges that face Berlin’s administration and urban community together with talented colleagues and sensing an amazing team spirit in spite of some fairly stressful periods – those are things that are absolutely real at CityLAB.”

Anna, Intern CityLAB / ODIS: “The team retreat in the depths of the Brandenburg forest was my 2022 LAB highlight – it was a perfect balance between kung fu and workshop.”

Yannick, Research Associate: “Public innovation and living labs can make cities worldwide fit for the future. My highlight in 2022 was that we were also able to share perspectives and project ideas globally for the first time at the LabCamp networking event on the fringes of the International Smart City Congress in Barcelona. For us at CityLAB, this was a very special opportunity to share the Berlin experience while at the same time learn from others.”

The first international LabCamp networking meeting took place this year at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona.
Einblicke in die Berlin Smart City Night, die wir zusammen mit Berlin Partner ebenfalls in Barcelona hosteten – mit vielen internationalen Gästen und Speaker:innen. @ Carlota Serarols

Edmundo, UX/UI Design: “I’m very lucky to be able to work with so many different and wonderful colleagues on such varied projects – this makes every project a highlight as far as I’m concerned! Thanks to our team, CityLAB has virtually become my second living room! In addition, my highlight this year has been our administrative innovation projects: these allow us to create visions of the future together based on a diverse range of perspectives.”

Tobias, Service Designer: “My absolute highlight was the successful test phase which we ran at the citizen center vocational training department. It’s so nice to see a prototype in action – and it would never have been possible without the great team here at the Lab!”

For more info on our projects and events this year, check out our Annual Review 2022.