that’s me


(c) Kirsten Becken

Originally trained as a designer, I tinker, question, and design on future issues in design, management and organizational development in business, the public sector, and science for 15 years. I’m particularly enthusiastic to connect the dots of research and practice as a consultant, facilitator, and scholar. My research interest is in creative, human-centered design strategies that can provide solutions to complex challenges facing society, such as digital transformation in organizations.

Currently, I advise the Federal Ministry for International Cooperation at the BMZ digilab, experiencing the hurdles of digitizing public administration for GIZ. Involving people as users of services, working collaboratively or explorative is often new to such organizations. With design-led, participatory strategies, the innovation lab proposes a toolbox of methods that enables new approaches to the design of policy and administration.

Before starting to act in the public sector, I gathered professional experience in various institutions such as the foresight department and the digital transformation office of Volkswagen AG, and the University of Applied Science in Schwäbisch Gmünd. As part of my work at Volkswagen AG, I completed my Ph.D. in design management and organizational development at the University of Wuppertal at the chair of design theory. The study has been published at transcript in 2022 in German.

Next to my professional positions, I enjoy sharing my professional work experience in part-time teaching and coaching and work honorarily for various committees: I taught courses on design theory, design management and design research at universities in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, China, Kenya, and India.

Since 2021, I engage as a board member of the German Society for Design Theory and Research, and mentor the German Design Graduates, a platform for promoting young design graduates in Germany. I’m an associate member of the Club of Rome’s Think Tank 30 and a Fellow of the Federal Government’s Competence Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries. In 2014, I initiated design:transfer and built a community to foster the dialogues around the transfer between design research and practice.

I studied design at the Folkwang University of the Arts and graduated with distinction.

For 2024, I’m looking for new challenges, get in touch!