From Reflection to Action: Shaping 2024

Is mid-January too late to wish you a happy and healthy New Year? I do it anyway 🎊🍾🍀, and at the same time, I sincerely apologize for the long break between the last blog article and today's edition 🫣.


One reason is, that I underestimated the pressure that comes with the plan to publish meaningful stuff every second week.

My archive (recently transferred to this beta AI knowledge organizer) is full of notes, screenshots, and links, but it is a hell of work to flip through all that, connecting the dots and knitting a good story out of it. In the last days of December, I reviewed the 2023 blog posts and wondered about a good direction for the future. Of course, following some blogging and social media advice, I know that I need to do a lot more banging on the drum (aka distributing blog content across channels and doing some SEO) and be patient - growing a community is not an overnight thing


This is related to the other obstacle, which is finding the right niche - a challenge that spans my entire professional life.

So I took the time "between the years" to look back on projects and moments that shaped my individual 2023, and also to check streams on a higher level. And I tried to envision the path forward into 2024, for myself and all of us, based on the knowledge and thoughts of a few helpful favorite resources.


Let's look back and forward to the remaining 286 days of this still quite fresh year!


MY takeaways from 2023

I don't know how you feel about all those 'I/We did great work in the last 12 months' posts on Social Media, and dropping impressive project lists might be a good way to build confidence in the marketplace, but I passed on a LinkedIn review this time.
Instead, I searched my mental journal for those aha moments and truly memorable experiences. Here is what I found

  • By facilitating a strategy workshop for Berlin Convention early in 2023, I got in touch once more with the difficult market environment that event agencies need to navigate. It was a pleasure to lead the discussions in the dedicated leadership team of the convention group about the subtle difference between a content concept and an event concept and how to streamline project processes in times of shrinking margins and bold competition. I have done this kind of work several times before, and based on my own agency background, talking to 'event people' always feels a little like coming home ☺️.
  • When shaping the Leadership Summit of the Belgian-based Bekaert Group in spring for the second time, the collaboration with a great team on the corporate side allowed me to play with dramaturgic tools of room set-up, action-learning, and data-backed dilemma group work. Especially the last one is a format I will for sure use more often in the future, as there are a lot of dilemmas for corporate transformations and it is incredibly powerful to acknowledge and share those.
  • During the Joint Venture Strategy Meeting of Borealis and Borouge I was thrilled to use AR technology to showcase an upcoming production structure during a site visit. The technology found its place in marketing, but playing meaningfully with AR in the budget boundaries of smaller internal events was a challenge and I am grateful for the open-minded team of Ari Benz to make it finally happen.
  • Stefan Ruschke invited me to brainstorm around various cross-channel communication projects for DELL Technologies and their AI partners. I enjoyed a lot this kind of eye-level co-creation around podcasts, content hubs and email campaigns, and at the same time gained valuable knowledge of 'the other side' of AI (aka enterprise adoption, and IT architecture).
  • Finally, I entered some bigger and smaller stages as a host and always learned from panelists, interview guests, and audiences. Looking forward to doing more of this in 2024


What's next?

Despite the rising cost of living freelancers like myself (and many friends) were not paid an 'Inflationsausgleichsprämie' as most of the employees in Germany, so first and foremost I hope in 2024 for a lot of facilitation & hosting, creative dramaturgy & concept consulting projects.

But beyond that, and a commitment to myself regarding more continuous blogging (at least once a month, promise!) I will live up to my lifelong learning target and gain insights into three major areas:

  1. As mentioned earlier, the acceleration of sustainability efforts and adequate accompanying communication is a huge task and I am happy to join the forces and upskilled by specific and more general programs in the first half of 2024.
  2. Increasingly feeling the value of systemic thinking I enrolled for the Australia-hosted Shifting Consciousness Summitand a few weeks later for an in-person masterclass on systemic constellation. I am more than excited to grow my inner capabilities to hold space for others in my work with teams and corporations.
  3. With some first requests on facilitating and creating around AI adoption I am currently preparing digital products and new services, hopefully, to be revealed at the end of March, stay tuned!

But now from my small space to the bigger realms.



What to expect - trend streams 2024 and beyond

A colorful visual withe elements shaping the business future
Visual created with DALL-E

From mid-December to mid-January all channels are filled with trend outlooks, and I am happy to share a few that I found valuable:

  • If you are all in for a visually appealing review of global economic issues I recommend The McKinsey annual review.
  • An incredible collection of trend reports for 2023/2024 is provided by cultural strategist Amy Daroukakis, et al., on this Google Drive space (explicitly sharable, I love this approach of joint knowledge!). It features papers from Accenture to Standard&Poors, from Adobe to the FTI, and from Barcardi to YouTube and Netflix. Might be a nice game to feed a large-context-LLM with all those documents and distill common threads - let me know about the results if you do it, I don't find the time right now (see learning plans above...)
  • All those trend terms and statements sometimes read like buzzword bingo, and even trend professionals do not always navigate it easily, as cultural theorist Matt Klein admits in the prologue of his meta trends ZINE. After analyzing 70+ trend forecasts 'it turns out we're better off guessing 50/50 than genuinely attempting to determine if a trend was published in 2018 or 2024'.

Of course, it will be easy to pass this test when it comes to a trend field that we were more or less unaware of in 2018 - or at least the majority of us - Generative Artificial Intelligence.

'ChatGPT' is the economy word of the year 2023 in Germany, by a vote of a jury with entrepreneurs, economy journalists, and scientists. On the second rank 'De-industrialisation', and on the third 'openness for technology' - after 'resilience' in 2023 a clear step to acknowledge the need for moving forward in my opinion, which is clearly needed in my home country (although labeling something 'relevant' doesn't provide a direction, yet...)

Smart phone screenshot with a list of AI questions asked on Google

The AI curiousness also manifests in the globally most asked questions on Google (if we ignore those  around refunds, BMI calculation, and Rhianna's pregnancy).

From my point of view the answers to 'what is ChatGPT,' 'what is AI', 'how does it work', 'how can I use it' and 'is it dangerous' should become common knowledge in 2024, and I am committed to contributing in my private and professional spaces.


Mentioning Google - the 2023 review of Deepmind, Google's own AI think-tank, provides a glimpse of the exponential development within the 'search-and-more' behemoth itself.


10 AI trends in 2024, listed by the German communication industry mag Horizont: AI arrives in everyday life/becomes mainstream, new tools & use cases, Convolutional GenAI (enhancing AI's ability to 'see'), new applications in industries, personal assistants, customer service, revised view on data security and protection, leading to golden days for synthetic data, and finally for Europe ways to deal with the AI act and ethical concerns, aiming for an unbiased, transparent and fair rise of the AI technology.

To my opinion 'becoming mainstream' aka #inclusiveAI, and #ethicalAI are more than trends to observe, they first and foremost bring up tasks for businesses and institutions, to ensure conscious and safe usage of technology.

I would like to close this post by quoting Henry Coutinho-Mason, who did not deliver a trend-year-end round-up but instead focused on asking 52 questions that will help you win in 2024:

“Foresight isn’t about prediction, and it’s more than preparation. It’s a choice.

Instead of predicting and being wrong, more valuable: imagine what you want to see. You can’t be wrong in that.

After all, a good futurist provokes and admits that they don’t have the answer. Manifest. Possibility > Probability.”


Agreed. 2024, here we come.


A composed illustration about AI in future
AI future visualized

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