think moto goes rural–A Workshop-Experience

Paul Krizsan
30 July 2018

The day was here. My first time at think moto’s annual internal Branded Interactions Workshop. The expectations were high: I had already wanted to participate in a similar workshop half a year earlier as part of my studies before joining think moto for a semester. Unfortunately, nothing came of it then, but now the time had finally come.

For two days we were going to leave Berlin. Two days of workshop in the Mecklenburg Lake District with my head between nature and service design.

Friday, morning

Some of the colleagues have taken the workshop several times before, but there always seems to be a new component. It would never be boring, I was told. We pack the cars with plenty of provisions and workshop materials. I pick up conversations of Argentine barbecue and massive chunks of grilled meat. Did I mention that I love barbecue?

We arrive in the early morning. As a country bumpkin from Lower Saxony, I feel right at home in the green lowlands. The birds chirp pleasantly while we unpack, briefly enjoy the sun and set up the workshop.

Friday, noon

After a short snack, things get underway: Marco Spies, strategic partner at think moto and now head of the workshop, explains what the workshop will be about. The twelve participants are divided into three groups and the tasks are distributed. In order to oil our creative gears and gain experience with the Branded Interactions Design process, the task is to develop a new product or service for a specific brand. Of course, the thinking is user-centric, so each group is assigned a specific target group. When the starting signal is given, the three groups spread out across the site. The crackling of a freshly lit fire backdrops an intense brainstorming session.

For a short break, they head to the nearby lake. A colleague has brought fishing equipment and would like to treat us to some fresh catch. While he bobs on the lake with a small boat, the sun shines strongly on the surrounding forest. The scenery is picturesque, Bob Ross could not depict it more peacefully.

Friday, evening

After the short lunch break, the work continues, ideas are considered and discarded. Finally, the groups present their respective current status. Since our main focus is on creative methods, some presentations take on their own forms. Especially the lively role play of a group creates a cheerful atmosphere.

As dusk approaches, it is time to set up dinner. The rumors turned out to be true. Two massive pieces of meat cook on the two grills. In the meantime, vegetable chopping becomes a team-building task. Shish kebabs are created at breakneck speed and the work table would fit just as well in a factory hall of growing industrial nations.

In the late evening, all participants gather around the campfire. We sit relaxed around the fire, faces lit by twitching flames. Stories are told in the warming glow of the fire, while the topics take on an increasingly philosophical nature as time goes on.

Saturday, morning

Saturday morning we awaken gently to the aroma of coffee in the air and the songs of local birds. After a hearty breakfast and a team yoga session, it’s final spurt in the workshop. The groups meet one last time for final set up before it’s time to present the results of the last twenty-four hours.

Although there had already been presentations on interim statuses before, the focus was now for the first time on realizable products and services. All groups surprised with unexpected and very creative approaches.

Saturday, noon

With the official part of the workshop over, it was time to go to the lake once more to relax before most returned to the metropolis of Berlin.

It was the most intensive workshop I had the pleasure to participate in. Besides learning some new methods, I was also able to enjoy deeper insights into the Branded Interactions design process directly from the author. An experience that was definitely worth it.

Fare ye well, I’ll see you soon, forest.