Axel works as the Strategy Director at frog design. He was previously Head of Service Design at Allianz Group, Associate Strategic Director at frog design, Vice President of Innovation and Head of the Innovation Lab at Pixelpark (Publicis Groupe).
His thesis Prototyping Innovation: Integrate and Accelerate Change won the "Michael Conrad Outstanding Thesis Award" in 2012. In a nutshell, his thesis describes a human-centered, interdisciplinary process that seeks to create desirable and sustainable changes in behavior and form – of individuals, systems and organizations – often for socially progressive ends.
Theses deliverables could be achieved by exploiting multi-stage, iterative process applied to big, complex issues – often, but not limited to, social issues.
Its practitioners examine problems holistically rather than reductively to understand relationships as well as components to better frame the challenge. They then prototype small-scale systems – composed of objects, services, interactions and experiences – that support people and organizations in achievement of a desired change. Successful prototypes are then scaled. Design, as used by Axel, is about applying contextual skills in non-traditional territories, which often results in non-traditional design outputs; i.e. the creation of new roles, new organizations, new systems and new policies.
"Professional success used to depend on experience, knowledge, and skill. Since recent decades we live in an increasingly uncertain and volatile world where, even the past has become unpredictable. In this new normal, experience and knowledge are less relevant, while the abilities to learn and adapt, to be resilient and to connect with others are ever more crucial. The Berlin School of Creative Leadership helped to live through (it still does) times of strangeness".
Success is not linear but sometimes life does not go according to plan. But somehow we are convinced that forcing square pegs into round holes is how we succeed.
Axel always followed his instinct and intuition to the fullest through some unique and explorative experiences in order to get some hands-on empirical learning, which include living on the streets of Amsterdam, running a punk mail order, co-founding a Fab Lab (fabrication laboratory), and Coworking Space that challenges the future of work. But against all odds, Axel managed to obtain a German Engineering Degree, a Master of Arts and a MBA; all of which channeled into real world contribution where he often invited as Guest Lecturer at architecture, design, engineering and business schools internationally.