Sustainability, Consultation back

A working group for a sustainable music scene

A working group for a sustainable music scene
Photo: © Markus Werner / Matthias Barone

In conversation with Creative City Berlin: Birte Jung and Judith Engelhardt

What sustainability consultancies are there in Berlin? In part 6 of our series "Sustainability Consultancies in Berlin" we talk to Birte Jung and Judith Engelhardt, two of four speakers from the Sustainability Working Group of the Berlin Music Commission, which offers networking and support on sustainability issues for cultural and especially music professionals.

 

BY Jens Thomas       And Anna Raab

 

CCB Magazine:Hello Birte and Judith, how long have you been offering counselling?

Judith Engelhardt:Hello, we, the Sustainability Working Group (ak:n), have been around since 2019. It is part of the Berlin Music Commission (BMC) and was founded in 2019 in cooperation with the Senate of Economics. Our goal is to bring together representatives from the fields of business, events and education in order to root the topic of sustainability in the music industry in the long term.

CCB Magazine:What exactly is your main focus here? And what distinguishes you from other sustainability consultancies in Berlin?

Birte Jung:Our focus is on networking sustainable actors in the music industry and those who want to anchor sustainability measures. At the same time, this distinguishes us from other advisory centres, as our focus is on the music industry. To this end, we arrange contacts, communicate sustainability and climate protection and share our knowledge at conferences, festivals and other formats such as the music conference Most Wanted: Music in Berlin. Our website also provides handouts, tips and good practice examples for a sustainable music and event industry. Because music production, music events and also streaming music have a significant impact on the climate and the environment.

Our goal is to support more players in the music industry to plan and implement their projects in a sustainable and future-proof way

The Sustainability Working Group of the Berlin Music Commission. Photo © Berlin Music Commission.

CCB Magazine:Who is coming to your counselling sessions? Describe a classic scenario please: I am person XY and want to get advice from you: What service do I get?

Judith Engelhardt:An option would be to approach us with a concrete request at one of our regular meetings. For example, you might want to make the arrival and departure of visitors more environmentally friendly. Maybe you regularly organise open-air music events where many visitors arrive by car. You would like to change this. Or you need help setting up sustainable management systems for your event series, tour or venue. Our meetings include various representatives from the music industry, some of whom have similar experiences or have already worked intensively on sustainability measures. Here you will meet like-minded people and sustainability experts. This enables the exchange of experiences and ideas. We act as a network, support each other and complement each other's expertise. For individual advice, contact us by email after the meeting and we will mediate between the participants. Alternatively, you can use information, links to action guides, etc. on our website to help yourself. We are currently expanding our counselling services to make the fields of action more concrete and tangible. Our aim is to help more stakeholders in the music industry to plan and implement their projects in a sustainable and future-proof way.

CCB Magazine:And on which questions can you not provide advice - and to whom do you then refer?

Birte Jung:Our focus lays on holistic consulting with an emphasis on sustainability and transformation in the culture, music and event industry. What we do not do is approach clients directly - unless they have booked us separately for sustainability consulting. We also do not offer energy consulting. In this case, we recommend our clients  Clubtopia and their initiative "Celebrating the Future", an important contact point for a sustainable club and festival culture.

We work on a voluntary basis without funding. Our focus lays on holistic consulting with an emphasis on sustainability and transformation in the culture, music and event industry

CCB Magazine:How often are users allowed to seek counselling from you? Is your counselling service a one-off service and is there a charge?

Judith Engelhardt:You can get advice several times, at peak times about 30 people take part in our sustainability jour fixe. Our advisory services are primarily aimed at internal support, which is free of charge. Anything beyond that is chargeable.

CCB Magazine:On which funds relies your work? And what are your professional and academic backgrounds?

Birte Jung:We are currently working on a voluntary basis without existing funding. Our main goal is to obtain funding. The core of the team consists of four main members: I myself am an experienced sustainability consultant and IHK-certified transformation manager and have been committed to a sustainable music and cultural event future for over ten years, including a climate-friendly Fête de la Musique Berlin. Judith, one of the co-founders of ak:n, has many years of experience in marketing and communication. She currently works as a marketing & communications officer at Velomax Berlin Hallenbetriebs GmbH, where she is the contact person for sustainability issues for the two event and multi-purpose arenas Max-Schmeling-Halle and Velodrom. Mauricio Lizarazo Prada is the third member of the group, an intercultural music producer and activist, and founder of Pachamama Culture (PC), a sustainable project for tour management, live music production and the promotion of artists. Mauricio also created the 'Salon de Baile' and was responsible for the programming and curation of the Latin Alternative floor at the Fusion Festival. And the fourth in the team is Nicole Wuttke, a producer for mass events and lecturer at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences. She is an expert in the field of promoting young talent, sustainable event management and certification processes. With mediapool, Nicole is a founding member of the Berlin Music Commission and ak:n, where she is also a member of the board of trustees and speaker.

CCB Magazine:Do you have any other services or offers for cultural workers and/or creative businesses besides your advisory services?

Birte Jung:We provide a lot of information free of charge. Have a look at our website!

CCB Magazine:To conclude, please complete the following sentence: For us, sustainability is...

Judith Engelhardt:... the most important topic of our times! After all, we are talking about the long-term preservation of our planet, our livelihoods and the well-being of future generations.


Interested in more? Have a look at part 5 of our series on sustainability consulting in Berlin.

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