2023 report

Experiencing community. With a change of perspective. The “Thinking Ahead” FORUM.

Christina Schädler takes a moment. Looks at the 130 or so people who are gradually falling silent. The last “Thinking Ahead” BEOS FORUM was five years ago – a time when a lot was going on. That’s why this moment is so precious. She takes a breath, then starts her speech: “We are all part of the BEOSphere…”

Over 130 investors, bank representatives, partners and “BEOSers” made the 5th BEOS “Thinking Ahead” FORUM a unique event.

And looking back, our FORUM has always been what we now call the BEOSphere.

Regardless of the actual space or the venue, it always had a special atmosphere. Enhanced by our willingness to reflect on what drives us. Inspired by speakers who brought in ideas from very different lives and places. Leading on to discussions that broadened everyone’s horizons. And that eventually led to our corporate motto: “Thinking Ahead”.

On 11 May 2023, we again witnessed just how much the BEOS FORUM is part of our DNA. Before Christina Schädler took to the stage, virologist Ijad Madisch reported on the route he had taken in order to bring to life ResearchGate, now the largest social network for researchers. Since this route led him to Bill Gates and so to his main investor, his odyssey was more than worthwhile. Co-founder Vicktoria Klich shared her vision of how “community” can exist on Web 3 and via blockchain. The presentation by Professor Jutta Allmendinger focused on the sociological definition of community, while stress researcher Professor Mazda Adli highlighted the dangers of a community that is “too close” in our cities from a medical perspective.

Shifting from I to we. Mutual exchange is at the heart of every BEOS FORUM.

Inspiring lectures against a historical backdrop: this time the venue was the Malzfabrik in Berlin-Schöneberg.

These comments went to show how differently people can understand and live in communities. Christina Schädler then invited us to look at “community” from a BEOS perspective. This included understanding how real estate forms part of cities; putting the creation of spaces that are nice to live in above purely practical thinking. Communicating on an equal footing with all parties involved – from tenants to investors, lenders and service providers to neighbours. And creating added value through their participation in the process.

But what does the BEOSphere feel like? In a panel discussion, moderator and BEOS Executive Board member Jan Plückhahn gave the floor to people who are already familiar with the BEOSphere and have experienced it from different perspectives: an investor on the one hand, as well as the artists behind the “HOTEL CONTINENTAL” project, who operate a temporary cultural centre for Ukrainian artists in the BEOS new-build district on Elsenstraße in Berlin. Providing space for creative work in an office complex doesn’t just sound like an experiment – it is. The intention is that different worlds can meet there. At our FORUM, this meeting of different cultures fuelled a lively discussion about the importance of social returns versus economic returns. In reality, it works to the benefit of everyone involved. It challenges everybody to think differently. In this way, many individuals combine to form a common “we” – in what we call the BEOSphere.