By Christian Thiel, Business Development Manager, Germany
In order to inform LSE alumni in Germany about LSE Enterprise and our plans for Germany I participated in the annual meeting of the German Friends of the LSE, the German alumni association, which took place last weekend in Tübingen. The meeting started with a tour of the traditional university town located approximately 30 kilometres south of Stuttgart, a region that not only houses Mercedes and Porsche, but also many SMEs and therefore is a European powerhouse in terms of economic strength, competitiveness and R&D spending.
Unfortunately, I arrived late due to the sudden start of winter weather. Snowy rain accompanied my train travel from Berlin, where our new LSE Enterprise office is located. However, after arrival I used the remaining time between the afternoon activities and the evening programme to explore the town on my own, leading to the conclusion that I definitely do not agree with Goethe who according to a diary entry from 7 September 1797 was not a big fan of the town. Residents apparently responded to his views at a later stage by putting up a sign next to the house where he stayed during his visit reading ‘Goethe vomited here’, which is still up today.
The highlight of the evening programme was a presentation by Dr Martin Lodge, who enthused the audience with his insights on risk management around the London Olympics, an explanation for why team UK was winning so many medals and an overview of time delays and cost estimate overdrafts of other mega events. The alumni also used this opportunity to ask Martin about the latest developments at the School. One of these is the opening of LSE Enterprise’s office in Berlin and the German alumni association is central to its success: despite the strong reputation and profile of LSE in Germany, the challenge is to create awareness about our consulting and executive education offers. Having been able to participate in the annual alumni meeting and getting to know all the people involved did not only feel like having a beer at the George with co-students of all age groups, but also made this task appear less daunting.