It’s coming to the end of my first full year back in Germany and my god it’s different from anything, but I don’t want to entirely blame it on this place.
In Nigeria I had the advantage of being white, I guess, so people were interested in what I had to say, because if they supported me they might benefit. In London, I guess, I was still young apart from being weird.
Here? I keep talking about the thing I talk about (people working better together through being digitally connected) and I get nothing. Sometimes I get active rejection. So far I have one friend who thinks I have something and who would actively work with me.
Of course I am different from what people are used to. I am female and not young, I am kinda from abroad because I learned how to do anything there, I talk about a culture they are not familiar with – one where people do stuff because they are interested in it, not just because profit.
I do think better networking and better events can drive innovation forward, so I should get interest from people whose job is to drive and support innovation. I have had good chats and people did try to understand what I am talking about. I have not been introduced to anyone, I have had no offers of work or even requests for advice.
So of course I’ve looked at how I can make what I do look more traditionally credible. Start a business, get an office and really go for it. But what if I get rejected because the people reject the culture of digital? The one where we connect because we passionately work on something and we can do it better online? The one where we talk about what’s happening and what we’re doing because you couldn’t stop us if you tried? Where we listen to others because we are genuinely interested?
Maybe the people who start businesses here are just not like that? They are capitalists, because of course they are, that’s why they start a business in this cold place. They learned that you don’t really talk about what’s going on. They learned that you don’t do it with your heart because nobody else does either.
And even the technologists I meet here are not really interested in bringing other people into their space. Some are perfectly happy to create an undecipherable lingo, when I think that we need to keep tech minimalist, open and accessible.
Maybe everyone understands what I am saying perfectly but they don’t want it here because they are happy with what they have. Well, of course, those who profit from the separation are.
On the other hand, there are those people who do what they do with a passion. They deserve to make better connections. And if the people who advise on “Digital” and who profit from it aren’t online themselves, they can’t stop us from doing this thing we do either.
So I am conflicted. Of course I will keep talking about it because you couldn’t stop me if you tried… but is a digital agency the way forward? Who would support it, if everyone is already busy supporting each other to do things that make money but don’t really work?