MenschBank – from Europe and back (en)

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„Nobody really has solutions, but the young is working on it.“ Prominent participant of the FutureLab Europe 2017 annual forum

I – Martin Schneider – asked myself before leaving Germany what is actually true with the rumor of Brussels to be a huge cloud of great ideas nobody can really comprehend. I was less interested in the answer than how it came THE city got this identity. Why is that? Just because if we are talking about our vision and what we do at MenschBank people tend to picture us as an untouchable cloud, too, even though this isn’t happening that often anymore after our projects got concrete at the end of 2016. A couple of months ago I felt quite uneasy about this compliment because it is a pleasant feeling if you receive appreciation and understanding. After reading books about Marcus Aurelius, Albert Einstein, Carl Gustav Jung, Werner Heisenberg, Geshe Michael Roach, Osho, Golas Thaddeus etc. I come to realize if you are building something from scratch it will be quite common nobody really understand at first. If they could we would have already solved most of Europe’s issues.

This is exactly what I experienced in Brussels. The different institutions of Europe there are trying to understand how Europe works and what is necessary to ensure Europe is still working tomorrow. Everyone I met seems to have solution approach and is working on it but they won’t tell you their solution is the one that will work no matter what. The more I challenged them the more they answered something like: ‘Nobody really has a solution, just because we cannot be sure 100% it will really work out well. We can just try and learn from that.’ I appreciate this honest attitude a lot.

I will go even further in saying without those clouds of uncertainty we would not know where to find certainty and comprehension. Comprehension follows incomprehension. It is the same with MenschBank.

I assume that is why the FutureLab Europe 2017 annual forum took place in Brussels. There I was chosen beside 17 other people of 12 countries to introduce a method I created – called solutionsmanagement – which empowers people to solve any kind of problem by creating comprehension on a human level. None of us was really clear what this forum is going to be about. But it was clear to us we will get a chance to actively participate to influence the future of Europe.

There is something I really love about Brussels – you are heartily invited to be curious and asked everything you always wanted to know. It doesn’t matter who you are asking. Even politicians tend to offer you details they wouldn’t share with the public so easily. Nevertheless it would have been even more interesting to get confronted with some controversial and divisive arguments to have a real challenging discussion and to add different perspectives to our own view. However all the discussions we had were of great benefits to us we would have never come to know without this forum.

This week was organized by a part of the EPC incredibly well. I have been to many different conferences and events similar to the annual forum which were less professional and encouraged organized. We were only one time behind schedule. There was always time to ask and to discuss. There was a great balance between theoretical input and active participation when it came to our projects. The food was gorgeous. And we got enough time to got to know each other better also personally.

Well of course it was great to chat with each other about funny characteristics of our home countries the whole night with an at least super-delicious 3 courses menu and lots of wine. But what did we come for to Brussels?

After we listened to and discussed the main challenges Europe is facing right now and possible solutions with the European Policy Center, The Democratic Society, European Citizen Action Service, and the European Youth Forum we got assigned to different clusters related to our projects we applied with. The goal was to sketch 5 different projects out of our project ideas we came up with and the specific to Europe and local society related topic which should get funded by 7 foundations and 25.000 EUR in total. This was one of the main new aspects of this year’s FutureLab Europe. Beside discussions and contacts to European policy makers more than one project should become reality and funded.

Even though the team of Claire Dhéret, Tania Marocchi and Leonie Eland were breaking new ground they showed how professional they work and how important we people are to them. After we got to know each other better we came to realize by talking to one and another we achieve a better understanding about the others ideas and projects than with just a paper. We recognized it would make sense for some participants to switch clusters. The big challenge was to stick with this but without creating chaos in dismissing the schedule. Most conferences I have been to would have just not tolerated the cluster switch we are going to do. But the FutureLab Europe team acted differently, they made it possible. After a short consideration of a participant’s idea all of us got the chance to introduce himself or herself with his or her projects very briefly again and his or her wish to change clusters. During lunch the team and me stayed in the office to create the final clusters.

At this part of the story I should mention I already got a nickname – joker. Just before I got this honorable name I came to a decision.

I came to Brussels to introduce solutionsmanagement, the method I built to solve any kind of problem on a human based level. I came to find supporters and chances to apply this method as well as to collect money to implement this method in a tool people can apply for their benefit. I also came there to support 17 young people from all over Europe to implement their projects and visions.




Within 4 days I got what I came for, but just the other way around. When I realized it would be more helpful to the whole program with the 7 supportive foundations to rather support one of those 5 clusters with all my knowledge, experience and skill to amplify implementation of their great ideas and projects, I focused on providing them with everything I brought to Brussels. When it came to my short presentation of ideas I told them instead of pushing my project I rather support the one cluster which would benefit of what I can give in most. I was really happy with this decision because I would be just doing there what I like to do most – being supportive with my method.

After lunchbreak something marvelous happened. Not just that we satisfy most of the members wishes in switching clusters or at least creating environments to grow. Also some of them started to follow my example and offered there help for other clusters as well.

In the very end I had lots of creative fun being supportive. The funny thing was even though I was just supporting the project we created is called “bridge” and is about to promote active participation by building bridges amongst citizens in neighborhoods in Berlin & Malaga to foster their engagement in solving local issues by themselves. Our motto: “Oh, we can do that!” And all of a sudden I was suggested to be leader by my extraordinary talented team members from France and Spain. Within this project I am going to get opportunities to test my method to an extend I didn’t even expect before coming to Brussels.

Sometimes it is more important to support others with what you want to reach to develop things even beyond. It is just amazing to see how dedicated and creative these young people are. The future of Europe can be very pleased with them. Especially because in my opinion Brussels should welcome healthy optimism more often.

There was something else really special to me. Even though of our diversity based on the different countries people came from it felt like we are all the same while interacting with them. I mean that might be a consequence of most of the time I don’t realize whether I am speaking English or German. But to me I was not interacting with a Rumanian or Greek or Finn rather with just humans. It felt like being home and talking to my fellows.

Thanks a lot indeed again to the whole FutureLab Europe Team providing this experience.

I am already really excited to implement our project ‘bridge’. Right now we are waiting to get funded.

Two things I want to add at last:

  1. When they are talking about there is nobody who really have solution it is pretty much the reason why solutionsmanagement can support people. To know that there are no solutions yet is not a problem if we see the world through the eyes of solutionsmanagement. Discovering a problem will inevitably lead to a solution – it is just a matter of time. The journey from problem to solution always goes into one direction. If you don’t reach a solution yet we can be certain we are on our way to this solution.
  2. As one of the speakers talked about what democracy is I came to remember solutionsmanagement shall always match the principle of fair disposal. “Democracy is where products and services important to society are available without constraints.” Solutionsmanagement will remain freely available to everyone.

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