Franziska’s Story

Long journeys through Africa, Latin America and Asia opened my eyes to both the beauty of this planet and the global injustice going on – and let grow my sense of responsibility and longing to contribute to a world which is more just, more peaceful, more beautiful. Knowing this, still one question remained open: How?!? How to best address these global challenges? How to find my place, my way to act in all this? How to really contribute, while at the same time find happiness and fulfillment in my everyday life?

At the beginning, the answer seemed quite easy: Something with development! But very soon, my studies of international development, as did several internships at NGOs disillusioned me and helped me to understand that so-called development aid is more part of the problem than part of the solution. But what then would be part of the solution? Years passed and through my studies I dived deeply into researching structural conditions for global injustice. I confronted myself with all forms of colonialism and exclusion, conflicts, climate change, warlords, migration issues and all kinds of global challenges. I started to understand deeper and deeper what was going (wr)on(g) in this world, including my own agency and entanglement. What happened was that the mountain of problems became bigger and bigger and bigger… as became the feelings of being overwhelmed, powerless, and paralyzed. More and more I knew what the problems were and against what I was – but instead of insights of how to act differently, instead of feeling empowered and encouraged to really create alternatives, there grew a void. Like most of the people around me, I shuttled between two extremes: Either we would get lost in random activism, joining every manifestation, initiative and activity which seemed to address global challenges. Or we would just get paralysed with our feelings of being overwhelmed and not-knowing where to start, what to do, and just tried to push our concerns away in order to enjoy our everyday-lives.

It was at that time when I started to raise the question what it really needs that people can find their authentic way to address global challenges – in a way which is fulfilling and sense-making both for themselves and for society. What supports us to find our place of contributing, to explore what we truly care about and then bring it into sustainable action? And what does it need do this in a way which already reflects the values we care about and the culture we want to co-create? How can we combine our radicalness with joie de vivre, heart- and mindfulness and authenticity? And how can we bring our soul in our actions?

I started to interview people about this issue, red tons of books about it, wrote my thesis on this topic, assisted workshops and began to offer workshops myself. Deeper and deeper I dived into the issue of finding and following one’s authentic vocation, of contributing to social change by listening to our purpose and manifesting our gifts and values, of bringing together the spheres of inner work and outer action, of living a fulfilling life while acting to make this world a better place.

So here I am, co-initiating this strategic partnership to write a book and offer trainings about the insights I & we found. Besides that, I follow my passion & purpose working as a coach and facilitator, among others for the Pioneers of Change, and being a co-initiator of a Social Center and CoWorking space in the beautiful village I call my home, St. Andrä-Wördern.