Alice Nell
January 14, 2016

2015/2016 with Gwendolyn Noltes

If December is all about reflecting and setting new goals, then January is the month to actually get to work: to push limits, change habits and work to reach goals. In our 2015/2016 series, betahaus members share with you what they’ve learned in 2015, and what their goals are for 2016

Gwendolyn Noltes


  1. Don't focus on one project I’ve been trying to get funding for a new artistic project and I’ve put a lot of time and energy into writing grant applications. Unfortunately without any success so far. Learnt a lot and so on, but since I focused solely on this project, I wasn’t receptive to any other opportunities and might have missed some chances there. In 2016, I’d like to be more open minded. ...
  2. Keep on moving! My life motto. It’s important to keep on moving, in any thinkable direction. Even if you’re stuck at some point (career wise or personal life), force yourself to get up and move. It helps. ...
  3. Make choices So now and then I reach a point that it feels like my mind is exploding; too many things to think about and too many things to organize. Migraine is an unfortunate consequence. Making choices and listing all my activities help me to create an overview so that I can breathe again. Even though I've worked as a freelancer for several years, it remains a learning process!


It’s important to keep on moving


  1. Keep on smiling This sounds cliché, but for me it’s important to keep seeing the positive sides of life; even if you’re facing some difficulties. When I’m working in the Betahaus café I’m always trying to welcome people with a smile. It’s great to get one back. Even better to give a compliment with it too (well-meant of course). ...
  2. Approaching potential clients convincingly Being an artist means I haven’t studied marketing or any other ‘sell-yourself-to-the-big-world’ course, so for me it’s hard to ‘sell myself’ to ‘the people out there’. I’m always insecure about my work; this doesn’t help. In 2016 I’d like to train myself in approaching potential clients convincingly. Even better would be to have an agent. ...
  3. Collaborations Collaborations with talented people are great! At the moment I’m working on a new project with Luisa Cázares Orduño. She's an illustrator and also works as a barista at the Betahaus café. We’re aiming on a long-term work relationship. I’m looking forward to many exciting and challenging collaborations in 2016. ... 
I’d like to train myself in approaching potential clients convincingly


Besides being the familiar friendly face of a barista in the Betahaus café, Gwendolyn Noltes is a freelance scenographer. In layman's terms; she's a stage, set and costume designer and concept developer for various artistic projects.

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If you live in a city and have even slightly observed your urban surroundings you’ve probably witnessed it first hand - urban congestion and crowded cities make it pretty tough to satisfy the growing demand and rising expectations of super quick deliveries. Add unpredictability in transit (like weather conditions), an incorrect address or remote locations, just to name a few, and you can see where this is going.

The worst part is, all those delivery trucks and vans that also produce a fair bit of emissions, are often only half full when they roll out for deliveries. This is mostly due to low drop sizes and stops along the route that are far and few between.

It’s not all hopeless though - Where there is a problem, there are solutions.

Same old, same old - isn’t always all that bad. Sometimes, all that’s needed are some new perspectives! The city of Utrecht, for‌ ‌example, implemented a zero-emissions electric barge nicknamed the “Beer Boat”. 

Since 2010 it’s carrying beer and food to the city’s downtown restaurants by using waterways. Other electric barges in Amsterdam not only deliver but even collect organic waste, which is then turned into biofuel in processing plants! Isn’t that cool?

It becomes clear that cities, logistics, as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌urban‌ ‌planners, are equally part of solving the inefficiency of the last-mile. Tackling this mountain of issues calls for teamwork!

A centralized platform, hub or network for similar companies, could do the trick to fill up the delivery vans & trucks that are barely loaded. Parcels could be distributed more efficiently between different companies and their delivery vehicles.

Like a big pool of parcels from different companies with every single parcel going into that one van with the same route!

Delivery Driver Experience and Smart Delivery Vehicles are also areas with huge potential for improvement and innovation.

Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company. 

Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.

Next to that on-demand experiences have become firmly embedded into people’s everyday lives - be it a mobile app to book a ride, send flowers to your loved ones or order lunch to your office. It’s all possible and has made premium features like real-time tracking a standard.  The online consumer expects nothing less and certainly doesn’t like to wait.

Making that quick and instant gratification happen is another story though. Groundbreaking ideas and innovations are needed to tackle all these factors. Does your startup have one? 

Then head over to our Future Logistics Challenge! Applications are still open until September 23rd.

Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.

Ellie: I eat a lot in cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.

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