Alice Nell
January 19, 2016

2015 / 2016 with Sarah Kennedy

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

Sarah Kennedy


  1. Not backing up work I had a hard drive that suddenly died one Monday morning in July and I lost years of work. Luckily, nothing I was working on at the time was affected, but past work for my portfolio, useful templates, fonts and photos just vanished. A very sad week but it taught me a very important lesson: back up your backup! ...
  2. Trying to fit too much work into a working week I tried to please too many clients at the same time which lead to doing too much work and working long hours.. .....
  3. Saying yes to every project By the end of 2015, I realised that I had reached a stage in my design career where I shouldn't accept every project that comes my way. I need to be selective and choose the projects that are right for me and the right fit for my skills....


"I need to be selective and choose the projects that are right for me and the right fit for my skills.".


  1. Less time designing on a computer and more time designing by hand I’m hoping to screen print more of my own work throughout the year and experiment more. Last year, for example, I started to screen print on wood. I wish to keep going with this and also start screen printing on ceramics… watch this space!.. ....
  2. More collaborations with co-workers My most successful projects last year were due to strong teamwork. We shared ideas and skills and produced great outcomes and had lots of fun along the way.... ...
"My most successful projects last year were due to strong teamwork"


Sarah is a freelance designer working on the 2nd floor at the Betahaus. Aside from her work as a designer, she also teaches some of the Betahaus workshops and courses including Screen Printing and Introduction to Photoshop.

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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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