What inspired you to start working as a graphic designer?
I work as a designer for Skew. The great thing about Skew is you get to work across such a wide range of different projects and different design fields. I may work on a Web project one day and a Textile project the next. This is a really great chance to look at projects from different angles and offer something new and exciting. I work with the team in London remotely and we Skype each other to share inspiration and ideas.
What made you decide to move to Berlin ?
I’m from the North of England. I worked in London for 4 years after university. During my studies I came to Berlin for 3 months for an internship at c.neeon and I always wanted to come back. After 4 years in London I wanted a change and Berlin seemed to be the perfect choice.
How would you compare the work environment here for designers to that in London?
Berlin has a much more relaxed atmosphere than London. Skew Studio is based in London’s East End, near Shoreditch. The studio has a real creative energy and buzz about it which is similar to the betahaus. All the designers get together once a week to discuss the projects we are working on and where in a project we are up to, kind of like a betabreakfast.
How do you like the atmosphere at betahaus? What do you like about betahaus, and what do you feel could be improved?
The betahaus has been a great place to come and work in Berlin. I could start working as soon as I got to Berlin and I have met so many interesting people since I got here. Betabreakfast is my favourite time of the week, I feel inspired, full of coffee and ready to start a busy day!
You are working with Skew Studio in London, which focus on the entertainment industry. How did you get involved with the Skew Studio?
I did an internship at Skew when I finished University. After that I worked at Skew as a freelancer for a year and then went full time.
What kind of advice would you give to young designers looking to become successful these days?
Get involved with as many different projects as possible while studying and after University. Internships are a great way to meet people and find out what you really want to do.
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Cost is a big one here. In regards to total transportation costs, the last mile comprises up to 53% of those - making it the least efficient part of the supply chain. Expectations of free shipping and next day deliveries add up to this.
Due to increasing digitalization and convenience services in every area of people's lives, the smooth and flawless process of getting the delivery to one's doorstep is exceedingly becoming what customers care most about. On top of that, for companies that package being delivered is an extension of their brand. The consumer is basically coming face-to-face with the brand, which makes it the biggest opportunity to heighten customer satisfaction.
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?
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 west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.