Berlin, Germany

This is

my story.

As a child I wanted to save the world. Growing up, I learned that a) systemic change is a collaborative effort and b) getting to the heart of complex problems instead of fixing symptoms is more challenging than little me imagined.

Now as an adult I still want to make a positive difference with my work. So far I've researched and taught computational social science at three universities, co-directed an international tech start-up, and managed an economic think tank to jointly advance the social-ecological transformation. I also led data for good projects and teams for an international network of data scientists, digitally transformed German government bodies and social impact organizations as a consultant and innovation project lead, served as a mentor in an intercultural development program, and openly shared scientific knowledge as part of the steering committee of a global MOOC.

These diverse experiences strengthened my interest in designing solutions to complex problems that build bridges between sectors, disciplines, and people to co-create meaningful change. By integrating analytical methods and human-centered design, I reframe those challenges as opportunities to analyze the world as it is―and explore how it might be in the future.
Black and white photography of Lisa Hehnke.

These are my experiences.

During death companion training we learned that when caring for the dying, we bring ourselves to the table rather than specific methods or tools. This insight made me realize that my work is less about what I am doing and more about who I am.

Instead of limiting myself to marketable boxes, I genuinely value having a multidisciplinary background plus a wide variety of experiences across roles and contexts as it allows me to connect perspectives, disciplines, and ideas in unique ways.

And while I enjoy working with public, private, and social sector organizations separately, I thrive in authentic, collaborative environments where we can co-create change across cultures and traditional boundaries.

Still looking for boxes or labels? Here's a selection to choose from:

Learning more about life

Dedicating time to death work, both as a death companion and with a funeral home that specializes in person-centered, participatory deathcare.

Deputy & Interim Managing Director

Served as the interim managing director of Green Budget Germany, an independent economic think tank, to jointly advance the social-ecological transformation.

Inhouse Consultant (Freelance)

Provided strategic direction, facilitated agile workshops, and conducted user research for PHINEO to co-create systemic solutions.

Oxford Executive Leadership Programme

Completed Saïd Business School's executive leadership programme.

Business Mentor

Provided professional mentorship in MentorMe's intercultural Kenyan-German mentoring program.

Power and Influence for Positive Impact

Received a scholarship from Harvard Kennedy School's Social Innovation + Change Initiative (SICI) for their program at Harvard Business School Online.

Futures Studies & Speculative Design

Completed project-based courses in design futures and immersive scenario planning at Parsons School of Design.

Digital Strategies for Business

Completed an executive program on innovative strategies and business models for the digital age at Columbia Business School.

Mastering Design Thinking

Completed an executive program on human-centered product and service design at MIT Sloan.

Project Lead

Led a government-funded innovation project for a major German food bank to build a digital ecosystem platform with partners from academia, industry, and civil society.


Advised two German federal and state-level ministries as an IT consultant for governance and change.

Mediator (univ.)

Completed a professional training program on conflict management and principled negotiation.

Data Consultant, Team Lead & Local Chapter Head

Provided pro bono data consultancy to social impact organizations with CorrelAid. Established and scaled the network as part of the core team, co-led the project coordination team, and co-founded and co-led the Berlin local chapter.

Operations Director

Co-directed and strategically developed an international tech start-up with the mission to build decentralized open source software.

Steering Committee Member

Provided strategic direction and guidance on the future development of the Open Science MOOC as part of the international steering committee.

Project Lead

Designed and led two pro bono data science projects for CorrelAid and acted as the interim project lead for an international cooperation project on computational thinking at a Berlin-based research institute.

Started freelancing 🚀

Facilitated my first data science workshop as a freelancer after moving to Berlin.

2016 - 2018
Researcher & Lecturer

Used big data and computational methods to research digital behavior and led multiple (under-)graduate seminars on research methods and applied data science at the universities of Konstanz, Hamburg, and Bielefeld.

Big Data & Analytics Summer School

Studied abroad at the University of Essex and completed postgraduate courses in machine learning, agent-based modeling, and geographic information systems.

MA, Politics & Public Administration (1.1, excellent)

Graduated from the University of Konstanz with specializations in management and quantitative and computational research methods.

What's next?

If you've read this far you learned a lot about me, but I'm also curious about you. Share your perspective and challenges with me below.

Share your story

These are my certificates.

(Well, at least some of them. Channeling my inner Leonardo da Vinci and learning across disciplines is one of my favorite activities.)

© 2023 Lisa Hehnke | CC BY-SA 4.0