The Team of the D&F Academy
Being passionate about education and innovative solutions to societal problems, Florian is interested in new forms of learning and the positive roles young adults can play in their respective societies. Stemming from a German artist family, Florian grew up in Germany and Spain. He received his BA from Humboldt University and his MPhil in European Studies with Distinction from the University of Oxford, St Antonys College. Florian also received a diploma from ECLA of Bard, was awarded a Duke University scholarship and DAAD Fellowship for the UK.
Florian is one of the co-founders of the think tank Atopia.eu and is also involved in a hotel venture in Asia. Before starting the Dekeyser & Friends Foundation with Bobby Dekeyser, he taught and researched international relations, worked in project management and staged theatre performances. Florian regularly gives talks on the work of the D&F Academy and, more broadly, issues concerning education and social innovation.
A vivid handball player in his youth, Florian still plays a lot of sports. He currently lives with his wife in Hamburg, Germany
Dr. Markus Baumanns
Markus Baumanns holds a doctorate in History and studied in Cologne, Oxford and Vienna.
He has been engaged with management throughout his career, in particular in the founding, development and leadership of non-profit enterprises. He was Press Secretary to the German Federal Government, spent five years as a diplomat in South America, established an elite international university in Hamburg as Chief Executive of Bucerius Law School, and served for three years on the Board of one of the largest private foundations in Germany, the ZEIT-Foundation Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius.
He has instigated, developed and led non-profit projects in Europe, the USA, China and South America, advising companies, universities and non-profit institutions in leadership questions, giving leadership workshops, and regularly publishing and lecturing on these topics.
Dr. Mei Wang
Chief Operating Officer
Mei grew up in Beijing, China. At the age of 21, she moved to the United Kingdom to pursue her higher education. Six years later, she obtained her doctor title in Business Innovation and IT from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in addition to her university degree in Business Administration and two master degrees in science, technology and innovations.
Before joining the D&F team, Mei worked for years as a senior business strategy consultant for Capgemini Consulting across different sectors in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
In May 2011, Mei moved to Hamburg, Germany, to join her husband. In her spare time, she enjoys long distance running and other outdoor sports. She also has a passion for creative cooking.
Rouven Ramon Steinfeld
Head of D&F Academy Hamburg
Rouven grew up in Frankfurt, Germany.
He studied Liberal Arts in Berlin and Government, Diplomacy & Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, which he completed with distinction. Rouven studied for his Masters at the London School of Economics and Political Science researching the impact of US policy on UN peacekeeping under Presidents Bush senior and Clinton. He has also been active in competitive debate, and was a finalist and champion in Israeli national debate tournaments.
Rouven has worked in database development for the dsArt art gallery in Frankfurt and as a teaching assistant in a London school. He has been involved with a variety of voluntary projects, including organising an aid program for Sudanese refugees in Israel.
In his spare time, Rouven is a keen actor and has both produced and acted in productions in Berlin and London. He also enjoys cooking, music, and getting to know his new hometown of Hamburg.
Marie was born and raised in Freiburg, a charming university town in Southern Germany. Through her many travels all over the world she became sensitive to the richness of diverse cultures and the shaping of nations through historical events.
Fuelled by that fascination, Marie studied Communication Science with a Major in Intercultural Communications in Groningen, the Netherlands and Paris, France. Study projects led her to an expedition to China, the organisation of a Model United Nations at the university campus and to fundraising for underprivileged students in order to give them the chance to take part in an exchange study program.
After her formal education Marie moved to Hamburg, working in the communication department of a German watch company. Joining one of the major advertisement agencies as Account Manager and Creative Consultant, Marie and her team developed humorous brands for several clients, ranging from the ‘Real Cookbook’ to an organic cosmetic brand ‘Stop the Water While Using Me’ to a visual category system for electronic music, ‘Colour Tracks’.
Marie loves the fine arts and being around inspiring people.
Strategy & Development
Katherin has lived, studied and worked in Germany, Scotland and Latin America. She did a Bachelor in Philosophy and Economics on a scholarship from the Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft and later graduated with a Masters degree in International Strategy and Economics from the University of St. Andrews. During her studies she focused on topics in the area of Development Economics and Corporate Social Responsibility.
Before joining the D&F team she worked as a consultant for Roland Berger Strategy Consultants where she advised clients in the public as well as the business sector.
Katherin loves traveling and spent several months in Asia as well as Latin America where she worked in a volunteer project with kids in rural Nicaragua. She organized several conferences and events and gave lectures on development issues. Since she enjoys talking a lot she was founder and president of her University's debating society.
Program Director DreamLab
Romy, born in the former German Democratic Republic, studied psychology in Leipzig. While researching collaboration among distributed teams in the oil industry at the University of Aberdeen, she developed a critical perspective on corporate social responsibility and decided to pursue a PhD project into that direction. After six months of traveling and volunteering in Ecuador, she joined the Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands, where she worked on her dissertation about anti-corporate activism and the formation of transnational advocacy networks. When not doing fieldwork on resistance against the mining and steel industry in India, she was active as one of the founding members of her University’s Greening the Campus Initiative.
Inspired by her work with Indian activists and social movements, she has decided to quit formal academia for now and joined the D&F Academy to explore alternatives to conventional education and develop the DreamMaker Program.
Romy lives in Berlin and Hamburg, likes Ashtanga Yoga and electronic music.
Finance and Administration Officer
Born in Hamburg, Petra first became a foreign trader after finishing school. She gained experience working with people of many different nationalities and cultures during her business travels as chief purchasing manager for a German Jeans Brand.
As a woman in a male dominated sector, Petra became interested in social and political issues such as women's rights and the rights of migrants and children in the early 90s. She started studying political science at the University of Hamburg. In 2005, she founded Kulturbrücke Hamburg e.V., a non-profit organization involved in projects for migrant children. As a co-founder, she was a member of the executive board for more than seven years. She has a school-aged son and her passions include cooking and any kind of sport.
Course Manager DreamLab
Magdalena was born in San Diego, California. Moving often as a child spurred on her love of travel and discovering new places and cultures. She received her Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of California, San Diego. Soon after, she obtained her Master's Degree in Global Political Economy from the University of Kassel, Germany. Before joining the D&F team, Magdalena worked in economic development and poverty allievation with many organizations around the world. She was a volunteer in the US Peace Corps in Azerbaijan conducting small business skills trainings with a local microfinance organization and worked as director of a microfinance program in Tanzania.
Magdalena moved to Bremen in 2011 to be with her husband. She enjoys travelling, especially anywhere with sun and surf, and searching out good Mexican food.
Course Manager MediaLab
Henning was born in Hamburg and has spent seven years of his childhood in Venezuela before returning to Hamburg, the city he loves by heart. As a child with his family and later on on his own he has travelled around the globe and has kept his fascination for the different cultures, landscapes, people and other treasures this world has to offer.
Henning has studied Mechanical engineering and Economics in Hamburg before entering the world of entertainment and media. It all began with producing events for a client in the context of a major classical music festival, then moving on into the feature film industry where he has gained experience in the fields of film producing, licensing and merchandising and last but not least he has been responsible for the production of the film soundtrack as well as its marketing and distribution.
After this 3-year experience Henning decided to leave the feature film business and started producing TV commercials. Besides producing high-end TV Ads for basically all car manufacturers and other worldwide operating brands it was one project in particular that inspired him foremost. The project was a cooperation between unicef and a mineral water brand with the mission of building water wells in Ethiopia, it brought together his in the youth implemented passion for travelling and cultures and to working for something with a deeper meaning. With the same motivation Henning is keen to passing on his experience of filmmaking and media to young people from all over the world.
Project Coordination & Admissions
Andrew hails from Cape Town, South Africa. After receiving the prestigious First Rand Group scholarship, Andrew studied Business Science at the University of Cape Town, specializing in Finance and Accounting. He recently finished his Bachelor of Commerce in Management at the University of South Africa. During his studies, Andrew worked as a Production Manager in the photographic industry. Andrew is active in community projects and has been part of Habitat for Humanity for several years.
He enjoys traveling with his Danish girlfriend and any kind of adventure and endurance sport.
Manuela de Assis Borttscheller
Freelance Art Director
As a daughter of a German father and a Brazilian mother Manuela grew up in the South of Germany. After an uninspiring apprenticeship as a foreign languages correspondence clerk, she decided to study Visual Communication Arts at the University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden. She then went on to work as a designer for a new expresso brand in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Upon her return to Germany, Manuela started her own design business in Hamburg in 2006. Attracted by the vibrant, inspiring and international environment, Manuela joined Dekeyser&Friends as freelance Web & Graphic Designer.
She feels inspired by her hobbies such as running, singing, design & arts and cuisine.
Freelance Art Director
Sibylle studied design at the Kassel College of Art and has been using her creativity to support projects with social, cultural and environmental impacts. She is a curious person, having explored different cultures in her travels, and so far has been able to call Germany, France, Spain and California home.
Before moving to Hamburg in 2010 she spent six years in San Francisco where she offered her design talents to Conscious Creative, a sustainable design studio with the mission of serving the needs of people doing good in the world. Since her return to Europe, she continues to assist numerous sustainable projects, as they have always been closest to her heart.
Sibylle loves to illustrate. She finds stillness in yoga, joy in dance, energy in flamenco guitar and complete serenity in nature.
Freelance Senior Art Director
Nathalie is half Austrian and half Belgian. After finishing her tourism studies in Salzburg, Austria, and working for a year at EuroDisney in Paris, she studied Graphic Design in Brisbane, Australia, and Munich. After finishing her studies, she worked for six years with the editorial design legend Horst Moser in Munich. Amongst others, she received the Merit Award of the Society of Publication Designers, NY, for her work during that time.
In 2003, Nathalie opened her own graphic studio but soon took on the development and management of the DEDON graphic-design department at the company’s headquarters in Lüneburg.
Since 2008 Nathalie has once again been working as a freelance designer and took on the development of the visual identity of D&F. She lives in Hamburg, Germany, with her boyfriend Olaf.
Freelance Communication Designer
Robert grew up in Southern Gemany. He studied graphic design and then moved to Frankfurt where he set up the graphic design divison for a new TV channel. In 1999, he founded his own studio in Munich and was soon working for many companies and magazines. From 2007-2009, Robert worked at DEDON, in the end running the graphic design department. He is now working again as a freelancer in Hamburg and, together with Nathalie, developed the CI and multimedia elements for D&F.
Robert travels back and forth between Hamburg and Munich, the hometown of his son Paul.
Pro Bono Tax Advisor
Helmut was born in 1949 and grew up in Rosenheim, Bavaria. After studying economy at the university of Rosenheim he worked at BMW AG in Munich, in the controlling department. Later he went on to an external auditing company where he became a shareholder. Since 1997, Helmut has been the owner of a tax and auditing company and since then has acted as the main tax advisor for the Dedon-Group. Helmut provides tax and accounting advice to the Foundation.
Helmut lives with his wife Evelyn, his daughter and his grandchildren in Baldham near Munich. He enjoys skiing, hiking, playing tennis and any kind of adventure or endurance sport and relaxes while playing with his cat and dog.
Pro Bono Financial Advisor D&F Academy Hamburg
Half German and half Norwegian, Sven-Erik grew up in the Southwest of Germany. He trained to be an industrial management assistant and also became a certified management accountant. After successfully working in the energy sector for ten years as the Head of Accounting, Sven-Erik went on to become the Finance Director of the DEDON Group.
Sven-Erik lives with his wife and their two children in Lüneburg and enjoys cooking and watching historical documentaries.
Dr. Norbert Lösing
Pro Bono Legal Advisor
Norbert was born in 1964 and spent much of his childhood in Madrid. He went on to study law in Bayreuth and went for his postgraduate judicial service traineeship to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He subsequently worked as legal advisor and project manager for the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Venezuela and Argentina. He then taught at Heidelberg University and received a PhD from Bonn University. Since 2001 Norbert has been Partner in the firm Sieper&Lösing.
Norbert provides legal advice to the Foundation on a variety of issues. He lives with his wife Susanne and his three children in Lüneburg.
Dr. med. János Winkler
Pro Bono Medical Advisor
János grew up in Berlin and discovered his passion for the miracle of the human body after his grandmother gave him three books on anatomy when he was 14. He went on to study Western and Chinese Medicine and has since returned to China many times to continue his studies of Oriental medicine. At the age of 32 he became chief physician at the TCM and Pain Clinic in Lüneburg. Since 1995 János has published and lectured on issues such as Acupuncture and Pain Therapy. He teaches at the Institute for Music Therapy at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg and was appointed professor there in 2006.
János advises the Academy on medical issues, especially regarding their health and safety in the projects worldwide. He now runs a private practice together with his wife, specializing in TCM, Pain Therapy and Regulative Medicine in Lüneburg, where they live.
Björn was born in Bern. He started his career as a TV and radio presenter at the age of 14 and worked for over seventeen TV shows in Switzerland. From the age of 18 onwards, he produced his own successful TV formats. He then studied business in Bern and trained to be a teacher. In 2001 he founded the Swiss TV production company FaroTV and lead a team of 35 employees as CEO. After having sold his company to the renowned Condor Films AG in Zurich, he served on the executive board of Condor Films AG for several years.
He left the company in 2008 and - after a well-deserved break traveling around Europe in a caravan - founded Mediafish GmbH, which creates innovative TV-Formats and Multimedia and Web films. His show "Joya runs" earned the "Rose d'or 2003" for "best interactive TV Show".
Björn lives with his girlfriend in Zurich and Murten and enjoys flying planes and acrobatics.