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Vision & Mission
We envision a world, where compassionate, introspective people act together, angst-free, to tackle the challenges of our complex reality. Our mission is to guide academics on their trek for a meaningful career, by supporting their personal and professional development.
We are Ursel Biester, Dr. Luiza Bengtsson, and Dr. Christina Sieber.
What trek are you on, at the moment, in your life? And from which stones are you building your road? In life, we constantly run into crossroads and have to decide which way we want to go. Arctic first-nations people used to place piles of stones in the shape of a human on important landmarks such as watersheds, trees, and parting of ways. These Inukshuks served as signs of orientation in unknown territory.
Such marks for orientation are not always a given on our career paths or even in our personal life; we may decide ourselves where we want to go, who we want to be, and what should be our milestones. If we want to walk this path lightheartedly and create our future without fear, we need some grounding: a rootedness in our own values, hard stones out of which we can build the road of our lives.
An Inukshuk is shaped as a person for a good reason: all orientation is directed towards those factors that keep us human. This is why we chose it as the symbol for our company.
Dr. Luiza Bengtsson
I’m a scientist turned communicator. My heart beats for science, but what really drives me is the passion for connecting and sharing knowledge. This passion brought me from university studies in Chemistry (M.S.), Eastern- and Central European, and Gender studies, through a PhD in biochemistry and a 10-year career as a research scientist and lecturer in internationally renowned institutes in Germany and the USA, to my current professional chapter: science communicator.
As a member of the communications department at the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, I’m responsible for knowledge exchange and public engagement activities of the institute. There I’m organizing events and developing methods for popularizing life science topics for non-specialist audiences. I am particularly proud of the continued professional development program for high school teachers, „Lab meets teachers“, which I have developed, and which now enters its fifth successful year of existence.
In recent years, I’ve started designing and teaching courses on communication skills for graduate students and postdocs. From my own experience, I know how important these so-called “soft skills” are. If I could decide, I would make self-reflection, career planning, goal setting, and similar topics an obligatory and central part of a scientist training curriculum. I firmly believe that the world needs more self-reflected, self-conscious, angst-free scientists living in a proper work-life balance. And that’s my reason for embarking on the Trekstones journey.
My background is in adult education, I am fascinated by enabling people to keep learning throughout their lives. I worked as a Facilitator for Design Thinking processes and as a job coach, helping people to find orientation in their career choices. My studies are both academic (M.A. in adult education) and alternative: I am a diplomated Kaospilot. As such, I am officially licensed to find my way through the chaotic circumstances that life sometimes seems to put us through.
I have started several ventures and three freelance companies: one in writing and designing educational material and two in training and coaching. Plus I have set up a shop and am entertaining an alive community of cultural events.
I had always wanted to start a company together with other people. The whole idea started from a conversation in Tina’s kitchen about free learning materials, and look where we got to already! I am keen and curious to continue our journey.
Dr. Christina Sieber
Like a meandering river, my life has taken many shifts and turns.
As a biologist, I specialized in Biochemistry and worked in scientific research. This career path allowed me to develop an analytical mindset, explore my passion for technology, and practice scientific writing skills.
Eventually, I turned a side job as a technology writer into a full-time occupation and dropped out of research. Meanwhile, I’ve been a professional technology journalist for over a decade. At MakeUseOf.com, I’m the editor for the Windows and Productivity sections.
An inspiring gap year in Vancouver, Canada led me to study sustainability management in Sweden. Following my studies, I returned to Berlin, where I co-organized a science conference, facilitated professional workshops, and started teaching project management at Freie Universität Berlin.
In 2017, I’m returning to Canada, where I will wet my feet in business development for a German software company.
I passionately wear multiple hats and plan on exploring many more vocations over the course of my lifetime. As a part of Trekstones, I’m looking forward to sharing my experience around self-exploration, career development, and project management.