When I first reached out to Katharina Kieck to be a part of this series, she was skeptical. She did not see herself as a “Data Rockstar”. And so I found myself explaining that to me #Datarockstars are not only those who actually handle data, as in app developers, programmers and tech geeks. To me, they are an ideal group encompassing both those who have outstanding knowledge in the fields that we associate and correlate with data and algorithms, who know how to code, and also analysts, who spend their time looking at what the data spells out, finding out how data is being used for different purposes. And also people like Katharina, who is a trend and innovation strategist focusing on digitalisation, IoT and the intersections of humans and technology. Katharina is now creating inspiring stories about female surfers which means she is using data for her mission to bring diversity into a former male dominated field
Who is Katharina Kieck
Thanks to the invite of new work and leadership expert Christiane Brandes-Visbeck, I met Katharina Kieck at a Digital Media Women panel in Hamburg, in 2016. The panel discussed what diversity means in everyday life and how, as a society, we deal with people who are “different”. I remembered having a beer with her afterwards: I was pleased to find someone as talkative as I am and envied Katharina for her ability to talk at twice the average speed.
At that time, Katharina Kieck was also running S.W.A.T (Super Women at Twitter) – a tiny event series that brought together women in tech for exchange and mutual support.
Katharina is a trend and innovation strategist with focus on digitalisation, IoT and the intersections of humans and technology. After studying humanities and social sciences, she worked for various trend agencies. Katharina has been reporting on the latest developments and micro-trends from all countries, through international agencies such as Springwise, TrendONE and Trendwatching.com. She also taught the techniques of trend-scouting at the universities of Hamburg and Friedrichshafen and of “digital enabling” in various companies. In her search for trends, the first sub-Saharan trend agency in Nairobi (Kenya) was created in cooperation with the Nailab Incubation Lab, which Katharina continued to support for years. Taking her trend and brand knowledge, Katharina moved over to Twitter Germany to help brands activate innovative campaigns on the mostly algorithm free Twitter timeline. Having always been an advocate for women and a fervent action sports enthusiast, she later founded Loyalsea, a media production company and online community that fosters diversity in the representation of surfing. Meanwhile, her networking format TechXSurf links her passions for the digital with dramatic nature experiences and networking.
Katharina is now creating inspiring stories about female surfers which means she is using data for her mission to bring diversity into a former male dominated field
Nearly three years later all I could see on her Instagram account were incredibly beautiful shots of her and her colleagues mainly surfing in the ocean. Her Instagram name is: Barefoot Ahoi and her life seems to be about beautiful leisure time in and around the Ocean. But, just like behind all beautiful and professional images there is a lot of work, behind all of this Katharina has been sticking to the mission I could already read in her eyes, as we were bonding over a pint in Hamburg. She is searching for empowering women along the coastlines, whom she and her company feature in videos and imagery.
Katharina Kieck doesn’t seem to be scared of big waves (she actually is though) and she might also not be scared when it comes to big data. (yes she is pretty positive when it comes to what technology might change for us)