Peter Bihr explores how emerging technologies change the world we live in. He does this in various roles: As an independent advisor, he helps organizations excel in an environment shaped by digitization, connectedness and rapid change. As Program Director for the conference NEXT Berlin, he highlights the macro trends that shape digital businesses in years to come. By initiating and chairing independent events like UIKonf, Things, Cognitive Cities Conference, Ignite Berlin or TEDxKreuzberg, he fosters communities of innovation and the exchange ideas.
Peter studied Communications, Media and Political Science at Freie Universität Berlin and University of Sydney and holds masters degrees from both universities. Peter is based in Berlin, Germany. He blogs at thewavingcat.com.
What I do
I watch emerging (mostly web-related) technologies*, their implications, and the people driving them. This translates into a number of things: digital strategies, a great network of collaborators, curation services of sorts, and the occasional product or prototype.
To get a better understanding of my work, you can look at a brief list of Things I’ve Worked On.
I tend to be able to contribute & create most value in long-term collaborations, with a larger amount of autonomy, and in projects of a more exploratory nature.
If you’re working on something exciting and would like to pick my brains, please get in touch.
*To give you an idea, over the last few years this has included things like mobile/social/location-based services, the Quantified Self/personal analytics, connected cities, 3D printing, the Internet of Things/connected devices, but also digital communications in a wider sense.
What can I do for you?
Usually my role is that of an advisor/ consultant/ sparring partner. The kind of work I do is both highly networked and varied, and it yields a range of outputs or services. Please take them as a starting point for a conversation rather than a fixed set of offerings – if you’re not sure, feel free to get in touch for a chat.
- Strategic development: How do these trends, emerging technologies and external factors impact your business? What are the risks and opportunities you face, and what are your best options moving forward?
- External trend radar: What’s happening out there in the web/tech world that is relevant for your organization?
- Reports, dossiers or scenarios: Explore and map the near future based on closely watching macro trends, weak signals and the alpha geeks/innovators. Typical outputs are reports (like this Glimpse Into The Near Future), scenarios or dossiers (like on the Quantified Self or on Health Technology).
- People finder: Typical questions I get are “Who are the best people to talk to about the Internet of Things or service design or big data? Who might be available for a particularly interesting gig I have, and how to best set all this up?” I might be able to help you find that person.
- External R&D: I can also help setting up teams and collaborations for innovation/ research/ prototype/ skunkworks projects, i.e. help you find the best talent for a particularly challenging new project that falls outside your organization’s established structures.
- From idea to prototype: By gathering a team of trusted, skilled technologists I can help you get from a first idea to a working prototype. This could be in a corporate context (as an external R&D lab or skunkwords project) or in a startup context (as an autonomous protyping team).
I’ll bring an extensive network of trusted experts to the table and prefer to work with a trusted partner wherever it makes sense.
We can work together to find out the best way to get me involved. Since it allows for more flexibility and exploration, I prefer to work on a retainer model. Depending on the project’s needs, workshops or project-based consultancy is also an option. I’m based in Berlin, and happy to travel.
It’s in the very nature of this kind of work that projects can be varied or not clearly defined when you set out, so please feel free to get in touch and we can have a chat.
What I did before
By way of explaining where I’m coming from, the shortest of resumés: Before doing what I do now, I co-founded Third Wave, part think tank, part digital strategy consultancy, where we worked for clients like MTV Europe, Postbank and ZEIT Online. Before that, I worked as a freelance strategist, doing all kinds of things ranging from web strategy to social media to project management to election campaigning for clients like ARTE, Google, Netzpiloten, SPD, Tumblr, WoltersKluwer, as well as a number agencies and public broadcasters. (Client list, CV.) Along the way, I had some editorial roles, too.
Events & Speaking
Frequently I initiate and chair events and I think there’s no better, more fun way to meet interesting people, to explore emerging topics and technologies, and to foster communities of innovators. Over the last few years, this included UIKonf (iOS developers), ThingsCon (future of hardware), Cognitive Cities Conference (connected cities), Atoms&Bits (maker culture), TEDxKreuzberg and Ignite Berlin, and Likemind Berlin. A bit more info here and here.
Besides organizing, I regularly am involved in events and conferences as a speaker, curator, moderator or panelist. Among many others that has included NEXT (where I’m program director), Picnic, SXSW, Foo Camp and the OpenIOT Assembly.
Sometimes I write something or am quoted or my stuff is featured in smaller or larger media outlets like Australian, Deutschlandradio, Focus, Forbes, Golem, Guardian, New York Times, Radio Fritz, T3N, taz, WDR, ZDF and ZEIT. I try to keep an up-to-date list of media mentions and publications.
If you want to get in touch for an interview, please come this way.
I like transparency. As a rule of thumb, if there’s any risk of a conflict of interest, I try to mention it in any given blog post. I currently am, or was at some point, affiliated with these groups. In the past, I worked with these clients. Everything in this weblog expresses my personal opinion, and mine only, unless marked otherwise. My “official” work website lives at peterbihr.com.