Six questions for our smart city analyst

If you want a factual assessment of the project situation, you know who to turn to: Even when the dust settles, Smart City consultant David manages to look at things with an analytical and calm eye. That may also be due to his years of background in science. But at DKSR, he is more than happy to think outside the box.


David Hick

Where are you from and what drew you to Berlin?

I was born in Karlsruhe and lived for ten years in Dresden, where I studied architecture and worked as a scientist at the TU Dresden. I came to Berlin to work at DKSR.

When did you join DKSR – and why did you start here?

I’ve been working here since mid-2021. I applied because I was attracted by the mission to support cities in their development into data-driven organizations. It was a sensible step to apply my previous knowledge from research projects at TU Dresden in the field of data-driven urban planning and digital participation in practice.

Which of your accomplishments at DKSR are you most proud of?

At DKSR, I often reach the limits of my comfort zone: this is where the learning process and personal growth begin. Since we all manage multiple projects at DKSR, it’s important to keep a balance between “routine projects” and “breaking the comfort zone projects.” This is a skill that I have been able to develop over the past few years. And I am proud of the constant learning process based on this, which works together with healthy working.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

Tax accountant. The parents of an elementary school friend of mine were tax consultants and he had lots of toys. I thought that was great at the time. In fact, they hardly had any time for him and I’m glad I didn’t become a tax accountant but learned something creative.

What constitutes a good corporate culture for you?

For me, good corporate culture is when every person in an organization can find a part of themselves in the organization and thus identify with it. Trust and the opportunity to go your own way are also very important. So I think the corporate culture at DKSR is pretty good so far.

What advice would you give to a small municipality facing the big task of digitization?

When it comes to the digitization of municipalities, it is important to change the internal personnel structures and hierarchies. This means that there needs to be interfaces between the various subject areas of a municipality, which the city planning office and the IT department, for example, regularly exchange information about. The most successful municipalities I have had the opportunity to work with have set up their own agile teams. These are often digital units or data teams that try to establish a systemic perspective in the city.