Six questions for our contact maker
Lea does not hesitate much. Especially when it comes to connecting the DKSR network in cities and regions and working with municipal contacts to explore how data can be used sustainably in various local contexts. As Bid Manager, she is also responsible for responding to public tenders with offers from DKSR. A dry job, you’d think – but her day-to-day work is anything but boring.
You originally studied journalism: How did you get from there to the Smart City?
Many roads lead to Rome: It was clear to me early on that the classic job as a reporter was not for me. But my journalism studies still help me every day. Through my subsequent master’s studies in Brussels and my master’s thesis, I came to the topic of open data and smart city more or less by chance – and it has never let me go. Initially, I worked in communications for the international city network Open & Agile Smart Cities. There, I increasingly took on the role of project manager and wrote EU funding applications, among other things. From there, it was just a logical next step to Bid & Relationship Manager at DKSR.
What does a typical working day look like for you as a Bid & Relationship Manager?
Fortunately, there is no such thing as a typical day. Part of the job is, on the one hand, reviewing and processing public tenders. But it also involves direct contact with customers in cities, counties and municipal utilities. These customer meetings are sometimes the most exciting part of my job. You get strong impressions of local challenges and can then look for solutions together. As a relationship manager, I can also be found at events and trade fairs on a regular basis.
What part of your work do you enjoy the most?
The exchange with representatives of the cities and regions. And the adrenaline rush when submitting a bid: nothing beats a contracting portal that decides to make life difficult for you at the last moment and really makes you sweat.
What do you particularly appreciate about living in a city? Where could digitization help?
I love the variety of options that a big city offers. That’s why I always wanted to live in a big city. The bigger the better – I thought until I lived in Buenos Aires for half a year. Currently I live in Munich. Munich is the perfect size for me to do everything quickly by bike or public transport and at the same time be close to nature. The city is making good progress in digitalization – from citizen services to mass transit. The digital twin is also already being used to present new urban development plans to citizens. Munich is on the right track and I am curious to see where we will be in 5 years.
Which is smarter – Munich, Berlin or Brussels?
I’ve never lived in Berlin, so I’m not going to pass judgment. Brussels and Munich are both developing positively and continuously from a citizen’s perspective. Each city has its advantages and disadvantages. Before I start with a scientific comparison, I will leave it at a diplomatic draw.
Which famous person would you like to accompany for a day?
I would have loved to spend a day walking through New York with Jane Jacobs, observing the hustle and bustle of the city and discussing what makes a city worth living in. I would also be very interested to know what she thinks of the smart city.