Our new fellow Maja Göpel: more courage for a future-oriented transformation

Three questions for our fellows: Maja Göpel is a political economist, transformation researcher, author, speaker, consultant, academic teacher und co-founder of Scientists4Future.

July 26, 2023

Ein Foto von Maja Göpel

Maja Göpel © Anja Weber

“The essential task for me in times as crisis-ridden like today is to honestly examine both the shortfalls and the unused potential”
Maja Göpel

Hello Maja Göpel! 

Connecting brave knowledge and a courageous will: this is Maja Göpel’s intention as an Allianz Foundation Fellow. Here she answers three questions.

Where are you from in terms of how you think?

“My childhood was a color mix in terms of people and impressions. With our living situation alone – three families with close interaction, attending a progressive school where children with very different family backgrounds studied together – provided a comparatively wide range of experiences and impressions of how individuals grow up together in our society. It was also a freewheeling 1968 generation household, so politically committed parents with strong environmental awareness and the habit of questioning structures and if these made sense. As children, we were treated as equals, allowed to experiment and develop our own view of the world – not without rules, but weren’t reprimanded either. Last but not least, the catastrophe in Chernobyl had a long-term impact on me. This event took place so far away and its consequences could not be felt directly with the senses – there was a breakthrough here in terms of interconnected temporally and spatially contexts.”

Where are you headed with your work in the context of the fellowship?

“The fellowship makes it possible for me to more calmly and with more focus continue conceiving of a vision, to read more deeply, and conduct valuable conversations. My activities are very tightly scheduled within my independent self-employment, and the large number of requests often leads to me being rather reactive in terms of what I’m able to get done overall. I’m looking forward to a well-defined amount of time that I can separate from this highly interactive vortex, re-focusing my own compass for the next big steps.”

Where would you like to go? What is your vision, your long-term goal?

“The essential task for me in times as crisis-ridden like today is to honestly examine both the shortfalls and the unused potential. In my work to date, the connection between courageous knowledge and will has been a meaningful mixture for me. That’s why I’d like to work in a team setting again and try out put many of the things into practice that I usually write and talk about. This includes questions regarding suitable structures and in particular the culture of togetherness and having a clear mission. A great concept that puts it nicely for me is “creative integrity” – a form of organization characterized by those involved not being oriented around a project plan, a budget, their formal tasks, or the directives from senior management. Instead, they commit to advocating for a new way of working, bound together by a sense of shared purpose and values.”